With the restaurant scene in South Austin expanding so speedily, it's quite the task to keep up with all the openings, let alone narrow down the top brunch picks. Not to worry. We've scoured the area for the best new and classic weekend eats. Check out our SoLa and SoCo brunch guides for even more ideas.
It's no secret that this sleek New American restaurant is one of the most exciting openings of 2015, and the brunch game is as on point as the dinner service. Vox Table throws quirky spins on traditional brunch plates, such as the potato churro blini (topped with smoked Tasmanian trout, capers, pickled onions, crumbled egg, and horseradish aioli) and using Yorkshire pudding in place of English muffins in the indulgent butter-poached eggs Benedict. Beyond the inventive cocktail menu, Vox Table also offers tailored brunch beverages like the silly-yet-delicious Saturday Morning 'Toons made with cereal-washed milk and bourbon and served with a side of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Elizabeth Street Cafe
Morning eats reign at this French-influenced Vietnamese eatery, mainly because the pastries are so tasty. Besides baked goods, such as flaky croissants and beignets with house-made preserves, the savory dishes are unique standouts too. The breakfast banh mi with scrambled eggs, ginger pork sausage, cilantro, and jalapeños adds a kick to the morning. Another crowd favorite? Pork belly steamed buns with poached eggs paired with a passion fruit mimosa or bold Vietnamese coffee.
This newcomer unveiled its Latin American coastal seafood concept and has earned warm reception. Alcomar serves a daytime menu every day that feels very much brunchy, due to its lavish nature. Highlights include the Mojo Lobster Omelette with poblanos, goat cheese, and asparagus and a softshell crab torta with grilled lemon aioli, avocado, jalapeños, and pickled onions. Yup, you can add an egg to that too. Specialty cocktails include a watermelon basil mimosa, the horchata-based Brandy Alejandro, and a Bloody Caesar topped with an oyster. If seafood is not your thing, sister restaurant El Alma boasts an expansive patio and dishes up familiar Mexican favorites like enchiladas and chilaquiles with their own spin, of course.
The airy, light-filled Italian establishment with patio seating is best known for its pizzas, pastas, and rotisserie plates. In addition to the usual menu, brunch features are infused with Mediterranean flavors. Shakshuka, a Tunisian-baked egg dish with a harissa tomato sauce and the lamb burger with whipped feta, muhammara (hot pepper dip), and arugula are standouts. A $20 full bottle of bubbly and a carafe of juice is a no-brainer. For coffee lovers, opt for the earthy Summer of 1840, made with Pierre Ferrand 1840, coffee liqueur, cold brew, and walnut liqueur.
St. Philip Pizza Parlor
One certainly cannot argue with pizza and beer, but this family-friendly joint has plenty more to offer. The brunch menu is filled with over-the-top items such as fried chicken and funnel cake with miso butterscotch glaze and Brulee'd French Toast with candied pecans, house-made jam, and creme fraiche. As an alternative to the typical brunch drinks, give the beer cocktails a try. The citrusy Morning, Sunshine (Hops and Grain Zoe, orange, carpano, orange bitters) and the spicy Matador (Tecate, tomato, lime, hot sauce, spices) are our top picks.
Speaking of beer, hop heads can kick back at this easygoing brewery-slash-smokehouse that recently expanded its beer offerings with the latest Barton Springs Pale Ale and Lazy Day Lager. And on weekends, Uncle Billy's dishes up hefty portions of eggs, bacon, and everything you would expect at a good ol' Texas joint. The smoked brisket hash is a popular choice but the Kickin' Chicken & Waffles with fried bananas, chipotle maple syrup, bacon crumbles, and a dusting of powdered sugar will soak up any remnants of the evening past.
Porter Ale House & Gastropub
Oh, how about one more beer-centric spot? This hip gastropub holds nothing back to deliver punch to each dish. Porter's brunch burger, for example, is stacked with bacon jam, white cheddar, and a fried egg, all served on a toasted English muffin. Other indulgent specialties that pair perfectly with beer include a croque madame smothered with beer cheese fondue, French toast sticks with crisp pork belly, and (take a deep breath) tater tot poutine with mushroom velouté, ricotta, and white cheddar. Besides craft brews, they also offer cocktails and wine on tap.
Café No Sé
This new modern-chic eatery in the recently opened South Congress Hotel welcomes diners with clean lines and plenty of light. The health-driven, California-inspired menu is short and sweet and changes seasonally. The big-eye tuna poke bowl and heirloom tomato and peach soup are refreshing starters in the warm weather. Kale salad with crispy rice and avocado toast with soft boiled egg are lighter picks. Try the milk-braised pork sandwich or cheeseburger on a buttermilk bun for larger appetites. This new South Congress spot offers a select list of wines, beers, and classic cocktails.