Food & Drink

The Most Underrated Brunch Spots in Dallas

Published On 09/15/2016 Published On 09/15/2016
Ive Kitchen
Carnitas Rancheros at Ivy Kitchen | Ivy Kitchen

With weekend brunch being practically a sporting event in these parts, it’s easy to get tired of waits and tough reservations at the super-popular spots. Most days you’re just dying to get some fancy Benedict dish in your belly without waiting till you’re hangry -- and this handful of under-the-radar restaurants can provide just that. They’re unsung stars in the local brunch stratosphere, and although we bet their regulars wish they’d stay that way to stave off crowds, there’s nothing like sharing the gospel of good brunch.

The Woolworth

The Woolworth

Downtown

City swankiness meets comfy eats at this upstairs restaurant-lounge perched over Elm St. For your post-party brunch needs, The Hangover -- habanero fried chicken, fried egg, three kinds of pork, and more -- sounds like it can cure what ails you. Bellinis and pomegranate mimosas are on standby in case you don’t want to be cured.

E Bar Tex Mex

East Dallas

Breakfast is an all-day-every-day thing at this low-key East Dallas bar and eatery, which means if you’re yearning for brunch on a random Tuesday evening, you can totally make chorizo con huevos or huevos rancheros a reality. Plus, frozen margs ease you into the day (or night) a whole lot better than a mimosa, and the plentitude of TVs make this a great spot for cheering/jeering the Cowboys.

Next Door

Next Door

Uptown

One might not expect brunch greatness from a DJ-driven event called Party Brunch, but this new-ish spot on McKinney Ave delivers the goods. From a smoked prosciutto Benedict to the signature chicken-and-egg-starring Mother & Daughter Sandwich, the dishes are hearty, well-executed, and happen to pair well with Next Door’s delicious drinks. A worthy opener to the creative mains is the platter of grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings.

Farah Fleurima/Thrillist

Pakpao

Preston Hollow and Design District

Asian flavors and updated traditional eats beckon at this Thai mini-chain known for phenomenal dinners. Share a bowl of piping-hot pork congee with your table, then move on to the hearty Chiang Mai sausage hash or fluffy crab omelet. Whatever you choose, toast your weekend meal with Pakpao’s famed Chula-rita or a lychee martini.

Fat Rabbit

Fat Rabbit

Uptown

This New American eatery’s gorgeous patio along McKinney is a prime see-and-be-seen perch for quaffing morning cocktails and throwing down on the veggie-stuffed 10 O’Clock Omelet and red velvet pancakes with cream cheese. Afraid to give up your people-watching station after breakfast? Stay a spell for some craft beer or cocktails.

Torchy's Tacos

Torchy's Tacos

Multiple locations

Not many folks would think of this fast-casual Texas taco chain as a brunch-y spot, but it’s perfect for picking up a hearty weekend breakfast cooked to order, then people watching on the patio with friends, Bloody Marys in hand. Save room for the Lil’ Nookies -- deep-fried chocolate chip cookies so worth the sugar rush.

Ivy Kitchen

IVY Kitchen

Addison

This unsung spot makes for the start of a very leisurely weekend afternoon. Begin with the impeccable crab Benedict or the cinnamon-crusted French toast, raise a glass of Michelada or sangria, then skip the post-brunch nap for a movie next door at Look Cinema. You can always top off the day with an after-movie glass of wine at IVY.

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Farah Fleurima is a Dallas-based food and travel freelance writer and avid preacher of the gospel of brunch. Follow her sermons at The Dallas Diva and on Twitter at @TheDallasDiva.

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1. The Woolworth 1520 Elm St #201, Dallas, TX 75201 (Downtown)

Truffle fries and lobster fondue sneak their way onto the menu of this Downtown cocktail bar where the man behind the bar is more "bar-chef" than just a mixologist. The Woolworth's brunch menu features flavorful, Southern dishes like habanero fried chicken and jumbo buttermilk biscuits, all of which you can enjoy on the spacious outdoor patio with a ice cold pitcher of Pomegranate Mimosas.

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2. E Bar Tex Mex 1901 N Haskell Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

E Bar Tex Mex, a brick-lined neighborhood hangout anchored by a 25ft, wood-topped, mirror-backed bar, and equipped with a patio but no valet so "you don't have to spend so much before you get in", is pretty much all a guy needs on a first date.

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3. Next Door 2908 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75204 (Uptown)

Rarely does a place excel at both nightlife and Sunday brunch, but Next Door pulls it off seamlessly. A slew of elevated bar bites (pro tip: try the grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings), flatbreads, house-made pastas, and fruit-forward cocktails make the plant-laden lounge a late-night destination, but its "Party Brunch" is equally popular thanks to wholly satisfying plates like the smoked prosciutto eggs Benedict and decked out avocado toast. Feel free to bring the whole squad -- combined with the shareable plates and ample seating (both indoor and outdoor, on the breezy, light-strung patio), this McKinney Ave outpost is a great place for groups of friends.

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4. Pakpao Thai 1628 Oak Lawn Ave , Dallas, TX 75207 (Design District)

Thai restaurant with French-style plating, from the owners of Oak and Belly & Trumpet.

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5. Fat Rabbit 2533 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201 (Uptown)

This uptown spot puts a modern twist on time-honored plates like rock shrimp with Sriracha mayo, daily catch ceviche served in a martini glass, burgers, and flatbreads. The sheer breadth of the market-driven menu at Fat Rabbit makes it a popular haunt for late-night and brunch alike, with groups of Texans rolling through the sleek, leather-laden lounge in the evening for the live DJ performances and on weekend mornings for the decadent red velvet pancakes topped with cream cheese.

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6. Torchy's Tacos 5600 SMU Blvd, Dallas, TX 75206 (Central Expressway)

The SMU branch of one of Texas' most beloved Mexican franchises means it when they say they've got "a taco for every appetite." From the breakfast Ranch Hand (beef fajitas, eggs, cheese, Diablo sauce) to the Trailer Park (fried chicken, green chillies, queso) to the Mr. Orange (salmon, black bean relish), there's isn't much these guy won't or haven't put on a taco. And if there's a taco for everyone, the full-service bar will make sure there's a drink for them all, too.

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7. IVY Kitchen 5411 Belt Line Rd, Dallas, TX 75254

Need a place to go for the perfect brunch date? Here you can enjoy brunch and a movie.

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