Austin rocks at brunch. We show up in droves for yummy breakfast foods and casual socializing. Fantastic brunch options can be found throughout the city, but one East Austin intersection stands out as a hipster brunch triangle extraordinaire. Bring your dog, too—each of these places has a dog-friendly area.
In no particular order…
Something about Paperboy seems so right for Austin. The food truck’s concept is simple: offer a few good menu items and cook them flawlessly. Then serve fresh coffee and offer newspapers to read.
The vibe is super casual and friendly. In fact, people and their dogs hang out and even share tables under the shade provided by an old silk parachute. Whether it comes from the friendliness of the staff or the relaxed environment, I appreciate the amiable nature of Paperboy. Judging from the crowd, I’m not the only one.
The popular B.E.C. sandwich comes with a sunny side up egg on a toasted brioche bun with pimento cheese and bacon. The herbs on the sandwich work with the flavors of the bacon and pimento cheese, and the egg has a perfectly runny yolk.
The toast dish balances out its flavors with fluffy ricotta and a seasonal jam. Granola bits add a pleasant crunch. The blackberry sauce on my plate was more tart than sugary sweet. It was good and felt slightly healthier for not being overly sweet.
My favorite brunch plate was the egg sandwich with goat sausage and rosemary mushroom sauce. Wash it down with a cup of dark roasted coffee or a cold brew.
Paperboy is open Monday through Sunday.
1203 E. 11th St. – Website
2/ Hillside Farmacy
A magnet for brunch aficionados, Hillside Farmacy packs people in and shows them a good time. This bustling east side restaurant is decked out with a lot of the original decor from the 1950’s pharmacy that once operated here.
Weekend brunches are definitely a thing, so plan to wait for a table. You can have a cocktail as you pass the time if you like, as Hillside Farmacy has a full bar. The typical brunch staple, mimosas, are outshone here by the house punch, a boozy treat with gin, bubbly, hibiscus syrup, and grapefruit juice. This one requires a designated driver!
Sit on the cozy patio under an umbrella, or in an old-timey booth inside. Either way, the people-watching is entertaining.
The brunch menu has several egg dishes, a decadent mac and cheese, blueberry pancakes, and a fabulous brulèe grapefruit. I like the eggs in a bowl, served on top of lightly steamed squash and kale, with mozzarella curds and perfectly poached eggs on top. I suggest adding avocado (yes, to everything, all the time, but definitely to this).
They also offer biscuits and gravy, with or without a fried egg on top, and a classic breakfast with eggs, bacon, home fries, and toast.
If standard brunch fare isn’t your cup of tea, then try one of these less standard options. People rave about the mac and cheese, though I haven’t tried it yet. The brulèe grapefruit alone justifies a visit. Texas ruby red grapefruit are things of glory, at their peak of juiciness and flavor in the summer. The dish is half a ruby red grapefruit with a layer of turbinado sugar melted into a brulèe on top, served with a berry garnish. It’s a can’t-miss item when you go to Hillside Farmacy!
Besides brunch, Hillside Farmacy is open for dinner and lunch, seven days a week, and east coast oysters are a specialty.
1209 E. 11th St. – Website
3/ Quickie Pickie
Breakfast tacos are life here in Austin! Quickie Pickie has you covered for a quick, hassle-free breakfast. They offer the usual migas, or bacon, egg, and cheese tacos, along with a vegan taco that has pickled cabbage, guacamole, and beans.
Other than tacos, try an omelette or platter. You can also opt for a granola cup, bagels, or warm scones. You have lots of beverage options with your brunch, like a cup of coffee, perhaps a Topo Chico, or maybe even a craft beer.
While you’re there, you can knock out some of your grocery shopping list, because Quickie Pickie is also a convenience store. While you may not be able to get your run of the mill sundries, you are sure to find kombucha and cold brewed coffee.
On any given day, you can see a decent crowd. It has a coffee shop/diner vibe, with people working at their laptops during the week. Quickie Pickie makes it easy to maintain Austin’s on-the-go lifestyle.
1208 E. 11th St. – Website
The beauty of Austin is that we can and do get out and support our brunchy spots. And that’s a beautiful thing!
@theAustinot wants to know:
Where do you and your friends like to have brunch in East Austin?