The first meal of the day is very important, and even chefs need to eat it. Keeping up all-things breakfast, Eater asked Austin chefs and restaurant owners for their favorite breakfast and brunch restaurants, running from Dai Due’s breakfast menu, diner dishes from Counter Cafe and many under-the-radar taco places, plus many of their standard orders. Read on for some breakfast inspiration.
Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue
My go-to spot is Counter Cafe: a quiet place at the bar, watching some of the slickest line cooks around, eating steak and eggs with plenty of thunderbird hot sauce.
Tatsu Aikawa, Ramen Tatsu-Ya
Jim's Restaurant's pork chop breakfast or a breakfast burrito from Cocina de Consuelo.
Takuya Matsumoto, Ramen Tatsu-Ya
Alma's Tacos: a trailer run by a lady named Alma. It's on Brodie Lane in South Austin. Taqueria Morales: another trailer off William Cannon. There's a little kid that takes the orders. He's pretty rad. Tierra Linda: located in a Shell gas station on Fairfield and Research. It's close to our north shop.
Sarah McIntosh, Epicerie
We do Tacodeli on Saturdays as a family. The Otto Taco is my favorite. And Olamaie’s Saturday brunch is amazing. The bourbon milk punch is possibly the best I’ve had.
Rene Ortiz, Launderette
Hotel Saint Cecilia is my favorite brunch spot. Chef Alex [Gates] makes me very happy and the hotel is the best in the city. Cenote and Counter Cafe are close runners-up.
John Bates, Noble Sandwich Co.
I really miss breakfast tacos from Corpus Christi, where I grew up, but going to my neighborhood restaurant Jardin Carona reminds me of home.
Brandon Martinez, Noble Sandwich Co.
The BOB (breakfast on a bun) from Whataburger with sausage and two picante sauce packages.
Adam Jacoby, Jacoby’s
When I want to treat myself, the family or the office to breakfast, my go-to spot is SH Donuts on 53rd and Manor. They are family-run and some of the sweetest people, and their doughnuts are hard to beat.
Ben Siegel, Banger’s
My favorite spot right now is Sawyer & Co. They have a great vibe, great food, and any place you can get boudin for breakfast is good in my book.
Todd Duplechan and Jessica Maher, Lenoir
El Primo breakfast tacos rock, but they also have great breakfast tortas and the best hot sauce round. Dai Due’s breakfast and brunch is also wonderful if you have time to dine in. We love the pastries from Easy Tiger. And Tacos More on Riverside is great–be prepared to speak Spanish.
James Robert, Fixe
My wife and I really love Paperboy. I get the BEC, best breakfast sandwich ever. I also love the sweet toast, which is served with ricotta, tangerine marmalade, granola, and strawberry. What blew me away about the food here was how clean, crisp, and bright the flavors are. Incredible. They serve really great coffee, too.
Evan LeRoy, Freedmen’s
Paperboy: my new favorite for a simple, inventive, and approachable breakfast. It’s an amazing spot to eat outside on a nice day. Wholy Bagel: my favorite choice for excellent bagels in Austin. It also carries Manhattan Special coffee soda, which is the perfect complement. Kesos on South Congress and new location on MLK: delicious, big tacos. Excellent salsas and queso on everything.
Andrew Curren, ELM Restaurant Group
While my preference for breakfast is biscuits and gravy, I don’t usually wake up in time to roll them out. So for me, it's tough to beat a taco or two from Tacodeli. Always fresh, always consistent–from Spyglass Drive to Burnet Road.
Kazu Fukumoto, Fukumoto
Jack in the Box and the migas at Tamale House East.
Shawn Cirkiel, Parkside Projects
I’m old school with my breakfast. Mexican breakfast all the way. Joe’s Bakery on East 7th with the Joey Rocha plate or two sausage and egg tacos at La Canaria trailer at 51st and Airport.
Jesse Griffiths, Dai Due
I love tripas tacos from El Rico on South First. Also, fried plantains with beans and crema from El Zunsal. Chori-migas and potatoes from Habanero on Oltorf are fantastic. But the best thing is [Dai Due pastry chef] Abby's biscuit with a little strawberry jam.
Andrew Wiseheart, Contigo
Dai Due and Full English.
Larry McGuire, McGuire Moorman Hospitality
My daily breakfast routine at home is black coffee and cheerios with fresh berries. If I’m out and about,I grab a skim cappuccino and a green juice from Josephine House next to my office.