Austin brunch is an event. Granted, brunch really seems to be taking off as a trend in most cities; it’s a great way for restaurants to bring in a little extra revenue on the weekends. But Austin, a city full of people who proudly wear the “keep Austin weird” slogan for all to see, who thrive in casual situations (“formal attire?” eh, sandals are probably fine…), and who are happy to lazily spend time at a loooong slow meal on a Sunday morning followed by a dip in Barton Springs…. Austin was made for brunching.
Every Sunday, crowds of hazy, hungry Austinites venture to downtown, Rainey Street, east/south/north Austin, and beyond in search of caffeine, carbs, and cocktails.
Whether you want an all-you-can-eat buffet, a boozy brunch, or just a calm patio meal, I’ve got 13 of the most impressive brunches here in Austin to share with you.
1. All-you-can-eat buffet brunch at fonda San Miguel
Available Sundays from 11 – 2
Fonda San Miguel is one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in Austin, and their interior Mexican buffet brunch really shines! If you’re not completely stuffed from the rows and rows of ceviche and guac and homemade tortilla chips, cochinita pibill, chicken in mole and other meat dishes stuffed inside soft, homemade corn tortillas, migas and beans and rice galore, then you’re sure to be tipped over the top when you approach the dessert table with dozens of plates of flan, cookies, breads, puddings, and cakes.
2. Beautiful patio + cocktails at Ah Sing Den
Available Saturdays and Sundays, 11-5
The first time I went to Ah Sing Den was just for cocktails, but I quickly went back to try their brunch. Their gorgeous back patio is a fun oasis to escape the craziness of east Austin (psst: it’s dog friendly, too!) and their chicken + waffle is one of the best in the city (pictured below: “On A Wing And Waffle: Crispy Sweet Potato Waffle, Coconut Fried Chicken, Red Chili Cane Syrup, Scallions, Miso Butter.)
3. Prettiest brunch in austin at Café No Sé
Available Saturdays and Sundays, 10-3
Easily one of Austin’s prettiest brunch nooks (located inside the South Congress Hotel), and the food is top-notch too. Plan on starting with a few pastries for the table from chef Amanda Rockman….her creations are insanely delicious! (She even triumphed over Bobby Flay on the TV show Beat Bobby Flay). I adore the ricotta hotcakes with toasted pecan butter and (when I want a healthier option) the red quinoa porridge.
4. Weekday brunch at the funkadelic
Available Every day from 7 – 3:30
Brunch any day of the week at The Funkadelic! The chef here worked at Whole Foods for 12 years in several roles, including a recipe developer. He put a lot of effort into gathering great ingredients and developing perfect recipes (those pancakes? amazing!) to serve both unique and classic brunch dishes all week long.
5. Classic French brunch at Le Politique
Available Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 – 3
Quiche lorraine, omelette with gruyére, croque madam, and a perfectly rare beef burger are a few of the options at this bright and beautiful downtown French restaurant. I’ve yet to try anything here that I didn’t like! Ooh, and those chocolate croissants? The best I’ve found in Austin!
6. Farm-to-table brunch at Odd Duck
Available Sundays from 10:30 – 2:30
Odd Duck is a farm-to-table restaurant in Austin that is constantly busy and thriving – I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it! I’ve been back many times for their brunch, and because the menu changes based on the ingredients that are available and in season, I know I’ll always try something different and exciting.
7. Thai brunch at Sway
Available Saturdays and Sundays 11-3
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tried this Thai brunch for the first time, but it quickly became one of my favorites in south Austin! The menu is small, but each time is packed with fireworks of flavors and colors and textures. I loved this thai basil waffle + chicken: chicken wing lollipop, pickled fresno, green nahm jihm, tamarind ginger maple syrup, togarashi.
8. Most instagramable brunch at Elizabeth St Cafe
Available Saturdays and Sundays from 11-2:30
Everything here is pretty, but Elizabeth Street is more than good looks! The restaurant serves fun French-Vietnamese brunch items like house-baked brioche french toast and pork belly steamed buns and poached eggs, and there’s typically a wait list for on a weekend. Austin loves this place!
9. Farm-to-table brunch at Jacoby’s Restaurant & Mercantile
Available Saturdays and Sundays from 10-3
Jacoby’s is another farm-to-table brunch that I love! These dishes are a little bigger than the plates at Odd Duck, so if you’d rather have your own entree (rather than share everything) this might be a better option for you.
10. Bright, casual, easy brunch at Chicon
Available Saturdays and Sundays 10-2
This sweet little east Austin nook is the sister restaurant to Contigo, another one of my favorites! Chicon serves locally sources meat and produce, amazing cocktails, and some insanely delicious pastries. They also have a sliding “garage door” style wall that opens up for an indoor-outdoor feel on nice days!
11. Hangover brunch at Holy Roller
Available every day at 10 am
Chef Callie Speer created one of the funnest, funkiest brunches in Austin at Holy Roller. If you’re in need of comfort food, this is your place: trash fries (pictured below), grilled cheesus, migas kolache, and “the local” (made with Stiles Switch brisket and warm biscuits) are there for you to help you fight off last night’s good time…
12. Downtown brunch at Boiler 9 bar + grill
Available Saturdays 11-4 and Sundays 11-2 This is how I describe Boiler 9’s brunch to my friends: it’s just a really good, simple, classic brunch in a beautiful setting. Haha! It’s great for those days when you don’t want any incredibly weird flavors or shareable plates or anything super crazy. You can make reservations, so you won’t have to wait, and it’s downtown at the Seaholm, so you can park in that parking garage. Easy and delicious!
13. Sweet little french kitchen: Epicerie
Available Sundays from 10:30-3
I’m especially partial to this place because it’s where my husband and I met for our 3rd date (he was 45 minutes late from getting stuck in marathon traffic…I forgave him and now it’s just a funny story). It’s a great date spot! It’s also a sweet little place to brunch with your parents or a small group of girlfriends.