French toast gets upgraded with raisins, pecans, and orange mascarpone at the Mansion. Catherine Downes

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Where To Find the Best Brunch in Dallas

Kick off the covers. Dress up—or don’t. It’s time to eat at one of the 20 best brunch spots in Dallas.

Brunch lacks rules. It’s neither breakfast nor lunch. It’s a planned event with a buffet for Mother’s Day or a last second Sunday morning decision after a night out. Get up early or hit the snooze button for hours—the fluffy eggs and sugar-dusted carbs will be there either way. Sip a French press of coffee, or return to the Bloody Mary bar for your third round of vodka-soaked pickled vegetables. Slide into your favorite pair of Chanel kicks or roll out of bed and arrive in wrinkled pajamas.

This is a lighthearted meal. One—regardless of how trendy, and therefore mocked, it has become—worth celebrating. It is a fixture of the weekend’s denouement, one of the last chances to relax and check out before the workweek begins. Since the last time D Magazine editors judged the city’s brunch offerings, in 2012, things have changed. Brunch menus are no longer different takes on the same dishes. Restaurants have reconfigured pizza. There are fresh oysters and hollandaise made with duck fat. The drinks are more thoughtful; a mimosa may trade orange juice for a kick of lime and red bell pepper, bourbon may mix with cinnamon cereal milk. It was time that we reevaluated the city’s finest. How we defined brunch: a menu specially designed for the weekend, fully separated from standard lunch and breakfast options.

We kicked off the covers weekend after weekend and joined the tribes of disheveled party animals, churchgoers, and famished nuclear families to unveil the best brunches in Dallas. So go eat. Just don’t take it so seriously.

Al Biernat’s

Why settle for simple French toast when you can get Al Biernat’s brioche version? It even comes with fresh berries and caramelized bananas.

The best selection of steak and lobster you’re going to find in Dallas before noon on a Sunday is at Al Biernat’s. Lively diners in their best church attires fill sprawling tables and disappear into sunken chocolate leather booths. And they indulge, knowing that they’re likely to be staring down a $100 check for two at the end of this. But you get what you pay for. Service here is top-notch—wait staff dotes on your every need. So too is the selection of brunch entrées. For an elevated take on a breakfast staple, order the lobster and scrambled egg tacos with avocado, smoked bacon, and queso fresco ($26). Those with a sweet-tooth will sate their cravings with buttermilk pancakes topped with strawberries soaked in Grand Marnier and brown sugar butter ($11). Top it off with a glass of champagne. Or two. This is an extravagant brunch, after all. So lean in.

Served Sunday only.

Americano

Americano’s pumpkin blossom, ricotta, and basil pie gets a fresh hit of preserved Meyer lemon, perfect for an early weekend afternoon. (photo by Kevin Marple)
Don’t forget the marinara. These Calabrian sausage-stuffed fried olives deserve a dip. (photo by Catherine Downes)

Ask for a table on the patio that extends out into the Main Street sidewalk at this trendy Italian restaurant. Not only will your food Instagrams look better (natural light is the key to a good snap, people) you can bask in the afternoon glow as the city passes you and your Aperol spritz right on by. The fried Castelvetrano olives loaded with Calabrian chili sausage are one of the best starters in Dallas. Order a side of marinara and dunk those suckers. The breakfast pizza, topped with sausage gravy, potatoes, and a fried farm egg, is just the right amount of kitsch. Pop the yolk and let it run over the gravy-drenched dough.

Served Saturday and Sunday.

Armoury D.E.

Chef Abram Vargas’ Hungarian-inspired plates of brunch fare are unique to the neighborhood, and possibly even the city. Grab a seat inside at the cavernous bar, or choose an elevated tabletop on the intimate back patio. Try the Rakott Krumpli, a traditional Hungarian dish of layered potatoes, gyulai sausage, hard boiled eggs, and Hungarian Swiss cheese, served with a generous helping of fresh berries and pineapple. The sandwiches are here to cure the byproducts of late night beer-slinging and live-music-venue-hopping. The Scat Terry is a standout: pecan wood-smoked bacon, jalapeno bacon, four-year-aged cheddar, tomato, lettuce, and chipotle mayonnaise squished between two pillowy halves of ciabatta bread. For a hair of the dog, order the Bloody Cthulhu: gin, Ramazzotti, house-made bloody mix, and a charred octopus, served with a pony of Miller High Life. Best Bloody Mary in town.

Served Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Bistro 31

Brunch at this popular Lombardi concept, nestled in the middle of Highland Park Village, has a very ladies-who-lunch vibe. Take a seat in the elegant dining room, or on the covered patio, and indulge in a selection of classic brunch dishes, pastas, and sweet baked goods. Start with an order of red beet-cured pacific salmon on potato latkes with sour cream and caviar. Finish with the lemon ricotta pancakes. For an elevated take on a mimosa, choose the French 31: gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, lemon, raspberry, and prosecco. And don’t feel too guilty. You can walk it off as you browse the surrounding shops.

Served Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9 a.m.

Boulevardier

A perfect brunch at Boulevardier. The Legs and Eggs, and a sampling of the fresh baked breads.(photography by Kevin Marple)

If you visit this French-inspired Oak Cliff restaurant one weekend morning, order the Legs and Eggs. It’s fun to say, and it’s one of the standouts on the menu. The dish is a crispy duck leg confit with two sunny-side up farm eggs, homestead stone-ground grit cakes, and huckleberry preserves. You won’t want to share. So maybe order two. Those looking for something lighter can choose from fresh oysters that welcome you from their resting place on the ice at the edge of the circular wooden bar. There’s also fresh fruit and a seasonal quiche. Important note: Their mimosas come with a splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur.

Served Saturday and Sunday.

Bread Winners

If the idea of large helpings of food before mid-afternoon on the weekends sounds the least bit appealing, chances are you’ve been to this Dallas staple. While there are several locations of the café and bakery, the Uptown outpost at the corner of McKinney Avenue and Hall Street is the best location to see why it’s been so successful. It’s a neighborhood cornerstone, stuffed with crowds that call Uptown home. Large parties are as easily accommodated here as are intimate two-tops. Those who partied too hard the night before can comfortably indulge in a selection of so-called “hangover elixirs:” mimosas, brunch punch, bloody diablo with jalapeno bacon. And the vast menu—everything from benedicts, to a variety of French toasts, and burgers—has something for everyone. And everything is done well. Your best bet is the decadent, Southern twist on the croque madame: grilled Tuscan bread, ham, Swiss cheese, jalapeno cream gravy, and a runny sunny-side up egg.

Served Saturday and Sunday.

CBD Provisions

Texas Red: Opt for a bowl of chili at CBD provisions, and be sure to savor the farm egg when you dip your cornbread in it. (photo by Kevin Marple)

The downtown Joule Hotel’s cornerstone restaurant, CBD Provisions accommodates a mix of famished hotel guests and downtown dwellers. Take a seat in the sprawling dining room of the Texas brasserie, bathe in the warm lighting and order a frothy cappuccino before you take a glance at the menu. You’ll have plenty of time to contemplate the potato and chorizo quiche, sourdough French toast, or a fried chicken sandwich. Go ahead and order a serving of house-made sausage while you’re at it.

Served Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Grape

Burger Bliss: The Grape’s most famous brunch offering is still its biggest draw. Its drinks are right up there, too. (photography by Catherine Downes)

This intimate neighborhood restaurant has fed East Dallas for 44 years. The awning-covered patio, facing bustling Lower Greenville, is the place to be on Sundays. Sip a frothy cappuccino or a Lakewood Lager. Dig into blueberry cornmeal griddle cakes with whipped honey butter and maple syrup, or fried chicken topped with cheddar cheese and honey butter served on a jalapeño-cheddar biscuit. But if you know about The Grape’s brunch, you’re certainly familiar with its accolade-laden brunch burger. Due to the burger’s popularity, the burger can now be ordered on Monday evenings. A grilled 10-ounce ground beef patty gets topped with house-made peppered bacon, Vermont white cheddar, Nathan’s horseradish half-sour pickles, and dijonnaise. It’s all sandwiched between a toasted pain au lait bun, and it earns every bit of praise that has come to it since Texas Monthly crowned it the state’s best burger in 2009.

Served Sunday only, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Henry’s Majestic

This cavernous restaurant is packed with a young, boisterous crowd on the weekends. On chilly winter mornings find a wooden stool and take a seat at the fireplace-facing communal high-top table. When it’s warmer, opt for a seat on the spacious and covered dog-friendly patio. Get interactive and mix your own mimosa at the sparkling bar. Choose from a selection of brut cava, prosecco, sparkling rosé, house-made cordials, seasonal fruit, and fresh-squeezed juices. The dill-infused vodka Bloody Mary with house-made hot sauce is a suitable option for those who prefer a savory buzz. The menu is a bit of a mess in the best way possible, the dishes linked by their richness, size, and quality rather than a region or style. Dig into buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy, or stuffed brioche French toast with house-made jam, mascarpone, blueberries, and whipped cream. This is where you go to ward off last night, and face temptation to keep it going.

Served Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m.

Jonathon’s Oak Cliff

Stick Talk: Jonathon’s has breakfast kebabs for when you just can’t be bothered with a knife and fork. (photo by Kevin Marple)

This Oak Cliff gem is known for having some of the best—and biggest—chicken and waffles in town. Golden brown Belgian waffles with a fluffy, warm interior are topped with a generous helping of crispy fried chicken. We recommend smothering the entire thing in peppered gravy and warm maple syrup. The Kure is also worth a try (if your appetite is up for the challenge): a house-made biscuit topped with bacon, pork sausage, cheddar, scrambled eggs, and doused in Tabasco gravy and pico de gallo. It will quickly become clear why people line up down the sidewalk for a seat at Jonathon’s each weekend.

Served Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 8 a.m.

The Mansion

The legendary Turtle Creek hotel restaurant attracts well-off Dallasites in their Sunday bests as well as hotel guests who rolled out bed and into this lavish dining room. The “practically endless” mimosas and spicy bloody Mary bar ($18 all-in) will help you feign hydration as you make your way through the tasting menu (at $54 per person, it includes starter, entrée, and dessert). We recommend going with a small group, so you can try a bit of everything. Standout dishes include the smoked brisket Benedict on a bacon biscuit with piquillo peppers and aerated Béarnaise sauce, and the raisin pecan French toast with orange mascarpone and spiced pecans. Those looking to add a bit of protein to their diet can choose from a selection of house-cured meats. The fennel breakfast sausage is well worth the $8.

Served Saturday and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pie Tap

Lox Better: Smoked salmon gets an upgrade on the Pie Tap crust. (photo by Catherine Downes)

Pizza for breakfast has needed a place like Pie Tap to help elevate it beyond grabbing a cold slice from the fridge. Start with the smoked salmon pie, topped with Icelandic smoked salmon, house-made lemon ricotta, red onion, dill, capers, and house-cured egg yolk. Move onto the eggs Florentine pie topped with fresh mozzarella, spinach, farm eggs, and Hollandaise. Sip $3 mimosas with your choice of fresh orange, blackberry, or pineapple juice. If you need more of a kick in the pants, order the Irish nitro: whiskey, Ascension nitro coffee, egg white, simple syrup, and cream. Expect a vibe that is young, fresh, and vivacious.

Served Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m.

Rapscallion

If for no other reason, head to Boulevardier’s Lower Greenville sister restaurant for the Cinnamon Toast Punch. The saccharine cocktail is made with Old Grand-dad bourbon, cereal milk, and cinnamon. It’s like your childhood turned 21. But unless your plans for the day revolve around a nap and little else, you’ll probably want to add an order of duck confit hash. The combination of sweet potatoes, onions, peppers and duck fat hollandaise is topped with a poached duck egg—the perfect savory accompaniment. Not in the mood for breakfast fare after that sweet, boozy beginning? Opt for the Rapscallion burger with pimento cheese, house-pepper bacon, dill pickles, and creole mustard. You won’t regret asking for an egg on top.

Served Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m.

Rise No. 1

The violet soufflé at Rise No. 1. (photo by Kevin Marple)

Inwood Village’s go-to destination for afternoon noshes has attracted families and post-church crowds since 2008. This charming and intimate French-inspired bistro serves the best soufflés in town. Sweet and savory standouts include the smoked salmon, bread pudding, and escargot. Relax and spend a couple of hours among the French country décor and tasteful nick knacks while sipping requisite bubbly wines, specialty coffees, and tea.

Served Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m.

The Rustic

Pass It: The shareable brunch platter at the Rustic is among the best values in the city. (photo by Catherine Downes)

The Jam and Toast brunch is our, well, jam. The feast costs $16.95 per person, and includes pass platters heaping with cheese and fruit; country baked eggs with sharp white cheddar, chives, and baby spinach; bacon and sausage from Rudolph’s Market; Nashville-style hot chicken with dill pickles; hand-cut challah fried toast soaked in vanilla custard and topped with house-made rosemary syrup; smoked cheddar grits; and small-batch donuts. You’ll also want to pass carafes of mimosas, Bloody Marys, and boozy Deep Eddy vodka concoctions as you tap your toes to live music, which starts at 12:30 p.m. on weekends. Weather permitting, make an afternoon out of the expansive picnic tables. Otherwise slide into one of the plush booths, or pull up a stool at the horseshoe bar. You’ve got a long day ahead of you.

Served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Sixty Vines

Pour Up: Take advantage of Sixty Vines’ more than 100 wines on tap before you dive into angel food French toast. (photography by Kevin Marple)

This bright and spacious restaurant in Plano is always humming. There are enough sprawling communal tables to comfortably seat hundreds, all illuminated by natural light that pours in from countless windows. Families and couples chow down on pineapple upside down pancakes, avocado eggs Benedict, and gourmet pizzas. Pull up a stool at one of the wine bars and sip a house-made michelada, grapefruit mimosa, or a glass of wine; there are more than 100 to choose from.

Served Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9 a.m.

The Theodore

This Wes Anderson themed hideaway inside NorthPark Center from the team behind Bolsa and Smoke is worth fighting through the mall to get to. The breads, all made in-house, are spongy and sweet. Start your meal with a basket heaping with an assortment of chocolate croissants, blueberry muffins, banana muffins, and fruit preserves. Standout mains include the breakfast calzone, loaded with pork breakfast sausage, scrambled eggs, ricotta, mozzarella, and tomato sauce, and the triple stacked French toast with cream cheese and toasted pecans.  Bonus: there’s a kids brunch for the tiny humans in your party. If the weather allows, grab a seat on the lush patio and gawk at shoppers’ bootee as they pass by. Chances are, it’s a more elevated experience than you’ve encountered at a shopping mall.

Served Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m.

TJ’s Fresh Seafood Market

This is for seafood enthusiasts. T.J.’s, the city’s finest fishmonger for more than a decade, expanded a few years back to offer dinner at its Preston Hollow flagship. It’s since opened for lunch and brunch, and even spread south, opening a second market and restaurant in Oak Lawn. Both are incredible. Start with the hickory and alder smoked salmon board with dill cream cheese, capers, tomatoes, snappy purple onions, and crackers. Feeling fancier than that? Caviar service is here for you, with a choice of imported osetra and hackleback served with blinis, grated egg, onion capers, and crème fraiche. For a lighter option, choose Morning in Malibu: egg whites, spinach, red pepper, avocado, and arugula. When you leave, go ahead and pick up a few fresh filets to cook up for dinner.

Served Saturday and Sunday, starting at 11:30 a.m.

Top Knot

The Most Not the Lesser: Top Knot’s brunch menu is the most inventive in the city. Up above, the Pork Katsu Rice Bowl, with fried egg, kimchi caramel, negi, and furikake. (photo by Thomas Do)

This trendy American and Asian-inspired restaurant, perched above Uchi in Uptown, took home our award for Best Brunch last year. The menu and fare hold up. The onigiri remains one of the best brunch items on the menu, and in Dallas writ large: A soft poached egg topped with negi, and house-made kimchi caramel gets served on a bed of crispy rice. You will not want to share this, so make sure you order enough for everybody at the table. Other must-trys include the hot fried chicken bun on a pillowy parker house roll, and the baked eggs with tomato, charred peppers, labneh, and a side of toast for dipping. For those tired of standard mimosas, opt instead for half-priced rosé on Sundays or a Ringer: Sparkling wine, red bell pepper, lime, and orange bitters.

Served Sunday only, starting at 11 a.m

Zephyr Bakery Cafe

Have your eggs deviled at Zephyr Bakery Cafe, (photo by Catherine Downes)

The café-style eatery on the corner of Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street opened less than two years ago but has fast become a neighborhood staple. The covered patio, adorned in quaint two and four-top tables, is bustling every Sunday with energetic folks reminiscing about last night’s festivities. Offerings include a hodgepodge of classic American staples and European-inspired comfort food. The brunch menu boasts some of the best deviled eggs in town: whipped yolk and pimento cheese topped with pickled okra, crispy ham, spicy pecans, and a dusting of paprika. The seafood omelet is crammed with shrimp, crawfish, bell peppers, and onion, and gets topped with seafood and mushroom pontchartrain sauce. You’ll be daydreaming of the Big Easy. Service can be dubious at times, but the carafes of fizzy mimosas make up for it.

Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

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