2013 Austin City Guide: Brunch Spots in South & Downtown Austin

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After moving to Austin in March of last year, I was very overwhelmed with the vast options of restaurants in Austin. One resource that I kept returning to was the Austin Food Blogger Alliance City Guide.

I’m thrilled to be participating in the City Guide this year instead of sitting on the sidelines. When I learned that writing about brunch spots was an option, I was raring to go! Austinites love their brunch!! There are many brunch options in Austin. This list includes ones that I personally recommend or have yet to try, but have heard good things about.

South Congress Ave Brunch Spots:

South Congress Cafe

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If you mention brunch in Austin, the odds are very likely that South Congress Cafe will be on of the first restaurants considered. Come early as it’s very popular. Or just relax with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa while waiting. I’ve always had excellent service here.

What to try: Carrot Cake French toast (if you don’t want that for your whole meal, you can order one slice to share)

Their specials are usually excellent too. I remember having lemon & goat cheese pancakes the last time that I went that were very good.

South Congress Cafe
1600 South Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Monday – Friday, 10 am to 10 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 9 am to 10 pm

Magnolia Cafe

Magnolia Cafe is a 24/7 restaurant and a bit of an institution in the town. It’s always busy, but I’ve never had to wait for more than 10 minutes. Service is fast and the food is solid. You are a bit cramped close to other tables, which is fun if you like to eavesdrop on others’ conversations. :) This isn’t a leisurely brunch spot, in & out!

Magnolia Cafe (2nd location near Lake Austin as well)
1920 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

The Woodland
1716 S. Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
Monday – Friday, 5:00–10:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 10:30 am – 10:00 pm

Perla’s

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Perla’s is more pricy than some other options, but I really enjoy the patio there. I find myself sitting a little straighter when I’m there, which is a good thing. If it’s a drinking brunch, go for an oyster shooter while you’re there.

Perla’s
1400 S. Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78704
Lunch: Monday – Friday, 11:30 am – 3 pm
Dinner: 7 Days, 5:30 pm – Close
Brunch: Saturday – Sunday, 11 am – 2:30 pm
Bar: 7 Days, 3 pm – Close

Snack Bar
1224 S Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
Weekdays 11 am – 11 pm
Weekends 9 am – 11 pm

South 1st Street Brunch Spots:

Bouldin Creek Cafe

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Joe’s Smokin’ Omelet: Spinach, onion, and cheddar-jack cheese, topped with chipotle-pecan pesto.

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El Tipico: 2 scrambled eggs served with a potato hash cake, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa and warm tortillas

Bouldin Creek is a vegetarian cafe on South 1st Street. I didn’t realize that it was there for the longest time. And then I was a bit nervous that it was too “granola-y” for me. But I recently had brunch at Bouldin Creek with Suzanna. We both really enjoyed our food. The Joe’s Smokin’ Omelet was very good!! I recommend putting that chipotle-pecan pesto on everything!!

Bouldin Creek Cafe
1900 South First
Austin, Texas 78704
Monday – Friday, 7am to midnight
Saturday – Sunday, 8am to midnight

Elizabeth Street Cafe

1501 S. First Street
Austin, Texas 78704
every day, 8 am – late

Freddie’s Place

I’ve yet to go to Freddie’s yet, but just learned this week that they have a 50 item Bloody Mary & Maria bar/buffet on the weekends from 11 am – 4 pm. I heard it was great with tons of options to make your own drink to your level of spiciness—lots of spicy for me!! Anyone want to meet me there on Sunday? ;)

Freddie’s Place
703 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
every day, 7 – 10:30 pm

Polvo’s
2004 S 1st St
Austin, TX 78704
every day, 7 – 11 pm

South Lamar Brunch Spots:

Kerbey Lane Cafe

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Kerbey Lane Cafe is very popular with multiple locations in Austin. It’s a real crowd pleaser. I took my Dad and aunts & uncles there for brunch over Christmas. Everyone really loved it. It’s a good option for out of town guests that have a variety of tastes.

Kerbey Lane Cafe (there’s also a SW location on W William Cannon)
3003 South Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
OPEN 24/7

Red’s Porch
3508 S. Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78704
Sunday – Friday, 11 am – Midnight
Saturday, 11 am – 1 am

Olivia

Olivia is another brunch spot that’s still on my list to try. I have heard excellent things though. Kristin has been there and oh man, that burger looks awesome!

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Olivia Benedict: red wine braised beef, poached farm eggs, hollandaise, biscuit

**Olivia pictures used with permission from Mad Betty.

Olivia
2043 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
Sunday – Thursday, 5:30 pm – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday, 5:30 pm – 11 pm
BRUNCH Saturday – Sunday, 10 am – 2:30 pm

Slaughter Lane/Circle C Brunch Spots:

Satellite Bistro & Bar
5900 Slaughter Lane #400
Austin, TX 78749
Monday – Thursday, 4:30 pm – 9 pm
Friday – Saturday, 11 am – 10 pm
Sunday, 10 am – 9 pm

Galaxy Cafe (multiple locations)
9911 Brodie Lane
Austin, Texas 78748
every day, 7 am – 10 pm

Maudie’s (multiple locations)
9911 Brodie Lane
Austin, TX 78748
Sunday – Thursday, 8 am – 9:30 pm
Friday – Saturday, 8 am – 10:30 pm

Downtown Brunch Spots:

Haddington’s ***edited March 2013–Haddington’s is now closed

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I’ve been to Haddington’s for brunch several times. This isn’t very brunch-y, but man oh man, they make a great Moscow Mule! No Mimosa or Bloody Mary for me when I go here…Moscow Mule all the way!

I believe they may have altered the menu recently, but I have had the pretzel bread egg sandwich, angel food cake french toast, donuts with espresso dipping sauce, gouda & apple omelet, and the fried chicken eggs benedict. I recommend the fried chicken eggs benedict.

Haddington’s
601 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
Bar – daily, 4 pm – 11:30 pm
Dinner:
Sunday – Thursday, 5 – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday, 5 – 11 pm
Brunch:
Saturday – Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm

Frank

A hot dog & beer place for brunch? Yes, yes, yes!! Just ask Melissa. She sold me on the place.

I really enjoy the coffee at Frank. Cocktail-wise, the Kentucky Peach (Maker’s Mark, fresh basil and peach, house-made lemonade, rocks) is perfect.

Frank
407 Colorado St
Austin, TX 78701
Monday – Tuesday:
Open at 7 am; Breakfast 8 am – 11 am
Lunch and Dinner, 11 am – 10 pm
Late Night and Bar, 10 pm – Midnight
Wednesday – Saturday:
Open at 7 am; Breakfast 8 am – 11 am
Lunch and Dinner, 11 am – 10 pm
Late Night and Bar, 10 pm – 2 am
Sunday:
Brunch 10 – 3 pm
Brunch For Drunks Limited Menu 3 – 5 pm
Dinner 5 pm – 10 pm
Late Night and Bar, 10 pm – Midnight

Bess Bistro on Pecan
500 West 6th Street
Austin, TX 78701
Lunch: Monday – Friday: 11 am – 3 pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday: 5 – 10:30 pm, Friday – Saturday: 5 – 11 pm, Sunday: 5 – 10 pm
Brunch: Sunday, 10:30 am – 2:30 pm
*Recommended items: shrimp & grits & a carafe of Mimosas

Walton’s Fancy and Staple
609 West 6th Street
Austin, Texas 78701
Monday – Saturday, 7am – 7pm
Sunday, 8am – 4pm

Annie’s Cafe & Bar

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I’d recently walked by Annie’s on my way to Swift’s Attic. I peaked in and it looked really cute. I was able to do brunch research there this past weekend with my friend, Brandi. We split Mimosas and enjoyed the vibe there.

I ordered the eggs benedict (which is often my go-to brunch item): poached eggs, English muffin, prosciutto, Hollandaise, served with potatoes. Brandi went with the caprese sandwich: fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, pesto, house-made focaccia, served with a salad. Brandi enjoyed it so much that she went back on Wednesday to enjoy 1/2 price wine night.

Annie’s
319 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701
Monday 7:30 am – 3pm
Tuesday – Thursday 7:30 am – 10pm
Friday 7:30 am – 12 am
Saturday 8:30 am – 12 am
Sunday 9:30 am – 2:30 pm

Stubb’s BBQ (Gospel Brunch)
801 Red River
Austin, TX 78701
RESTAURANT: Monday – Thursday, 11 am – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday, 11 am – 11 pm
Sunday, 11 am – 9 pm
GOSPEL BRUNCH: Sunday only; seatings at 11 AM and 1 PM. Reservations strongly recommended

More brunch/breakfast related Austin posts to check out:
2013 Austin Guide Coffee post from Stella Cooks
2013 Austin City Guide North Austin Brunches post from A Taste of Koko
2013 Austin City Guide Gluten-Free Breakfast/Brunches post from ATX Gluten-Free
2013 Austin City Guide Breakfast Tacos from Sarah Eats Austin
2012 Austin City Guide Brunch post from Austin Urban Gardens

Other honorable mentions for brunch/breakfast spots (in no particular order):
Russian House (downtown–I believe they just recently added a brunch option)
Swift’s Attic (downtown–they just added brunch in Feb 2013)
Moonshine (downtown, brunch buffet–come hungry, leave stuffed)
Trudy’s (South I-35, great Tex-Mex breakfast options or waffles/pancakes)
Jack Allen’s (Oak Hill)
Curra’s Grill (Oltorf & Congress, get the huevos motulenos)
Threadgill’s (Riverside)