Most days, it’s just a cup of joe. Other days, cereal and milk. Actually, who I am kidding, I’m lucky if I even get a cup of coffee in the morning before heading to work. But for the weekends, brunch – the meal halfway between breakfast and lunch – ordered from a menu, and enjoyed in a leisurely manner is a must. The good news is that some of the best restaurants in Austin are delving into brunch. Saturday and Sunday mornings are my ideal times to catch up with friends without feeling rushed. The bonus is that the costs are generally a lot less than for dinner. And it’s a good way to try out a restaurant before committing to dinner.
This brings us to my list of the best brunch spots in North Austin. These are my favorite places to spend my weekend mornings when I do have the time to eat it all, when I can linger and contemplate.
Tucked away in the North Austin, Zed’s Restaurant is serving up Southern-style comfort food with French and Moroccan touches. Known for one of the best patios in Austin, makes it the perfect spot for Sunday brunch. The dishes are nothing you expect – only so much better – in a way, as if the restaurant is too shy to ever tell you that one of the best brunches in Austin is served up between its lil’ ol’ brick walls. Read more on Zed’s Retaurant…
What to order: Steak & eggs. The house-smoked prime rib is tender and melt in your mouth tender. Paired with a creamy horseradish, sautéed cremini mushrooms and pan fried eggs – it’s almost too indulgent for brunch.
Located in North Central Austin, Gusto Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar captures the warm, comforting, every-day flavors of Italian cuisine in its casual and diverse menu.
What to order: Steak and eggs comes with sliced grilled ribeye, two sunny side up eggs, rosemary potatoes and spinach.
An Austin favorite for years, Chez Zee American Bistro is known for it’s colorful and fun ambiance, eclectic dishes, late nights, and live music. The delectable weekend brunch, featuring a French toast so good it’s more dessert, it worth getting up early for in order to beat the crowds. We had the steak and eggs, lobster benedict, and creme brulee French toast with Frozen peach bellini’s and momosas.
What to order: Crème Brûlée French Toast – Challah bread soaked overnight in Crème Brûlée mixture, baked and toasted to order. Served with whipped cream, berries, and smothered with a Rum syrup. “Life is short, eat dessert first” couldn’t be any more fitting.
Épicerie, the French-Louisisana-inspired cafe and grocery, may be new to the restaurant scene but it’s already one of my favorites. The oxtail stew with grits is amazing for dinner but the brunch is even better. The croque madame comes with two pieces of French bread stuffed with honey ham and cheese, smothered with bechamel sauce and topped with a sunny side up egg. Served with a side of French fries and a homemade mustard aioli so addicting it’ll leave you wanting more.
What to order: Seared duck over a bed of creamy grits and sliced scallions is the perfect bowl of comfort for Sunday mornings. Beignets are optional, but recommended.
The Steeping Room
When I’m looking for some sanctuary in my day, The Steeping Room is where I go. The intimate dining room is perfect for snuggling up to a warm cup of their tea steamers. The creme brûlée steamer to be exact. It’s like serenity in a cup.
What to order: The Chai Spiced French Toast with hallah bread, fresh fruit and maple syrup is a Sunday brunch favorite of mine at the Steeping Room. The addition of ground Chai tea makes this dish extra special.
Picnic tables, sparkling lights, and large cedar elms makes a meal at Contigo Austin feel like an escape from the city. Known for serving high quality, reasonably priced tavern-style dishes in an easygoing, casual atmosphere, Contigo tops the list of best places to dine alfresco in Austin.
What to order: The beef tongue hash is like steak and eggs but on a entirely different level. Tender, flavorful pieces of beef tongue are seared til crispy yet still melt in your mouth tender. It’s like candy on steroids. Comes with crispy russet potatoes, Japanese scallions, a farm egg, and covered with a blanket of hollandaise sauce.
What are your favorite places for brunch in North Austin?
Disclaimer: This feature is independently published by A Taste of Koko as part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance 2013 City Guide. Photographs are copyrighted by Jane Ko Photography.