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Odd Duck brunch
Photograph: Courtesy Richard Casteel

The best brunch in Austin for every mood

Wake up, sunshine. We’re stuffing our faces at the best brunch places in Austin with buffets, burgers and Benedicts.

By Veronica Meewes

The best brunch in Austin is more than a meal: It’s an hours-long celebration (and especially necessary after hitting Austin's best bars the night before). But with seemingly every restaurant getting in on the omelette action, it’s hard to choose what’s worth waking up for. Bottomless brunch? French toast on wheels? Whatever you’re craving, we’ve got the spot for basking in the best meal of the week, including the best brunch burgers, live music brunches and even Austin's top BBQ disguised as brunch. See you out there with a mimosa in hand!

Best brunch places in Austin

Photograph: The Whistler & the Well

1. Best brunch on wheels: Paperboy

Restaurants Trucks Central East Austin

This place became a fast favorite for its daily breakfast at an East Austin trailer before opening a second location outside Radio Coffee & Beer. The menu lists essentials like breakfast sandwiches (goat sausage and egg with mushroom-onion relish on brioche), a rotating hash (currently topped with pork shoulder, onion and pepper) and a seasonal toast—plus hot and cold-brewed coffee from Tweed Coffee Roasters. Sat, Sun 8am-2pm

Fonda San Miguel
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Mindy H.

2. Best for special occasions: Fonda San Miguel

Restaurants Rosedale

Approach the colossal carved doors and vivid tiles adorning this iconic North Loop restaurant and it’s clear you’re in for something a bit different. Fonda San Miguel was the first restaurant to bring interior-style Mexican food to Austin back in 1975, and each Sunday’s Hacienda Brunch buffet features a lavish spread of well-loved classics like huevos rancheros, enchiladas, tamales, cochinita pibil and ceviche. Come hungry to take full advantage of the $40 price tag— but be sure to save room for the decadent dessert table, filled with tres leches cake, flan and Oaxacan chocolate mole cake. Sun 11am-2pm

Odd Duck brunch
Photograph: Courtesy Richard Casteel

3. Best for your squad: Odd Duck

Restaurants Bouldin

You know those nights out with friends you wish would never end? Keep the fun going in the morning by congregating at Odd Duck. The brunch dishes are designed to share and are always changing (think chicken and pancakes with habanero jam and chicken skin). A killer soundtrack and large tables meant for groups make this spot your ultimate Sunday destination. Sun 10:30am-2:30pm

Holy Roller
Photograph: Robert Lerma

4. Best brunch for dinner: Holy Roller

Restaurants American Market District

Evening brunch is the new day brunch, y’all. Since rules are meant to be broken at the irreverent Holy Roller, you can eat indulgent brunch dishes until close every day. Nosh on playful picks like the Time Bomb (warm apple butter, shaved ham and thyme streusel on an apple bun) and yellow-cake pancakes topped with fried chicken and sriracha butter. Weekends still reign superior: Visit chef Callie Speer’s Sunday School Brunch and choose from “seven deadly sins” pastries and cocktail specials before confessing your sins in the neon-lit confessional in the back. Sunday School Brunch 10am-4pm

Elizabeth St Cafe
Photograph: Henry Hargreaves

5. Best east-meets-west brunch: Elizabeth Street Cafe

Restaurants French Bouldin Creek

When omelettes and pancakes just won’t cut it, head to the breezy jewel-toned Elizabeth Street Cafe for a French-Vietnamese twist on brunch. Choose from dishes like pork belly steamed buns with poached eggs, breakfast brisket pho and breakfast banh mi—plus house-made pastries like ham and cheese croissants and hot, fresh beignets. Sat, Sun 11am-2:30pm

Emmer & Rye
Photograph: Kirsten Kaiser Photography

6. Best brunch pastries: Emmer & Rye

Restaurants American Town Lake

House-made strudels are on plenty of brunch menus, but the pastry program at Emmer & Rye is next-level. Pastry chef and partner Tavel Bristol-Joseph mills heirloom grains and uses seasonal produce to bake goodies like persimmon cream cheese kolaches, rosemary popovers with apple compote and salted crème fraîche, and corn cake with whipped lemon cream and toasted meringue. Make your selection from a pastry cart that circles the sunlit dining room throughout brunch service. Sun 11am-9pm


7. Best BBQ disguised as brunch: Freedmen's

Restaurants West University

In Texas we sometimes wake up craving barbecue (let’s blame the live oak smoke wafting through the air). Skip the lines at local favorites like Franklin and La Barbecue and make a Sunday afternoon reservation at Freedmen’s, where smoked meat gets remixed into dishes like the brisket Benedict with smoked tomato hollandaise and jalapeño cheddar grits. Pro tip: Get a Holy Mary for the table to share. The whiskey-based Bloody Mary topped with the restautant’s Holy Trinity (sausage, rib and brisket) is a sight to be seen. Sun 11am-4pm

Photograph: Courtesy Mattie's

8. Best Southern brunch: Mattie's

Restaurants American Bouldin Creek

During the summer, the revamped Mattie’s launched brunch in the former Green Pastures location—and we’ve never been so enamored of grits. Enjoy light-as-air biscuits, decadent fried-chicken eggs Benedict or cheesy grits topped with bacon and eggs—whatever you choose, you’ll feel the Southern hospitality while strolling the oak-shaded grounds among peacocks. Sat, Sun 11am-2pm

Wu Chow
Photograph: Natalie Paramore

9. Best dim sum: Wu Chow

Restaurants Market District

Farm-driven Chinese cuisine is yours for the taking all week at Wu Chow, but come Sunday, the focus is on dim sum handmade by chef Ling Qi Wu. There’s no cart service, so each dish comes out hot, fresh and made to order—including Wu’s lauded juicy Shanghai pork soup dumplings. Be sure to ask about the boozy off-menu chrysanthemum-tea mimosas, which are just a dollar—meaning you can pound ’em back without spending a fortune. Sun 11am-3pm

Photograph: Annie Whitehead

10. Best of-the-sea brunch: Perla's Seafood & Oyster Bar

Restaurants Seafood South River City

Austin is hours from the coast, but you’d never know it on Perla’s sunny, nautically inspired patio. The extensive weekend brunch menu features cold-bar classics, po’ boys, market seafood with sides and signature entrées like crab Florentine and a lobster omelette. Factor in special brunch cocktails (the Pineapple Fizz is a bubbly refresher), and people-watching on South Congress has never been better. Sat, Sun 10:30am-2:30pm

Jack Allen's Kitchen
Photograph: Kenny Braun Photography

11. Best brunch buffet: Jack Allen's Kitchen

Restaurants American Oak Hill

There are a few incredible over-the-top brunch buffets in town (we’re looking at you, Four Seasons), but when it comes to the intersection of value and quality, Jack Allen’s Kitchen wins every time. Chef Jack Gilmore’s massive Sunday spread includes favorites like his tomato basil pie and green chili pork, plus farmer’s market veggies, chicken-fried chicken, pork tenderloin and a display of house-made pastries from pastry chef Dee Dee Sanchez. Sun 10am-2pm

Native burger
Photograph: Charles Reagan

12. Best brunch burger: Native Hostel

Hotels Hostels Swedish Hill Historic District

Native Hostel is a new hot spot on seemingly everyone’s lips right now. The stylish digs are a legit happy hour destination every day, but their weekends are just as popuar. Chef Virginia Pharr’s next-level burger is spread with mustard sauce, topped with spring mix and stacked with Granny Smith apples, a sausage-cheddar frittata and caramelized onions on brioche. You’ll need some time to conquer the tower, which is available only on the weekend brunch menu. Sat, Sun 7am-3pm

Photograph: Richard Casteel

13. Best hotel brunch: Geraldine's

Restaurants Town Lake

Located on the fourth floor of Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s has become a Sunday funday brunch destination. The chic, inviting space boasts a gallery kitchen, a stage for live music, a rooftop pool and quite possibly the best cocktail program of any restaurant in Austin. Weekend brunch (think quinoa breakfast salad and decadent croque-madame) is served alongside laid-back jazz from a rotating cast of local musicians starting at 11am on Sundays. Sun 9am-1:30pm

Photograph: Courtesy of Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

14. Best brunch with live music: Banger's Sausage House & Beer Garden

Restaurants Town Lake

Banger’s has a lot of beer on tap (104 to be exact!) and another 50 in bottles and cans. But you won’t find Bud or Miller here, just a solid selection of craft beers from Austin and beyond with plenty of sours, IPAs, pale ales and witbiers—aka beers perfect for day drinking at Banger’s relaxed outdoor (and indoor) beer garden on Rainey Street. Head to the Rainey St staple on Sunday, when a brass band is welcomed to the stage during the Big Band Brunch, which features specials like corned brisket hash and pastrami-cured salmon along with the famous liter-size Manmosa. Sun 10am-4pm

Eberly burger
Photograph: Julia Keim

15. Best use of hollandaise: Eberly

Restaurants Bouldin

Bustling nonstop with Austin’s see-and-be-seen crowd since its opening, Eberly's beautiful concept space—a mixture of new and old—has quickly become one of Austin's top spots for brunch. And they're making you fall in love with hollandaise all over again, and in a totally different way: slathered on a burger. Eberly’s brunch-exclusive Prime Burger comes with lettuce, tomato, onion, fried egg and cheddar hollandaise on brioche with crispy fries. Swoon. Sat, Sun 10am-2pm

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