There’s no shortage of quirky and fun places for a hearty, American brunch in Austin, Texas. Discover our top 10 choices for a brunch restaurant in Austin, Texas through our guide to the city’s brunching scene.
A brunch at Austin’s Fonda San Miguel entails irresistibly tasty Mexican specialties such as enchiladas, burritos or huevos rancheros (fried eggs served upon tortillas with tomato sauce). But Fonda San Miguel flaunts an unparalleled colorful and zesty ambiance. This, in addition to the delicious food, makes it unusual in Austin and beyond. The magnificent entrance, with finely carved wooden doors, and a double frame of majolica with stone works is a down-right piece of art. Both the exterior and interior walls are painted with bright colors. Inside, lush plants and bouquets of flowers, fancy chandeliers, enchanting murals, and beautiful paintings that wouldn’t shame an art gallery are found in every corner. The best spot in the large venue is the central dining room filled with the light coming from the glass ceiling.
Brunch at Olivia means choosing between scrumptious options such as a carnitas omelet of shredded pork, a veggie quiche with zucchini or caramelized onions and Swiss cheese. Or, choose one of the restaurant’s signature dishes: the Olivia Benedict, red wine braised beef, poached eggs and hollandaise. In any event, Olivia’s dishes are expertly prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local producers – if not directly from the backdoor garden. The diner also stands out for its top-notch design. There are clean lines, large windows with wooden staves horizontally scattered across the glass, stone walls and cleverly matched pastel colors used throughout the venue. These make for a genteel allure and a strong retro vibe.
Drive away from the hustle and bustle in Austin’s center and enjoy a ride downtown through Clarksville. This is the city’s peaceful neighborhood dotted with beautiful, historical houses. Josephine House is by far one of the best choices for a filling brunch in the area. It is situated along a tranquil road in a charming wooden house with midnight blue walls and pitched roofs. Josephine’s white bright dining room is extremely homely and welcoming. It feels like actually entering someone’s home rather than a restaurant. Take a seat here on the quaint, shady outdoor patio or in the lovely front lawn to enjoy some simple but absolutely exquisite American brunch grub. This includes a range of snacks, soups, and salads. Josephine House also has a small bar to order a few drinks or just a good cup of coffee.
The only clue inside South Congress Café hinting at the 1940s origins of the building is housed in is the unpainted brick wall in the bar area. Every other corner has been renovated to create the hip but relaxed atmosphere that is the winning point of this spot in Austin. The large dining room is equipped with plenty of booths and small tables to accommodate customers with reservations and walk-ins alike. Guests can dine on a variety of savory courses which cleverly combine the typical flavors of South-Western cuisine with continental influences. Entrees include smoked brisket hash, Spanish migas, delicious carrot cake, French toast and croquemadame.
Located in Austin’s up-and-coming Rainey Street District, No Va is set inside a two-story modern building that rises amid historical 19th-century houses. Hence, the restaurant’s name No Va, Spanish for ‘it doesn’t go’. The eccentricity continues inside with stylish, contemporary touches. Brass light fixtures and leather bar stools, chairs and sofas beautify the airy, light-filled venue. This place is the food haunt of chef Brad Sorenson, a young man climbing up the stairs to cuisine success after participating in a TV cooking show. No Va’s Sunday brunch menu lists classics such as bacon and eggs or mac n’ cheese alongside more creative options like the caramelized cauliflower soup or the pear pecan salad. For cocktails, choose among a Bloody Mary, mimosa, Austin sunrise and many other excellent drinks.
Join Jack Allen’s Kitchen on a Sunday morning for a satisfying brunch in a wonderfully convivial atmosphere. This farm-to-table restaurant only serves food prepared with ingredients sourced from local, trusted farmers that can ensure the freshest and healthiest produce. The kitchen later transforms into a buffet of oh-so salivating culinary treats. These include the chicken fried pork tenderloin, the fresh tomato and basil pie, or the layered enchilada casserole. The spacious and simply decorated venue reflects the authenticity and genuineness that informs the restaurant’s approach to food. It is completed by a friendly and attentive service. Brunch prices are as good as the food.
Elizabeth Street Cafe is a solid alternative for those who might want to try an adventurous, non-American brunch. This restaurant, also open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serves eclectic samples of French-Vietnamese gastronomy. This is especially evident in the great variety of breads, pastries, bành mì (a typical Vietnamese bread similar to the baguette) and croissants on offer. For brunch, customers can taste the sticky rice with ginger sauce and poached eggs. Or, go for something sweet like the mouthwatering nutella & banana stuffed crepe. The cafèes setting is as lovely as the food. Inside, the atmosphere is casual and intimate. The delightful, unpretentious garden patio is without doubt Elizabeth Street’s best corner to have a lazy, delicious brunch.
Ruby red grapefruit brulee, shigoku oysters, ricotta with macerated fruit and crostini, grass-fed lamb burger with harissa sauce, arugula and pickled onion: these and more mouth-watering options can be ordered for a one-of-a-kind Sunday brunch in Austin, provided that reservations are made at recently-opened, fine-dining restaurant LaV. As surprising as the menu, spun with the flavors of South France’s province, is the luxurious setting this upscale diner flaunts. The extreme refinement of the décor, the plush, creamy banquettes, the mood-setting art on the walls and comforting lights create a unique experience that definitely antes up Austin’s dining game, generally anchored to more down-to-earth standards. Not suited to all pockets!
Mettle‘s dark venue is the lavish outcome of the creative efforts by a glass artist, who created the hanging glass sculpture in the main dining room; a metal sculptor, responsible for the wall steel cladding and a quirky cyclone bench sculpture; a woodwork artist, the designer of Mettle’s unique tables; a local painter, who decorated one of the walls with an original painting; and a professional design studio that brought it all together in one charming, contemporary bistro. Chef Andrew Francisco, however, has the lion’s share in Mettle’s success, thanks to his playful and flavorful creations. Highlights from his Sunday brunch menu include the delicious house pastrami sandwich, the beef tongue tacos or the same-old French toasts, served with coconut milk, grilled pears, and a toffee.
For a barbecue restaurant, Lamberts has quite the fancy venue. There are parqueted floors of luscious dark wood and brick walls painted white and Chesterfield green booths. None of these however take anything away from the restaurant’s casual, cozy atmosphere. After all, the most enticing thing about Lamberts is the mouthwatering smell of barbecue upon entering the locale. Lamberts specializes in typically Texan barbecued meats with a contemporary spin. All the offerings are incredibly good and clearly made by expert hands. The sliced beef brisket sandwich with white onion, pickled jalapeño and made-in-house barbecue sauce is fabulous. Brunch is served only on Sundays.