brunch austin restaurants critic picks

Austin restaurants: Where to eat brunch in Austin

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Chicken and waffles at Little Barrel and Brown. (Credit: Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Chicken and waffles at Little Barrel and Brown. (Credit: Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Chicken and waffles at Little Barrel and Brown. (Credit: Jay Janner AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Regularly in Austin360, I offer a rotating list of places to eat right now. This week: With parents and friends descending on the town for graduation, in the May 22 print edition of Austin360, I spotlight 40 of the best places to eat brunch in Austin. The list below includes dozens more, as well as critic’s picks. Don’t see one of your favorites listed? Leave a comment or email me at modam@statesman.com. (Note: this list does not include traditional breakfast places, trailers or bakeries.)

» Check out an interactive map of Matthew Odam’s top 25 spots for brunch «

* = Outdoor seating available

+ = Critic’s pick

1886 Cafe & Bakery. 614 E. Sixth St. at the Driskill Hotel. 512-391-7066, 1886cafeandbakery.com

Scene: Small café offers a classic feel at Austin’s oldest hotel.*

Brunch hours: 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Texas pecan waffles ($12), bread pudding French toast ($13), Brazos huevos rancheros ($13), smoked salmon and bagel ($13)

Annie’s Café & Bar. 319 Congress Ave. 512-472-1884, anniescafebar.com

Scene: Sidewalk seating, a classic bar and floor-to-ceiling windows help define this Congress Avenue restaurant.*

Brunch hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Grilled salmon and vegetables ($15/.95), buttermilk griddle cakes ($7.50), tomato-brie soup ($8.25)

Apis. 23526 Texas 71. 512-436-8918, apisrestaurant.com+

Scene: Surprising elegance at the edge of the Hill Country.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Wagyu bavette steak and eggs ($ 19), beef pastrami benedict ($16), sweet corn pancake ($15), chickpea stew ($13)

Arro. 601 W. Sixth St. 512-992-2776, arroaustin.com

Scene: Modern French bistro amid West Sixth bar scene.

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Almond French toast with cherry syrup and crème fraîche ($13); smoked salmon with hard-cooked egg and rye toast ($16); niçoise salad ($15); eggs, shrimp and pain de mie ($19)

Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden. 79 Rainey St. 512-386-1656, bangersaustin.com

Scene: Sausage and beer heaven with massive outdoor seating area.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Pastrami-styled cured salmon ($10), six different sausages ($8), Banger’s Benedict ($12), Banger’s breakfast sandwich ($10)

Barlata Tapas Bar. 1500 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-473-2211, barlataaustin.com+

Scene: High ceilings, modern design and a convivial atmosphere.

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Tortilla Espanola ($9.50), choriburger ($12), poached eggs with jamon Iberico ($14)

Blue Star Cafeteria. 4800 Burnet Rd.512-454-7827, bluestarcafeteria.com

Scene: Refined take on diner food.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Quiche Lorraine ($7.95), vanilla-battered French toast ($7.95), open-faced egg sandwich ($9.95)

Chez Zee. 5406 Balcones Dr. 512-454-2666, chez-zee.com

Scene: Colorful neighborhood staple has been in business for more than 25 years.

Brunch hours: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Crème brûlée French toast ($8.95), Southern grilled pork chop and eggs ($16.95), chicken and waffle ($14.95)

Clark’s. 1200 W. Sixth St. 512-297-2525, clarksoysterbar.com+

Scene: Jewel box restaurant feels like an ocean-side retreat.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Oysters, crudo plate, beef tartare, wood-grilled shrimp toast, cioppino on grits, hangar steak and eggs

Contigo. 2027 Anchor Lane. 512-614-2260, contigotexas.com/austin+

Scene: Open-air environment, wood and iron décor, and large outdoor tables give restaurant ranch-like feel.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Quiche, rabbit and dumplings, smoked trout, beef tongue hash, housemade breads

Eastside Café. 2113 Manor Rd. 512-476-5858, eastsidecafeaustin.com

Scene: Quaint restaurant built in an East Austin old house sources some ingredients from its on-site garden.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Baked huevos Mexicanos ($12.95), smoked salmon Benedict ($14.95), apple-almond waffle ($11.95), blueberry blintzes ($11.95), garden vegetable enchiladas ($11.95)

El Naranjo. 85 Rainey St. 512-474-2776, elnaranjo-restaurant.com+

Scene: Fresh and elegant restaurant from Mexican chef Iliana de la Vega.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Ceviche de la semana ($14), three-egg omelet with queso oaxaca served with refried black beans, avocado, salsa verde and house baked fresh bread ($12), braised beef tenderloin tips ($15), chilaquiles con crema and queso ($10)

Elizabeth Street Café. 1501 S. First St. 512-291-2881, elizabethstreetcafe.com+

Scene: Adorable French colonial-style café and bakery with wrap-around patio seating.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Croissant with Niman Ranch ham and gruyere ($5); Nutella and banana stuffed crepe ($11); brioche French toast ($11); breakfast banh mi ($8); sticky rice with ginger sauce and poached eggs ($14)

Enoteca. 1610 S. Congress Ave. 512-441-7672, austinvespaio.com+

Scene: Vespaio’s laid-back kid sister on Austin’s showcase boulevard.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Semolina-buttermilk pancakes ($9), porchetta panini ($13), croquet madame ($16), poached eggs on focaccia with Niman Ranch ham or spinach and roasted tomato ($11), crab cake with poached egg and hollandaise ($16)

Epicerie. 2307 Hancock Dr. 512-371-6840, epicerieaustin.com+

Scene: French-inspired neighborhood café.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Scrapple ($10), “Mad dog” pancakes ($10), croque madame ($12), eggs benedict ($12)

Fonda San Miguel. 2330 W. North Loop Blvd. 512-459-4121, fondasanmiguel.com+

Scene: Austin’s original expansive temple to the flavors of Mexico.

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Sprawling buffet includes black drum ceviche, cochinita pibil, chicken mole poblano, chicken mole verde, jicama fruit salad, beans and rice, housemade tortillas, arroz con leche, bread pudding, almond flan ($38.95).

Frank. 407 Colorado St. 512-494-6916, hotdogscoldbeer.com+

Scene: Fun and irreverent lovers of encased meat, beer, and whiskey.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday; (“Brunch for drunks” runs from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. with limited menu)

Highlights: Chicken and bacon waffles ($11.75); shrimp and grits ($13); Makers Mark toast with blueberry-bourbon syrup; pulled-pork Benedict ($9)

Freedmen’s Bar. 2402 San Gabriel St. 512-220-0953, freedmensbar.com+

Scene: Historic building with great ambiance and cocktails and a large courtyard.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Barbecue Benedict with choice of brisket, pulled pork, or sausage ($11); jalapeño cheese grits ($6); various smoked meat by the plate or pound

Green Pastures. 811 W. Live Oak St. 512-444-4747, greenpasturesrestaurant.com+

Scene: Genteel Victorian estate tucked away in the trees of South Austin.

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Rotating buffet may include prime rib, shrimp cocktail, hot smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, dessert buffet. Coffee, tea and punch included ($38).

Hightower. 1209 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1448, thehightoweraustin.com+

Scene: Scruffy and personable neighborhood restaurant and bar.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Boudin scramble ($9), ricotta toast ($7), carnitas sandwich ($10), grit waffle ($8.50)

Hopfields. 3110 Guadalupe St. 512-537-0467, hopfieldsaustin.com+

Scene: Rustic French bistro meets American pub.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily

Highlights: Corned lamb hash ($13, weekends only), hamburger on a French toast bun ($13), Full English ($14)

Hyde Park Bar & Grill

4206 Duval St., 512-458-3168; 4521 West Gate Blvd. 512-899-2700, hpbng.com

Scene: The original has been serving neighbors (and treating strangers like neighbors) for more than three decades.

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Eggs Benedict ($9.99), migas ($7.99), chicken and waffles ($9.99)

Iron Cactus

Multiple locations.  ironcactus.com

Scene: Standard Tex-Mex fare.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. (Stonelake location also offers brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.)

Highlights: Brunch buffet includes huevos rancheros, migas, scrambled eggs, and hickory smoked bacon. ($14.99; $8.99 for children age five to 12; Kids four and under eat free; $12.99 for seniors)

Jack Allen’s Kitchen. Locations in Oak Hill, Round Rock and West Austin. jackallenskitchen.com+

Scene: Farm-to-table Texas comfort.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Buffet includes layered enchilada casserole, chicken-fried chicken, tomato-basil pie, and eggs cooked to order ($16.99).

Javelina. 69 Rainey St. 512-382-6917, javelinabar.com

Scene: Rustic bar in heart of the city.

Brunch hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Breakfast tacos ($1.5), breakfast sliders ($2.50), Javelina eggs ($5.49), Migas burger ($8.49)

Josephine House. 1610 Waterston St. 512-477-5584, josephineofaustin.com+

Scene: Bright and charming Clarksville café.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Coddled egg with shaved cured ham ($13); grits, mushrooms, duck confit, kale and poached egg ($18); petit filet and egg ($35); Lyonnaise salad ($16).

La Condesa. 400 W. Second St. 512-499-0300, lacondesaaustin.com+

Scene: Vibrant restaurants nods to Mexico City from the heart of downtown.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Roasted carrot salad ($11), huevos Condesa with roasted chicken and fried eggs ($15), chilangos ($13), Cuban sandwich ($13)

LaV. 1501 E. Seventh St. 512-391-1888, lavaustin.com+

Scene: Refined French-influenced fine dining restaurant with several handsome and sun-dappled dining spaces.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Honey-cheddar scone ($6), chicken liver pate ($15), duck rillettes ($14), buckwheat crepes ($15), Wagyu burger ($19)

Lamberts Downtown Barbecue. 401 W. Second St. 512-494-1500, lambertsaustin.com+

Scene: Classic old building colored in handsome wood fixtures gives the feel of an upscale saloon.

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Buffet includes fruit and berries, classic new potato salad, jicama and cilantro slaw, house-smoked salmon, roasted garlic and rosemary crusted prime rib, brown sugar and coffee rubbed natural brisket, coriander and maple crusted Berkshire pork ribs ($40).

Launderette. 2115 Holly St. 512-382-1599, launderetteaustin.com+

Scene: Eclectic and energized café with clean lines and bold flavors.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Buttermilk pancakes ($8), Bacon sticky bun ($6), asparagus Benedict with truffle Hollandaise ($18), pork and grits ($16), fried oyster Florentine ($14)

Little Barrel and Brown. 1716 S. Congress Ave. 512-582-1229, littlebarrelandbrown.com+

Scene: Fun and relaxed environment with a neighborhood American pub feel.

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Fried chicken and waffles ($13), duck pastrami hash ($16), tofu scramble ($12), kale Caesar ($8), hamburger ($11)

Manuel’s. 310 Congress Ave. 512-472-7555; 10201 Jollyville Rd. 512-345-1042; manuels.com

Scene: Serving quality Mexican food for more than 30 years.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Huevos rancheros ($10), three-egg omelet ($10), grilled beef tenderloin with Mexican potatoes ($16)

Max’s Wine Dive. 207 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-904-0111, maxswinedive.com

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m. Sundays.

Highlights: Fried chicken and waffles, fried three-egg sandwich with bacon and Gruyère, a bowl of jalapeño cheese grits with pulled pork called the SXSW.

Moonshine. 303 Red River St. 512-236-9599, moonshinegrill.com

Scene: Historic home gives the feeling you’re dining at your grandparents’ house.*

Brunch hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Buffet includes King Ranch casserole, migas, green egg scramble, green chile cheese grits, deviled eggs, spiral ham with pineapple chipotle glaze, white chocolate bread pudding ($17.95)

Mulberry. 360 Nueces St. 512-320-0297, mulberryaustin.com

Scene: Cozy neighborhood wine bar.*

Brunch hours:10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: BLT sandwich ($14), pork Benedict ($12), smoked salmon ($12)

North by Northwest Restaurant and Brewery. 10010 N. Capital of Texas Hwy. 512-467-6969; 5701 W. Slaughter Ln. 512-301-6969, nxnwbrew.com

Scene: Brew pub with a family-friendly vibe.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Greek omelet ($8.95), brunch pizza ($8.95), poached eggs with shrimp-and-crab cakes ($10.95)

Odd Duck. 1201 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-433-6521, oddduckaustin.com+

Scene: Farm-to-table restaurant centered around a wood-burning stove offers taste of the country in middle of the city.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Spring salad with strawberries, avocado, feta, and snow peas ($9), corn dog with chorizo verde ($8), pork flank taco ($9), kohlrabi tots with goat confit ($12), French toast with pig face ($10)

Olivia. 2043 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-804-2700, olivia-austin.com+

Scene: Fine dining restaurant takes on a sophisticated country vibe at brunch.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: “Picnic-style” fried chicken ($18), Willie Nelson chicken-fried steak and eggs ($19), buttermilk pancakes ($11), shrimp and grits ($17)

Opal Divine’s. 3601 S. Congress Ave. 512-707-0237; 12709 N. Loop 1. 512-733-5353, opaldivines.com

Scene: Large beer bar with a taste for scotch.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (MoPac location starts at 9 a.m.)

Highlights: Chicken fry and eggs ($12), French toast combo ($9), Austin omelet – with tomatoes, sprouts and avocado on a bed of white queso ($11)

Perla’s. 1400 S. Congress Ave. 512-291-7300, perlasaustin.com+

Scene: Expansive patio offers great people watching while eating seafood on landlocked South Congress Avenue.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Wood-grilled oysters ($15), tomato and cucumbers gazpacho ($13), oak-grilled branzini scramble ($24), lobster omelet ($26)

Punch Bowl Social. 11310 Domain Dr. 512-368-9070, punchbowlsocial.com/austin

Scene: Playhouse for grown-ups.

Brunch hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily

Highlights: Blintz ($7), smoked brisket hash ($13), huevos rancheros ($12), cast iron burgers ($12)

Red’s Porch. 3508 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-440-7337, redsporch.com

Scene: Casual hang with a country vibe.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: New Orleans beignets ($6.95), shrimp and grits ($9.95), steak and eggs ($13.95), migas ($7.95), fried chicken and waffles ($9.95)

Roaring Fork Stonelake

10850 Stonelake Blvd. 512-342-2700, roaringfork.com

Scene: Refined clubby vibe by the lake.

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Green chile pork ($9), Elgin sausage migas ($10), honey-dipped fried chicken, biscuits and gravy ($13).

Russell’s Bistro. 1601 W. 38th St. 512-467-7877, russellsbistro.com+

Scene: Mellow and friendly neighborhood café.

Brunch hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Banana-pecan pancakes ($9), crème brûlée French toast ($9), eggs Benedict ($10), Russell’s migas ($9).

Salt & Time. 1912 E. Seventh St. 512-524-1383, saltandtime.com+

Scene: Bright butcher shop with seated dining service throughout the day.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Breakfast biscuit ($11), pork and waffles ($13), chilaquiles ($9), beef heart salad ($9)

Searsucker. 415 Colorado St. 512-394-8000, searsucker.com/austin

Scene: Cavernous yet comfortable spot with lounge and bar seating up front.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Cowboy steak and eggs ($18), mushroom scramble ($11), fried chicken ($11), pork belly hash ($15)

Second Bar + Kitchen. 200 Congress Ave. 512-827-2750, congressaustin.com/second+

Scene: Consistency and a good time in one of the best locations downtown.*

Brunch hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Texas benedict with pulled pork shoulder ($16), bacon-pecan bread pudding ($12), veal meatball sub ($12), grilled pineapple and berry salad ($8)

South Congress Café. 1600 S. Congress Ave. 512-447-3905, southcongresscafe.com

Scene: A popular pit stop for Southwestern fare amidst the South Congress shopping madness.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Highlights: Tuna tartare ($11), crab cakes ($14), very blue salad ($8), goat cheese and bacon omelet ($12), jalapeño venison meatloaf ($12)

St. Philip. 4715 S. Lamar Blvd. 512-358-7445, stpaustin.com+

Scene: Family-friendly restaurant with a large bar and Wonka-esque bakery attached.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Fried chicken and funnel cake ($15); fennel sausage pizza ($15), s’mores waffles ($9), quiche of the day ($9.50), brisket hash ($13)

Swift’s Attic. 315 Congress Ave. Suite 200. swiftsattic.com+

Scene: The boisterous clubby atmosphere gives way to a more relaxing vibe during daylight hours.

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Turkey hash ($12); poached eggs and pork cheeks ($16); Korean BBQ strip steak with fried eggs ($22); forbidden rice bibimbap ($11), foie gras PB&J pancakes ($20)

Takoba. 1411 E. Seventh St. 512-628-4715, takobarestaurant.com

Scene: Lively Mexican food restaurant with large outdoor seating area.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Menudo ($7), molletes ($6), Baja ceviche ($8.50), migas ($7.50), chilaquiles ($7.50)

Taverna. 258 W. Second St. 512-477-1001, tavernabylombardi.com

Scene: A small taste of Italy, complete with sidewalk seating.*

Brunch hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Highlights: Shrimp and asparagus omelet ($11.50), vanilla French toast ($9.50), pan-fried eggs with sausage and truffle oil

Texas French Bread. 2900 Rio Grande St. 512-499-0544, texasfrenchbread.com+

Scene: Quaint bakery and café is a fixture in the campus area, with good reason.

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Ham and egg sandwich ($10); buckwheat crepe with ham, egg, and cheese ($12); pork Milanese ($14

Threadgill’s. 301 W. Riverside Dr. 512-472-9304; 6416 N. Lamar Blvd., 512-451-5440; threadgills.com

Scene: A taste of Old Austin. Bluegrass Brunch (North Lamar), Gospel Brunch (Riverside).

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday.

Highlights: Migas, grits, biscuits and gravy, omelet station, pancakes, fruit.

Trace. 200 Lavaca St. at the W Hotel Austin. 512-542-3660, traceaustin.com+

Scene: Sophistication with a sidewalk view in the Second Street District.*

Brunch hours: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Farmer’s breakfast ($16), croque madame ($16), shrimp and crab Louis sandwich ($16), golden malted waffle ($13)

Trio at the Four Seasons. 98 San Jacinto Blvd. 512-685-8300, triorestaurantaustin.com+

Scene: Exceptional service in a calm and classy dining room.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday

Highlights: Amazing buffet includes crab claws, sushi, smoked fish, charcuterie, omelet station, cheese board, pastries, ceviche, eggs Benedict, pancakes, carving station, dessert station ($56, children $28)

Zocalo. 1110 West Lynn St. 512-472-8226, zocalocafe.com

Scene: Airy dining space befitting the clean approach to Mexican.*

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Highlights: Chilaquiles ($8.79), huevos verde ($8.29), breakfast burrito ($8.29), granola bowl with fruit ($6.29)

Z’Tejas. 1110 W. Sixth St., 512-478-5355; 9400A Arboretum Blvd., 512-346-3506; 10525 W. Parmer Lane, 512-388-7772. ztejas.com

Brunch hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Arboretum and Sixth Street). 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday (Parmer Lane).

Highlights: Barbacoa breakfast enchiladas w($10.75), chicken-and-potato hash ($9.50), migas ($9.50), sweet pancakes ($8)

 


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