Restaurants / Lists

America’s Best Brunch Rankings Give Texas Some Major Love

Your Must Brunch Lone Star State Spots


There’s news in the Texas foodie realm, and it’s something you’ll want to hear.

We’re not here to discuss the most important meal of the day, not exactly. We’re here to discuss its cousin, if you will, which would never, ever feature Raisin Bran. It’s time to talk about the most beloved meal: Brunch.

OpenTable released its list of the “100 Best Brunches in America for 2019” — with a party spirit. Then again, there’s always a celebratory vibe around brunch. Breakfast of champions, brunch for the victors.

The new rankings do not just cover the hotspots that take brunch seriously on Easter and Mother’s Day. You can bank on these brunches being beautiful any weekend of the year.

That’s especially true in Houston, which snagged three separate slots on the coveted list. Overall, Texas did well for a list that spans across the country —concentrated in California and the Northeast, unsurprisingly — racking up seven brunch hotspots total.

The list, curated by OpenTable diners’ many, many votes, is not organized alphabetically, so it’s hard to pinpoint a superlative. But we feel strongly that the Lone Star State boasts the crème de la crème.

First off, “B” is for Brennan’s as much as it is for brunch. The iconic brick Houston restaurant landed on the list, which should be a shock to no one and a delight to everyone.

Brennan’s Texas Creole Brunch runs from 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, and from 10 am to 2 pm on Sundays. The season-driven, appetizing items rotate, but you can expect dishes like turtle soup and your choice of eggs Benedict or eggs Sardou with artichokes and creamed spinach.

The storied NOLA-inspired restaurant earned 4.5 stars on OpenTable out of 2,838 reviews. A whopping 96 percent of people recommended Brennan’s, and 227 separate people mentioned the turtle soup. It may be turtle, but it definitely wasn’t slow to catch on.

The delicately decorated, patio haven Emmaline secured a place on the coveted list as well. Known for its above-and-beyond brunch, with a dedicated “brunch” section alongside salads, sandwiches and pastries, Emmaline more than measures up. Think wood-grilled mussels, roasted beet salad and eggplant rollatini gratinata served from 10 am to 3 pm.

Emmaline also earned an impressive 4.5 stars out of 963 reviews, with a 92 percent recommendation rate. It’s among the Most Booked restaurants in Houston. And we’d be remiss not to mention the 15 mentions of the frittata Americana.

Then, there’s Grace’s, a Johnny Carabba’s restaurant, and a bit of an eye-opener. You’ll find bananas foster pancakes, beef and chorizo picadillo and waffle and wings here. The best part? Grace’s brunch hours are crazy-long, running from 9 am to 3 pm on the weekends.

That’s another with 4.5 stars, this time out of 1,930 reviews. The vast majority of diners recommended it — think 96 percent — and 42 of them gave kudos to the fried chicken.

Capital Brunch

Moving over to Austin, popular, offbeat bistro Chez Zee has made waves courtesy of its mega-brunch menu, with breakfast platters such as Southern grilled pork chops and eggs, baked polenta eggs Benedict and an “old bay” crabmeat omelette.

Unlike many other places, you can also chow down on items from the regular menu during brunch, which runs from 9 am to 2 pm. Chef Zee earned 4.5 stars out of 3,227 reviews, and 94 percent of diners recommended it. And the French toast might be more than worth your while — it’s mentioned in 108 reviews.

chez zee
Chez Zee is Austin’s brunch choice.

Eclectic Brunch

Farflung Plano also made an appearance, thanks to Whiskey Cake. And it’s not just those signature whiskey cakes, that garnered 292 notes, that make the menu. Consider the “brunch elixirs,” like the Wabbit Smash with gin, carrot and mint, and the Winchester with single barrel and sparkling brut rosé.

Farflung Plano is one of the Most Booked in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where you can get a seat from 9 am to 3 pm. It’s another 4.5 star winner with 1,125 reviews and a 96 percent success rate for recommendation.

Cappy’s Restaurant in San Antonio makes brunch sing, ranked a Best Overall in the city. The eclectic spot offers brunch on Saturdays from 10 am to 2:30 pm, with a bonus 30 minutes to munch on major brunch eats on Sundays. The specialties are next-level, including Texas pot roast and the mustang chicken with fresh horseradish panko crust.

Out of 2,126 reviews, Cappy’s got 4.5 stars. An extraordinary 98 percent recommended the brunch-heavy joint, and 41 people mentioned the prime rib.

ida claire brunch
Ida Claire is one of the most booked restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Addison’s Ida Claire, known for elevated fare with an international twist, made a cameo. It’s perhaps best-known for its shared plates like crawfish corn beignets and Ida’s biscuits with bacon gravy and house jam. But you mustn’t overlook dishes like the waffle Benedict with short rib and spinach and fresnos, coffee crumble pancakes and Nashville hot chicken.

And you can enjoy it all from the wee hours of the morning to the late afternoon — from 9 am to 4 pm. It’s no wonder Ida Claire gained 4.5 stars out of 1,739 reviews, is a Most Booked and has a 95 percent recommendation rate. Keep an eye out for the shrimp and grits, as 67 different folks vouched for them.

After all, any self-respecting foodie knows you can never have enough good brunch options.

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