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Each workday thousands of people pour into downtown from all parts of Austin, its suburbs, and its exurbs. While downtown is better known for weekday lunch specials and happy hour deals, this part of town has its share of places to start your day with a satisfying meal. Treat yourself by beginning the day at one of these downtown Austin breakfast places.
10. 1886 Cafe & Bakery
Take in the beauty of The Driskill Hotel from their breakfast and lunch restaurant happy hour deals. Choose from one of their intriguing breakfast plates such as the Hangover Omelette which has pepper jack cheese, green chiles, and local chorizo and is served with country potatoes and breakfast toast. Or try the Brazos Huevos Rancheros, which is two eggs any style, salsa roja, pinto beans, potatoes, corn tostadas, and local chorizo topped with avocado, sour cream, pico de gallo, and cotija cheese.
Address: 604 Brazos Street
Located in Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s is a hip restaurant with a cool vibe. Stop in for breakfast standards or something completely new. The short rib quesadilla comes with salsa, a fried egg, avocado, and sour cream. The red quinoa breakfast salad includes a soft boiled egg, kale, squash, blueberry, and radish.
Address: 605 Davis Street
You might need to loosen your belt after you eat the Texas Griddle Pancakes at Ancho’s in the downtown Austin Omni hotel. You get five buttermilk pancakes, whipped butter, maple syrup, and sliced bananas or strawberries. You may need to book a room to sleep off your mid-morning food coma.
Address: 700 San Jacinto Boulevard
7. Easy Tiger
You may know Easy Tiger for their beer garden, but make sure you hit up the bake shop side of their house for some delectable pastries. By all means sip their craft brews and eat their house made sausage and pretzels in the evenings, but make sure you drop by in the morning for some sweet treats.
Address: 709 East Sixth Street
6. Jo’s Coffee
If you want an Austin take on that famous breakfast sandwich from that fast food restaurant with the clown mascot, look no further than Jo’s Coffee. Order their fried egg sandwich. It has a fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, and tomatoes on Texas toast. Ask nicely, and they’ll probably let you Californians add avocado. And don’t skip the coffee!
Address: 242 West 2nd Street
Say you have tickets to a sold out show at ACL Live at the Moody Theater. You plan ahead and book a hotel room at The W Austin. You wake up the next morning, and you head down to Trace to cap off your downtown Austin experience with one of their specialty breakfasts. Their green chili and smoked brisket hash has two fried eggs, chimichurri, pico de gallo, jalapeño, and queso fresco. You could also choose the Texas Market Migas: scrambled eggs with fried tortilla chips, market vegetables, cheddar cheese, and salsa roja served with potatoes and flour tortillas.
Address: 200 Lavaca Street
4. Le Cafe Crepe
After you eat at Le Cafe Crepe, you won’t need Jean Girard to break your arm to say you love crepes. With varieties of sweet, savory, and breakfast crepes, you’ll have to study the menu carefully before making your selection. If you’re a little leery about the whole crepe thing, ease into it with their breakfast plate: house coffee, fresh fruit, salad, scrambled eggs, sautéed potatoes, a French crepe, and your choice of sausage or bacon.
Address: 200 San Jacinto Boulevard
3. Slake Cafe
When you visit Slake Cafe for the first time, your order needs to be the Dirty Biscuit. It’s a breakfast sandwich you have to eat with a knife and fork. It has fried chicken, bacon jam, smoked gouda queso, fried egg, avocado, and a biscuit.
Address: 120 East 7th Street
All day restaurant and late night hangout spot Caroline has breakfast dishes to satisfy your appetite. Try their Pepper & Egg White Sandwich which has sweet and spicy peppers, pepperjack cheese, baby kale, and salsa verde. Or pick their Artichoke Benedict with tomato relish, hollandaise, and ciabatta toast. Hang around after a weekend breakfast because their upstairs urban backyard opens at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Address: 621 Congress Avenue
Forthright serves weekday breakfast that’ll make you feel like it’s your birthday. Their menu has plenty of unique offerings for when you’re in the mood to eat something you’ve never had before. For instance, they have pork belly hash made up of maple glazed pork belly, sweet potato, pickled poblano, fried eggs, and rosemary. Another great choice is their wild mushroom toast: thick-cut toast, wild mushrooms, crème fraîche, and chives.
Address: 35 Brazos Street
Featured photo: Artichoke Benedict from Caroline. Photo courtesy Caroline + Upstairs at Caroline.