New Year’s Brunch in D.C. 2015

Here are our picks for where to enjoy brunch on New Year’s Day in Washington, D.C.
Credit: Flickr/Anthony

There are many restaurants serving brunch and its signature cocktails on New Year’s Day in the nation’s capital.

Brunch is a funny thing. Love it or hate it, there are certain holidays or occasions that call for a well presented buffet of breakfast goodies shored up by the hearty fare typically served at lunch. At the top of the list of things to serve are a host of cooked-to-order egg dishes, especially variations on the Benedict theme, but pork must be present in hams, sausages, and bacon, and there must be a display of pricey seafood items such as cold shrimp, followed, of course, by large quantities of muffins, doughnuts, pastries, and sweet treats. In addition, the phrases “bottomless” and “all-you-can-eat” should generally appear on the menu or be uttered by the servers; otherwise, it just isn’t a real brunch.

We appreciate the delicate nature of choosing the right brunch, and have done our best to create a list for you that suits a range of post-New Year’s Eve party players and styles. There are menus for carnivores, vegans, Hemingway-calibre drinkers, food-lovers in search of creativity, and big families. Why, there’s even a pajama contest. Bon appétit in 2015!


Balkan cuisine might not be your go-to food for brunch, but once you taste the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences found in Ambar’s food, you will appreciate its culinary point of view. For New Year’s Day brunch, they are serving an all-you-can-eat selection of endless mezze, soups, egg dishes, salads, crêpes, baked goods, and bottomless Bloody Marys, mimosas, and specialty Ambar Mimosas. Bottomless brunch must be ordered by the entire table and the menu is offered exclusively for the prix fixe service. Seating times: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Prix fixe price: $35 per person. Reservations required.

Birch & Barley

Birch & Barley will be serving their popular à la carte brunch menu that features creative twists on old classics such as house-brined corned beef hash and fried duck eggs, fried chicken and waffles, and sausage and eggs with biscuits. Brunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

GBD Fried Chicken & Doughnuts

Sometimes a doughnut and a beer is “the hair of the dog that bit you,” and sometimes you need some crispy fried chicken with waffles. Whatever your preference, GBD Fried Chicken & Doughnuts is serving brunch on New Year’s Day and their fun, casual menu of sweet and savory offerings could just be what gets you through the day. Serving times: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Reservations highly recommended.

Medium Rare

If you are just too tired or hung over to get dressed for brunch, don’t bother. If you brunch at either one of the two Medium Rare locations, you can leave your pajamas on and join a bunch of other sleepy heads at Medium Rare’s second annual “Bottomless Pajama Brunch." According to Mark Bucher, “Most people stay up late to ring in the New Year. For those who stayed up late and for everyone [else], we’re offering a brunch you can attend in your comfy pajamas.” For this party, the regular steak frites or steak and egg menu is available, prizes will be awarded for the Best Pajama Matching Family and Most Creative Pajamas, and there will be bottomless Bloody Marys, mimosas, and screwdrivers. Brunch will be served from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Reservations can be made online.  

Nage Bistro

If you are looking for an antidote for your pounding head, Nage has the right cocktail; actually, they have three, with names like, “No Painsville No Gainesville.” You’ll have your pick from a wide selection the restaurant is serving for their “Blurry, Blurry Days” brunch. Moreover, there is the menu that’s meant to help ease what ails you, with dishes like “Kill it Skillet” comprising macaroni and cheese with chorizo, bacon, truffle fries, and a fried egg, or the shrimp and cheese grits. After that, just slip away into a powdered sugar fog of beignets and chocolate dipping sauce. Seating times: 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Prices range from $8 to $16, as well as bottomless Bloody Marys and mimosas for an additional $15 per person. Reservations highly recommended.


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Brunch at Zengo may just be the shot in the arm you need for post-party brunching. Their bottomless brunch and unlimited small plates and cocktails can satisfy even the fussiest diners. Where else can you order eggs Benedict, ceviche, and dim sum from the same menu? So why not nosh on all-you-can-eat selection of sushi, salads, and antojitos while sipping your choice of three different flavors of Bloody Marys and four variations of mimosas. Reservations highly recommended.