Brunch It Up with The Grinch and The Whole Dr. Seuss Crew
Family-friendly joint with live music and Benedicts for days
This quirky Allandale bistro frequently has wall-to-wall crowds for its famous weekend brunch, which boasts live piano music and a high ceilinged, atmospheric space perfect for crowds. The menu is heavy on Southern classics like shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, and an out-of-this-world fried chicken served on a fluffy pile of waffles. They also have a full menu of eggs Benedict of all stripes, from traditional Canadian bacon with hollandaise sauce, to innovative spins featuring baked polenta, lobster, and fried avocado. Follow up the decadence with a slice of one of their famous cakes.
Cozy den serving decadent breakfast
More than just an impossibly well decorated, Instagram-friendly backdrop (nestled in the world’s cutest A-frame, to boot), this Eastside fave also serves stylishly delicious Sunday brunch. Have a pecan scone with maple bacon glaze with your Flat Truck coffee, or go big with one of their decadent sandwiches, a sweet grain bowl, or an order of crab toast, the poached egg yolk melting rich over the grilled blue crab and potato bread, warmed with the nutty taste of browned butter hollandaise. You can even chase away your hangover with an aromatic bowl of caldo de pollo, with red chillies, nopales, and crisp fried slabs of chicken.
Comfort food served with punk rock flair
Mixing punk rock swagger with a sprinkle of Grandma’s-house-style religious kitsch, Holy Roller is the best place in town for Sunday brunch, whether you’re heading over after church or just pulling your hungover carcass out of bed. The menu is loaded with greasily sin-absorbing gut bombs, like the Casbah, crispy fried chicken and an egg served over flaky biscuits and doused in syrup and a mysterious concoction called comeback sauce. It’s gonna be hard to save room for their homemade Choco Taco or the butter thick banana pudding, but hey, you gotta at least try.
Wood-fired breakfast pizzas, Tex-Mex style
This well-loved, wood-fired oven pizzeria does brunch both Saturday and Sunday, and for those of us long enamored by their crispy crusted pies, it’s worth checking out on either day. There’s a breakfast taco pizza on the menu, of course, which just happens to be topped with a Tex-Mex mix of chorizo, potatoes, and serrano peppers alongside a few whole-cracked eggs. They also put that oven to use throughout the whole menu, with dishes like a breakfast skillet hash and a wood-fired Benedict casserole, with biscuit crumbles, crispy pancetta, and hollandaise.
Healthy spins on breakfast classics
For wholesome, feel good, environmentally friendly brunch options without the sanctimonious restraint, head to Citizen Eatery, where the cuisine is local, organic when possible, and 100% meat-free. Their always breakfast menu is served seven days a week and features treats like gluten-free pancakes, a not too sweet house-made granola, and eggs (or egg alternatives for the vegans in the house) scrambled with mushrooms and kale, stuffed with vegan chorizo, and even nestled into cute little veggie baskets.
Dim sum brunch with Eastside flare
Those in the know come to brunch at Ah Sing Den for one of the best Bloody Marys in town, featuring heirloom tomatoes, lemon, ponzu, and a powerful dose of kimchi in all its spicy, garlicky, slightly stinky fermented glory. It’s perfectly suited for a bowl of their night market style congee, a blandly sticky rice porridge with the texture of soft cooked polenta, enlivened with savory mushroom gravy, crispy fried garlic chips, and a sunny-side-up egg. It helps that the decor is stunning, resembling the famous Victorian opium den it’s named after, with dark wood paneling and a lush peacock feather theme.
Instagrammable goodies served in a minimalist style
Sitting right in the middle of downtown, just a few blocks from the Colorado, Forthright might be the ultimate hip Austin brunch destination. There’s the cold brew coffee (served in ice cube form in a glass of almond milk), the requisite avocado toast (smashed, with pepitas and fried eggs), and the chia seed pudding (rich with coconut milk and a maple syrup drizzle). But nothing here is familiar or stale. The kitchen has a way of taking familiar ingredients and making you understand why they got so popular in the first place. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that it all looks so darn cute!
Breakfast sandwiches served from a food truck
Paperboy is the newest addition to the East Eleventh corridor that is also home to Hillside Farmacy and Quickie Pickie. The trailer serves a small menu of tried-and-true breakfast/brunch sandwiches, bowls, and open-faced (sweet and savory!) toast, with ingredients sourced from local farms and bakeries, and coffee from Austin’s Tweed Coffee Roasters. You can’t go wrong with the hash, made with roasted sweet potatoes, poached egg, braised pork belly, grilled onions, and coffee mayo. Best yet? They serve it all up on weekdays, too.
Slow smoked BBQ and modern Texas cooking in historic surroundings
Tucked away in the gorgeously restored, high-beamed Schneider Brothers Building, Lambert's is as eclectic as the dry goods store the space used to house, featuring brunch by day, and live music and classic cocktails by night. The menu is full of fresh takes on Texas classics, like spicy deviled eggs with trout roe, fried green tomatoes served atop lump crab meat and spicy greens, and even Frito pie, taken to the next level with their house smoked, slow-cooked chopped beef and homemade queso. Kick back on the patio, sip on a Western Sour with bourbon and grapefruit juice, and watch the second street parade go by.
Small plates and bites in an airy downtown space
VOX Table’s brunch menu is full of classic brunch dishes, each executed with a New American twist and surprisingly large portions. Menu standouts include, well... everything. We recommend the crab Benedict, mouthwatering butter-poached crab in a popover, topped with a soft-boiled egg, hollandaise, and proscuitto; the olive oil pancakes topped with fig & walnut butter and maple syrup (ADD BACON, it’s amazing); and the Bloody Mary, classic flavor served with a pipette of hot sauce and, in true Austin fashion, a Lone Star chaser. One more thing we love about VOX Table's brunch: you can order plump East Coast oysters served on the half shell with their house-made cucumber vinaigrette.
Thai street food takes on American breakfast classics
Sway’s just introduced a brunch menu -- much to the delight of anyone who has dined with them -- that incorporates traditional Thai flavors done in Sway’s modern style. Its take on brunch classics include unexpected combinations, as in the Thai basil waffle & chicken (chicken wing lollipop, pickled fresno, green nahm jihm, maple-lemon butter, togarashi) and the mapow biscuit & gravy (goat cheese-thai herb biscuit, minced pork gravy, bacon powder, egg, crispy basil leaf). Order this spicy brunch drink: cucumber & tomatillo michelada (singha beer, pineapple, cilantro, kaffir lime, serrano, lemongrass, and mint salt). YASSSS.
Stylish and perennially popular dim sum brunch service
This is not your basic brunch, this is Wu Chow’s Sunday dim sum brunch. The bright and busy space is perfect for meeting up with your whole crew and sharing like a million Chinese dumplings and small bites. Try the savory bean curd with oyster sauce, pork & shrimp shumai, scallion pancake, and everyone’s favorite, the Shanghai pork soup dumplings -- eaten by gently lifting with your soup spoon, puncturing and slurping the broth out, then eating the pork-filled dumpling in one bite. Wu Chow’s dim sum menu also includes sweet treats like egg custard tarts and pineapple puffs.
Acclaimed hyperlocal spot where everything’s done in-house
Emmer & Rye is a far cry from the party scene literally one block away. Its executive chef, Kevin Fink, was recently named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs, and the creative, forward-thinking Sunday menu reflects his talent and vision. At Emmer & Rye, you can order a la carte from the menu -- the caviar & eggs (with creme fraiche, onion, sourdough toast) and the egg sandwich (tomato, onion, shiitake aioli, half scramble, english muffin) are examples of the hi-low style of the menu. While dining, definitely try the pastries being distributed throughout the restaurant dim sum style via a cart. Also partake in the Bloody Mary, whose flavor is kicked up thanks to fermented tomato, horseradish, Thai chili, and shrimp powder.
Mediterranean-influenced brunch served al fresco
Juliet’s Italian on Barton Springs Rd is an inviting choice for weekend brunch, with its covered patio and chic vintage Italian interior. The brunch menu stays true to Juliet’s vibe with crave-worthy pasta dishes such as lasagne al forno (spinach pasta, bolognese, besciamella) and Italian twists on classics in the brunch risotto (green peas, pancetta, poached eggs, parmigiana). Juliet’s cocktail program is one of the best in Austin, and consists of eight signature Negronis, mimosas, wine, and classic cocktails.
Jazz brunch and a well-curated cocktail menu
To get to Geraldine’s, enter the lobby of the super-chic Hotel Van Zandt and take the elevator to the fourth floor; what awaits you is badass. The huge and gorgeous dining room boasts an open kitchen, wraparound bar with an insanely good bar program, a stage always occupied by Austin’s best musicians, and a pool patio with views of Downtown. The Sunday brunch has a lot of options ranging from light (salt roasted beets, crab toast) to let’s-do-this (brioche French toast, smoked short rib quesadilla). Cocktails we can’t get enough of: the chocolatey Muddy Waters (Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, Averna, orgeat, cold-brew coffee, condensed milk, nutmeg) and the tangy Sunday Bloody Sunday (Vida mescal, seasonal sangrita, chili-lime salt rim).
Sunday brunch buffet with a build-your-own taco bar
The concept of an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet brings to mind images of limp bacon and overcooked eggs in a hotel basement with a bunch of baggy-eyed businessmen. Fortunately for us, beach shack Grizzelda’s is here to change all that with a fresh take on the weekend buffet. Available only on Sunday mornings (for now), the selection features enchiladas, chilaquiles, a taco bar, house-made pastries, eggs cooked to order, and Jacoby’s Butchers Cuts. Plus, there’s a full menu of original cocktails (try the Bad Girl Ri Ri with pisco, mezcal, lime, and passionfruit) and $5 margaritas.
Old-school diner favorites, upgraded
With it’s eclectic, 21 Club-meets-Pinterest decor and expansive backyard patio, Jacoby’s would be a perfect spot to down a couple of late-morning mimosas even if the food wasn’t great. Fortunately, Jacoby’s menu is as much substance as it is style, with a menu of updated American classics like braised beef Benedict topped with horseradish hollandaise and crispy onions, homemade cinnamon rolls studded with local Texas pecans, and buttermilk biscuits with house-made sausage and creamy gravy. An emphasis on shared plates, like Cheddar grits with pickled peppers and spicy butter, or three-cheese mac & cheese with a crispy pistachio crust, makes it an ideal spot for meeting up with your brunch bros.
Breakfast bowls and sandwiches on a sunny patio
This South Austin favorite has always been a popular meetup spot for book clubs, friends catching up, and Tinder dates. The new all-week brunch menu makes whiling away a Wednesday morning on the sunlit patio even more appealing and is broken into three sections: avocado toasts, breakfast sandwiches, and savory/sweet bowls like the special order Sofrito Bowl (with fingerling potatoes, roasted carrots, crispy shallots, and a fried egg on top). If you’re looking for something substantially lighter, opt for single origin espresso with a freshly baked pastry.