The best breakfast + brunch spots in Alexandria, Virginia reflect the locavore foodie ethos of this charming historic city. Whether you’re looking for a fancy new age restaurant, a healthy option, or a traditional greasy spoon, Alexandria can provide it– especially if you know where to look.
Fortunately, like all of our bespoke restaurant guides, this feature on the Best Breakfast Spots in Alexandria spotlights everything that is decidedly unique and local in the ALX food scene. (Through the lens of breakfast.)
We work very hard to provide details, imagery, and perspective on not just what is most delicious in the area, but also which restaurants most faithfully capture the local “vibe”; the places where food, culture, local vendors, and the local community cohere.
Ultimately, each of the below restaurants has become a fixture of the local dining scene in its own way. And, we’ve included high-end and more affordable options to fit every budget and preferred level of formality. There’s something here for everyone.
Below, we spotlight the best places to get breakfast or brunch in Alexandria, in no particular order. (All of them are great, it just depends on what you’re looking for. Scroll down for the deets!)
The Majestic (Weekend Brunch Only)
On the weekends, The Majestic serves an excellent brunch that reflects the foodie-favored sensibility of this lovely Alexandria restaurant.
The menu, whose ingredients are sourced from local farms and vendors, features amazing whole plates like Short Rib Omelette, a Brunch Burger featuring fried egg, bacon, maple caramelized onions, house pimiento cheese, and a fresh baked English muffin, and Smoked Salmon Benedict.
They do a gorgeous pull-apart monkey bread and their fingerling potatoes (an upscale alternative to hashbrowns) are always on point.
The Majestic, moreover, is also as aesthetically pleasing as the food: between the tin tile ceilings, opulent light fixtures, and charming red-velvet booths, you’ll have plenty of details to “eat with your eyes”.
For weekend brunch, it’s a gorgeous, slightly upscale affair, featuring specialty dishes like Beef Tartare in the summer, Heirloom Tomato Panzanella, and rustic Avocado Toast to which you have the option of adding lump crab.
The brunch cocktails are amazing– think: Lavender Jalisco Sours and “Strawberry Fields” made with lagaria pinot grigio, cointreau, lemon, and strawberries– and they also serve beautiful sides like pecan smoked bacon, rustic toast, and seasonal fresh fruit that is actually locally sourced (unlike the sad side of warm cantaloupe that some breakfast restaurants serve).
If you have the option to choose where to sit, we love the booths! The table features here are simultaneously cozy and stylish– a perfect compliment to the food, which always feels like a warm hug.
King & Rye (For Lovely Trout Tartine & Virginia Country Breakfast)
King & Rye is a Southern restaurant that is also one of Alexandria’s finest places to eat– breakfast or otherwise. They serve seasonal slow food with a sumptuous, seasonally-changing menu that never disappoints.
For example, they make an excellent smoked trout tartine with fresh salad greens for a healthy, lighter breakfast option. Meanwhile, the House Smoked Bacon Benedict, Cast Iron Cinnamon Rolls, and the Virginia ham with over-easy eggs, biscuits, and crispy potatoes can really kick if you want something more rustic. It’s all delicious, seasonal, hearty, and super fresh.
As a result of this locavore lean, the menu frequently changes, which makes it a great spot to go to for a delicious breakfast in Alexandria time and time again. (I always tell foodies that if you only have time for one brunch in Alexandria, it should be here.)
There’s always something new and delicious to explore at King & Rye– and with the restaurant’s sweet digs inside the gorgeous Alexandrian Hotel on King Street, you’ll be right in the center of all the action.
Stop by before or after going to the Alexandria Farmers Market on Saturday morning, and you’ll be ready to savor the day. King & Rye is a must!
Matt and Tony’s All Day Kitchen + Bar (Gorgeous Salmon Burger, Scotch Eggs, Masa Pancakes + Millionaire French Toast!)
An amazing new addition to the Del Ray community, Matt & Tony’s All Day Kitchen & Bar is the only restaurant in the area that does all-day breakfast, and with good reason. They’re very good at it!
This place is absolutely hoppin’ on the weekends, especially when the weather is nice. Be sure to come early if you can’t linger a while if there’s a wait. (As of this writing, they don’t take reservations.)
The brunch items here, moreover, are fabulous and there’s a lot of variety. Matt and Tony’s serves the first respectable Scotch Eggs I’ve seen outside of the UK, as well as gorgeous masa pancakes with mole-maple syrup and a salmon BALT with avocado on brioche that’s become my go-to order. (I get the BALT without bread, and save the carbs for masa pancakes, which are perfectly golden-crisped at the edges and not too sweet.)
While they showcase local cuisine, Matt and Tony’s also has a decidedly international influence. They serve pan-seared rockfish and vegan kale bowls on the same menu as cioppino and German-style fried Porkchop. Plus, they have an absolute killer bread pudding and cornflake-crusted french toast, an offering that I’ve only otherwise seen in San Francisco and New York.
The sweet potato fries and hand-tossed mixed green salad they serve with every sandwich have a straight-from-the-farm freshness. As a result, even the sides feel very nutrient-dense, even the sweet potato-ricotta donut holes. (<— A nice sharable plate.)
The cocktails here are also gorgeous, casting color on the sunlit tables like liquid stained glass. These are served throughout the restaurant’s airy interior with the kind of nonchalant cool one might expect at a cafe in Italy.
The staff, moreover, are also super nice and accommodating– this is the Del Ray way. I’ve seen them comforting frazzled parents with babies, complimenting the table neighbor’s tattoos, and lowering the shades to accommodate a person with a migraine, etc.
Ultimately, the Del Ray community has no shortage of respectable brunch options (Evening Star and Stomping Ground are right in the same neighborhood, after all!) but this place has a wonderfully lively vibe. There’s seemingly a menu item for everyone, whether you’re a vegetarian, carnivore, low-sugar, carb-avoidant, or simply picky.
And for what it’s worth, the portions here are generous and decadent. If anything, I frequently order too much food– so it’s great for value eaters. (All jokes aside: you really get your money’s worth here.)
Evening Star (The Smoked Salmon Benedict is Amazing!)
Del Rey’s go-to brunch spot, Evening Star, is housed inside an adorable blue brick building with charming outdoor sidewalk seating where feathery parrot tulips bloom in the spring.
We love their smoked salmon benedict and lemon, pecorino-infused side salads (make any of their benedicts healthy by swapping salad for the homefries, my favorite substitution).
They are also known for their roasted vegetable frittata and corned beef hash, but the brunch menu is short and changes seasonally.
Really, it’s fun to go here for the bright, cheery service and beatnik, community-centric atmosphere. They even did a Biden Burger and Kamala melt after the 2020 election, so it’s that kind of funky, pop-culturally aware place.
When the weather is nice, it’s my favorite place to dine in Del Ray, after going to the local farmers market or one of Del Ray’s quirky pop-up Saturday flea markets. There’s something about the blue brick + cozy tables that makes brunch at Evening Star feel like a scene from a Wes Anderson film, in the best way.
Fontaine (For Crêpes!)
Fontaine— aka Fontaine Caffee & Creperie– is a lovely place for outdoor brunch dining in Old Town Alexandria. They use fresh local and organic ingredients whenever possible, and they’re known for their iconic crêpe, including a wide variety of gluten-free and vegan options. (Every item is cooked to order, so they’re able to accommodate a variety of dietary requests.)
For the quintessential crêpe experience, order the Old Towner (ham, sautéed spinach, and caramelized onions), the Parisienne (roasted herb chicken, ratatouille, and brie cheese) or the Sultan (spicy lamb sausage, lentils, spinach, and feta cheese topped with fresh tomatoes and a yogurt-mint sauce).
They also offer sweet crêpes with classic fillings like Nutella and strawberries, lemon cream, or caramelized peaches with toasted almonds, vanilla ice cream, and peach brandy.
For breakfast and brunch, they use organic dairy products, organic local beef, baguettes from a local bakery, local vegetables, fresh house-made tomato juice (“a local favorite”), and thoughtfully-procured seafood.
And true to the tradition of French cuisine, they offer an extensive selection of galettes (e.g. buckwheat crêpes) as well as delicate specials like Quiche du Jour and Artisan Cheese & Fruit plates served with fresh baguettes.
Ultimately, there’s an abundance of delicious, clean, lighter menu options here, which is great for people who don’t want to feel like they have to take a nap after breakfast. (You can, however, add two eggs to any crepe if you do want to make it a heartier meal.)
Pretty Plates, To Boot!
I love how they serve brunch on colorful vintage china, which adds to the aesthetic experience. And when spring is in full repose, you’re apt to see legions of locals taking advantage of Fontaine’s austere sidewalk dining, which has a Paris-meets-New York charm. (Inside dining has a similarly Europhilic ambiance.)
But in true bistro fashion, Fontaine is a relaxed and friendly spot in the heart of Old Town. Walk to Old Town Books after your meal to shop the latest titles, or meander on over the tiny Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, a notable local attraction that’s open for walk-ins and tours.
Table Talk Diner (No-Frills Greasy Spoon)
This classic Americana diner is located out of the fray of Old Town, closer to Carlyle and the traffick-y end of Duke Street. But, don’t let this roadside sleeper hit fool you: Table Talk Diner has been a local favorite since 1976.
If you’re looking for a classic greasy spoon diner experience with unique Alexandria flair, Table Talk is your best bet. Try the eggy French Toast (above) or Corned Beef Hash for a filling start to your day. Eggs, toasts, fruit, etc can all be ordered on the side, in generous portions. You know the drill.
Sandwiches from the lunch menu, which overlaps with breakfast, are also reliably good. Try the Virginia Baked Ham or the Open Faced Meatloaf Sandwich for the best examples of hearty regional diner fare. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with a build-your-own omelet.
Alternatively, you can even get something as small as one egg your way, with homefries and buttered toast. Choose your own adventure.
Del Ray Cafe (Organic Farm-to-Table)
The Del Ray Cafe is an organic restaurant in a charming converted house that serves farm-to-table cuisine that’s in line with the local community food ethos. Ethically sourced, healthy-oriented, and always rendered with love.
Seasonal roses and giant, fragrant rosemary plants (the largest I’ve ever seen!) line the fence in front of the house– it’s that kind of place. Dine upstairs in the Del Ray Cafe loft or eat outside on the covered deck for two vastly different aesthetic experiences in the same space. It’s all lovely.
Menu-wise, we love the duck confit (and the fact that it’s served with salad as opposed to a starch!), the crab meat eggs benedict, and organic buckwheat pancakes. Certain dishes can lean salty, however, so be sure to ask for a lighter touch if you are salt-sensitive. The optional sides, like Berkshire pork sausage, polenta, and veggie hash, are all beautifully complementary, as well.
A Great Family Brunch Spot
Ultimately, this is a great place for lunch dates and family brunch. Even the kids’ menu has organic spinach pasta, organic eggs and fruit, and other proteinous and veggie-laden options. The staff here are welcoming, friendly, and super accommodating, too.
Specials, like lobster eggs benedict and fried oysters benedict, reflect national food trends and the local seafood meroir, as well. Come for brunch or lunch for the quintessential experience– just expect a small wait if you have a large party on the weekends. It’s only one house, after all.
Stomping Ground (Best Biscuit Sandwiches Ever!)
Not only is Stomping Ground one of the most popular brunch spots in Del Ray, but their fried chicken biscuits are some of the best in the country– literally!
We love the classic fried chicken biscuit (with pimento cheese and bread n’ butter pickles) as well as the “Not So Classic”— a fried chicken biscuit topped with benne seed tahini, Stomping Ground’s own fermented hot sauce, honey, za’atar spice, and just the right amount of crispy red onion. So good!
In addition to being ginormously huge, the biscuits here are so, so insanely good that I almost wept the first time I ate one. (They are on par with the decadence of iconic Southern biscuit establishments like Viscious Biscuit and Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit in Charleston, South Carolina— but I digress.)
The salad bowls and other baked goods– like the decadent brown butter rice krispie treats with Maldon salt, or the perfect American banana bread– are also excellent.
Beyond The Baked Goods
The veggie hash, Gouda Grits Bowl, Spicy Harissa Chicken Salad (my go-to order), and Breakfast Nachos (<— exactly what they sound like) can also hold their own.
Order a biscuit sandwich for the classic experience– it will be big enough to share, trust me– but don’t shy away from the lighter fare, either! (They even use organic mixed greens and local, organic vegetables in their hearty hash.)
This might go without saying, but they make everything from scratch. These biscuits are outrageously good, and eating one is definitely a Del Ray writ of passage. Go on a Saturday before or after the Del Ray farmers’ market for a truly local experience.
Toastique (Boutique Toast + Juice Bar)
Toastique is a gourmet toast and juice bar that has gorgeous toasts and bowls, as well as cold-pressed juice and healthy booster shots bottled in glass. If you’re an avocado toast lover or just looking for a healthy breakfast spot in Alexandria, this is the place for you!
Whether you’re interested in classic avocado toast with a blue majik E3live shot or Smoked Salmon Pastrami toast with an immunity-boosting veggie-based juice on the side, Toastique can provide it.
Plus, they offer fruit-filled smoothie bowls like the “OG Acai” and a Matcha Bowl made with a spinach and kale base topped with pineapple, strawberries, dates, granola, cocoa nibs, mint, and a drizzle of honey.
They also have sweet superfood-boosted options like the Black Mystique (made with activated charcoal, blueberries, strawberries, banana, and coconut water) and a Dragonberry Bowl made with pitaya (dragonfruit) as well as mango, strawberries, agave, and coconut water.
But really, the toast is where it’s at. Purists should try the Avocado Smash, featuring marinated tomatoes, watermelon radish, micro greens, toasty seasoning, and chili oil on a multigrain toast. Sandwich lovers can opt for a greek version made with hummus, a Tuscan Tuna twist made with sundried tomato tuna, or the 3 cheese Italian that reads like an open-face melt. (<– It’s made with prosciutto, Jarlsberg, Fontina, onion jam, arugula, and micro greens on jalapeno cheddar toast.) You get the idea.
Ultimately, I just love that they offer superfood shots without all the sugary fruit juice– and I love that these are packaged in glass, not plastic.
Even though this is a boutique franchise, the idea of offering a toast-focused menu is unique not only to the region, but as a concept in general. Avocado toast lovers, rejoice! They even won Washington City Paper‘s Reader’s Choice Award for “Best New Restaurant” in the DC area in 2019. (Not bad for a chain, indeed.)
~ Honorable Mention ~
Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant (Historic Digs)
The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant— Colonial setting; serves traditional Southern “hoecakes” that were, famously, “George Washington’s favorite breakfast”. See picture, above.
Brunch hear consists of traditional American fare served in a colonial setting. Example dishes include Fried Green Tomato Benedict, The Mt. Vernon Breakfast (featuring 2 eggs, hashbrowns, toast, and bacon), and Grand Marnier French Toast with bourbon syrup. Old School Fancy!
Dine here and then explore the estate afterward to make a day of it. (If, that is, you don’t need a nap first.) I love meandering around the gardens and lounging on a picnic blanket on the green.
Ruthie’s All Day (Technically in Arlington, But Cute + Hip!)
Ruthie’s All Day in Arlington is a 15-minute drive from Alexandria, but worth the trip. The wood tables, patterned wallpaper, and green and cappuccino booths say it all: this place is charming. Even their adorable website illustrations (above shown!) animate this point.
It’s stylish, they know what foodies love, and they play the nouveau brunch hits well. Try the PSB breakfast sandwich— pimento cheese, scrambled egg, bacon, arugula, and pickled onion on a milk bun– or the Brisket Bennie for the classic experience.
The Brisket Hash, Apple Pie Pancakes, and Nora Mills Grits + Pulled Pork Bowl are also great, exemplifying the kind of hearty foodie fare that Ruthie’s does really well.
Ultimately, they do a beautifully robust brunch service on the weekends (from 9 AM to 3 PM) and they offer lovely, concise breakfast counter options (mostly sandwiches and to-go options) during the week from 7 AM to 11 AM.
^ After those hours, lunch and mid-day dining at Ruthie’s is gorgeous and decidedly in line with what makes weekend brunch here so good: you can still get the skillet cornbread, yellowfin tuna tartare, fried chicken sandwiches, wonderful BBQed meats, and delightful salads.
For brunch on the weekends, this is easily the best place to eat in Arlington. (And it’s one of the cutest brunch spots in the entire DMV area, which is why it’s worth mentioning here.) There’s lots of natural light, outdoor seating, art books for purchase, and plenty of parking on site.
Ruthie’s, moreover, does everything well, so you can’t go wrong no matter what you order (even if you reluctantly drive all the way from Alexandria for it).
Related: 5 Cool Places to go Apple Picking (& Pumpkin Picking!) in Northern Virginia
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