With its lineup of bacon, biscuits, and mimosas by the pitcher, brunch isn’t exactly the lightest meal of the week. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip it. Hearty grains, heaps of veggies, and thoughtful, healthful fare can ensure Sunday Funday isn’t ruined by a food coma. These Austin restaurants are putting a healthy spin on the weekend tradition, so go ahead and have your (pan)cake and eat it, too.
The Italian deli in Lamar Union launched its brunch menu December 1 and it lives up to the restaurant’s delicious reputation. For a healthy option, order the breakfast hash (insider tip: add a soft-boiled egg on top), an avocado mushroom sandwich on whole wheat bread, or a chia pudding bowl with just a little naughtiness from a candied pecan crumble.
For those considering a plant-based lifestyle, this vegan mainstay’s brunch is the ideal place to start. Even the most fervent omnivore won’t miss the meat in dishes like a raw oatmeal banana split topped with a luscious date-sweetened chocolate sauce or smother potatoes with broccoli, black beans, and smoked cashew cheese. A glass of freshly squeezed orange juice makes for a nice eye-opener.
Joann’s Fine Food
At first glance, this stylishly retro concept from McGuire Moorman Hospitality and Bunkhouse Group may not seem like the ideal place for a lighter brunch. Dishes like a trendy avocado smoothie made with coconut milk and the dazzling rainbow salad are among the healthy options to help kick-start the weekend. Even the indulgent queso gets a healthy-ish makeover thanks to a substitution of vegan soyrizo.
The Peached Tortilla
This Burnet Road favorite’s avocado toast is an obvious choice for those who need to fuel up before Pilates class, especially when topped with the protein power of soft scrambled eggs. The Thai Chop Chop salad is robust, with a filling blend of tofu, chopped Napa cabbage, crisp green apple, Fresno chiles, and peanuts. A small sprinkle of fried shallots adds just the right amount of crunch.
This wildly popular chain is known for decadent pancakes (and mid-day cocktails), but the winter menu, debuting December 20, has two perfect items to help you get a start of New Year’s resolutions. The Makin’ It Grain Bowl features plenty o' fiber with a blend of farro, black rice, and quinoa topped with caramelized onions, arugula, and watermelon radishes. The ancient grain Benedict puts a new twist on the brunch classic with tomato ragout and toasted veggie farro cakes.
Wild Chix & Waffles
As of last week, North Austin’s Wild Chicken & Waffles is running a 100 percent gluten-free kitchen. While many of the dishes are made with crispy fried chicken, the Waffocado (waffle bites with avocado, sprouts, cilantro, and tomatoes) offers flavor without the extra fat. Order it with a side of the eatery’s creamy vegan coleslaw.