Brunch in Austin is one of my favorite pastimes. When it comes to brunch in Austin, you have to think about what you want to eat; do you want a gluttonous buffet? Mexican food to soak up a bad hangover? Great Spanish food? A carb-filled Italian feast? Fancy French food? New American, or stick to your ribs comfort food? The list goes on and on. In an effort to have my favorites on stand-by, today I’m sharing with you my list of my favorite spots for brunch in Austin. Feel free to save (or Pin) this for when your mind is not working and your stomach is screaming “brunch but I don’t know what!”, and feel free to share with all your friends whom you know will appreciate a good go-to list.
Brunch in Austin: BUFFETS
This is something that every Austinite and visitor should do at least once, consider adding it to your Austin brunch bucket list. It is a bit high at $54/adult, but it includes bottomless mimosas, and a smorgasbord of cheese/charcuterie, an assortment of salads, a cold seafood bar with sushi, shrimp cocktail, and crab claws, made-to-order eggs benedict and omelets, a variety of breakfast meats, breakfast pastries for days, all sorts of meat (like rib eye, pork tenderloin, grouper, etc.) and one of the most beautiful dessert bars you’ll see in town. What I like to do is go around 11 am and stay till 2, and then I don’t eat for the rest of the day :).
Going to Fonda San Miguel feels like you’ve taken a trip to Mexico, thanks to the old, beautiful hacienda that the restaurant is housed in. Their Sunday brunch includes a variety of traditional Mexican dishes like different options for molé, to more traditional twists on ancient recipes. The food styles and sauces change as you pass through the interior of Mexico, and Fonda San Miguel shows they have a great understanding and appreciation of that.
The second Mexican buffet brunch to make this list is Grizzelda’s, one of my faves here in Austin. They have a DJ Vibes Sunday Brunch series every Sunday from 10:30 am until 2:30 pm, complete with $5 Margaritas, $15 Mimosa Pitchers and a $20 Brunch Buffet. They play the best jams that happen to go really well with those deliciously strong margaritas.
Moonshine’s brunch is from 9-2, and it’s another one of those that can typically have a long wait (so maybe have your appetizer by way of a bloody mary at the bar). Their brunch buffet sprawls around three different rooms, and some of their more notable dishes are their King Ranch casserole, green chile cheese grits, migas, and corn flake battered chicken tenders. Their brisket sliders are awesome and their white chocolate bread pudding is foodgasmic. They also have $4 mimosas and bloody marys, and since the brunch buffet is $16.95/person it’s ok to splurge on a few extra cocktails if you feel like it (because I said so–my Mom will get a kick out of that!).
For just a whopping $17.99 you have full reign on their endless buffet, which includes chicken fried: chicken & pork tenderloin, migas, green chile pork and eggs, house cured ham, fresh tomato and basil pie, jalapeno sausage, layered enchilada casserole, fresh salads and fruits, and so much more. They also have $4 mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice, bloody marts, and Jack’s famous pomegranate sangria. They DO take reservations, and don’t accept call-aheads, so they highly encourage reservations since I’ve waited close to an hour and 15 minutes to be seated (while enjoying drinks
and good conversation at the bar).
Brunch in Austin: MEXICAN
Once a notable restaurant in Oaxaca (Bon Appetit featured the restaurant’s food on the cover of the magazine), then a humble food truck in Austin, El Naranjo has become a staple in Rainey Street’s ever-expanding food scene. Their brunch features excellent cocktails like Bellinis, Kir Royales, mimosas, and more, and the owner’s Oaxacan-food background yields excellent interior Mexican dishes like enfrijoladas con queso (think enchiladas but made with a delicious bean sauce), chicharron en salsa verde (pork cracklings in green tomatillo salsa), and puntas de filete al chipotle (braised beef tenderloins tips in a tomato and chipotle salsa).
La Condesa is one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in town, it’s named after a very popular and trendy neighborhood in Mexico City, with beautiful old buildings and a thriving nightlife and restaurant scene. La Condesa also has one of the best happy hours in town, and their brunch is amazing. If you’re enjoying brunch here, I’d start with their Tostadas de Cangrejo (crab tostadas), share their tortilla soup with someone because you absolutely have to try it, and try their Chilangos (wild boar chorizo, poached eggs, quinoa croquette, arugula, and salsa verde), the Cubanita (slow-roasted pork shoulder, smoke ham, arugula, swiss cheese, habanero mustard, pickled jalapenos, and toasted garlic–bam!!), and the torta al pastor (roasted pork shoulder, avocado puree, tomatillo salsa, cebollitas, compressed pineapple). Make sure to go with a lot of friends and make them order these if you don’t so you can try everything!
Fresa’s serves breakfast till 11:00 am during the week, and until noon on weekends. Aside from having a beautiful and large outdoor patio, Fresa’s does one of my all time fave breakfast dishes ever: chilaquiles. They do them so well, and have other notable breakfast dishes like special breakfast tacos, migas, and sopapillas. I recommend the iced coffee with horchata, and a side of guacamole.
I love Takoba’s brunch, especially since they have traditional, interior Mexican dishes like queso fundido (I’m assuming the inspiration for the queso that nourishes many Austinite’s bodies), Molletes, which are refried beans, roasted poblano and monterrey jack cheese on an open-faced bolillo (one of my childhood favorites), chilaquiles (a chip or carb lover’s dream come true), huevos divorciados, tortas (Mexican version of a sub, but better), and so much more. I love to enjoy a michelada when I’m having brunch there, and carafes of mimosas are also available. If you want something citrusy with a punch, enjoy a Pisco Sour, although that’s more of a Chilean cocktail (or some would argue Peruvian), not Mexican.
Brunch in Austin: MCGUIRE MOORMAN HOSPITALITY RESTAURANTS
MMH’s newest concept is serving up inventive New American fare, cocktails, beer & wine in a bright space with a patio. As the name indicates, they serve food all day, and my favorite meal here (with the exception of their happy hour) is breakfast or brunch. My top two faves are (of course) their ginormous croque madame, as well as their Breakfast Chalupa made with scrambled egg whites, black beans, salsa picante, avocado, and ricotta salata.
If you want to treat yourself to some fresh, beautifully presented seafood in a New England setting, then turn to Clark’s for brunch. This small restaurant and oyster bar has a fabulous brunch, complete with a variety of fresh oysters, caviar, and other notable dishes like lobster and farm eggs en cocotte (my favorite and a delight to the eyes and stomach), cioppino on grits, real crab cakes, one of the best burgers in town, lobster rolls, and other great seafood dishes. It is a bit pricey but it’s so worth it!
It seems as thought the Lambert’s famous Sunday brunch buffet is back (it was a la carte for a while), and if so, you’re in for quite the treat. Known as a fancy bbq restaurant, this buffet won’t disappoint the meat lover as they have plenty of prime rib, brown sugar and coffee rubbed natural brisket, and coriander & maple crusted pork ribs to go around. They have other delicious sides like their deviled eggs with caviar, cheddar & roasted poblano grits, house smoked gravlax salmon, and more. You can also request made to order eggs benedict (different types), frito pies, and a variety of eggs that are some of the best in town (my Mom told Larry McGuire that and then proceeded to ask him how he makes them).
Nestled in a lovely blue bungalow in the heart of Clarksville, Josephine House is my go-to for a long girls’ brunch. You can pick from a variety of fresh-baked pastries and bread from their marble counter, along with salads, tarts, and granola. The made to order menu changes according to what’s available in the season, and anything with a poached egg comes highly recommended by me :).
Perla’s is Clark’s sister restaurant, and also features a great variety of fresh seafood and has one of my favorite patios in town. My favorite brunch dishes here are their oysters, their lobster stock, cheddar, & green onion grits (to die for), crab Florentine, the lobster and egg white frittata, and the breakfast crab cake. Pair that with a Corpse Reviver cocktail and enjoy the people watching as you sit back and relax and take in all that South Congress has to offer.
Brunch in Austin: BUTCHERS AND THEIR RESTAURANTS
Dai Due blends their lunch and breakfast menu together, so if you pop in before their dinner service you can get your pick of breakfast-y foods or more lunch-y foods. I love that a lot of their dishes have some sort of egg on top, like their _______ (insert protein here) Tamales wrapped in Collard Leaves with Refried Black Beans, Fried Egg, Crema and Chipotle Oil. Another of my favorites is their Dai Due breakfast, which is brown rice with kimchi, fried egg, and kale, and you have the option to add marinated raw venison on top–very avant-garde.
Salt & Time is my go-to butcher, and they happen to have a great restaurant with mouth-watering food as well. They have potentially the best Cuban sandwich in town (The Cubano, made with slow cooked pork, spicy ham, mustard, swiss cheese, and pickles on ciabatta). Add a fried egg on top and you’re set for an explosion of happy endorphins all over your body. Their Sunday brunch has both traditional brunchy dishes like pancakes, smoked ham hock hash, and breakfast biscuit with eggs, and they also have more adventurous dishes like seared beef heart salad.
Brunch in Austin: ITALIAN
I love Taverna for its country-style Italian brunch, and more so for their $2 mimosas and bellinis (I just drooled thinking about it). Bonus: they serve this brunch both Saturdays and Sundays, so you can get your early day drink on with delectable dishes like a shrimp & asparagus omelette, creamy polenta with sausage, sunny side up egg & truffle oil (drool again), eggs al forno all ‘olio tartufato (two pan-fried eggs with breakfast sausage served over garlic bread with truffle oil & breakfast potatoes), and more–I won’t torture you anymore. Make sure to get there expecting to wait a little bit for your table, as they don’t take reservations and I believe they don’t seat incomplete parties. At least have a bellini and enjoy your wait.
L’oca d’Oro’s pastas are made by hand from freshly milled grains. Most of their bread, cheese, vinegars, and liqueurs are created in-house as well. They offer a variety of pastries, toasts, sandwiches, and pastas, as well as inventive cocktails.
Brunch in Austin: FRENCH
Blue Dahlia Bistro is a great French inspired restaurant that is vegetarian friendly on the east side. Their light and airy croissants are fantastic, and I think their open face tartines are the stars of the show here. Their tartines are made with fresh-baked whole wheat bread with butter and made with organic and local produce when available, and have all sorts of options like ham & Gruyère, chicken salad with dried cranberries, prosciutto with mozzarella, smoked salmon with herbed cream cheese, and more.
Recently opened downtown by New Waterloo (who also manage La Condesa, Sway, and many more), this is my favorite go-to, on one hand because it’s walking distance from where I live, but also because I absolutely love their decor and food. My favorite brunch dish here is their croque madame.
Bonhomie is a French-American bistro serving diner favorites with a twist & classic cocktails. They have delicious dishes like croque monsieur or croque madame, the best onion rings ever, a delicious soft scrambled egg toast with shaved truffles on top, shakshuka, pommes rosti (essentially a a potato hash nest) with salmon on top, and so many other incredible dishes.
Brunch in Austin: SPANISH
There’s not very many Spanish restaurants in Austin, and my favorite of them all is Barlata. Opened by a Spanish couple (Daniel Olivella and Vanessa Jerez), you can get your fix of Spanish tapas and traditional (and brunch friendly) Spanish dishes like tortilla espanola (Spanish potato and onion omelet), poached eggs with iberico ham and pimento hollandaise, and tapas like pa amb tomaquet I pernil (grilled toast that has been rubbed with tomatoes and topped with Serrano ham), Pincho Moruno (lamb brochette with cucumber salad and red pepper sauce), and so much more. They also have a wonderful mimosa kit that includes a bottle of cava and three different juices, and house mimosas made to order.
Brunch in Austin: NEW AMERICAN
I love Odd Duck because of its creative approach to cooking and its appreciation and celebration of local food purveyors. Odd duck’s brunch lists an extensive variety of dishes like goat confit, crepes, cast iron duck eggs, breakfast pizza, pot pie, chili, and the list goes on. The fun twists on old favorites and the presentation of the dishes shows that Bryce Gilmore definitely deserves the accolades and awards that he’s won.
Contigo came about as a result of a ranch that the owners have in South Texas. They enjoyed entertaining and throwing parties at the ranch, hunting, barbecuing, etc. so they decided to bring that fun closer to Austin. They serve what I consider elevated bar food, the plating is done in an unpretentious manner to let the flavors speak for themselves. On their brunch menu they have one of my favorite burgers in town, along with a great beef tongue hash, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, eggs benedict, French toast bread pudding (squee!!), hush puppies, etc. Make sure to get there early to get a good seat on their great patio outside.
Forthright is one of my go-tos downtown, they have fresh, delicious menu items such as croque madame, chia pudding, avocado toast, eggs benedict, and so much more. They also have healthier for you options, and a variety of coffee and tea drinks, as well as delicious cocktails.
Second Bar+Kitchen is one of my go-to restaurants downtown for many reasons but overall their food consistently hits the spot. Their SBK benedict is delicious, made with poached eggs (duh), hashbrown potato cakes, tomato, kale, and a brie cheese mornay. Their pulled chicken sliders are wonderful (with herb brie, arugula, tarragon dijonnaise, and port wine caramelized onion), and another favorite is their Breakfast club, made with cheddar scrambled eggs, bacon, avocado, tomato, and black pepper aioli on a Texas toast. Not to be missed are their chicken fried olives, buffalo fried pickles, and black truffle pomme frites!
Brunch in Austin: COMFORT FOOD
Gordough’s brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, so even you late-sleeping
partiers people can enjoy a proper brunch without feeling rushed or woken up just to eat (though there’s nothing wrong with that). If you like donuts and savory food then you’re in for a treat, because you pretty much get a donut with any meal that you order. The New Jack City is pretty magical (bacon, egg & cheese sandwich served with chips and a side of grape jelly), as is the Dirty Plucker (piping hot donut served with hand battered fried chicken, honey butter and maple icing–think chicken & waffles). This is a pregnant woman or stoner’s dream come true. Plan a spin class or three-hour hot yoga class after this meal, because you’ll be rolling out of there, but it’s 100% worth it!
Bouldin Creek is another great spot for delicious comfort food that just happens to be vegetarian. I promise that eating here won’t leave you yearning for beef or chicken, their dishes are hearty and filling. My all time favorite thing to eat here is their Veggie Royale sandwich, made with their home-made veggie burger patty, and served on grilled ciabatta bread with green leaf, red onion, local tomatoes & your choice of BBQ sauce, homemade chipotle-pecan pesto, or Basil Aioli. I highly highly recommend eating it with their chipotle-pecan pesto, it’s so dreamy. They also serve omelets, and I also recommend their breakfast sammich–request it on a bagel! Make sure to check out their variety of drinks, including different types of coffee drinks, and mimosas as well.
This place is great for delicious farm to table comfort food. They’re also open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and have new takes on traditional brunch favorites like green onion biscuits & sausage gravy, blueberry pancakes & brown butter, and my favorite, the fried egg sandwich. Their mac & cheese made with taleggio, australian aged white cheddar, and bread crumbs is highly recommended, and you can add pancetta, a poached egg, or broccoli to it.
Add a fried egg to a burger, and it turns into breakfast is what I say. And that’s just what I like to do if I venture into Hopdoddy before noon on a weekend (or even after-noon). I have not had one burger there that I did not like, and the toughest thing there is to decide just what burger you want, there are thirteen burgers that vary from Angus beef, to bison, to lamb, to chicken, turkey, sushi-grade tuna, and also a veggie burger. Please order their Kennebec truffle fries, and get a caramel & sea salt shake to wash it all down.
Brunch in Austin: DIM SUM
Two words: soup dumplings. Sure, they have other kinds of delicious dumplings and bao, but their soup dumplings are where it’s at. Make sure to order several orders for the table, and order a few other items to enjoy as well. I haven’t been to other Chinese restaurants in town for Dim Sum, so that’s why I’m only mentioning Wu Chow here.
So that’s my go to list for my favorite spots for brunch in Austin. This list is always a work in progress, and I realize I may have forgotten some great options. Feel free to leave a comment on my last Instagram post and let me know what places I’ve missed, and as always feel free to reach out with any restaurant or travel questions!