Photography by Kevin Marple Cane Rosso's Breakfast Panini.

Breakfast

The Best Brunch Spots in Dallas

24 egg-tastic options for the week’s most important meal.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We define brunch as a weekend-only meal. Restaurants that serve breakfast throughout the week—while they may be perfectly tasty—were not eligible for this list. Click here for our Best Breakfasts list.

 

UPTOWN

Malai's Banh Mi French Toast. Photography by Kevin Marple

Malai  Kitchen

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Brunch at a Thai restaurant may sound off-putting, but Malai Kitchen’s breakfast fare with a Thai-Vietnamese twist will set you straight. Don’t go expecting Sterno-heated chafing dishes; everything here is cooked to order. We found the cozy patio surprisingly quiet on a Saturday at noon, but the friendly service made up for any loneliness we may have felt. Each diner receives an amuse-bouche of sticky rice and eggplant dip. Chef Braden Wages turns French toast into an Asian delicacy. He tops thick slices of a Vietnamese baguette with flambéed bananas. Warm coconut syrup, which is made with coconut milk and palm sugar, and contains hints of tamarind and mango, comes on the side. His version of eggs Benedict is done Malai style, which means coconut-spiked biscuits, Thai basil, shrimp, and poached eggs, all covered with a Thai chile hollandaise sauce. We admit we were leery of this dish, but it turned out to be the highlight of the meal and worth every artery-clogging calorie. Other offerings include a scrambled egg mix with curry “salsa,” Vietnamese noodle soup, fried rice topped with a fried egg, and a Vietnamese burger. There are $3 mimosas and $5 Bloody Marys, but splurge on a Lemongrass Fizz, a concoction of Ketel One Citroen, St-Germain, lemongrass syrup, and sparkling wine designed by mixologist Jason Kosmas. The flavors don’t collide with the cuisine.

Komali

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Owner and Chef Abraham Salum’s love affair with chiles is evident all over Komali’s brunch menu. From rich pasillas to smoky chipotles to mellow poblanos, his regional Mexican cooking is soothing and fragrant, a far cry from cheesy-greasy Tex-Mex (not that there’s anything wrong with that). With its sisal-covered walls and airy, light-filled interior, Komali feels like a Baja getaway. Brunch entrées are likewise a respite from the ordinary. Huevos ponchados feature two corn sopes—thick masa patties lightly fried—topped with chorizo, poached eggs, and pasilla hollandaise. It’s a zesty, dense dish for those with hearty appetites. A lighter option is the lump crab-stuffed crepes bathed in a lovely poblano cream and queso Oaxaca. Migas and chilaquiles—no strangers to most Texans—are traditional Mexican breakfast options cooked well by chef Salum. For a sweet ending, you can’t go wrong with sugar-dusted churros. At Komali, they come with a cup of Mexican hot chocolate.

Nick & Sam’s Grill

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Perched on one of the more prominent corners in Uptown, this restaurant has patrons who are almost as beautiful and savory as executive chef Constancio Rodrigues and corporate chef Samir Dhurandhar’s culinary creations. Yes, it’s a taut crowd at the popular casual sibling of Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse. Arrive early and grab a prized seat on the patio while you choose between a starter of crispy breakfast flautas stuffed with scrambled eggs and serrano peppers or N&S’s famous sticky buns, studded with pecans and raisins and drizzled with caramel. Brunch entrées range from the classic (Toad in the Hole with barbecue pork and poached eggs set within a slice of toast and topped with deviled hollandaise) to the whimsical (Cap’n Crunch-coated French toast). Considering its lineage, one would expect steak here to be expertly prepared, and Nick & Sam’s Grill doesn’t disappoint. The flat-iron steak is tender, perfectly cooked, and accompanied by two eggs, bearnaise, and a corned beef potato hash cake. For the fat phobic, fresh-squeezed juices in 10 varieties and a “hangover” smoothie with organic low-fat yogurt, fruit, and mint make it easier to fit into those skinny jeans. But from the looks of things, Nick & Sam’s Grill is the one place where the see-and-be-seen crowd of Uptown throws caution and carbs to the wind. Of course, a $6 carafe of mimosas has that effect.

LOWER GREENVILLE

The Grape's Fried Chicken Biscuit. Photography by Kevin Marple

The Grape

Brunch served Sunday only

Know this about brunch at The Grape: a reservation is not required, but you should make one anyway. The tiny dining room and patio fill up fast, and the last thing you want is to be turned away after you’ve already gotten a whiff of the aromas wafting out of chef/owner Brian Luscher’s kitchen. When Texas Monthly named The Grape’s classic cheeseburger—served only at Sunday brunch and Sunday and Monday dinner—the best burger in the state in 2009, the already-popular brunch spot got a big bump in business. Depending on your taste in burgers, those TexMo cats just might be right, but don’t put all your brunch eggs in the burger basket. The breakfast on a bun is everything breakfast should be—eggs, homemade sausage, and cheese on a huge pain au lait roll. The polenta cheese fritters are the perfect side for the table to share. And the spicy Bloody Mary—served with a Spanish olive, a chunk of sharp cheddar cheese, and a hunk of salami—could almost be a meal on its own.

LOWEST GREENVILLE

The Libertine

Brunch served Sunday only

The Libertine is a full-service establishment for serious beer drinkers. Every Saturday night they tempt with pints (and pints) of Belgian Chimay and sinful-sounding lagers such as Southern Star Bombshell Blonde. On Sunday morning, the kitchen offers a brunch menu designed to ease the pain those pints inflicted the night before. Take a seat—preferably the same one you occupied only a few hours earlier—and order a Snake in the Grass, a soothing concoction of green chartreuse, St-Germain, citrus juice, and Peruvian bitters. As the fog begins to lift, pluck sautéed shrimp from creamy manchego cheese grits. If you’re craving eggs, go with a ragin’ Cajun-style Benedict with andouille sausage and grilled crawfish piled atop an English muffin and covered with a poached egg and a runny dollop of hollandaise. Need a stiffer kick-start? Order the chilaquiles, a spicy mixture of eggs, tortilla slices, and tomatillo sauce.

 

NORTH OAK CLIFF

Hattie’s

Brunch served Sunday only
Hattie's Hangtown Scramble. Photography by Kevin Marple

Long before North Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District became one of the city’s more popular culinary destinations, this graceful Southern belle set the standard for fine dining south of the Trinity. It’s easy to see why. Brunch at Hattie’s is as sleepy and seductive as a Mississippi drawl, and the offerings are down-home delicious. The Hangtown Scramble is a gustatory hangover helper: herbed scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon-wrapped fried oysters all topped with Parmesan shavings and a red chile hollandaise drizzle. Breaded pork cutlets come with fried eggs and sweet potato hash browns. For those with a sweeter taste, cornmeal griddle cakes and sourdough French toast with bananas Foster sauce are sinfully indulgent. Yet every time we visit Hattie’s, we have a hard time not ordering the chicken and waffles: a perfectly fried chicken breast sitting atop a crispy waffle drenched in spicy maple syrup. It’s an off-the-
menu gem.

Tillman’s Roadhouse

Brunch served Sunday only
Tillman's Stuffed Chiles Rellenos. Photography by Kevin Marple

This popular Bishop Arts restaurant wears its yee-haw bravado proudly—albeit with brocade wallpaper, Murano chandeliers, and Eames midcentury chairs. Here, co-owners Sara Tillman and Todd Fiscus put a stylish spin on the classic Texas roadhouse. Likewise, chef Cody Brandt introduced a playful new brunch menu last year that’s littered with gussied-up Southern and Texan touches. Eggs Benedict features fried green tomatoes, corn relish, and bacon-flavored mayo. Big, fluffy biscuits are blanketed in sausage poblano gravy. And Tillman’s chiles rellenos is among the city’s finest, stuffed with scrambled eggs, pulled pork, Oaxacan cheese, and roasted poblano gravy. Sweet treats include brioche French toast with Grand Marnier maple syrup and braised apples, as well as a starter of monkey bread covered in caramel sauce and cream cheese frosting. Yee-haw, indeed.

ROCKWALL

Ava's Big 'Ol Biscuit Sandwich. Photography by Kevin Marple

Restaurant Ava

Brunch served Sunday only

Ava's Cinnamon Roll French Toast. Photography by Kevin Marple
Don’t let your big-city snobbery show. Though this charming and rustic restaurant is located in historic downtown Rockwall—yes, Rockwall—its contemporary American fare is some of the finest in North Texas. Chefs/owners Randall Copeland and Nathan Tate’s farm-to-table mantra is evident in the list of local produce and meats they use: Athey Farm eggs, Barking Cat Farm greens, J.T. Lemley’s produce, and more. Likewise, their brunch is fresh and satisfying, with offerings changing with the season. One thing remains constant: every brunch begins with complimentary homemade biscuits. A self-proclaimed biscuit aficionado at our table declared Ava’s big, fluffy, moist biscuits the finest he’s had in Texas. That’s high praise. The smoked brisket scramble is a ridiculously enormous plate featuring pecan-smoked brisket, eggs, potatoes, queso fresco, and fried tortilla strips. Roll it all up in a slightly charred flour tortilla and spoon on some roasted tomato salsa. Cinnamon roll French toast has a welcome granola-baked crunch with plenty of warm, spicy cinnamon flavor while not being too sweet. A side of house-smoked bacon certainly doesn’t hurt. That same delicious bacon appears in Ava’s three-cheese-and-spinach quiche. With brunch this fine, you might catch yourself plotting your next visit to Rockwall. Or some casual house hunting.

OAK LAWN

Parigi's Chad Houser, Roland Garcia, and Janice Provost. Photography by Kevin Marple

Dish 

Brunch served Sunday only

By night, Dish is one of the hottest clubs in town, with a sleek, colorful bar, several shimmering chandeliers, and a DJ booth thumping out beats well into the early morning hours. All of that makes the contrast even more surreal on Sunday mornings, when the club turns into a sophisticated restaurant serving what is probably the gayborhood’s best brunch. Gone are the dance floor and the DJ but not the colorful cocktails and pleasant party atmosphere. The menu offers all manner of remedy for your throbbing headache, from the light (a Cobb Martini salad) to the hearty (a scramble of short ribs, potato, onion, tomatoes, and a chile hollandaise sauce). A signature breakfast sandwich comes piled high with smoked ham, bacon, a fried egg, and white cheddar cheese. The bacon-fried chicken and soft, fluffy malted waffles—covered in warm maple syrup, of course—are tasty enough to make anyone forget the mistakes of a night spent sinning.

Parigi

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

The crowd is well-heeled and the vibe cosmopolitan at this chic neighborhood cafe serving the well-to-do of Oak Lawn and the Park Cities (translation: the gays and the grays) for more than 25 years. Owners/chefs Janice Provost and Chad Houser and chef Rolando Garcia champion local, seasonal ingredients on their tight yet tasty brunch menu—usually six items in addition to their typical lunch menu—with choices changing biweekly. That means one visit you might indulge your sweet tooth with decadent Nutella-and-banana-stuffed French toast or classic blueberry pancakes with walnut cinnamon butter. The next visit you might opt for a savory creation such as baby buttermilk biscuits covered in Italian sausage gravy or a sandwich of bacon, arugula, cherry tomatoes, cheese, and eggs in a flaky, buttery croissant. The people-watching is top-notch as well, with some of Dallas’ best interior designers regularly frequenting Parigi. Who knows? Maybe you’ll pick up a decorating tip or two.

 

NORTH DALLAS

Maximo's Enchilladas de Huevo. Photography by Kevin Marple

Maximo

Brunch served Sunday only

Sunday brunch at the Maximo Cocina Mexicana & Margarita Lounge has the same luxury and authority you would expect from a five-star hotel. No surprise. Chef Amador Mora worked for the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for 23 years, and you can feel that polish and cohesion on the plate. The menu reflects his unique viewpoint of high-end crossed with Mexican—a fusion of traditional cuisine with a Mexican twist. Fried chicken and cheesy mashed potatoes, for example, get a drizzle of poblano gravy. Fried eggs are served with black beans and soft corn tortillas, and eggs Benedict is done “Pueblan style,” with the eggs propped on corn sopes instead of English muffin. French toast uses Mexican bolillo bread; its accompanying butter is sweetened with Mexican piloncillo sugar. Waffles come with agave nectar syrup instead of plain maple. Pancake options are novel, too, with bananas or chocolate chips. Granola with fruit and yogurt is an anomaly until you remember that Mora made it daily at the Mansion (where granola is still featured). Everyone gets a complimentary basket of bread, and the fresh juices include orange and watermelon. Cocktails are fusion, too: the signature Maximo Heat has muddled jalapeños, and at brunch it’s a mere $6.

PLANO

Jasper’s

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Jasper's Banana Malt Pancakes topped with Black Currant Conserve and Vanilla Whipped Cream. Photography by Kevin Marple
Serving “gourmet backyard cuisine,” this handsome and popular Shops of Legacy restaurant is part of restaurateur Kent Rathbun’s burgeoning empire (Abacus, Blue Plate Kitchen), and casual, down-home touches can be tasted all over the tempting menu. Need proof? Look no further than Gramma Minnie’s fried chicken. The brunch-only offering is the stuff of childhood memories: cast-iron fried and simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Black pepper gravy with a kiss of maple syrup gives the dish its seductively sweet finish. Jasper’s other brunch offerings are equally nostalgic while exuding a modern twist. Vanilla French toast is topped with caramelized honey-banana syrup. Pancakes—flavorful with bananas and malt—are topped with black currant conserve and vanilla whipped cream. Classic steak and eggs features a wood-grilled flat-iron steak sliced and served alongside smoked bacon gravy and chile-lime biscuits. And as for those biscuits? Order an extra side. Kissed with a bit of heat and citrus, they are oddly addictive and will inspire a battle over who gets the last one. Better yet, make it two orders.

Nosh Euro Bistro Plano

Brunch served Sunday only

Nosh's Spanish Chorizo Hash. Photography by Kevin Marple
Veteran Dallas chef Avner Samuel and his wife, Celeste, have finally struck a successful culinary vein. They closed their fine dining restaurant, Aurora, in 2010, and reopened the Highland Park space as the more casual Nosh Euro Bistro. The New American menu features a few of Avner’s greatest Mediterranean hits, and, judging from the crowds, it’s a match made in heaven. Recently the couple opened a second location in Plano, and that is where we found ourselves seated at a large community table sipping bottomless sparkly sangria ($10) and brunching with an almost-full room of late-morning diners. The brunch menu is basically the Nosh lunch menu plus five brunchy items: braised short rib tacos, buttermilk fried chicken breast and thigh with biscuits and gravy, Spanish chorizo hash, and a traditional eggs Benedict, as well as a rogue version made with beef tenderloin, “melted onions,” bacon, and béarnaise. The best bites came from the finely diced roasted potatoes mixed with strips of chorizo and red peppers topped with a pan-fried egg and drizzled with a smoked paprika aioli. The dark yellow, almost orange, yolk was firm. Once pierced by the tine of a fork, however, the lavalike liquid swirled slowly around the tasty potato hash. We could not resist the temptation of the butterscotch pot au crème. Sweet sin on a Sunday, this thick, rich pudding with two shortbread cookies is evil genius in a cup.

Whiskey Cake

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Here’s a restaurant located smack in the heart of the suburbs that any inner-city-dwelling hipster could love. At Plano’s Whiskey Cake, the eclectic look is industrial downtown loft meets Arts and Crafts movement, and the kitchen mentality is a laudable farm to fork. Oh, and the portions are huge. Take, for instance, the steak and egg burger. It’s a two-handed delicious mess with a brisket meat pressed patty, sunny-side-up egg, Muenster cheese, bacon, red chile aioli, and—deep breath—hollandaise. Rich, tangy, sweet, and peppery, it’s everything you want in a burger and breakfast squished between a soft, eggy bun. Chicken and waffles—having its moment on brunch menus across North Texas—features bacon in the waffle batter and smoked chile hollandaise poured over fried chicken and scrambled eggs. No less decadent, thick-cut brioche French toast is stuffed with mascarpone, apples, cranberries, and cinnamon, then topped with toasted almonds.

PARK CITIES

Al Biernat’s

Brunch served Sunday only

Al Biernat's Brioche French Toast. Photography by Kevin Marple
Expensive cars idle in the valet line, but inside Al Biernat’s at brunch, jeans and flats have replaced suits and heels. The dim lights of dinner service have been raised, giving the dining room a brighter, lighter vibe. But besides a costume change and a flipped dimmer switch, not much else goes casual at Al’s in the morning. The service remains impeccable, and the food still meets every expectation. A basket of pastries comes gratis, and it takes a hearty helping of willpower to keep from filling up on croissants and iced cinnamon bread. But resist you must, because the brunch menu offers two full pages of deliciousness to explore. The lobster and scrambled egg tacos, for instance, consist of two large flour tortillas piled high with sweet lobster chunks and fluffy egg; they are accompanied by chips and salsa. The side of cheese grits comes with a bit of a conundrum: too good to share, too big not to. Another not-so-casual element? The price. Brunch for two can easily reach $100.

 

DEEP ELLUM

Cane Rosso's Coffee and Donuts. Photography by Kevin Marple

Cane Rosso

Brunch served Saturday only

Owner and Pizzaioli Jay Jerrier wasn’t content to turn out some of the more authentic and delicious Neapolitan pies in Dallas. No, he also had to create a killer brunch menu. Brunch? At a pizzeria? That skepticism will quickly be muffled by a blanket of Jimmy’s spicy sausage gravy. The same hot soppressata found on many of Cane Rosso’s pizzas is blended with braised pork, elevating the lowly breakfast hash into something special. Yawn-inducing eggs Benedict is made memorable by replacing the usual suspects—Canadian bacon, hollandaise, an English muffin—with crispy pancetta, Calabrian chile gravy, and fried polenta cakes. Even the benign-sounding coffee and donuts is anything but. Cane Rosso serves cute zeppoles—deep-fried dough balls made with ricotta—in a paper sack along with a chocolate dipping sauce. Best of all, the typically standing-room-only restaurant is much quieter on Saturday mornings, allowing for a quick start to the day. That is, at least for now.

VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Blue Mesa Grill

Brunch served Sunday only

All five branches of this home-grown chain host one of the more jammed Sunday brunches in town. It runs a customer-friendly six hours, from 9 am to 3 pm, and for those with an appetite, it represents a tremendous value. For $17.95 ($6.95 for kids ages 6 to 10), you get access to an enormous buffet that pairs breakfast items like eggs Benedict with Southwest dishes such as fajitas and blue-corn cheese enchiladas with red sauce. If you want meat, they have plenty of it: brisket, glazed ham, sausage, and bacon. If you want old-school casserole, they have King Ranch. But the signature is the black bean adobe pie—a sweet corn cake stuffed with smoky black beans and cheese and steamed like a tamale so it stays moist. Bypass the line at the omelet station for Tex-Mex egg options such as huevos rancheros and migas. Even with this bounty, it’s hard to resist Blue Mesa’s trademark chips. Bite-size portions of flan let you sample a taste even if you didn’t save room for dessert. Did we mention free mimosas and poinsettias (champagne with cranberry juice)?

KNOX

Toulouse Cafe and Bar

Brunch served Saturday and Sunday

Toulouse's Omelet Provencale. Photography by Kevin Marple
In Ratatouille, the Pixar movie about a rat becoming a chef in Paris, the motto is anyone can cook. We beg to differ. That’s why we head to Toulouse to get a French fix. The red leather booths, soft yellow walls, and hardwood floors of the dining room are inviting. But we prefer to sit on the patio, which has some of the best people-watching in town. We critique the running form of the athletes on the Katy Trail, diverting our attention only when New Orleans-style beignets arrive. The pastries are covered in a generous shower of powdered sugar and cooled off with cappuccino sauce (crème anglaise flavored with espresso). As the runners work on their fitness, we dive into our entrées—short rib hash with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, two poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce; and the Omelet Provencale with ratatouille vegetables, sautéed spinach, and creamy goat cheese. If you’re aiming for a healthier brunch, go for the Katy Trail Omelet, made with whipped egg whites and served with a side of fruit. Want to burn off some calories after your decadent brunch? Not a problem, just hop on the trail. And don’t worry about wearing your sweats to brunch. At Toulouse, being trés chic is passé.

DESIGN DISTRICT

Meddlesome Moth

Brunch served Sunday only

It’s known for its beer, but the Meddlesome Moth’s kitchen turns out a mean brunch. The dark interior with Dallas art and the stained-glass windows from Dallas’ original Hard Rock Cafe create the perfect setting to nurse a headache. (The Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters French press coffee also lifts your spirits.) The names of the brunch dishes are as well thought out as the ingredients. We especially enjoyed the Mother and Child Reunion, a fried chicken breast tenderloin topped with perfectly poached eggs on a bed of peppered grits and spicy jalapeño gravy. Once we satisfied the savory side of our palate, we turned our attention to our sweet tooth, opting for Neuske’s Badass Bacon Waffles with warm caramel apple compote and Brie fondue. The waffles have rendered Neuske’s bacon in the batter and are topped with three perfectly crispy strips. As we sat eating and drinking, we watched hipsters, church-goers, and yuppies file in and out of the restaurant. We timed it just right and stuck around until it was appropriate to have a beer. It seemed like the right thing to do.

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