All About French Toast & The Best Places To Have Them In D.C. | - Old School Blogger. Not an influencer.

All About French Toast & The Best Places To Have Them In D.C.

Transitional Layers

French Toast is older than you might think, going all the way back to Medieval times, long before France was even founded. Recipes through the ages refer to it as both “Spanish Toast” and “German Toast.”

According to the Apicius, a collection of recipes from the early 5th century AD, the dish we now know as the French toast existed as early as the age of the Roman Empire. In their style of French toast, called Pan Dulcis, Romans would soak bread in milk (and sometimes also egg) mixture, then fry it in oil or butter.

In the 15th century English court of Henry V, a version of the French toast called "pain perdu" or "lost bread" was the culinary rage. Then, it was called "lost" bread because the recipe called for soaking hard or stale bread in a mixture of milk and egg, then frying it. Pain perdu is what the French call French toast today.

So, if the French did not invent the modern French toast, who did? According to legend, it was an Albany, New York, innkeeper named Joseph French. He created the dish in 1724, and advertised it as "French Toast" because he was grammatically inept and forgot the apostrophe.

Now on the the good stuff, in the last 5 months I have had French Toast a total of 25 times. Yes, 25 times. I have been obsessed would be an under statement. It all started on my trip to Seattle this summer and once I got back, I was hell bent on finding the best French Toast in town. You can now call me a French Toast Aficionado

I have picked out my top five places to have French Toast in the D.C. area.

5. The Smith 
The Smith Restaurant French Toast 

The Smith is one of my favorite places to eat (dinner review here), but it was only recently that I had tried their Brunch. The decor is beautiful, the staff is friendly and the food is delicious. Vanilla bean French Toast ($16) is made with a thick cut bread topped with maple butter and caramelized bananas is absolutely delectable. You can either split it with a friend or have it on it own. It is filling and quite satisfying. 

4. Zaytinya
Zaytinya French Toast 

This year has been all about revisiting my favorite restaurants and trying their brunch menus instead of always going for lunch (review here). Zaytinya is special because it is where food meets culture. It is one of the few D.C. restaurants where you can never go wrong no matter what you choose. They serve a Lebanese-style French Toast called Ashta ($8.50) which comes with a side of seasonal fruits and mint. The toast itself is gooey and juicy. At first it looks like a toasted loaf of bread but once you taste it, it is a sweet-flavorsome goodness. A must try! 

3. Jaleo
Jaleo Bethesda French Toast 

Remember how the history shows that "French Toast" has been made around the world, Jaleo is here to show you the Spanish version: Torrijas con plátano caramelizado y espuma de ron ($8.50) - Sweet-soaked toast with caramelized bananas and rum whipped cream. It was a burst of flavors in the mouth at-first-bite. One of the most palatable versions of French Toasts hands-down! Also, check out the full brunch review here

2. Founding Farmers

Founding Farmers French Toast

Vanilla cream filled French Toast ($9.50) is absolutely scrumptious. Served as fried sticks, this toast is a challenge to conquer. This toast is so decadent that it should be a crime to serve it as a breakfast item. I usually split it with someone because as much as I would like to, I cannot have all of the three sticks and still be expected to function for the rest of the day. Nonetheless, I would highly-highly recommend it. 

1. Le Diplomat
Le Diplomat French Toast

*Drum Roll* We made it to the end and to my favorite French Toast ($14) in town. Served with brandied pineapples, chantilly crème, and mint. The flavors are playful, yet balanced. While some renditions of French toast can be quite heavy, the Le Diplomat's is light and leaves you with enough room to even help out with a friend’s savory breakfast dish. This is also one of my favorite restaurants in D.C. The service is always friendly and attentive. The interiors are charming and french! And the food is also delicious.


Which is your favorite French Toast place? Let me know below!


  1. I really shouldn't have read this post when I am about to go to bed... I am super hungry now ;) I love French toast, and I should be in DC next year. I am totally going to check out your recommendations! Thanks :)

  2. Do you know how many of these places have gluten free French toast? I adore French toast, but unfortunately I can't eat any :( These photos look delicious!

  3. Annnd now I'm craving french toast haha! These look SO good; I'll need to check out some of these spots next time I'm in DC!

  4. OMG now I need to eat some french toast asap lol! All of these spots look so amazing, I'm def bookmarking this post for the next time I visit DC!

    xx Mollie

  5. Oh my! Bookmarking this! They all look and sound delicious!

  6. omg these look sooo delicious! I am planning a trip to D.C. in Jan, you bet i will check out a couple of these places. Thank you so much for the reco.


  7. You just made me so hungry! I love french toast and these all look so delicious!


  8. Oh gosh I love french toast but for some reason I haven't had it in years!! You have inspired me to make some tomorrow!

  9. OH MY GOSH - YOU'RE IN DC?! I LOVEEEEE Le Diplomat!! SOOOOO good!! I'm definitely going to have to try these others though because you just made my mouth water - YUM for french toast!!

  10. You've made me hungry! I love french toast so I'l have to save this list for my next trip to DC.

  11. Omggggggggg, I am SO HUNGRY for sugar!!!!!! These look so dang yummy!!!

  12. Hands down one of my alltime craves! Love this! Seriously made me want to now grab some!!! Lorilea

  13. Omg, this looks absolutely divine!! I could definitely go for a plate right now!

    cute & little

  14. I've honestly never tried French Toast, but reading this tells me I'm missing out!

  15. Oh my goodness these all look delicious! I love the history you included about French toast too... I love learning random facts to share with others :)

  16. Ahhhh!!! This sounds so good!!! I think I could go to DC and just travel from restaurant to restaurant and have 5 meals of French Toast, lol!

    Black Coffee Beautiful

  17. My husband LOVES French toast! He would absolutely be drooling over this post!

    xo Laura Leigh

  18. Ooh boy and now I want french toast! Lol

  19. I love French toast but don't have it too regularly - I wish I did because I like it so much. If I'm ever in DC, I'll be checking these places out.

  20. The food looks amazing - don't think I have ever tried French toast though #oops

  21. Those all look AMAZING! I am taking copious notes for my planned DC weekend with my husband for our anniversary in the spring!

  22. Oh my gosh, I am making a few breakfast reservations at these spots right now! You just made me super hungry for some french toast!

  23. My goodness is all looks so wonderful!! I'd love to have try those places!

  24. I love how delicious this food looks! I love French Toast it's so fluffy and just YUM.

  25. That french toast looks so delicious. I would love to try one of these spots.

  26. i've never been a huge fan of french toast. but these look so beautiful, i'd have to try!

  27. French toast is one of my favorite breakfast foods! SO delicious

  28. I'm gluten free ((but will cheat for something like french toast haha!)) so I haven't had FT in a while .. pretty sure that vanilla creme filled version is calling my name though!

    How 2 Wear It []

  29. You are making me want to plan a DC trip. French toast is my absolute favorite breakfast item. We even have it for dinner sometimes.

  30. I live 5 minutes from Founding Farmers and I agree their French toast is delicious, but oh so rich! Thanks for the advice and I'll have to take my Hubs and check out The Smith!

  31. I love French toast I always order them when I go out. My favorite so far is from Metro diner 29 in Arlington VA. Check it out let us know what you think.

  32. I’m curious how you are able to eat French toast while also being on no sugar. Do you ask the restaurants to make it any different for you?

    1. Hi! I did inform them all that I would like a sugar free option in advance. A lot of them were able to accommodate. Some place that were not able to offer that option, I only tasted it (for the purpose of this post). Most places used Maple Syrup as an alternative to refined sugar, which I do eat.

  33. I love french toast, I didn't know the history. This is so interesting! Now I am craving some! haha, next time I'm in DC I will have to check these places out.



Blogger Template Created by pipdig