Watching drag queens perform while enjoying brunch should be on everyone’s D.C. bucket list, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites.
Drag shows have been going on since the late 1800s, but since the success of shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and its many spinoffs, drag as a form of entertainment has become more popular than ever. Here are some of the most popular spots around D.C. to watch drag queens and kings showcase their lip-syncing talents and perform with bursts of energy to adoring crowds – while you eat and drink to your heart’s content.
Perry’s Sunday Drag Brunch
Head to Adams Morgan to check out the longest-running drag brunch in D.C. at Perry’s, a Japanese restaurant. Right now, you can expect to see a trio of drag queens, India Larelle Houston, Whitney Gucci God and Sophia Carrero, perform at brunch alongside a rotating special guest. The queens wear clear masks so that they can lip-sync to songs as they dance around the dining room. You can enjoy your buffet brunch meal loaded with items like eggs, fried chicken, salad and bacon, which is included with the ticket price. You can also choose from $12 glasses or $45 carafes of Perry’s specialty Queen of Cocktails options dubbed after the performers like the Guccigoo Blue with vodka, peach liquor, blue curaçao and sparkling wine. Reservations must be made by email or phone and can be made up to a month in advance.
1811 Columbia Rd. NW. Sundays, 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Tickets are $39.95.
Class Act Drag Brunch
Since reopening as a sushi and southern food restaurant in 2020, Sign of The Whale continues to host Class Act Drag Brunch every Saturday. Drag queen Tiffany Carter emceed the drag brunch each week with a rotating cast of local queens. The performers dance and interact with guests around the first floor where you’re seated and perform from a lofted second floor area visible from downstairs. Take advantage of the $22 bottomless mimosas, bloody marys or its signature Whale Pails, a bartender’s choice mix. And you can’t miss out on trying some brunch dishes like the eggs benedict ($11) or The Whale breakfast burrito ($11). Tables are $10 to reserve, but general admission standing tickets are free.
1825 M St. NW. Saturdays, 12:30 to 3 p.m. Tables are $10.
Nellie’s Drag Brunch
For those with a big appetite, check out the drag brunch at Nellie’s Sports Bar in Shaw. You’ll be welcomed in with your first mimosa or bloody mary on the house before enjoying a performance by drag queen Sapphire Blue – an unforgettable show alongside a changing cast of queens. Sapphire Blue is known for her lively crowd interaction sure to have guests engaged. Enjoy brunch food like cheesy grits, mini empanadas and seasonal fruit while you watch. Tickets, which include bottomless brunch, are $50 and can be purchased on Eventbrite. Your ticket purchase will serve as a reservation, so no need to call or look online to reserve your spot.
900 U St. NW. Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $50.
D.C. Drag Brunch – Twice is Nice
Hosted at Harlot, an eccentrically decorated lounge and event space north of Shaw, D.C. Drag Brunch sells out fast. The show is hosted by drag queen Monet Dupree who’s been performing for 20 years. Unlike other brunches, the Twice is Nice show highlights its stacked cast of celebrity impersonating queens who do impressions of A-listers like Tina Turner, Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, Cher, Cardi B, Ariana Grande, Barbra Streisand and Rihanna. The $50 tickets include an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. You pay $20 ahead of time to reserve your spot and the remaining $30 when you arrive. Since the show has a reputation for selling out, making a reservation at least two weeks in advance is recommended. The show is an ideal setting to celebrate any special events like “birthdays, bachelorettes, divorces and retirements,” according to the website.
2001 11th St. NW. Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $50.
Shi-Queeta-Lee’s Illusion Drag Brunch
For a morning of brunch, drag and arcade games, reserve a ticket for Shi-Queeta-Lee’s Illusion Drag Brunch at H Street Country Club. The venue owns a host of arcade-type games from pinball and mini golf to Jenga. Before you hit the games, sit back and enjoy the show hosted by drag queen Shi-Queeta-Lee, known for her “glitz and glamor designed to get you off your seat.” Walk-ins are sometimes available, but reservations are encouraged. Buy a ticket in advance for $55 on Eventbrite. A complimentary mimosa and a buffet with breakfast classics like pancakes, sausage, eggs, potatoes and bacon is included in the ticket price, but bottomless drinks for the two-hour show can be added for $20.
1335 H St. NE. Sundays, noon to 2 p.m. Tickets are $55.
This article appeared in the February 14, 2022 issue of the Hatchet.