Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Where to Eat Breakfast in the District?

I am NOT a morning person. I never have been. Even when I was in kindergarten (in Alexandria), my mother signed me up for the afternoon session, knowing that I'd be a terror before lunch. In first grade, Mom ran the neighborhood carpool; this meant that there were anywhere between 4 to 6 children in our apartment before 8am, watching cartoons. Where was I? In bed, asleep. Mom would wait until the last possible second to wake me, brush my hair, and pack me into the station wagon with the others.

Even in high school, my father knew to protect himself from flying objects and/or choice words when he attempted to enter my room and reinforce my alarm clock. You would've thrown stuff too! The man would walk in singing, "It's time to get up, it's time to get up, it's time to get up in the morning!" Seriously, Dad, you're lucky you weren't injured on those daily missions.

I repeat: I am not a morning person. My body, however, now is ...... without my permission, I might add. Even on weekends or vacation days in Florida, my body wakes me before the sun, and I don't like it one bit.

You know what I also don't like? Grocery shopping. There are slight exceptions to this statement. I don't mind shopping with a partner, preferably a date, or for a dinner party -- I can actually cook. Shopping by myself and for myself, though, bores me to tears.

This is what my fridge usually looks like.
Yes, that is beer in the crisper drawer.
No, I am not a dude.
Up early + no food in the house = Thirsty Ivy frequently going out for breakfast on the weekends.

Sure, there are dozens of amazing brunch places in D.C. -- and I love brunch! -- but I can't make it until then without food in my system (and, sadly, don't always have brunch plans), and I like to treat myself to something other than a granola bar or yogurt on Saturday and Sunday. If I can't sleep, I might as well eat, right?

The problem is that I'm falling into a bit of a rut with my breakfast options. Can you help?

(I know, I know. We're supposed to be telling you where the best spots in D.C. are, but I'm selfish and need your help. Please! Comment on this post, tweet at me, or send a quick email to with your suggestions.)

If you have a canine friend, there are outside tables
on both sides of this corner spot.
Booeymonger, "a unique delicatessen," serves up a good variety of breakfast foods ... and fast. Egg sandwiches, omelets, bagels, and even pancakes are the menu. Sometimes, I even run into my celebrity neighbors (Brit Hume, most recently). 

The last several weekends, I've been ordering their mushroom and swiss omelet with rye toast (which I usually turn into a cheese sandwich for lunch). I then take it home, put it on a tray, take my baseball hat and pants off, and crawl back into bed to eat it. This is how single people who live alone and never grocery shop do breakfast-in-bed! Don't judge me.

Their Friendship Heights location also comes in handy when you arrive too early to do your shopping. At Christmas-time, I might've overestimated how extended holiday hours would be.

This past Sunday morning, I was just planning on hitting up Starbucks for some coffee and maybe an apple (okay, okay, a muffin) ... but they had no running water and couldn't make drinks. What a stupid April Fools' Day prank! Funnily enough, when I asked if that was the case, the cranky barista was not at all amused with me. Oh well...

As you can see, the bar actually has the best light
and prime people-watching views!
So, I quickly thought up a Plan B: breakfast at The Daily Grill on the ground floor of The Georgetown Inn. Their egg white omelet is the only thing I ever order.  It's served with an amazing avocado and tomato salsa on top and, to be even healthier, comes with sliced tomatoes on the side. I tend to order it as is, but I will occasionally substitute potatoes if the mood strikes. It's more than twice the price of Booey's but beyond worth it every once in a while. Delicious!

Because it's usually 7am, I'll either eat alone at the bar with the newspaper (no, it's not sad) or take it home and repeat the breakfast-in-bed steps above.

I've taken my parents there for brunch several times and find myself at the bar when I'm looking for a chill, quiet, and close spot to meet a friend for a drink or two. In other words, it's always a solid option. 

I'm putting Kafe Leopold in Cady's Alley on my to-try list, and I've been dying to go to The Hamilton. Truth be told, the latter has been on my places-to-drink list for some time (ahem, Katie, ahem), but since it's open 24 hours it might be a good change-up to my normal weekend breakfast routine too. Has anyone tried their breakfast? Perhaps before going home on a wild night out?

See? I am willing to leave my 'hood for food. (I really wish that rhymed. It looks like it should!) The way I see it, the further I have to walk to get there, the more Hollandaise sauce and carbs I can enjoy.

For example, Open City, in Woodley Park, is a hefty walk, but since I've always enjoyed their meals -- and their patio -- it's definitely a viable option. I've also had breakfast at Tryst (love the vibe, as long as it's not crowded) but never The Diner -- but I suppose it's all the same, right?

What am I missing? Do you have a great go-to breakfast spot ... or am I the only one in the city awake at that hour?

Mornin' y'all!


  1. I love Bread & Chocolate ( on 23r and M. They have amazing crepes and chocolate french toast. Because sometimes a girl just needs desert for breakfast.

  2. Sold! Thanks for the recommendation - I can't wait to try it!

  3. Definitely go to Kafe Leopold. I also like Circa. For a healthy option, Yola in Dupont Circle does fresh yogurt parfaits.

    1. Oooh, I've never heard of Yola but I do love a good parfait. It's on the list!!

  4. My dad used to wake me up doing that too! Argh it use to make me so angry, haha.

    1. Haha! I'm tempted to return the favor when I visit my folks these days...but I can't decide if I'm that big of an a**hole or not. Now that they're retired, they sleep in way later than I do.

  5. Definitely check out The Blind Dog Cafe which is open during the day and turns into Darnell's at night:

    1. I read about that on PoP too - glad to hear another recommendation for it!