DCGuide

The Best Drag Brunches In DC

Grab your cash and your woes (the good kind), because it’s time to party.
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We all know DC is a brunch city—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 drag kings and queens. We’ve been to so many drag brunches at this point, we've memorized Alaska Thunderf*ck’s "Hieeee" by heart. And if you don’t know why that matters, you will soon.

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The Brunch: Tara Hoot’s Campy Bingo Brunch

This monthly booze and bingo event at Whitlow’s DC is our favorite drag brunch when we’re looking to get our competitive juices flowing. It’s part drag show and part game, and winners get prizes like rainbow inflatables and self-care packages (and of course, bragging rights). As for food, the menu at Whitlow’s hits all of the bar food basics, including some of the best grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken tenders we’ve had in DC. They also have a $25 bottomless deal, which includes mimosas, Bloody Marys, and orange crushes, plus a take-home mug that’ll save you five bucks if you bring it back the next time you come.

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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 it. The Chinese fusion restaurant hosts a show every third Sunday and the tickets for the show run for $35.  But the dim sum is so damn good, it doesn’t matter that it's not included in the price. Grab the steamed shumai and gyoza de boeuf, both of which come out piping hot and fully stuffed. Bottomless drinks cost $30 for the course of the show, which Ioes from 1-3pm (though you can be seated as early as noon). And there are no bad seats in the compact space with all the right walkways positioned so that everyone has a good view of the performances, which are fire. Oh, and there’s an afterparty until 5pm.

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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: 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. 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.

The Brunch: Gagsters & Dragsters

This brunch stands out because it’s a two-for-one deal: you get a full drag show, plus stand-up comedy during intermission. Reserve a table up front for the bets view (otherwise it can be hard to see when the performers are giving love to a table on the opposite side of the room). Like most of these brunches, you aren’t coming here for the great food. So, yes, the breakfast burrito and bacon cheeseburgers may taste like frozen meals cooked up on someone’s college hot plate, but they'll do the trick to soak up your mimosas or help you reach your two-item minimum. Just make sure to order an extra round of drinks at last call, because the staff cuts off service halfway through the show and it sucks to run out of booze when there’s more dancing to do.

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