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Ari's Diner (Image: Courtesy Ari's Diner)

7 stellar spots to grab breakfast in D.C.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? If you are an early riser like me, you will sympathize when I say brunch is just too late - most establishments don't open till 11 a.m. even on weekends. And trust me, no one is fun when hangry! Restaurants that serve an actual sit down breakfast (not brunch) are perfect for those situations when you are ready to rock by 8 a.m. Here's my list of the best spots around town that serve you coffee and food when you really need it! And yes, these spots are worthy enough to wake up for, even if you are not a breakfast person!

1. Blue Duck Tavern

Absolutely one of my favorite breakfasts around town, this is where I go when I want a special breakfast. It's a splurge but the incredible spread is absolutely worth it. The comprehensive menu includes a healthy start section with fruit, yogurt, and the like, egg specialties, an assortment of pastries and breads, plus cereals and juices, all of which are elevated renditions as expected from a Michelin star restaurant. However, the "batters" section is definitely one of the most spectacular parts of the menu - it includes items such as bread pudding French toast with almond pastry cream, sorrel pancakes with pickled green strawberry, and more. If that does not get your day off to a good start, I don't know what will!

Breakfast Hours: Everyday from 6:30-10:30 a.m.

2. Bistro Bis

At this Capitol Hill French spot, you can expect to see a lot of Hill staff at any time of day, but it is especially popular for breakfast meetings. Don't let that stop you from wandering in for a sumptuous breakfast. The three egg "Omelet Monte Cristo" with country ham, gruyère cheese and chives, served with lyonnaise potatoes or the Belgian style waffle with strawberries will satisfy savory and sweet early morning cravings.

Breakfast Hours: Everyday from 7 -10 a.m.

3. Commissary

This neighborhood cafe restaurant in Logan Circle is an oldie but a goldie. You can get breakfast sandwiches, burritos, or the usual staples of scrambles, omelettes, and pancakes. Whatever you end up with, a side of potato pancakes is a must. Their "breakfast for 2" is a great deal - it comes with 2 coffees, 2 entrees, and a pitcher of either Bloody Mary or Mimosa for $55.

Breakfast hours: All Day starting at 8 a.m.

4. Keren

Got to Keren if you want a huge bowl of affordably priced food that is delicious and served by some of the friendliest folks around. The ful, a mix of eggs, beans, and vegetables is comforting and perfect for those mornings when you need a little perking up and the Kicha Fitfit tesmi, chopped bread drenched in a spicy butter is carb heaven. Better yet, get the Combo with the kicha, eggs, and ful together - savory, spicy, soulful, and filling.

Breakfast Hours: All Day starting at 8 a.m.

5. Ari's Diner

You've probably heard by now that Ivy City is THE new up and coming area in D.C. to check out for distilleries and breweries. Start your day of distillery hopping, or any day really, at Ari's Diner. Their menu of diner favorites includes the expected classics, but I always lean towards the pancakes - they are seriously some of the best, fluffiest, pancakes around town. Grab a seat at the bar, watch your food being made, and enjoy it with a boozy (or not) milkshake.

Breakfast Hours: All Day starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday - Sunday. Closed Monday.

6. Tune Inn

Yes it's a dive bar by night but yes they also do open every day at 8 a.m. and serve breakfast all day. The $9 breakfast plate with eggs and corned beef hash is hearty and comes with potatoes, toast and the requisite amount of butter and jelly. Get some Lousiana hot sauce and you'll be all set. Nothing fancy about this place, just a solid breakfast when you need it.

Breakfast Hours: All Day starting at 8 a.m.

7. The Smith

One of the newer additions to Penn Quarter, The Smith just launched their breakfast menu, which will be served on weekday mornings. There are dishes such as eggs benedict, lighter fare with the ubiquitous avocado toast and the more interesting smoked salmon toast, plus griddle items such as French toast and pancakes. I've only been for dinner and enjoyed it, but if the popularity of the place says anything about it, you can be sure breakfast will be a hit too!

Breakfast Hours: Monday-Friday 8-11 a.m.


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