Austinites may wake up early most days, but when it comes to the weekends there is no city that embraces brunch like Austin does. From the traditional American brunch to Southwestern- style cooking, there is no shortage of fun morning restaurants in Austin, Texas. We’ve been busy updating our previous guide to brunch to bring you the top 10 places to have a quirky, laid- back breakfast this Sunday.
The Eastside Cafe has been providing a fresh mix of eclectic food for years, with dishes ranging from healthy to indulgent. Eastside provides meals like steaks and chicken, as well as vegetarian entrees using fresh veggies and ingredients that are locally sourced. The brunch is known for the smoked salmon benedict, which features poached eggs and smoked salmon on an English muffin. If that doesn’t sound appealing, try the baked brie with apple chutney — sure to get your taste buds tingling. Located in a cute, homely center, the dining experience is fun and cozy.
In 1988, Sharon Watkins decided to combine an old bakery with American-style bistro cuisine to create Chez Zee, a whimsical restaurant that has enamored Austin locals ever since. Chez Zee is known for its charming appearance, from art pieces to walkway lights, with board games inside that create a friendly atmosphere. Nothing beats the food, however — a brunch that includes the award-winning challah bread and crème brûlée mixture, soaked overnight, baked and toasted to order. This family friendly restaurant even does a special brunch for the kids, including pancakes and a grilled cheese.
Annies Cafe is the oldest restaurant downtown and has been a fixture for over 30 years, providing locals with its amazing breakfast, lunch, full bar, dinner and brunch service. The brunch is made using locally sourced, house-made classics out of as many organic ingredients as possible. In fact, Annies is partnered with the City of Austin as a nationally recognized Business Retention Program to support homegrown businesses. Stop by and try a Saturday or Sunday brunch including a nicoise salad or fried egg sandwich. Annies also has morning wake- up drinks such as the Bloody Mary and mimosa.
Chef Sarah McIntosh is responsible for the French Louisiana-style cafe and grocery store Epicerie, which serves brunch, lunch, and dinner as well as casual coffee and snacks. While they have an amazing crème brulee and cheese board offering, the brunch is a main highlight, with ‘scrapple’ — a combination of brioche toast, parsley, onion and fried egg. For a more simple approach try the ‘mad dog’, featuring syrup on fresh buttermilk pancakes.
Welcome to La Condesa—a modern Mexican restaurant nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for ‘Best New Restaurant’ upon opening. Developed by Chef Rene Ortiz and currently operated under the direction of Chef Rick Lopez, La Condesa features an expansive menu that is perfect for Texas. Alongside the craft bar program, La Condesa is known for its prime location right in the 2nd Street District where City Hall stands. But to draw people in further, La Condesa has a meaty brunch offering roasted chicken, poached shrimp and braised fennel. While not the perfect spot for vegetarians, there is something for everyone and the portions are generous.
Owned by the same operators as the famed Trudy’s, South Congress Cafeproves that it can compete by offering a daily brunch full of fresh egg, salads and ethnic-inspired foods. The majority of entrees can trace their roots to traditional Mexican dishes, but have been redone to provide guests with the best of both worlds. The crab enchiladas are always a favorite for seafood fans, and are topped with guajillo sauce, lime rice, black beans and lime sour cream. Some of the food is spicy and can be made to order, so be ready to design your perfect meal.
Looking for an authentic Italian dining experience without leaving Austin? Taverna provides just the thing with its warm, neighborhood feel, even though it rests in a prized spot on 2nd Street. The chefs at Taverna attempt to recreate Italian fare using seasonal ingredients in surprising entrees that range from pan-seared sea bass to delicate risotto. Risotto is actually the flagship dish at Taverna, which is made out of only Carnaroli rice (often known as the king of rice). If dining during brunch, however, be sure to try the eggs benedict or create your own omelet
It’s not a pharmacy, but Apothecary does provide locals with restorative breakfast and lunch options. Chef Albert Gonzalez and his team make all meals from fresh, quality ingredients to deliver rotating menus based on the seasons. Even the weekly specials change, and could include shared plates like cheese and charcuterieto desserts that are rich and creamy. For brunch on Sundays, try the quail and waffle specialty which serves grits over a fresh liege waffle. The berry turnover is another great option thanks to the seasonal berries and crème anglaise, so stop by this cute establishment owned and operated by a group of friends.
Manuel’s is known for having regional Mexican-style cooking, thanks to the training that founder Greg Koury received from his grandparents. Manuel’s moves beyond the traditional tex-mex fare to create interior and coastal Mexican foods served in a contemporary setting. Manuel’s has a relationship with the city of Austin, providing food for charitable organizations and fundraising for the performing arts. In fact, some regular customers refer to themselves as ‘Manuelians’. To join this proud group, stop by for brunch and enjoy the Mexican mimosa with huevos rancheros. These eggs served alongside tortilla chips are topped with exquisite salsa made in-house.
Josephine House is the sister restaurant to Austin dining institution Jeffrey’s, and offers lunch, brunch, happy hour, and dinner to its patrons. It even has a specialty Monday night steak frites on its artisan menu. This cute cottage in Clarksville, a tiny part of Austin, has a small marble bar for coffee or drinks as well as an intimate dining room setting. There are even outdoor patio nooks and grassy lawns for lounging and eating. Chef Alex Manley prepares a daily menu depending on the local availability of ingredients, so stop by for a brunch of fresh bread and burrataor lemon ricotta pancakes.