Beats and Eats
7 awesome Austin brunches to check out before ACL Fest
With hundreds of restaurants poaching eggs and pouring mimosas during both ACL Fest weekends, it can be difficult to decide just where to have your pre-festival brunch. Lucky for you, we’re here to make it easy. Scan below and pick your favorite festival headliner. We'll have an out-of-the-box recommendation that will keep you fueled until the last shuttle leaves Zilker Park.
If you like Red Hot Chili Peppers, eat at Café no Sé
Although guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is the only current member of the band who is a native, the funk rockers have made a career of chronicling Southern California in hits such as "Under the Bridge," "Out in LA," and "Dani California." You can be sure during that time they’ve had a lot of avocado toast. Brunch like a Chili Pepper with Café no Sé’s ultra West Coast menu including dishes like Paleo granola, red quinoa porridge, and tuna poke that will leave you light enough to commit some "Californication" — or at least make it through ACL Sunday night.
If you like The xx, eat at Vox Table
The British band may fill stadiums now, but they built their fanbase on minimal beats and spare vocals — a perfect fit for Vox Table’s quiet, marble-filled dining room. Gather yourself before a day of screaming crowds with elegant takes on brunch classics like a poutine made with pork hash, a simple omelette stuffed with farmers market veggies, and olive oil pancakes topped with walnut and fig butter and maple syrup. And of course you are going to want to liven up the mood with a mimosa carafe, just like the band amped up their sound with tropical and house beats on their latest album, I See You.
If you like Jay-Z, eat at Counter Culture
The rapper made headlines in 2013 when he announced that he and Beyoncé were embarking on a 22-day vegan challenge. While the famous couple reportedly hasn’t eliminated animal products from their diet altogether, they still often extol the virtues of a plant-based diet. Do as they say with a brunch from one of Austin’s too-few all-vegan brick-and-mortars. We especially like the country biscuit bowl with seitan sausage and tons of pickled jalapeños. It goes great with a tall glass of (lavender) lemonade.
If you like Gorillaz, eat at Lucky Robot
Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s cartoon band has always been a hodgepodge of influences, encompassing science fiction, anime, hip-hop, '80s electro, and pop — the same aesthetic that defines Lucky Robot’s bright, graffiti-filled South Congress space. Their Tokyo Brunch, available both Saturday and Sunday, features bento boxes, panko-fried soft eggs, and a pork okonomiyaki served with avocado and crispy shallots.
If you like Martin Garrix, eat at Kinda Tropical
Like seemingly every other DJ who rocks a laptop, the wunderkind EDM star of late is flirting with sounds that evoke palm trees, ocean waves, and endless summer days. Get in on the good vibes with this East Austin bar’s warm-weather menu featuring light meals like a rainbow rice bowl stuffed with kale, cucumber, radish, carrot, and herbs and simple toasts featuring everything from seasonal veggies to cinnamon and butter. The beer and wine cocktails are a good way to lure you back into civilization if you’ve been raving all night.
If you like Run the Jewels, eat at Elizabeth Street Cafe
El-P has often says in interviews that Vietnamese is his go-to tour food, and we can’t think of a better cuisine to shake up our brunch routine. Instead of the same ole Benedict, try a breakfast bánh mì with eggs and a variety of toppings like ginger pork sausage, crispy pork belly and avocado, or sautéed mushrooms and chiles. We also can’t get enough of the brioche French toast slathered with Thai basil compote and brown butter syrup and crowned with a scoop of condensed milk ice cream. Order it with a Vietnamese coffee for all-day energy.
If you like Solange, eat at Mattie’s at Green Pastures
In 2013, Solange made New Orleans her home, and the move has had a profound influence on her music and her aesthetic. Mattie's may be a Texas jewel, but if the beautifully decorated restaurant were in her hometown, we’re sure it would be a set for one of her effortlessly chic music videos (the main dining room’s walls even match the pale pinks she used in “Cranes in the Sky”). But it’s not all looks, Mattie’s has a Southern-influenced brunch menu, featuring Anson Mills grits; fried chicken Benedicts,;and a vegetable bowl with butternut squash, kale, and avocado. Oh, and a milk punch that will get you ready for some interpretive dancing.