The Best Drag Brunches In DCDC's best drag brunches, from story time for kids to adult-only lip syncs.
Grab your cash and your woes (the good kind), because it’s time to party. DC is a brunch city, we all know that. And you can get bottomless mimosas almost anywhere on Saturday and Sunday. But sometimes you need more. More hair. More nails. More makeup. More sparkles. Enter DC’s queens. Drag queens, that is. We’ve been to so many drag brunches at this point that we know Alaska Thunderf*ck’s Hieeee by heart. And if you don’t know why that matters, you will soon. Here are our five favorites.
The Brunch: Drag Brunch Hosted By Cake Pop
If you’re looking for the drag brunch with the best food, Bar Chinois in Mt. Vernon Triangle is the only option. The Chinese fusion restaurant hosts a show every third Sunday and the tickets run $35—show only. But the dim sum is so damn good, it doesn’t matter. Grab the steamed shumai and gyoza de boeuf, both of which come out piping hot and fully stuffed. Bottomless drinks run $30 for the course of the show, which is from 1-3pm (though you can be seated as early as noon). What really makes Bar Chinois’ brunch a notch above the rest is that there are no bad seats. The space is compact, with all the right walkways positioned so that everyone has equal access to upclose performances—which are fire. Oh, and there’s an afterparty until 5pm.
The Brunch: DC Drag Brunch Party
DC Drag Brunch made like the Jeffersons and moved on up—meaning you’re now getting good food to go along with an already entertaining show. You’ll find the queens at Lima Twist downtown with a Latin fusion brunch menu that includes avocado toast, empanadas, lomo saltado, and Jonathan waffles, a next-level chicken and waffles dish that comes topped with bacon jam full of big chunks of crispy bacon. Try to get a seat near the front of the room, which tends to receive a little extra attention during the show (unless somebody in the back starts tipping with $50s). The music is the kind you want to belt out, so even if you can’t see the queens for a moment, you can perform Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten and Mary J. Blige’s Just Fine like nobody's watching.
The Brunch: Tara Hoot’s Storytime Drag Brunch
Who’s ready for storytime? Pack up the kiddos (or just bring your inner child) and get ready to have a blast at Tara Hoot’s Storytime Drag Brunch at Crazy Aunt Helen’s in Capitol Hill. This 45-minute show is all songs and book readings (and when the Reading Rainbow theme song hits while the bubble machine is going, we’re pretty much all kids again, anyway). The menu has all the American breakfast staples like bacon, eggs, and pancakes, and while none of the food will blow your mind, it’s good enough to pack up the leftovers. Try to get there when the doors open at 10am because the food takes a long time—so long that the show might be ending before your plate comes. Tickets are $5 and a portion of proceeds goes to An Open Book Foundation, which provides books to DC kids in need.
The Brunch: Nellie’s Drag Brunch
When you think of drag brunch in DC, Nellie’s Sports bar is probably one of the first places that comes to mind, which makes sense because it’s steady and reliable. The show happens four times every weekend, Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am and 1pm. The $55 brunch is buffet style and the food isn’t great, but the show is phenomenal. The queens are serving from start to finish (they’re literally waiting on you) and the cramped quarters at Nellie’s makes for one of the most intimate shows. You’ll likely be sitting with someone you don’t know, since most of the bar tables seat six people, so be ready to make friends. But if your tablemates are cool, it can make the show that much more fun to experience.