Celebrating the Good Life, Tastes and Trends in Northern Virginia

Cheers to Brunch in Northern Virginia

Six Sunday Brunches You Should Try This Weekend

The word brunch is a portmanteau or hybrid of the words breakfast and lunch.  The meal itself is also a combination of breakfast and lunch and is generally served from late morning to early afternoon.  And, perhaps the best part is that it regularly includes some form of alcoholic drink – make mine a spicy Bloody Mary, please!

Brunch was first coined by English writer Guy Beringer who suggested a new meal that he envisioned starting with tea or coffee, breakfast items, and then moving along to a heavier fare.  

“Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting.” Beringer said.

“It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week,” he wrote in 1896 Hunter’s Weekly magazine article, “Brunch, A Plea.”

Our area is vast and filled with great restaurants.  It’s nearly impossible to name all great brunches but here are a few favorites worth trying.

Ford’s Fish Shack  – If you love seafood, you’ll love Ford’s Fish Shack.  They have made it their mission to bring fresh-off-the-hook seafood to their patrons.  Their Sunday brunch menu features seafood, home-made dishes, seasonal specials, award-winning desserts and more than 20 microbrew and craft beers. If you fancy raw oysters, look no further.  You won’t want to miss their signature Wicked Pissah oyster, grown and harvested exclusively for them at Nottingham Oyster Farm in Cherrystone Inlet, Virginia.

They’ve also been a returning competitor at Tasting Table’s Lobster Roll Rumble in NYC, featuring 25 of the nation’s Best Lobster Rolls. If you’ve never tried their Lobster Roll, you may want to order one with your next visit.  

Locations: Ashburn, Lansdown, South Riding


Tuscarora Mill – Located near the center of town in the unique Market Station stands Tuscarora Mill Restaurant. Tuskie’s, as it is warmly referred to by the Leesburg locals, began as a grain mill in 1899.  Tuscarora Mill’s main dining room has a setting of broad timbers, belts, pulleys, and scales that were left in place to keep the character of the old mill. Surrounding the main dining room is the more intimate porch with its hand painted murals depicting Loudoun County’s landscape. Their Sunday brunch is a local favorite with a buffet menu that boasts such delights as buttermilk fried chicken, carved marinated flank steak with mushroom sauce and horseradish, smoked Scottish salmon  as well as steamed mussels and clams.  The newest addition to Tuskies is the Vintage Room, a smaller, more intimate dining area which houses wine cellar featuring over 5000 bottles of fine wine.

Magnolias at the Mill Situated in the heart of Purcellville is Magnolias at the Mill. The mill was built in 1905 and was operated by Wilkens Rodgers Mills as a flour mill in the 1940s. Magnolias at the Mill opened in February of 2004 with the goal of resuming the position of the old mill as a vital part of the western Loudoun Community. Their Sunday brunch has an extensive menu and for dog lovers, rejoice!  The patio is dog friendly.


The Red Fox Inn & Tavern – The Red Fox Inn & Tavern is a Virginia landmark in the quaint village of Middleburg. They offer hearty meals in a historic tavern setting.  The tavern welcomes Middleburg locals and tourists alike to enjoy breakfasts, intimate dinners and weekend brunches in the traditional Virginia style. Oak tables, handcrafted furnishings, stone fireplaces, hand-cut ceiling beams and thick fieldstone walls make for an authentic dining atmosphere.

Founding FarmersFor an authentic food experience, try Founding Farmers in Tysons. Founding Farmers restaurants are restaurants owned by more than 40,000 family farmers of the North Dakota Farmers Union (NDFU). They are “American inspired” with an emphasis and focus on cooking from scratch. 

Their innovative dishes are made primarily with pure ingredients honoring the farmers and their hard-earned bounty. All locations are part of the Certified Green Restaurant® association.  They bake their own bread, grind their own beef, press their own juices and churn their own butter. It doesn’t get any more authentic than that.

Off the beaten path…

Bavarian Inn – Located in historic Shepherdstown, W.V., the alpine-style inn is roughly an hour from the beltway.  The Bavarian Inn is a romantic country inn offering European elegance and world class service from its scenic location perched on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River.
Nestled on the twelve-acre estate is the Greystone Mansion where guests dine in warm elegance. An extensive menu of German and American fare is the hallmark of the Bavarian Inn experience. 


Tell us what you think.  Let us know your favorite Sunday Brunch so we can highlight it for our readers!

Written by  Jan Johnston Osburn

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