24 Places to Brunch Outdoors

Hit these patios and enjoy Benedicts, mimosas and waffles al fresco.

If you’re itching to go out for a leisurely weekend meal but want to play it safe, outdoor dining may be your best bet. Happily, you’ve got options. Amid the pandemic, local governments have allowed area restaurants to expand their patios with temporary outdoor seating areas (TOSAs) that annex what would normally be adjacent sidewalk, street or parking lot space. So you can spread out, relax and savor the day.

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Huevos rancheros at Open Road Grill

Open Road Grill

Open Road has patio seating at both its Rosslyn and Merrifield locations—the latter being the larger of the two, with room for more than 100. The menus at both spots include craft cocktails (lovers of bubbly might enjoy a white-peach or blood-orange bellini) plus hearty brunch salads, breakfast tacos with chorizo, huevos rancheros, and a house-smoked salmon-avocado toast with crispy capers and vinaigrette carrots.  // 8100 Lee Highway, Falls Church (Merrifield); // 1201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Rosslyn)


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Brunch fare at The Pinemoor

The Pinemoor

The menu at this country-themed Clarendon newcomer (it opened in late July) includes chocolate-chunk pancakes topped with strawberries; ancho-braised short rib Benedict; and a cauliflower hash made with rice, shallots, carrots, spinach and poached eggs.  The Pinemoor offers an outside bar and patio seating for 42 (first come, first served) and carryout. Brunch cocktails include the Ice Virginian (coffee with Kopper Kettle Virginia whiskey, coffee liqueur and cream) and a new summer favorite: the orange sherbet mimosa, made with three scoops of orange sherbet and sparkling wine. //1101 N Highland St., Arlington (Clarendon) 


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An omelet at TTT Mexican Diner

TTT Mexican Diner

Ivan Iricanin’s Mexican concept in the heart of Clarendon has evolved a bit since it opened in 2019. The second-floor Buena Vida restaurant is no longer, but the popular and more casual TTT (tacos, tortas, tequila) has expanded and now offers an unlimited weekend brunch menu on a 78-seat patio and expansive rooftop lounge. For $34, diners can feast on egg-packed breakfast burritos and quesadillas, chorizo hash tacos, salmon toast with Fresno chilis, and dulce de leche crepes with whipped cream and mint. TTT offers 11 brunch cocktails for a quarter, including spicy cucumber-cilantro margaritas, sangria and blood-orange mimosas.  //2900 Wilson Blvd., Arlington


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Shakshuka at Simply Fresh

Simply Fresh

The weekend starts early at this McLean cafe. The brunch menu is available starting on Fridays on the restaurant’s two garden patios, which together have space for 40. The Mediterranean focused fare includes more than a dozen egg options, from shakshuka to omelets infused with herbs grown on site. Order a mimosa or bloody Mary refill for a penny.  Call ahead if you’d prefer an order to go. // 6811 Elm St. McLean


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A breakfast sandwich from Northside Social

Northside Social 

Early birds may already know that both Northside locations open at 7 a.m. on weekends, serving housemade granola, espresso drinks, the bakery’s signature Pop-tarts and breakfast sandwiches on freshly baked bread. Both patios are equipped with umbrellas and seating is first come, first served. For those missing the beloved brunch buffet at sister restaurant The Liberty Tavern, a more extensive brunch menu with options like fried hot chicken and challah toast with almond butter, strawberry preserves and ricotta is available to go. (You can also enjoy a la carte brunch offerings at The Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall, both of which have outdoor seating.) Order via the restaurant group’s app or website for contactless pickup. //3211 Wilson Blvd, Arlington (Clarendon) and 205 Park Ave. Falls Church


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Chicken and waffles and a Monte Cristo sandwich at Smokecraft

Smokecraft Modern BBQ

Andrew Darneille’s modern barbecue joint opened in July and just recently opened its patio with seating for nearly 40 diners.  Make a reservation to enjoy belly-fillers like buttermilk fried chicken and smoked-jalapeno cornbread waffles with peach butter. Add a low-ABV cocktail such as the Summertime Punch, made with green tea, lemon, spiced honey syrup and sparkling wine. The entire menu can also be ordered to go, including growlers of craft beer and wine by the bottle. //1051 N. Highland St., Arlington (Clarendon)


Categories: Food & Drink
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