Brunch has become so popular in Austin that many restaurants turn the meals into weekly parties, complete with music and other entertainment. Gospel brunches bring the best of Austin together, with awe-inspiring music and belly-satisfying food. Here are some of the best brunch places around town.
For those with hearty appetites, the Mighty Z migas should leave you happy and satisfied. For something less spicy but equally decadent, try the crab cake eggs Benedict: served with two crab cakes, hollandaise sauce and rosemary potatoes. To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the restaurant’s dark and decadent variation on Bananas Foster, with walnut cinnamon bread slathered in vanilla bean custard, grilled and topped with roasted bananas. If you’re interested in day drinking, try the Ruby Red mimosa, made with Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit Vodka, champagne and grapefruit juice. The restaurant also has an outdoor patio with a beautiful view of rolling hills.
Want a show with your brunch? Then the Gospel Brunch at Stubb's is perfect for you. As you might expect, the buffet has plenty of barbecue, but there are also tons of breakfast choices, including spicy migas, buttermilk pancakes, and biscuits and gravy. The Bloody Mary bar allows you to customize your own drink. There are actually two seatings for Sunday brunch, one at 10:30 a.m. and another at 12:30 p.m. If you want a table with a clear view of the band, you can reserve it in advance for a small fee. Whether you’re religious or not, the lively gospel bands will have you believing in the glory that is Austin, Texas before they’re done.
If you’re interested in sampling a heaping serving of Austin weirdness along with your brunch, head to Maria’s Taco Xpress. Informally referred to as Hippie Church, the Sunday brunch at Maria’s attracts a loyal following of aging hippies who cannot dance but dance anyway. If you do have rhythm, you may want to face the band and not the informal dance floor that breaks out on the periphery of the large outdoor patio. The interior space is fairly small, so this may not be the best choice during bad weather. The migas tacos are the most popular dish, and all the breakfast tacos feature fluffy tortillas made on site.
The Roaring Fork brunch menu goes well beyond breakfast foods, including everything from prime rib to enchiladas to smoked salmon. More standard breakfast fare includes migas, challah French toast, house-made sausage and green chile grits. The outdoor seating area overlooks a small lake.
For sheer variety, it’s hard to beat Kerbey Lane’s brunch. The pumpkin pancakes are the best in town, and the migas plate is full of spicy, cheesy goodness. Pumpkin pancakes not sweet enough for you? How about cinnamon roll pancakes? Want a completely over-the-top breakfast? Go for the crispy chicken Benedict, a biscuit layered with an egg, fried chicken, hollandaise sauce and grilled onions. Kerbey Lane has multiple locations throughout Austin.
The ideal brunch destination for vegans and their non-vegan spouses, Bouldin Creek features creative concoctions like the potato leek omelet and the oven cake breakfast with blueberry cornbread and agave syrup. The Tamale Breakfast is a popular dish, with two sweet potato and pecan tamales, house-made salsa and beans. All egg dishes can be made with Bouldin Creek’s custom tofu scrambler.
The giant gingerbread pancakes are the most popular brunch item, but the Love Migas are a perennial favorite. Chock full of garlic and cheese, the migas plate may not be the best choice if you have a date later on. For some serious spice, try the three-alarm tacos, with eggs, potatoes, jalapenos and chipotle sauce.
The Don Juan is a breakfast masterpiece, made of layers of egg, tortillas, bacon and a few secret ingredients. Wash it down with an ice-cold horchata with cinnamon. This no-frills restaurant on the east side looks a little iffy from the outside, but everyone is all smiles once you walk inside.
In addition to a wide variety of coffees from around the globe, Cherrywood Coffeehouse is known for its friendly neighborhood vibe and overstuffed breakfast tacos. The terra taco is an amazing mix of fried tofu, eggs, avocado and cheese. If you’re looking for a new brunch staple, try the shrimp and grits or the sweet potato hash with red bell peppers, onions, two eggs and hollandaise sauce. For something semi-healthy, go for the Peanut Power smoothie, with peanut butter, almond milk, bananas and apple juice.
Located in far north Austin, Cafe Java attracts a loyal following because of its sublime carrot cake pancakes and biscuits with gravy. The ultimate migas and huevos rancheros are also excellent. For those who prefer a sweeter brunch, the restaurant sells fresh cinnamon rolls, French toast and a wide range of coffee drinks.
For fans of sweet Mexican pastries and tongue-burning Tex-Mex breakfasts, this place is nirvana. The chorizo con huevos provides enough sustenance for about a day and a half. The migas tacos are spicier than most, but they’re a good choice if you need something stronger than coffee to help you wake up. Menudo fans say this is the best place in town for the traditional Mexican dish.
One of the oldest restaurants in Austin, Cisco’s has been serving up breakfast tacos and homemade biscuits for more than 50 years. Biscuits and spicy Tex-Mex food is the unforgettable combo you never knew you needed until now. Picadillo served in house-made buns is another must-have dish. If you’ve never tried migas before, this is a great place to sample the spicy egg dish. You’ll notice a hint of cinnamon in the coffee (a pretty common practice in San Antonio).
For a dress-up brunch experience, head to Moonshine Grill downtown. Complimentary cornbread and popcorn help get the meal started right. The hearty steak and eggs with jalapeno cornbread will leave you satisfied and probably in need of a nap. The chicken and waffles are equally filling and delicious, and the Hatch chile mac and cheese is large enough to be its own meal. Other brunch options include King Ranch casserole, pesto eggs, green chile cheese grits, Belgian waffles and cinnamon rolls. Don’t miss the refreshing pomegranate mimosas.