Brunch by Neighborhood
10 best brunches in downtown Austin, from familiar favorites to new gems
When hunger strikes after visiting the farmers market or strolling through art galleries, head on over to one of these brunch spots for a leisurely meal. Downtown Austin is home to numerous brunch gems, so it was a challenge to narrow down the choices. This best-of list includes a few familiar favorites and some newer ones that are sure to impress.
Pizza for brunch? Is that even a question? Due Forni, which specializes in both Neapolitan and Roman-style pies, rolled out a brunch menu featuring a pizza topped with house-made sausage, and of course, egg. Other indulgent items include steak and eggs with crisp Tuscan potatoes and a s’mores calzone for those with a sweet tooth. The regular menu is also available, and we urge you to opt for the stracciatella plate (think burata soaked in cream) and (in our humble opinion) the best semolina gnocchi in the city.
This sophisticated newcomer offers a European-style brunch buffet for $40 per guest. The Sunday special includes classics, such as eggs Benedict, gravlax, and fresh oysters. Prelog's also bakes up a range of pastries and breads in house. For $20, add prosecco and mimosas to the mix for an all-you-can-enjoy affair. Diners can kick their feet up on the shaded patio and keep the good times rolling.
For refined Tex-Mex small plates and huevos dishes, this colorful eatery is a no-brainer. The kitchen artfully merges bold flavors with locally sourced ingredients, such as seasonal veggies from Johnson’s Backyard Garden and grass-fed beef from Richardson Farms. For adventurous palates, the Veracruzana (tostadas topped with red wine-braised octopus, charred tomatoes, picholine olives, saffron aioli) is a solid pick. It’s hard not to fall for the Atole con Huevo, a plate of creamy polenta with slow-cooked egg, trumpet mushrooms, salsa morenita and chicken chicharrón.
Savor a taste of France at this laid-back bistro with craft cocktails, pastries and grilled specialties. Diners can expect timeless plates like croque monsieur, niçoise salad and a vegetable goat cheese tartine. For something sweet, the almond French toast with cherry syrup and crème fraîche is a fine choice. Fans of bubbly can take advantage of the Champagne special that features a rotating selection by the glass or bottle.
For special occasions, this airy brunch spot is worth the splurge. We’re talking a $32 lobster roll that’s loaded to the brim plus a selection of sustainable caviar served with classic accouterments and cornmeal blinis. This is one of the few places in town that sources Pacific oysters, including Shigoku and Chef’s Creek (which are among our faves). For those that prefer land-bound protein, Clark's also offers a toasted sourdough BLT with Niman Ranch bacon and a pan roasted black Angus burger.
Second Bar + Kitchen
This handsome spot is no stranger to food lovers, but did you know that it also houses an extensive brunch menu? Several dozen items are sectioned into starters, eggs and plates, salads and sandwiches, and even pizzas. The chef throws a Texas spin on traditional brunch fare, like the Texas Beneditct: pulled pork, jalapeño corn biscuits and chorizo gravy. This is the ideal restaurant to take picky eaters, because they’re bound to find something they’ll enjoy.
On Sundays, the Bonneville serves up its signature style of New American cuisine that integrates classic French cooking techniques. Besides savory brunch items like the chipotle-lime chicken hash and heirloom tomato tart with goat cheese, the Bonneville also bakes up delectable pastries like pecan sticky buns and mini pop-overs. Check the website for the next Pajama Brunch, where guests get a free mimosa when they don their comfiest nighttime wear.
Known for its eclectic style, this eatery cranks out over-the-top dishes for the weekend crowd. Some of the playful offerings include the Forbidden Rice Bibimbap with a poached farm egg and house-made kimchee, and the TCB, brioche French toast with peanut butter, house-cured bacon and salted caramel bananas. Swift's also dishes up a Straight Plate (eggs, home fries and choice of meat).
Goodall’s Kitchen & Bar
Tucked inside the beautifully restored Hotel Ella, this breezy location is home to an excellent Southern-style brunch. The menu showcases homey favorites with a polished twist, including deviled eggs with candied bacon, shrimp and jalapeño grits, and ricotta hot cakes with bananas and maple syrup. The bar designed brunch cocktails just for the occasion, such as the Goodall’s Blunderbuss, a prosecco drink with Ford’s gin, rosemary and lemon.