Here's Our Travel Guide to This Nation of Over 7,000 Islands
Hugo's & Caracol & Xochi
Extravagant Sunday spreads showing off the flavors of Mexico
On Sundays, Hugo Ortega’s trifecta of heavy-hitters offers up insanely good interior Mexican (Hugo’s), coastal Mexican (Caracol) and Oaxacan (Xochi) brunch buffets that are worth every single one of the 3,000+ pennies you spent on it. Sure, you could go Saturday and order a la carte, but then you couldn’t refill your plate with all the ceviches, chilaquiles, rellenos, tamales, crudos, camarones, carnitas, tres leches, and churros that you possibly can before your pants spontaneously combust.
Best for fried chicken with a side of Champagne
It's hard to say no to the question "Want some fried chicken and Champagne?" Thankfully, MWD has two locations at which you can say yes. If you’re all about chicken, get it in a honey-butter Benedict, atop jalapeño buttermilk waffles, or in a salad with applewood-smoked bacon and Champagne dressing. Max’s also makes what may be the best fried egg sandwich in town: a colossal creation of three fried eggs, bacon, a blend of Parmesan, Gruyère, provolone, and white Cheddar cheeses, lettuce, tomato, and black truffle aioli on buttery griddled sourdough bread. Get it with a side of chicken thigh.
Because breakfast pizza is never not a good idea
Excellent locally roasted coffee & espresso + full bar + in-house bake lab = the best brunch of your life. Bring your late-morning A game to this cool-kids spot, lest you want to be in the back of someone's Snapchat looking like Gollum while you smash things like house-smoked salmon & truffled eggs, fried chicken & cake donuts, and cracked egg pizza.
Third Coast-style brunch with a charming backdrop
An advance reservation is an advisable (if not required) move for this bistro and garden. The offerings include morning items like killer migas and brioche French toast, plus more lunch appropriate things like wood-grilled local shrimp & grits and short rib risotto. Go for a dish off the seasonal menu, a pan of fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits to share, and a couple of expertly crafted cocktails to “cure” your hangover.
An extravagant brunch with New Orleans swag
There are times when brunch calls for cheap Champagne and literally anything that includes bacon, and then there are times when brunch calls for a ballin’ three-course feast that makes you feel like you own an oil company. That’s where this jazzy (no, for real, there’s a jazz band) NOLA classic comes in. But you don’t have to own an actual oil company to afford it. Seasonal riffs on creole dishes commingle with Southern staples like eggs Brennan, shrimp & grits, and whiskey-lacquered quail, all of which you’ll want to pair with Marys, punches, and fizzes. If you have a few extra monies to get rid of, add on the crazy seafood tower; then invite us next time.
Put on your most comfortable pants with elastic waistbands
When you need something completely gluttonous to rock you out of last night’s poor life choices, this super-cool icehouse is where you go. The Squealin’ Mary -- made with bacon-infused vodka, a bacon sugar-salt rim, and candied bacon accoutrement -- is a damn good place to start. So do that, then get into the seriously excellent mix of brunchy and non-brunchy eats, like the house chorizo & cheddar-stuffed poppers, BBQ brisket breakfast burritos, seafood mac, duck pastrami Reubens, and a bunch of other equally enticing stuff.
A neighborhood go-to with a spot-on Bloody Mary
This cozy neighborhood spot is the kind of place where you can bring your girlfriend or your grandma... that is, if your grandma likes crushing Bloody Marys with beer and burgers with duck eggs & kimchi. OK, maybe just bring your girlfriend here.
Best for Southern eats and all the oysters you can eat
When you can order a brunch based entirely off starters, you can consider the place a win. Ford Fry’s globally and coastally inspired modern lodge is just that. Assuming you have friends, bring some so you can split warm sticky buns, country ham deviled eggs, and grilled Gulf oysters. The main event runs the gamut, from huevos divorciados to a gorgeous Dutch baby pancake baked in the hearth. Some “rodeo” milk punch and an expertly prepared house Bloody Mary ensure you finish the meal out like the rock star you are.
Big brunch classics get a global smooch
It’s all about Southern comfort at this soul food kitchen... with a global smooch, of course. After shuttering its East End location, Kitchen 713 moved into a bigger and better space, and got a liquor license. Hit Saturday and Sunday brunch for house-cured salmon hoe cakes kissed with za'atar, Thai jewel omelets, and fried chicken & biscuits with a side of eye-opening beverages, like the charred grapefruit paloma or a fig and bacon-infused bourbon number.
Best for coffee talks and Instagram tablescapes
If you want a cozy brunch where you can enjoy a conversation and coffee, put this Adair family neophyte on your radar. It sits right between two shopping meccas, Highland Village and River Oaks District, making it perfect for a mid-afternoon break. Get smothered biscuits & gravy, smoked salmon and avocado toast, or “brunch up” a burger with bacon, eggs, and Hollandaise. Then tack on mimosas by the pitcher or hit the fully loaded Bloody Mary cart.
As it turns out, surf and turf works at brunch, too
F.E.E.D. TX and Liberty Kitchen alum Travis Lenig debuted his own concept to great fanfare. Start with a Corpse Reviver or mimosa tasting flight while you dig into seasonal, locally sourced meals that are as fresh as they are downright satisfying. We’re talking sloppy sandwiches, burgers with belly bacon, buttermilk biscuit stacks, and pimento cheese fritters. Oh yeah, we said fresh... there’s stuff like local greens and roasted beets, too.
Best brunch for inducing a pancake coma
With one location in Montrose and a few more planned, this Denver-born chain is taking Houston by storm. Despite being open since the summer of 2016, the Montrose location has an out-the-door line week-after-week -- but at least there’s free Boomtown coffee while you wait. Locals flock for cheap pancake flights and hollandaise-coated everything, from eggs Benny to corned beef hash. Drinks are equally as enticing, with morning concoctions like the Bangkok Bloody Mary (with Sriracha and fish sauce) and the Snoozed Fashioned (a coffee and whiskey mix). The best part? You can unofficially “brunch” seven days a week.
Best brunch for bubbles and people-watching
With a trendy crowd and a Champagne-fueled concept, a’Bouzy is a no-brainer when it comes to weekend brunch plans. For starters, there’s the expansive 250+ list of bubbles, with prices from $12 to over $2,000. Then there are the amazing plates to go alongside -- think duck fat pomme frites and eggs, deconstructed bouillabaisse, and fried chicken and waffles in which the drumsticks get marinated in a mixture of buttermilk and, you guessed it, Champagne.
An under-the-radar brunch experience with crazy good cocktails
BLT may be known for its craft cocktail prowess (it’s a Bobby Heugel spot, after all), but the neighborhood hangout also boasts a completely underrated weekend brunch. The venerable Justin Yu is one of the mind’s behind the food, offering playful takes on comfort foods from custard french toast with Angostura creme fraiche to cheesy, gravy-laden hangover-curing hash browns. Pair the dishes with hot buttered rum or a refreshing tomatillo bloody; or take advantage of the break-even wine program (Sundays only), when 3-ounce pours of a high-end, exclusive bottle are available at cost.
Best place for a Saturday and Sunday brunch (finally)
Now that The Pass & Provisions has finally agreed to open up its doors to the masses on Sundays, the dual-concept stunner can finally join the ranks of this list. Brunch is at Provisions of course -- the more casual half of the trendy space -- and it comes in hot with a seasonally refreshed menu and fresh juice cocktails. Start with a beer-backed P&P Bloody Mary infused with black garlic and yuzu kosho, a noble companion to your six-pack of oysters, and continue the friendship with plates like sausage biscuits & gravy, bubbly smoked butternut squash pizza, or mustard Bearnaise-drizzled short rib hash. And before you clean your entire plate, know that there is a Mexican chocolate cinnamon roll for dessert, which you should 100% make room for.