UPDATED JAN 30, 2020
Austin will always be the breakfast taco capitol, with mimosas, syrupy french toast, and cheesy grits worth an honorable mention. But more and more restaurants are serving up better-for-you spins on our favorite brunch classics. Ready to explore ATX's healthy brunch scene by way of your taste buds? We've got the low-down on all the must-try spots.
This swanky all-day café is set up in the elegant South Congress Hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner creations that are to die for. But what you don't want to sleep on is their brunch menu. The best part? You won't have to wait until Sunday to indulge. Stop by any day of the week for delicious, good-for-you dishes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Think quinoa bowls, smoked salmon croissants, and oatmeal hotcakes with gluten-free oat batter and peach thyme compote. Fitt Tip: sub out your typical mimosa for a glass of the Café No Sé All Day Rosé. You can thank us later.
Definitely a favorite among northern Austinites, The Steeping Room on N. Lamar Blvd. has plenty of gluten-free and vegan dishes to choose from, including the Smoky Quinoa Bowl that's both! The Jasmine Gravlax is also super popular, and for good reason: jasmine tea-cured Atlantic salmon served with cream cheese and pickled mustard seeds? Yes, please. If you’re craving something sweet, the Organic Oatmeal and Banana Brulée is beyond satisfying. And, if you can’t decide what you’re in the mood for, we recommend the loaded Breakfast Bowl with black beans, potatoes, and vegan cashew sauce. Whatever you brunch on, make sure to check out their teas from nearly every region imaginable.
No list of healthy delights is complete without this South Austin staple. Bouldin Creek Café is a vegetarian (and mostly vegan) treasure nestled just far enough from downtown so you can avoid those long wait times. Kickstart your day with a little Southwestern flare and order up their killer Zucchini & Cheese Migas that can be made with scrambled eggs or tofu or get an entire day’s worth of vegetables by ordering the Veggie Royale sandwich with a house-made veggie burger, lettuce, red onion, local tomatoes, and chipotle-pecan pesto or basil aioli. Whatever you do, remember to treat yourself to the vegan blueberry cornbread. Bonus tip: check out Lady Bird Lake nearby. It’s the ideal spot for some post-brunch paddle boarding.
If you're after a brunch sans gluten, this Austin-based hot spot fits the bill — their menu is entirely gluten, corn, peanut, and soy free. Priding themselves on serving only real food made with the best ingredients (that means no preservatives or anything artificial), Picnik on Burnet Rd., South Lamar, and East St. Elmo St., serves up craveable dishes like the Meatlovers Breakfast Taco and Superfood Muesli that's packed with all sorts of fruit varieties. Plus, you can count on lots of butter coffee options (they’re the butter coffee connoisseurs around here), and a Golden Milk Matcha that lives up to its hype.
French pressed coffee made in a house circa 1887 is an interesting way to start the day, but that's exactly what you can expect from Cenote's East Austin locale. This spot has all of the city’s Sunday brunch favorites—like migas, fish tacos, and breakfast burritos—just with a health-forward twist. Cenote makes sure each ingredient is selected with care, like veggies from local Texas farms, pasture-raised eggs from Vital Farms, and bacon from Flying Pig Provisions, too. Bonus: many of their dishes have gluten-free bread and tortilla options. Another bonus? You can expect the same breakfast goodness at their second location in Windsor Park.
Imagine a gastropub with all your favorite craft beers on tap. Now imagine it with a completely plant-based menu. That’s The Beer Plant, and you can stop dreaming. As the first vegan gastropub in Austin, The Beer Plant has had its pulse on healthy dining and drinking since 2016. Stop by on Saturday and Sunday morning for brunch creations like smoked Carrot Lox or the Tarrytown Scramble made with tofu, criminis and avocado crema. Here, plant-based creations run wild with ingredients like maple seitan bacon, cajun style oyster mushrooms, and almond goat ‘cheese’. Don’t miss the favorite 'Chicken and Waffles' featuring chicken-fried seitan, buffalo sauce, and maple syrup. Needless to say, these guys are the real deal.
Healthy and fast — not two things that usually are associated with each other. However, Paperboy is changing that with their food truck brunch. They've got two mobile eateries, one on E. 12th St. and one at Merit Coffee on South Lamar, both serving up a seasonal menu featuring quality ingredients, plus sauces, juices, and preserves that are made in-house. Not only that, all of their produce and dairy is sourced from local farms. Fitt Tip: word on the street is Paperboy is planning to open its first brick-and-mortar on E. 11th St. (where it's first truck first sat). The new digs is slated to open early 2020 and will have indoor and outdoor seating, a rooftop patio and garden, and grab-and-go window.
Since opening its first cafe in 2007, Blue Dahlia Café has become one of the best cafe-bistros in Austin. Consider it your go-to for European-inspired dishes that are fresh, simple, and organic. Think: salads, sandwiches and delectable cheese boards. They serve breakfast all day (always extra points in our book), and brunch at their Westlake and San Marcos locations. Sit on the patio and people-watch at either the original East 11th location, the Westlake shop, or their newest San Marcos spot. All are quirky, reasonably priced, and always deliver healthy, delicious meals crafted with locally-sourced ingredients. Fitt Tip: their house-made basil walnut pesto is vegan – request it on everything.
After opening in July 2016, this charming restaurant took no time establishing itself as one of the best healthy eateries in Downtown Austin. With tall windows and natural lighting, it’s not only a great place “for a read” but also for grabbing a quick bite from their no-fuss menu. For a straightforward weekend meal, pair your matcha latte or fresh cocktail with the Wild Mushroom Toast or the organic Coconut Chia Pudding. If you’re dropping by for coffee only, you’re in luck. They offer the usual suspects—cappuccino, espresso, americano—but also some seriously specialty coffee drinks. We're talking ingredients like lavender syrup, cardamom and blue spirulina. You’ll have an extra skip in your step, for sure.
If you’re more of a North Austin dweller, Mother’s Cafe & Garden is just the spot to feast with your friends, recounting weekend tales while filling your belly with non-GMO, organic, and sustainably-sourced eats. And no matter if you're vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or just plain picky, you'll find something here to satisfy your cravings. The spinach omelette with sautéed mushrooms and white wine is pure decadence, while the vegan Banana Walnut Pancakes (topped with vegan margarine!) will please your sweet tooth without an ounce of guilt.
The popular eatery from Boulder, Colorado now has three locations in Austin and that's a good reason to celebrate! Modern Market Eatery prides itself on having something for everyone, and their extensive menu proves just that. Gander at their breakfast options and you’ll see breakfast sandwiches, burritos, decked-out avocado toast, waffles, and breakfast bowls, just for a start. Oh, and did we mention all ingredients are locally sourced, and they have options for all sorts of eaters — paleo, vegan, veg, gluten-free, or whatever else? If it isn't already, this place is about to become your new favorite brunch spot.
Flower Child believes that you shouldn’t have to sacrifice flavor just because you’re set on eating healthy. After brunching with them, you’ll see exactly what they mean. Their menu is packed with innovative creations like Avocado Hummus, Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Red Chili Glazed Sweet Potato plates, but also mac n’ cheese and a Flying Avocado wrap with smoked turkey, gouda, romaine, tomato, avocado, and hummus! No guesswork here — they label every menu item to let you know if it's vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free. Visit both Austin locations (Downtown or Domain Northside) for delicious, scratch-made, healthy fare in a relaxed atmosphere.
Citizen Eatery has fooled more than its fair share of customers. Sure they have cheese and cheeseburgers, but everything it serves is 100% vegan. Not only does their meat-free menu come with a bangin' selection of local brews, wine, and Citizen Smart cocktails made with freshly-pressed juices, but breakfast is served all day. Translation? Sleep in because you won’t need to wake up early to enjoy this modern cafe’s take on a Chorizo Omelette or The Californian Toast. They'll be waiting for you no matter what time you stop by.
East Austin is more than dive bars and art galleries; it’s also home to some of the best healthy brunch spots in town. With its sunny patio, you can comfortably lounge with your crew while enjoying any number of Counter Culture’s vegan delights. The Raw Oatmeal Banana Split will meet all of your gluten-free needs, while the breakfast burrito with its tofu scramble, seitan sausage, and cashew cheeze will satisfy your most complex craving. Even better, they are dedicated to serving only organic, Fair Trade, and locally-sourced ingredients from area farmers.
The brains behind East Austin Hotel’s Sixth and Waller wanted international flavors front and center. Lucky for us, that includes breakfast served “morning, noon and night” at this artfully designed global diner. While the menu has its fair share of indulgent eats (chicken fried steak, anyone?), it makes room for plenty of delicious vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, too. For a healthy compromise, dive into the Texas Pecan Granola with pumpkin seeds and honey.
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