There’s something magical about a well-made breakfast sandwich. Quick, easy and satisfying, it provides flavor without fuss, whether you’re eating in or on the go.
In theory, its foundation is simple: one or two eggs jammed between cheese and bread. But Washington restaurants have taken this classic formula and elevated it by adding unexpected ingredients — such as five-spiced bacon and house-smoked brisket — to the mix. These sandwiches provide extra motivation to get out of bed, put on pants (real ones, not pajamas) and jump-start your morning.
You’ll have to wait for the weekends to order the Grains & Greens sandwich ($10.99) at this locavore deli, grocery store and beer bar. Packed to the brim with scrambled eggs, melted cheddar, arugula, caramelized onions, cilantro, salsa verde and a handful of jalapeño peppers, this organic vegetarian sandwich is only available Saturdays and Sundays.
Feeling decadent? Swap their multigrain bread for a homemade biscuit and settle into one of the market’s communal benches for a speedy and satisfying bite.
2001 S St. NW. Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The bacon banh mi sandwich ($9) at Doi Moi’s southeast Asian-inspired coffee shop features a French baguette from Lyon Bakery; layers of five-spice, caramel-glazed bacon; two sunny-side-up eggs; and a pile of fresh cilantro. Tucked between the thick-cut pork slices are pickled vegetables (carrot, shallot and daikon), Kaffir lime and green chili mayo, and red finger chilies.
Need an extra jolt of energy? Pair it with a pour-over Vietnamese coffee — which is dripped through a sieve and mixed with condensed milk — or a Doi Nut, a crème brûlée pastry filled with Vietnamese iced coffee cream.
Elle’s one and only breakfast sandwich is small but mighty. The fist-size sandwich ($9) is jampacked with heaps of juicy, house-smoked brisket and fluffy eggs that are sealed together by layers of Gruyere or cheddar cheese and topped with a homemade sesame-potato bun. This melty masterpiece, served on a beautifully decorated plate, will steal your heart and your napkins.
Wash it down with a frothy Stumptown Coffee latte as you read a book or catch up on the news (you can borrow some reading material by the door). Try to go during the week: The all-day cafe, which transforms into a restaurant with well-crafted cocktails by night, is typically slammed on the weekends.
3221 Mount Pleasant St. NW. Breakfast hours: Monday-Friday, 7 a.m -4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ring your mom and tell her the hype for Call Your Mother’s breakfast sandwiches is real and, more important, warranted. Carb cravers line up before 8 a.m. and usually wait 45 minutes for the self-described “Jew-ish” deli’s tasty and creative wood-fired bagel creations. (To pass the time, try to identify all the Jewish celebrities who inspired the dishes’ names.)
The Shyne ($9) is an everything-spice bagel filled with crispy, thick-cut bacon (or pastrami), scrambled egg, molten American and sharp cheddar cheese, and spicy honey. The syrup, made from honey and Little Red Fox’s hot sauce, delivers a surprisingly satisfying sweet-and-spicy kick. (The sandwich isn’t available at the bagelmaker’s farmers market stands, only at the storefront.) On your way out, peep the deli’s “Drake wall,” adorned with mugs of the half-Jewish rapper.
3301 Georgia Ave. NW. Breakfast hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
This dainty sammie ($5.75) from A Baked Joint is light and pleasantly filling. Get the soft goat cheese mixed with tender herbs (e.g., chives and oregano, depending on what’s available) to create the perfect balance of flavor, fragrance and fluffiness. A dab of mayonnaise and an organic fried egg is squeezed between the two biscuit halves, creating a soft and buttery inside, while maintaining a nice crumb outside.
Get there before noon on weekends or anticipate a short line that moves quickly. One tip: Go with a pal and split the ordering and seat-scouting duties. Spots tend to fill up.
440 K St. NW. Breakfast hours: Available all-day as supply allows. Monday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.