Food & Drink

40 of the best boozy brunch deals in Austin

Published On 01/29/2014 Published On 01/29/2014
Dan Gentile
Tacos and Tequila
Trio Austin
Green Pastures
The Buzz Mill
Dan Gentile
Dan Gentile
Old School Bar & Grill
Dan Gentile
Cover 3
El Chile Cafe
Cafe Malta
Dan Gentile
Dan Gentile
Dan Gentile
Hotel San Jose
The Frisco
Satellite Bistro & Bar
Dan Gentile
The Park at The Domain
Dan Gentile
Brickhouse Tavern + Tap
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1. La Condesa 400 W 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701 (2nd St District)

La Condesa is the place to go if you're looking for traditional Mexican flavor with modern Austin flair. The menu, offering up handfuls of tortas, taquitos, combos, and a few other staples, is shorter than most, but there's an obvious preference for quality over quantity at this Downtown restaurant. Tacos strewn with red pickled onion, cilantro, and guacamole make the ideal warm-up round before hitting the bar, where tequila and mezcal reign supreme in customizable flights.

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2. TNT Tacos and Tequila 507 Pressler St, Austin, TX 78703 (Central West)

From a group that's been helming SW'ern joints for 20+ years, this pine-floored firewatering hole serves a short list of grilled-to-order tortilla fillers and a long list of tequilas, either along an open kitchen counter, in booths, or at community tables and a concrete bar top lorded over by a rebar liquor cage, giving a worms-eye view of Anejo the Giant vs. the Ultimate Wabo-rior.

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3. Max's Wine Dive 207 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Max's Wine Dive offers what 10yr-old you thought rich people have for every meal: Champagne and fried chicken. Max's is a great spot for brunch, head there and enjoy the huge wine selection and legendary mac 'n cheese.

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4. Lambert's Downtown BBQ 401 West 2nd St, Austin, TX 78701 (Warehouse District)

Lambert's Downtown Barbecue, located in the Warehouse District, serves its version of finely crafted fancy barbecue ( brown sugar & coffee-rubbed angus steak, anyone?). Hosting nightly live music and serving over a dozen unique cocktails, a dinner can turn into a night to remember at this bar-of-all-trades. Located in a renovated old-style general store, Lambert's friendly, vintage vibes are sure to impress.

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5. Green Pastures 811 West Live Oak St, Austin, TX 78704

Green Pastures is a classy Austin staple serving French-inspired food, meaning a whole lot of Brie and bleu. Their greatest achievements are their appetizers, including Tempura Maine Lobster Tail w/ wasabi butter and jicama slaw. They've also got an enormous wine list, and a gigantic brunch that's famous state-wide and features everything from BBQ'd salmon to double cheddar and garlic grits.

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6. Paggi House 200 Lee Barton Dr, Austin, TX 78704 (Downtown)

One of the most idyllic Lady Bird Lake-side locales, Paggi's sprawling deck is the perfect place to go and enjoy their $30 two-item brunch -- try their French toast, chicken and waffles, crab cake Benedict, and more.

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7. Bouldin Creek Cafe 1900 S 1st St, Austin, TX 78704 (Austin)

The iconic hippie haven is an homage to he owner's love of Austin's creative nature. They offer reasonably priced vegetarian food and are committed to helping the community grow.

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8. Paco's Tacos 1304 E 51st St, Austin, TX 78723 (Central East)

Conceived after a husband/wife's rustic-stone exterior'd rental property became commercially zoned, Paco's umbrella-shaded patio and brightly painted interior offer everything from blue-tortilla migas to corn-pita gorditas, with $2 Bloody Marys and mimosas on the weekends.

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9. Old School Bar & Grill 401 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78701 (Dirty 6th)

Austin's best school-bus BBQ has expanded downtown to the former Paradise Cafe, bringing it back to life by polishing the bird's-eye maple walls (originally from the Armadillo World HQ!) and removing the kitsch from stone siding that dates back to the space's days as Austin's original cotton exchange. The upstairs and its outdoor patio will serve as a music venue, and sling cocktails like the Devil's Cut, Grand Marnier, bitters & ginger ale "Devil's Delight", so clearly the singer bartered her soul in exchange for just one immortal song.

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10. Kung Fu Saloon 510 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78701 (Market District)

Kung Fu Saloon has arcade games, skee ball, and life-size Jenga for you to play while you enjoy pickle shots, 24 beers on tap, or a build-your-own bloody Mary bar on Sundays.

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11. Cover 3 2700 West Anderson Ln, Austin, TX 78757 (North Central)

Home of TX Monthly's 12th-best burger in the state, this fine-dining sports bar has 20+ HDTVs for you to enjoy. Come in on the weekend, and you'll be enjoying those TVs with $4 make-your-own Bloody Marys.

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12. Mi Madre's Restaurant 2201 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722 (Cherrywood)

Austin Chronicle dubbed Mi Madre's breakfast tacos the best in Austin, and it's pretty damn hard to disagree. Do yourself a favor and get their homemade cilantro-infused sausage... actually, get four of them and eat them all alongside your choice of horchata, lemonade, beer, or coconut milk. Go in the summer (wait, it's Texas... so, go any time of year) and enjoy their outdoor patio with a few brews and buds.

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13. Vivo 2015 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

With seemingly every other restaurant offering its own take on the cuisine, being the best Tex-Mex spot around is no easy task, and is even harder in the capital of the Lone Star State. Despite the pressure, Vivo is definitely in contention for the prize with its hip atmosphere, a sprawling Tequila section of the menu (including a top-of-the-line 1800 Colección for a cool $165), and fried corn tortilla tacos. Because everything is bigger -- and fried - in Texas.

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14. Cafe Malta 3421 W William Cannon Dr, Austin, TX 78745 (South Austin)

If Tex-Mex could be anything, you'd want it to be an all-inclusive resort village on South Padre, but if it couldn't be that, you'd want it to be just-opened Cafe Malta.

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15. Gourmands Neighborhood Pub 2316 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78702 (Central East)

Proving that no neighborhood is immune to sandwichtrification is Gourmands: a shop started by a family of Eastsiders who've outfitted an old checker-floored Tejano nightclub with sub-slinging capabilities while retaining a community-watering-hole feel via a full bar and bonuses like WiFi, pool tables, and foosball, which foos fighters might have to wait Everlong to play.

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16. Yellow Jacket Social Club 1704 E 5th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Austin)

This high school mascot-inspired bar has a late-night patio with plenty of ambiance, booze, and not-so-bar-like snacks. Locally soured ingredients make their handmade paninis and apps as tempting as that second drink.

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17. Trattoria Sagra 1050 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702

Italian mainstay Sagra closed their campus-area resto in the Fall after landlord complications, but in true Pisano fashion they've forgottenaboutit and re-opened on E 11th St, serving a menu updated with dishes like quattro formaggi pizza, polpette meatball panini, and costincine al sugo: slow-cooked baby backs with creamy polenta, cabbage, and apple mostarda.

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18. Takoba 1411 E 7th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Central East)

The owners of Takoba know what they're doing with Mexican food -- they grew up in a rural area in central Mexico before relocating to Austin. They're dedicated to fresh, local ingredients and the menu reflects this philosophy, offering a great selection of standard favorites like quesadillas and more authentic, lesser-known dishes like a traditional Mexican pork stew. Best of all may be the outdoor patio-cum-sandbox that's filled with multicolored lounge chairs.

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19. Juan In A Million 2300 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (East Austin)

Juan serves up not only a hilarious name but tasty Tex-Mex classics, too, including their signature Don Juan taco -- a massive 1lb monster of bacon, potato, egg, and cheese.

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20. Las Cazuelas 1701 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78702 (East Austin)

Grab lunch or fuel up post-partying (open 24 hours!) at this divey Mexican joint, which serves a gargantuan menu of favorites and lesser-known dishes common to Mexico's San Luis Potosi region, like the air-dried beef steaks with prickly pear salsa.

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21. Hotel San Jose 1316 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

A former 1930s motor lodge, Hotel San Jose is now one of the hippest bars and music venues in SoCo. Its minimalistic rooms feature tribal fabrics, handmade decor, and minibars. Larger rooms have patio seating, while suites have access to outdoor porches or gardens. The leafy courtyard bar and lounge has a wading pool and the occasional live music.

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22. The Park at the Domain 11601 Domain Dr, Ste 200, Austin, TX 78758 (Austin)

Union Park has shuttered its West 6th watering hole and moved into a massive, still-sporting Aloft space outfitted with two patios, tasteful Longhorn memorabilia, and a gloriously gratuitous flatscreen armada (15+) including a custom 360-degree projection ring-screen to, you know, rule them all.

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