Austin is a city that is in love (maybe obsessed?) with brunch. Almost every restaurant in town offers some kind of weekend brunch menu. There are nearly 300 options in the downtown neighborhood alone!
With so many to choose from, we thought it may be helpful to narrow the field. So here is our list of the best brunches in Austin.
For an old-school Austin brunch
An Austin institution since 1950, Cisco’s is no frills and all charm. Serving Austin staples like migas, breakfast tacos, and their legendary biscuits, it’s a family-owned haven among the condos and cocktail bars that have sprung up around it.
Under new ownership (but still within the same family), Cisco’s recently made some ingredient upgrades while keeping the menu essentially the same. The building was recently granted Historic Landmark status, which will hopefully protect this icon for years to come.
For a party brunch
This massive beer garden comes alive on Sundays when a brass band plays tribute to its favorite pop songs. You haven’t really heard Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” until you’ve heard it out of a tuba.
Food includes steak and eggs, corned beef hash, and of course, the Manmosa — a whole bottle of champagne in a liter mug, topped with OJ. If that’s not your style, they have the largest tap wall in the city. Think 200 options will be enough?
For Mexican brunch
We are absolutely swimming in Mexican brunch here in Austin. But standing out from the crowd is Suerte, a lovely modern space focusing on food from Oaxaca, Mexico. The Recado Negro Mole Tamale is a must-try — pork shoulder, tomato salsa, crispy pig ears, and a sunny-side-up egg.
If you’re looking for a cocktail, try the El Charro. It’s made with raicilla, a mezcal-like spirit distilled from agaves. They add charred tomato, peppery ancho verde, and lime for a unique savory sipper.
Where: 1800 E 6th St
Phone: (512) 953-0092
For drag brunch
Irene’s brunch menu is centered around their popular biscuits. Get there early, or they may sell out! But the star of the show is Drag Brunch, hosted by the magnificent Rhonda Jewels on the last Saturday of every month. Plus, $5 rosé, frosé, and rosé bubbles at both the indoor and patio bars!
For an elevated diner brunch
Sometimes, you just want a classic plate of bacon and eggs. 24 Diner has all the brunch go-to's like waffles, French toast, and biscuits and gravy. But they also embrace the local vegetarian community with lots of options like veggie frittatas, veggie and vegan hash, and oatmeal. Their vegetarian sausage is a must-try, even for the most devoted meat eater.
For a Southern brunch buffet
Moonshine keeps their patio cool in summer with misters and fans, and warm in winter with an enclosure and heaters. It’s a good thing, too, because their Southern brunch buffet is one you’ll want to visit year ‘round.
Fried chicken, chili mac & cheese, and green chile cheese grits are some of the highlights. Make sure to leave room for bread pudding!
For a fresh bakery brunch
An unassuming, classic-looking bakery gives way to a unique beer garden overlooking Waller Creek right downtown. Dishes like the Breakfast Sandwich and Avocado Toast highlight their house-made bread. They also have a great tap wall, focusing on local and craft beers.
If you’re not looking for a full meal, try a pain au chocolat or cinnamon knot, along with a Bengal Spiced Latte — espresso, cardamom, and white chocolate. Or, pick up a loaf of sourdough to bring home.
Emmer & Rye
For an upscale brunch
James Beard-nominated chef Kevin Fink likes to keep things interesting with brunch at Emmer & Rye. They completely change their brunch menu and concept every three months. Their first theme was Caribbean (hello, coconut french toast with caramelized bananas!), with American Diner and French Brasserie & Bubbles on deck.
Don’t fill up too much. After your meal, they’ll roll around their dim sum cart with tasty desserts for you to pick and choose.
Where: SkyHouse, 51 Rainey St #110
Phone: (512) 366-5530