After a hard week of the rise and grind, there’s no better way to blow off some steam than getting together with friends and brunching like there is no tomorrow. Mimosa pitchers and Bloody Marys aside, there’s something special about indulging in your favorite breakfast-meets-lunch fair while enjoying a warm Saturday or Sunday afternoon. In Austin, brunch is more than a meal– it’s an event worth dressing up for. So you don’t want to waste it on some mediocre spot. You want the best. And we’re not talking about a bagel on-the-go situation… we only wanted to pick what we consider true brunch spots to crave. Here are our top picks for the best brunch spots in Austin
photo credit to Yelp user Shivani R.
In a town littered with cheap, plywood condos, it’s nice to see an old building refurbished. That’s exactly what you get with Launderette– an old gas station-slash-laundromat converted into a cute and chic New American café. Their brunch menu features fresh, whole ingredients and housemade pastries that may be simple, but it doesn’t make them any less crowd-pleasing. Skip the mimosa and opt for the house cocktail Safari Moon made with gin, Salers aperitif, Suze liqueur, lemon, and a splash of prosecco.
photo credit to Yelp user Thomas C.
You may not think of a hot dog joint whenever you’re picking a great brunch spot, but Frank loves to surprise ya. Their brunch menu is not so much artisan weiners and more the chicken-and-waffles type of fare. You get to pick from classic brunch choices including two different kinds of Benny, shrimp & grits, pulled pork hash, and French toast topped with Makers Mark bourbon blueberry sauce. Be sure to order at least one Red Headed Stranger, their version of a Bloody Mary made with bacon-washed Tito’s vodka, housemade mix, and dressed with bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapeño stuffed olives, and pepperoncini.
Frank @ 2416 Guadalupe // 4th & Colorado
Weekend Brunch: Saturdays & Sundays 11 am-3 pm
photo credit to Yelp user Kimber F.
Cute little hipster gem Hillside Farmacy has a great story. Residing in a building owned by one of the oldest standing African American East Austin residents. After Hillside Drugstore closed in the 70’s, the deteriorating building was restored including re-installing an old-fashioned fountain soda system. The brunch menu limited, to say the least. But each dish features fresh and local ingredients including pasture-raised organic eggs from a farm in Lockhart. Besides, there is beauty in the simplicity of their menu. Don’t miss out on the carafe of mimosas served in a beaker or a locally roasted coffee for some truly Instagram-worthy moments.
photo credit to Yelp user Melissa M.
El Alma is exactly where you want to be on a nice afternoon in Austin. Climb up the stone staircase built into a natural rock formation adorned with tropical plants and a waterfall to the rooftop patio. You have blue skies above you, traffic below you, and a pretty bonkers drink menu on your table. You really can’t go wrong with any of the food on the menu, either. They offer a take on all the Mexican breakfast classics plus a sticky and sweet banana bread pudding topped with cajeta.
El Alma @ 1025 Barton Springs Rd
Weekend Brunch: opens at 10 am
Sawyer & Co.
A good greasy spoon is hard to beat, but this place isn’t really a greasy spoon when you get down to the brass tacks. We like Sawyer & Co. because it’s the kind of place where you can bring your mom without worrying if she will feel overwhelmed by an obnoxious hipster menu– even Boomers can appreciate the Texas-diner-meets-cajun cuisine. Our favorite recommendations include the crabcake Benedict and the house cocktail named– what else?– The Sawyer.
Sawyer & Co @ 4827 E Cesar Chavez St
Weekend Brunch: opens at 9 am
When this “funky punk rock diner” (that’s a description, for ya) opened last year it made a big splash with its female-only staff drawn from the best spots around town and “Sunday School” all-day brunch style. But while the musical genre that inspired the restaurant is generally nihilist, the chef’s philosophy sure as hell doesn’t lean that way. In the words of head chef Callie Speer, “All of the f*cks are given.”
Holy Roller lives up to the hype— there’s no way we couldn’t include it on this list. Start with an order of Trash Fries for the table or a serving of their famous Biscuits and Pimiento Cheese. You can’t go wrong with any of their main plates on the menu, but we’re partial to the Casbah featuring fried chicken, hot honey-buttered biscuit, comeback sauce, fried egg, and sticky maple syrup. Finally, if you are going to save room for dessert, do it here. The Holy Roller take on the Choco Taco is everything you can want and more.
Holy Roller @ 509 Rio Grande St
Weekend Brunch: opens at 10 am
This eastside sot gains its spot on this list because of its build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. We love getting to experiment with a variety of mixers, sauces, and piling on as many crazy toppings as we can. Plus, each Bloody Mary comes with a High Life pony on the side, as is the style in the city of Milwaukee (Algonquin for “The Good Land.”) We also love a menu that rocks that small plates life– definitely order a serving or two of the Brussels sprouts for the table.
For every day you wake up and want to get all fancy and dressed head to toe for a boozy and bougie brunch, there is another day where you would rather gouge your own eyes out than actually try. For those mornings when all you want is something fried, covered in gravy, and served with a hefty side of booze, booze, and more booze, there’s Red’s Porch. The South Lamar staple opened another location off Braker last year, so there’s an option no matter which side of suburbia you’re on. (There’s also one in Round Rock if that’s your thing.)
The brunch offerings are typical– migas, shrimp & grits, omelets– and there are great deals on jumbo Double Wide Mimosas. Or perhaps try the Voodoo Queen. But the real reason to go is the sweatpants-are-acceptable atmosphere. Nobody really cares if you look as bad as you feel– here you can drown your hangover in cheap booze and queso before you head home to nap until Monday.