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A breakfast plate from Counter Cafe
Breakfast from Counter Cafe.
Counter Cafe.

12 Timeless Austin Diners for Your All-Day Breakfast Cravings

Classic greasy spoons with strong coffee always.

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Breakfast from Counter Cafe.
| Counter Cafe.

Austin may not be known for its diner scene, but there are several options in town to get fluffy pancakes and many preparations of eggs all day and hearty meatloaf by night, often served with a big side of nostalgia.

Several longtime favorite restaurants in Austin are diners: the Omelettry has been open for over 45 years and Kerbey Lane Cafe has served its famed pancakes for over 40 years. (Unfortunately, many of the city’s classic diners have closed in recent years — RIP to the Frisco, the Lake Austin location of Magnolia Cafe, and Nau’s.) There are also modernized takes on diner fare like the yeasty waffles from 24 Diner or the grilled vegetable sandwich from Counter Cafe. Read on for the best bets for diners in Austin.

For more diner-esque guides, there are the best breakfasts, pancakes, and coffee.

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Austin Diner

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The ’50s nostalgia is real at at the Allandale diner which serves milkshakes and malts, burgers, and breakfast tacos. There are indoor dine-in services.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

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The fluffy pancakes at the Austin chain are some of the best in the business. In addition to blueberry and gingerbread, there are rotating specials like lemon poppy seed or cinnamon roll. Try the queso, too. Takeout orders can be placed online; most locations include both indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Omelettry

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Old-fashioned service and gargantuan breakfast plates have made the North Loop restaurant an Austin icon (It’s also arguably one of the city’s original diners: owner Kenny Carpenter was previously business partners with the owners of Magnolia Cafe and Kerbey Lane Cafe). Of course try the omelets, but the lunch plates are also a great deal. Takeout orders can be placed online or over the phone; there are indoor dine-in services.

Mary's Café

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This cafe near campus is known for its yeasty liege waffles, which can be customized with toppings like strawberries, Nutella, or cream cheese frosting. There are also smoothies, sandwiches, and “choose your own adventure” breakfast plates. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Stars Cafe

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Formerly Star Seeds, now Stars Cafe, the truly 24/7 Cherrywood diner is attached to a shabby Days Inn and caters to the kind of folks who don’t wait until the weekend to cut loose. Order the A-Baum, an unapologetic pile of English muffins, queso, sausage and scrambled eggs. There are indoor dine-in services.

24 Diner

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Though it’s no longer open 24 hours a day, the Clarksville diner serves slightly fanicer diner fare like eggs Benedict on a house-made biscuit, meatloaf with sweet onion gravy, and Kentucky bourbon pie. The monstrous hashes and fried chicken with yeasty waffles are popular. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Cisco's Restaurant & Bakery

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This east side cafe has grown ever more popular over the years as East Sixth drinkers take blurry note of its location after a night at at nearby bars, returning in the morning for a restorative plate of hangover-curing goodness. Order the migas and coffee. There are indoor dine-in services.

A plate of refried beans, rice, and food in front of a drink.
A plate from Cisco’s.
Cisco’s

Counter Cafe

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Both locations of Counter Cafe (the other on 29th Street) serve casual daytime diner fare with a slight twist, like quail and eggs and a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. Of course, there’s a great burger, too. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop

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The Holly diner is legendary for good reason. It serves up wonderful daytime Tex-Mex fare from egg-and-bean-filled breakfast plates, the perfect crispy bacon, and plentiful breakfast tacos. Don’t miss out on the juicy barbacoa. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Sawyer & Co

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The Govalle diner focuses on Southern comfort food like fried chicken biscuits, New Orleans-style French toast, and Creole shrimp and grits. There’s also has a great patio for sunny brunches. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Magnolia Cafe

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The longtime Bouldin Creek restaurant serves serve high-quality diner food, but expect a wait during peak dining hours (brunch times and late night). Try the Mag Mud — a queso dip with everything — or the giant pancakes. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Phoebe's Diner

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One of the more classic diners in Austin, the homestyle offerings of the Galindo neighborhood diner, like fried green tomatoes and brisket Benedicts, have proved popular. There’s a second location in downtown and a third coming to the North Burnet-Gateway area. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are Uber Eats deliveries; and there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Austin Diner

The ’50s nostalgia is real at at the Allandale diner which serves milkshakes and malts, burgers, and breakfast tacos. There are indoor dine-in services.

Kerbey Lane Cafe

The fluffy pancakes at the Austin chain are some of the best in the business. In addition to blueberry and gingerbread, there are rotating specials like lemon poppy seed or cinnamon roll. Try the queso, too. Takeout orders can be placed online; most locations include both indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

The Omelettry

Old-fashioned service and gargantuan breakfast plates have made the North Loop restaurant an Austin icon (It’s also arguably one of the city’s original diners: owner Kenny Carpenter was previously business partners with the owners of Magnolia Cafe and Kerbey Lane Cafe). Of course try the omelets, but the lunch plates are also a great deal. Takeout orders can be placed online or over the phone; there are indoor dine-in services.

Mary's Café

This cafe near campus is known for its yeasty liege waffles, which can be customized with toppings like strawberries, Nutella, or cream cheese frosting. There are also smoothies, sandwiches, and “choose your own adventure” breakfast plates. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Stars Cafe

Formerly Star Seeds, now Stars Cafe, the truly 24/7 Cherrywood diner is attached to a shabby Days Inn and caters to the kind of folks who don’t wait until the weekend to cut loose. Order the A-Baum, an unapologetic pile of English muffins, queso, sausage and scrambled eggs. There are indoor dine-in services.

24 Diner

Though it’s no longer open 24 hours a day, the Clarksville diner serves slightly fanicer diner fare like eggs Benedict on a house-made biscuit, meatloaf with sweet onion gravy, and Kentucky bourbon pie. The monstrous hashes and fried chicken with yeasty waffles are popular. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Cisco's Restaurant & Bakery

This east side cafe has grown ever more popular over the years as East Sixth drinkers take blurry note of its location after a night at at nearby bars, returning in the morning for a restorative plate of hangover-curing goodness. Order the migas and coffee. There are indoor dine-in services.

A plate of refried beans, rice, and food in front of a drink.
A plate from Cisco’s.
Cisco’s

Counter Cafe

Both locations of Counter Cafe (the other on 29th Street) serve casual daytime diner fare with a slight twist, like quail and eggs and a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. Of course, there’s a great burger, too. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Joe’s Bakery & Coffee Shop

The Holly diner is legendary for good reason. It serves up wonderful daytime Tex-Mex fare from egg-and-bean-filled breakfast plates, the perfect crispy bacon, and plentiful breakfast tacos. Don’t miss out on the juicy barbacoa. There are indoor and outdoor dine-in areas.

Sawyer & Co

The Govalle diner focuses on Southern comfort food like fried chicken biscuits, New Orleans-style French toast, and Creole shrimp and grits. There’s also has a great patio for sunny brunches. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Magnolia Cafe

The longtime Bouldin Creek restaurant serves serve high-quality diner food, but expect a wait during peak dining hours (brunch times and late night). Try the Mag Mud — a queso dip with everything — or the giant pancakes. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

Phoebe's Diner

One of the more classic diners in Austin, the homestyle offerings of the Galindo neighborhood diner, like fried green tomatoes and brisket Benedicts, have proved popular. There’s a second location in downtown and a third coming to the North Burnet-Gateway area. Takeout orders can be placed online; there are Uber Eats deliveries; and there are indoor and outdoor dine-in services.

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