Thursday, March 9, 2017

My Favorite Austin Brunches

Y'all know me. Y'all know my favorite meal is brunch, followed closely by breakfast. I love breakfast foods and I love adding mimosas to the mix. Therefore, I love brunch. And over the course of my three years in Austin I have had a lot of brunch. So why not put my favorites into a list for you guys to use if you live here or if you decide to visit the great city that is Austin, Texas? -xoxo darling, Hayden
Elizabeth Street Cafe 
This is probably one of my all time favorite places in Austin because the atmosphere of the restaurant is basically my dream home. I should preface this by saying Elizabeth Street is in a converted house, but what they have done to it is magical. Not to mention the place is decorated in my favorite, green and pink. They are a Vietnamese restaurant with a Boulangerie {I know, interesting concept} but it really works! I always get the breakfast Banh-Mi because the first time I ordered it I had no clue what it was but I was so pleasantly surprised I've been going back for more over the years. The Vietnamese coffee also blew me away so get that, I prefer it hot but some of my friends prefer it iced. Hannah really likes the house baked brioche french toast {it literally comes with ice cream}. You can also just sit at their counter, munch on a croissant, sip some amazing coffee and read the paper. But please go, if only to appreciate the amazing decor. You can read my full review of Elizabeth over here! 
Very opposite of Elizabeth is Frank, located in downtown Austin, it is very edgy. But I still love it. Frank was kind of the first place I ever really took in the brunch scene in Austin. It was with one of my good friends {who, sadly for me, transferred after our freshman year} and we wanted a fun Sunday morning experience. I don't like hot dogs but I discovered Frank had a brunch that wasn't exclusively sausage so we went. I had the chicken and waffles, something I love back at home & felt warm as soon as the first bite went into my mouth. The waffles were delicate the chicken was moist - everything about it was a wonderful experience. Plus the people watching in this place is excellent! You can find my full review of Frank here! 
Annies has two locations and the first time I ate there I had no idea what it was called. I was waiting to catch a flight home to Fort Myers after Camp Texas only to drive back to Austin two days later. I was pretty much exhausted but I stopped by this cute place that had subway tiles in the airport. I had the tomato soup and was floored. How could airport food be so good? A few months later, LBs hosts a brunch at a place called Annies in downtown Austin...they had the tomato soup. Turns out, I ate at Annies in the airport and there is a location I can easily get to {especially now, I can see Annies from my TM building}. So please go for brunch. The tomato soup, {did you know they have tomato soup?}, is superb. They also do wonderful granola, the toast is always fresh and the bacon is extra crispy. 
The first ever LBs brunch I hosted was at Russells, the restaurant is tiny but they have a cute porch and the area around the restaurant is adorable. The wait can be incredibly long on Sunday mornings so plan to get there early, but once you do get a pancake {I prefer chocolate chip}. They are perfection from the griddle and they come with strawberry butter {I don't usually like butter on my pancakes but I love this}. I have also had the eggs and bacon which are delicious as well. They do a mean bunch of potatoes with most of their breakfast plates too. Russells is open for breakfast most days of the week so if you can't make it for brunch, go another time. 
Counter Cafe
Hannah and I discovered Counter Cafe when we both had a rough week and I had just decided I was going to study abroad in London. So we were treating ourselves to a Friday brunch, a rarity for both of us. We settled on Counter Cafe because we had seen it a million times before - it is right along Lamar near the original Whole Foods. The restaurant is t.i.n.y. They have a few picnic tables outside but if you are a party of two or more it is going to be tight. They use farm fresh ingredients so be ready for fresh, fluffy eggs, warm biscuits and large rashers of bacon. Hannah got a special, fried chicken on biscuits 'n gravy and I think fell in love with the dish {pictured above}. I took my parents a few months ago and both of them loved it.  
Hillside Farmacy
My favorite brunch place in town, Hillside, has a dish I cannot get enough of. Their "Big Brekkie" is very simple, eggs, bacon, toast, potatoes - but each portion of the meal is from somewhere local and it all melds so well together. The atmosphere of the restaurant is also adorable, it is set up like an old pharmacy with cases full of bottles of old-timey mixtures. The counters on the left side of the restaurant are great for group meals and the bathrooms are too cute. Hillside is what I want the kitchen in my dream home to look like, so please give it a shot. 
Walton's Fancy and Staple
When I read an article interviewing Sandra Bullock and found out they were at Walton's I knew I had to go. Because a) I love Sandra and b) I love brunch. Hannah and I went one day and were amazed by their bakery case. They have the cutest macarons and their chocolate croissants reminded me of Paris. Hannah had the biscuit and gravy which was excellent {of course I stole a bite}. The hot chocolate is good and the regular black coffee will wake you up if you need it to. 
Chez Zee 
Chez Zee is an experience. Like really an experience. First of all, it is huge. Second of all there are Christmas lights up all the time. And third of all their food is H U G E. The portions are gigantic but in the best way possible. If you go for your first time they will give you a free sample of their creme brulee french toast, which you will then proceed to order because it is amazing. I don't even like french toast and I loved it! Their waffles are also delicate works of art and if you order eggs, bacon or potatoes expect to have a giant portion heaped next to a basket of croissants, that's right their "basket of bread" is croissants. 
No Va Kitchen
Rainey Street is always happening at night but did you know you you can get some amazing brunches there? I haven't been to Bangers {it's on my list} but I love No Va Kitchen. Deepthi and I went a while back and she really enjoyed their pancakes, I had the normal breakfast which came with sourdough toast {my absolute favorite}. It comes with a sweet, liquid-y jam that makes everything better. I suggest you eat on their balcony because there is amazing light and you can see all of the interesting things happening on Rainey.  
1886 Cafe & Bakery
1886 is one of the more expensive places on this list but if you eat there you will have zero regrets. It's located in the Driskill Hotel in downtown Austin and the restaurant is so cute! Kelly green paint accents the tile and it is always crowded. I get the Austin American Breakfast which comes with eggs, country potatoes {they even have purple ones!}, bacon and the most delicious toast you could ever dream of. It is somehow sweet and salty at the same time. This place also has great people watching as it is in a hotel so you get the locals who love the food & the visitors. 
Texas French Bread
If you are near the UT campus, you must grab brunch at Texas French Bread. I always love going before a football game because you will see people in burnt orange and the opposing teams colors. The banana walnut pancakes make my heart happy and they do wonderful coffee drinks. If you are in the mood for something lighter they have tons of baked goods available for consumption. 
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