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Photo courtesy Charles Lanzieri for Banger’s Sausage House & Beer Garden

The best brunch in Austin

Rise and shine: come stuff your faces Texas-style at the best brunch in Austin, with mimosas all around

James Wong
Written by
James Wong
Contributor
Veronica Meewes
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Since many of the best things to do in Austin involve night-time activity, brunch has always been a rather important occasion (especially in summer when locals prefer to dine out before noon). After all that live musicrooftop bar hopping, and day tripping, waking up past breakfast time’s a treat. Craving French toast with lots of syrup? Be sure to add whipped cream to that. What about bottomless brunch? A drag queen can help your party get turned up. Or how about a wellness brunch? Plant-based goodies are served. There’s something for everyone in Austin, across all price points, whether they’re looking for a dress-up selfie situation or a casual buffet where cameras do not see the light of day. Here are the best brunch restaurants in town for delicious omelets, pastries, pancakes, bacon, biscuits, and, of course, mimosas.

Best brunch in Austin

  • Restaurants
  • Town Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Banger’s has a lot of beer on tap (over 200, across two walls!) 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. Head to the Rainey St staple on Sunday when a live band is welcomed to the stage during brunch. Delicious options include the Banger's Bennie—English muffin topped with braised pork belly, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and spicy potatoes (a veggie option is also available) and the Shrimp & Grit made with oh-so-juicy sautéed gulf shrimp. To finish, don’t miss their heavenly Bacon Beignets, topped with bacon lardons and powdered sugar. Your cold brew will pair better with nothing else.

For those who don’t know, Ciclo is a brunch institution, an upscale restaurant crafting modern Texan cuisine with a delightful Latin influence. On Saturday, you’ll choose from a la carte options like the Huevos Rancheros (eggs, chorizo, bell pepper, black beans on crispy corn tortilla) alongside magical mixes like the green spritzer juice and the ginger elixir juice. On Sundays, live music falls over a full buffet with omelet and carving stations and a massive loaded dessert bar (hailed as the best in town). We’re talking cookies, crème brûlées, and cheesecake. Book ahead, as it’s always packed out, and look out for special seasonal events to knock back their watermelon-basil margaritas.

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The decadent French-inspired house is a happening weekend boudoir for cocktails and brunch. Sit against sultry velvet walls in the company of fabulously chic antiques, and tuck into delights with a bit of ooh la la (in a good way). The menu features decadent dishes like biscuits and foie gras gravy with duck carnitas and sunny egg, and a French omelet with truffled Boursin cheese, veggie hash, and mixed greens. Alternatively, an impressive seafood tower will fill you with stone crab, gulf shrimp, and ceviche. As for brunch cocktails, our pick is the refreshing Honey Moon Spritzer.

Healthy dining…in Austin? You heard that right. Picnik began as a food trailer with a mission to make real food inclusive and accessible to all, and today boasts three brick-and-mortar locations, including a chic space on South First with a full-service, better-for-you bar (try the Pitaya Margarita, best accompanied by chips and cashew queso). The food menu focuses on seasonal produce and ethically sourced meats, and you’ll find goodness bursting on every plate, including brunch goodies like the keto frittata, smoked salmon benedict, and muffin selection. 

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The Latin-American restaurant and bar alongside Fairmont Austin’s massive rooftop pool is where locals and out-of-towners party during the big events. And party hard they do, in the company of build-your-own Bloody cocktails balanced out with the hearty eggs entomatadas and pork belly. Don’t miss their sweet and satisfying churro French toast topped with whipped cream and cinnamon apple (it is the greatest), as well as drag brunch and drag bingo events hosted by the gals of Austin's EXTRAGRAMS! (they're extra, in case that wasn't obvious).

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Bouldin Creek
  • price 3 of 4

When omelets 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, breakfast banh mi, and our pick, the breakfast Singapore noodles with stir-fried pork, peppers, egg, Madras curry, and watercress. Elizabeth Street also serves a great selection of house-made pastries like ham and cheese croissants and hot, fresh beignets.

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Verbena’s breezy outdoor courtyard is a local’s little secret for all-day drinks and nibbles, but on weekends brunchers in the know come and pack this place out. If you’re looking to spill the T with a friend, this is where to do it. Ask for a table out in the flourishing courtyard and spill away, whether that’s in the company of espresso or cocktail. Menu items include the classic Verbena brunch with eggs, toasted sourdough, potatoes, bacon, or sausage, and the short rib hash with cheese and fried egg. Oh, and there’s no need to leave to check in on the pooch; the courtyard is dog-friendly.

  • Restaurants
  • Trucks
  • Central East Austin
  • price 1 of 4

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 (topped with pork shoulder, onion, and pepper), and a variety of toasts from pesto to cinnamon—plus hot and cold-brewed coffee from Tweed Coffee Roasters.

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Caroline is always buzzing on weekends, and that is because their brunch is so darn good (and the ingredients are all fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced). Our faves include the crispy chicken and waffles, and the biscuits and gravy, not to mention the spinach and feta egg white omelet with heirloom tomatoes. The beverage menu is extensive, featuring brunch cocktails, juices and smoothies, and artisanal coffee from the dedicated cafe where pastries and cake tempt. Upstairs at Caroline offers rooftop games if you want to continue the party.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Bouldin Creek
  • price 2 of 4

Mattie’s delightful brunch takes place 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. Naturally, you’ll want to tack the mimosa package to your table—a bottle of bubbles and five oz. of orange juice or go easy with a Bloody Mary with pickled okra instead.

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Searching for one of the city’s premier drag brunches? Bring your squirrels over to TRACE at the W Austin. The breezy downtown restaurant peddles the finest flavors of central Texas, and on weekends these are spruced up with eggs, hollandaise sauce, and bubbly OJ. Start with the illy coffee and doughnut holes, fill up on the pork belly benedict, and then party through the afternoon with mimosa carafes in the company of Austin’s Vylette Ward and friends. Patio lip-synching at its very best. 

  • Restaurants
  • Market District
  • price 2 of 4

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. Ask about the boozy off-menu chrysanthemum-tea mimosas, which are just a dollar—meaning you can pound ’em back without spending a fortune. Wu Chow also opened a mini-me outpost (Little Wu at Fareground food hall) for those who prefer a more casual (but equally tasty) daytime dumpling affair.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Oak Hill
  • price 2 of 4

There are a few incredible over-the-top brunch buffets in town (we’re looking at you, Ciclo), 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, farmer’s market veggies, chicken-fried chicken, pork tenderloin, and a display of house-made pastries from pastry chef Dee Dee Sanchez. We also love their fruity brunch cocktails, like the Pomegranate Sangria, Cherry Bomb Mimosa, and Orange Crush.

  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • South River City
  • price 3 of 4

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 omelet. Factor in delicious brunch cocktails (the Pineapple Fizz is a bubbly refresher), and people-watching on South Congress has never been better. 

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