Brunch! Is there anything better?! No. Well, maybe brunch on a patio. Give me a mimosa (preferably bottomless), some strong black coffee, and anything topped with a runny egg, and we are in business! Austin’s brunch game is pretty good these days, mostly on Sundays (get with it on the Saturday brunch, Austin restaurants!), but we all have our favorites… and here are mine.
1601 W 38th St / Rosedale
Russell’s gets a major shout out here, because Russell’s is what you get when you think BRUNCH. Nothing funky, nothing overly flashy, nothing shocking… just your traditional mimosas, coffee, eggs benedict, omelets, and more in a cute, cozy setting (complete with sunny patio). Don’t get me wrong, I love all the Tex-Mex brunches here (as you will see as we go down the list) but sometimes I’m really in the mood for the classics, and Russell’s always delivers. I’m partial to the crab cake benny or the lox omelet, but everything here is solid. Finally, I would like to point out two major thing Russell’s has going for them that many other places in Austin don’t: their eggs are always perfectly poached, and they serve a full brunch on Sundays AND SATURDAYS.
The brunch at Banger’s is really something that you must experience, one of my favorite places to take guests. The big, buzzy patio is packed with hungry Austinites and their dogs, so there’s plenty of entertaining people and puppy watching while you’re waiting for your food. (Banger’s even has a dog run!) A big draw for me is their “Manmosas” which are huge beer steins filled with champs and your choice of juice. The food itself is hearty, meaty, and kinda heavy. Oh, and when you think things couldn’t get any more jovial, a big New Orleans style brass band gets on the stage and starts busting out awesome live music! Note, Banger’s almost always gets super packed, so make sure you get there right when Sunday brunch starts (10am) so you aren’t waiting in line forever.
1400 E 38th 1/2 St. / Cherrywood
Cherrywood is one of those eclectic, perfect little neighborhood spots that has something for everyone. Truly good coffee, build-your-own breakfast tacos, sweet potato hash, shrimp & grits, a crazy rendition of french toast, and more. Plus they serve beer and wine so you can booze it up with mimosas in the morning! Cherrywood often has live music and on Sunday mornings starting at 10am, their music is hardcore children’s music. Like not generic family-friendly music but “wheels on the bus” type stuff. So if you have kids, maybe that is good, if you are like me and do not have kids, it might not be your favorite time to go. Just a word to the wise.
315 Congress Ave / Downtown
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Swift’s is one of my very favorite brunches in Austin! Or maybe anywhere. One of the highlights of spending your Sunday morning at Swift’s Attic is their $1 mimosas (or $2 “doubles” which is basically just a real big mimosa). Besides their champagne supernova they offer an ultra-creative Asian fusion brunch menu with favorites like bibimbap, shrimp & polenta, Swiftine (poutine) and more. Brunch is only on Sundays, and they take reservations online, so save yourself a table and enjoy!
Epicerie is such a darling little spot and a real neighborhood gem. It’s a casual French paradise of wine, coffee, cheese, pastries, and yes, awesome brunch! I almost always order the shrimp and grits, and Rob almost always orders the croque madame (and then I take a bunch of bites of his, duh). Both pictured below – yes, Epicerie is rewarded with two photos in this round-up, because I couldn’t choose just one. This is the perfect place to come for a cozy morning to chat over coffee with your partner or a group of friends. Just keep in mind that official brunch is only on Sundays – but they have also serve breakfast Wednesday-Saturday from 8:00-11:00am.
Maria’s Taco Xpress
2529 South Lamar Boulevard / South Austin
I just love the vibe at Maria’s. The tacos are great (can’t go wrong with any breakfast taco, but I also love their fish tacos and pastor), as is the queso, and you can treat yourself to a breakfast beer or morning marg because yes, of course they have a full bar! Come on Sundays for the “Hippie Church” gospel brunch, it’s a real “Keep Austin Weird” kind of experience.
As I mentioned after I first checked it out, hot dog heaven Frank’s offers way more than tubular meat when it comes to brunch! What a revelation. We’re talking huge, hearty portions of chicken & waffles, shrimp & grits, pig & eggs (basically a lot of meat & tasty non-meat breakfast item). Their pancakes are the size of your head. And don’t forget the liquor, Frank has an entire cocktail menu devoted to brunch drinks. Bottoms up.
Maudie’s is an affordable, casual Austin Tex-Mex mainstay. Their brunch is a good bet for a big group, as they’re chill and accommodating for big parties, and their menu is super approachable, with something for everyone. I’m personally a big fan of their Power Bowl, as it’s healthy and protein-packed and filling… and only $7.50. But the breakfast tacos, migas, and their hangover-busting Marfa Stack (red chile cheese enchiladas topped with two fried eggs) are all safe bets for hungry morning Tex-Mex lovers.
This cute little organic café on Burnet Road serves up healthy, hearty portions of eggs, vegetables, sausage, and more… and specializes in extra-scrumptious pancakes. (Check out that big ol’ banana pancake in the photo below!) A huge draw at Pacha, for me at least, is their quality organic coffee. Definitely my favorite way to wake up and caffeinate, but they also serve beer and wine if it’s that kind of morning. Plus it’s all served up in an eclectic, classically funky “chill coffee shop” type of space. The only drawback is that it’s a fairly small seating area, so try to get there early or be prepared to wait awhile.
I generally like Takoba fine for happy hour, dinner, etc. but where they really shine is their brunch! For one thing, they boast a gigantic (and dog-friendly, yay) patio that’s great for groups. Secondly, carafes of mimosas for just $7 (or you can order them one at a time for $1.50 a pop). I personally like the ham-and-pea Huevos Motulenos, but Mexican faves like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, migas, and breakfast tacos are definitely a sure thing.
Welp, those are my top 10 can’t-lose Austin brunch recommendations for this spring, but there are plenty of other wonderful options out there: Launderette, Mi Madres, Barlata, Searsucker, Bouldin Creek, Fonda San Miguel, and Texas French Bread are more lovely options sure to please your crowd of hungry (and possibly hungover) friends.
Brunch is my passion and reason for living (okay, slight exaggeration there), so I’m super happy this round-up is part of the official 2016 Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide. Check out the link or click the graphic below for more essential round-ups from Austin’s top food bloggers. Cheers!