21 Places to Do Brunch in Arlington

So. Many. Options. Go ahead—order that Bloody Mary.

Weekends are better with brunch, and you can find a spread to suit just about any taste or budget in this town. To help you narrow your options, here are some choice destinations for midday eating and drinking, with dishes ranging from heirloom grits to duck hash, and the requisite hangover cures to pair with them.

“Bloody Stein” Bloody Marys at Courthaus Social (courtesy photo)

Courthaus Social

Gather with a big group on the dog-friendly patio or in the rustic-casual dining room and call it a party.  This restaurant’s contribution to over-the-top Bloody Mary trend—the Bloody Stein—comes embellished with bacon-wrapped shrimp, a fried chicken strip and meat-and-cheese skewer. Other hearty brunch favorites include Nutella pancakes, chicken and waffles, and a full tots menu with toppings like beer cheese, bratwurst and steak.  // 2300 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington (Courthouse)


Green Pig Bistro (courtesy photo)

Green Pig Bistro

Cozy up with a tiny skillet full of warm cinnamon rolls and an iced Morning Moonshine—a caffeinated cocktail made with Belle Isle cold-brew-coffee moonshine, sweetened condensed milk and housemade cold brew. The Clarendon restaurant, which serves brunch both inside and (weather permitting) on its sidewalk patio, is also known for its savory options such as a schnitzel sandwich with kimchi; smoked salmon Benedict; and fried chicken nestled between two waffles on a bed of sausage gravy. // 1025 N. Fillmore St., Arlington (Clarendon)


Detour Coffee (courtesy photo)

Detour Coffee

Detour, owned by the team behind Darna lounge, offers a weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Virginia Square. Highlights include a Norwegian breakfast sandwich with smoked salmon, dill, cucumber and a poached egg on a croissant from Fresh Baguette bakery; or the Chivito al Plato which features a trio of meats—ham, pancetta and steak—as well as mozzarella, eggs, greens and fries. You can also order $15 bottomless mimosas—try the blood orange option.   Java here is from Vigilante Coffee in Hyattsville, Maryland. // 946 N. Jackson St., Arlington (Virginia Square)


Avocado toast at True Food Kitchen (press photo)

True Food Kitchen

Known for its menu of “anti-inflammatory” fare, True Food has a variety of gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options on its weekend brunch menu. Its rendition of avocado toast comes with organic eggs and smoked gouda, while banana pancakes are made with quinoa and topped with Greek yogurt. The restaurant has an extensive fresh juice and smoothie list, including its bestselling, dairy-free banana and date smoothie, made with almond milk and almond butter. // 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston)


The “Hail Mary” at Dudley’s Sport & Ale (courtesy photo)

Dudley’s Sport & Ale

This sprawling Shirlington sports bar stages an all-day weekend brunch (served from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) with a generous drink menu, including $5 bottles of sparkling wine and the 22-ounce Hail Mary, a turbo Bloody festooned with a fried chicken thigh, a chunk of Monterey jack cheese, a dill pickle spear, sweet pepper, celery and spices—waffle optional. In warmer months, head to the rooftop and take in some sun. The Crab Cake Benny, made with jumbo lump crab and Aleppo pepper hollandaise, is a savory bestseller. // 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington (Shirlington)


Beignets at Meridian Pint (courtesy photo)

Meridian Pint

If you want to pair your Brioche French Toast or a plate of beignets with a microbrew, we won’t judge. This Dominion Hills newcomer, which owner John Andrade transplanted from D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood in May, serves brunch until 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Families are welcome, with a special brunch menu for kids featuring pancakes, bacon and eggs, plus a breakfast burrito served with breakfast potatoes and fresh fruit.  // 6035 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Dominion Hills)


Northside Social (courtesy photo)

Northside Social Coffee & Wine

On weekends, Northside Clarendon’s upstairs wine bar is a go-to for brunchy eats like fried hot chicken thighs and challah toast with almond butter, strawberry preserves and ricotta. It gets crowded early and the café doesn’t take reservations, but if you miss one of the coveted 50 seats upstairs, you can still snag housemade granola, Pop-tarts, espresso drinks, breakfast sandwiches on freshly baked bread, and quiches via counter service downstairs.  // 3211 Wilson Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon)


Wood-fired brunch pizza at The Liberty Tavern (courtesy photo)

The Liberty Tavern

Weekend brunch at The Liberty Tavern is an Arlington tradition—especially the upstairs dining room’s “breakfast table” buffet, which features challah French toast, brunch pizzas, several carving station options, salads and a large dessert spread with treats from the bakers at Northside Social.  Brunch items are also available à la carte downstairs and on the patio. The Grapefruit Buck—made with vodka,  St. Germain, grapefruit and topped with Maine Root ginger beer—is one of Liberty’s top-selling weekend cocktails. // 3195 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Freddie’s Beach Bar (courtesy photo)

Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant

Northern Virginia’s self-described “only LGBTQ, straight-friendly restaurant and bar” hosts a sprawling buffet brunch in Crystal City each Sunday, with traditional breakfast foods, as well as sushi, a carving station and brunch drinks, for just under $25.  Salads, burgers, fajitas and other entrées can also be ordered à la carte. If you lose your way, look for the pink flamingos on the roof. // 555 23rd St. S., Arlington (Crystal City)


Cinnamon-sweet sourdough with Nutella at Ambar. Photo by Ardent Vibe.


Tired of the same old brunch standards? How about a zucchini burger, cheese-and-spinach pie, and a selection of savory spreads to shake things up? At Ambar in Clarendon, you can explore Balkan food two ways: order à la carte, or go for the all-you-can-eat experience, which allows you to sample anything your stomach desires from the ample menu, from savory stuffed cabbage rolls to cinnamon-sweet sourdough with Nutella (if you choose the all-you-can-eat option your whole table must participate). The Balkan Brunch Experience is $34 per person, plus unlimited brunch drinks for a quarter each.  // 2901 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Brunch at Buena Vida. Photo by Miroslav Pavlovic

Buena Vida 

Editor’s Note: Buena Vida is now TTT – Tacos, Tortas and Tequila. Check out their all-season rooftop bar. Like its Balkan sibling across the street (Ambar), this Clarendon newcomer (which occupies the second floor of Ivan Iricanin’s three-part La Esquina) offers an all-you-can-eat brunch, except the flavor profile is Mexican. The Buena Vida Experience—which everyone at the table must order for $34 each—includes unlimited plates like lamb chorizo and eggs, chilaquiles, and grilled shrimp on leek-and-parmesan polenta, plus brunch drinks like spicy cheladas (the classic blends modelo especial beer, tomato juice, hot sauce, black pepper, sea salt and cucumber) for 25 cents each.  Brunch is offered Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  // 2900 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Shrimp and grits at Copperwood Tavern (courtesy photo)

Copperwood Tavern

This woodsy saloon in Shirlington serves brunch until 4 p.m. on the weekends. Stop in for scotched eggs, cheddar-jalapeno-cornbread doughnuts, duck hash and smoked-gouda shrimp and grits, plus a robust list of Benedict and omelet options. The bar is stacked with 20 local drafts and 30 small batch whiskeys. If you’re going alcohol-free, order the Root-n-Remedy mocktail for an herbal treat.  // 4021 Campbell Ave., Arlington (Shirlington)


Heritage Brewing granola (courtesy photo)

Heritage Brewing

Editor’s Note: Heritage Brewing has closed. Yep, it’s a brewery (an outpost of the original in Manassas) but there’s lots to love in addition to the house-brewed suds.  The granola here is made with spent grains from Heritage’s brewing operation and topped with local honey, yogurt and berries; and the French-toast bites are designed for sharing.  You can also order a main brunch plate (the offerings range from shepherd’s pie or a fall Delicata squash salad to various egg dishes) and two 10-ounce Heritage drafts for less than $20. Need a non-alcoholic pick-me-up? The brewery also offers its own coffee, roasted inhouse.  // 1300-1398 N Fillmore St., Arlington (Clarendon)


The WOW Breakfast Bowl at Whitlow’s (courtesy photo)

Whitlow’s on Wilson

Whitlow’s all-you-can-eat brunch buffet isn’t cheap, at $40 per person, but the smorgasbord does fill an entire room with everything from crab legs to ribs, and the bar features a build-your-own Bloody Mary station. The WOW Breakfast Bowl—home fries mixed with bacon, sausage, peppers, onions and cheese, then topped with fried eggs—is a crowd favorite from the main menu.  // 2854 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


The Bloody Mary bar at Ragtime (courtesy photo)


This New Orleans-themed restaurant in Courthouse offers several bayou-style dishes, including Bourbon St. Benedict with fried green tomatoes, Andouille sausage and blackened shrimp; and Bananas Foster French Toast. On the beverage side, visitors can enjoy DIY mimosas, and Bloody Marys with house-pickled veggies, bacon and other accoutrements, as well as two signature Ragtime Crushes made with fresh citrus juices over crushed ice.  // 1345 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington (Courthouse)


Eggs Benedict at The Spirits of ’76 (courtesy photo)

The Spirits of ’76

Editor’s Note: The Spirits of ’76 has closed. This all-American bar offers traditional rib-sticking brunch favorites like country fried steak and eggs, housemade corned-beef hash, chicken and waffles, and buttermilk biscuits with white bacon gravy. If they aren’t included in your order, get a side of those biscuits—they’re worth the stop.  // 3211 Washington Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon)


Brunch at Cava Mezze (courtesy photo)

Cava Mezze Clarendon

The Clarendon outpost of this D.C.-area mini-chain offers a $35 all-you-can-eat option for Saturday and Sunday brunch, as well as à la carte dishes, all with a Greek/Mediterranean flavor profile. Try the spicy lamb Benedict and Challah French toast with honey, berries and cream. Vegetarians will enjoy dishes such as Chickpea Hash with spicy dill vinaigrette, and the Village Fritatta made with spinach, feta, leeks and green onion. // 2940 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Mimosas at Oby Lee. Photo by Tyler Darden.

Oby Lee

The brunch at this tiny Clarendon wine bar-creperie begins relatively early, at 9 a.m. In winter, order a hot mulled wine with a slice of quiche, or a savory crepe filled with smoked salmon, kielbasa or applewood bacon. For a meatless option, try the dairy- and gluten-free buckwheat crepe stuffed with egg, guacamole and goat cheese (that batter can be used as a substitute for any crepe on the menu). Sample wines by the glass in a variety of sizes (self-serve via the house Vinoteca machine) or choose among seven juice options—including pink grapefruit, tangerine and mango—on the $4.95 mimosa menu. Coffee lovers take note: Oby Lee roasts its own coffee inhouse every Monday. // 3000 Washington Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Italian coccino at Barley Mac (courtesy photo)

Barley Mac

The brunch menu at this chatty Rosslyn bistro (grab a seat inside or on the patio) includes several popular Benedict and omelet variations, but Italian dishes such as the breakfast gnocchi with sausage and pesto, and the traditional coccoli (deep-fried dough)—served with truffle honey, prosciutto and stracchino cheese—steal the show. Barley Mac also offers a make-your-own mimosa deal (order it by the bottle or magnum) with flavors like prickly pear and strawberry lemon.  // 1600 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Rosslyn)

Huevos Rancheros at Circa (courtesy photo)

Circa Clarendon

The brunch specialties here include classic favorites like the American Bistro Breakfast—cornflake-crusted French toast, eggs, bacon and home fries—as well as Huevos Rancheros served with avocado corn salsa and pickled jalapeños; and Bulgogi Fried Rice made with marinated short rib, peppers and pickled carrots. When weather permits, the large patio is perfect for people-watching in this busy part of town, and the mimosas are priced to reward early-birds—they are $2 each before noon.  // 3010 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon)


Bayou Bakery’s biscuits with pepper cream cheese. Photo by Scott Suchman

Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery

Brunch is an all-day weekend affair at Bayou in Courthouse, with authentic, sugar-dusted beignets and buttermilk biscuits served hot until closing. Grits are a southern staple, and chef-owner David Guas takes them one step further by offering kernels that have been stone-ground at George Washington’s estate at Mount Vernon. Order them “dressed” with cheddar, bacon and green onion. // 1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington (Courthouse)



Categories: Food & Drink