Brunching Out: Ten Best Spots for Weekend Brunch in Big D

Forget about breakfast being the most important meal of the day– in Dallas, it’s all about brunch. In fact, Dallasites take brunch so seriously that it’s become something of a sacred weekend ritual, where decadent food and copious amounts of booze are often part of the deal. The best part is that there’s no shortage of delicious spots to get your brunch on. The only problem you might have is deciding where to go.

For most locals, brunch means going out for a heaping platter of fried chicken and waffles, and arguably the most popular place to find it is at Jonathon's, a cozy Oak Cliff eatery set up in a 1930s bungalow. Chicken and waffles, or rather, chicken, bacon and waffles with cream puffs and strawberries on top is a special feature at Maple Leaf Diner as well. There’s also chicken and waffles on the brunch menu at Zatar, albeit a Middle Eastern version of the dish, featuring anise infused waffles topped with fried shish taouk (chicken breast), carob molasses and powdered sugar.

In the mood for something even sweeter? Say perhaps, banana cream pie French toast with candied pecans? Then head over to Oddfellows, a laid-back Bishop Arts cafe that’s known for its creative American fare and killer coffee service.    

Speaking of good coffee, La Duni cranks out an espresso menu with around twenty-two different options and its brunch menu holds heaps of Latin-inspired delights. 

Have we piqued your appetite yet? There’s more. Read on to find where to find the best dim sum, eggs benedict, chilaquiles, shakshouka, bottomless mimosas and more.  


Photo courtesy of Villa-O

At this enduringly popular nautical-themed hangout, the buzz is as important as the food. Which means seats are always at a premium. But don't let that deter you from coming. The restaurant serves terrific Italian cuisine and offers great specials on booze and food throughout the week. Not to mention, it has one of the coziest people-watching patios in the neighborhood. As far as brunch goes, there's something for everyone (think kid-friendly, gluten-free, organic and vegetarian) â€" which might be the reason why Villa-O attracts such a diverse crowd of folks. Expect to find everything from breakfast pizza and crab cake benedict to shrimp crepes and challah bread French toast. And yes, there's plenty of booze options to wash it all down, including bottomless mimosas, bellinis and Bloody Mary's on offer for $10.

Recommended for Brunch because: In addition to great food and bottomless booze options, Villa-O provides great people watching opportunities while you eat.

Ilene's expert tip: Villa-O offers brunch (including bottomless booze specials) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Read more about Villa-O →

East Dallas
E Bar Tex-Mex
Photo courtesy of E Bar Tex-Mex

Tucked away off the beaten path between East Dallas and Uptown, this cozy brick-lined cantina has locals cramming in at all hours– not only for the incredible drink specials on offer everyday (including $3 hand-crafted margaritas on Tuesdays and $2 mimosas at weekend brunch), but also for the phenomenal food. You seriously can't go wrong with anything on the menu, from the spicy white queso topped with taco meat, guacamole, sour cream and jalapeños to tacos, enchiladas, carne guisada (a Tex-Mex style beef stew), grilled shrimp and the like. Cool the burn with said margaritas which come every which way– from straight up on-the-rocks to frozen and swirled in flavors like mango and strawberry. Oh, and did we mention that they serve breakfast (think: migas, huevos rancheros and breakfast burritos) all day?

Recommended for Brunch because: E Bar is one of the most lively and popular Mexican food joints in Dallas.

Ilene's expert tip: The restaurant offers free parking in its adjacent lot and there's also another lot across the street if the main one is full.

Read more about E Bar Tex-Mex →

Maple Leaf Diner
Photo courtesy of Maple Leaf Diner

If a pile of fried chicken and bacon stacked on top of Belgium waffles sounds to you like the ideal way to kick start your morning, read on. This old school diner cranks out an extensive repertoire of every type of Canadian comfort fare imaginable– which means you'll see plenty of Canadian bacon and poutine (French fries smothered with melting cheese curds and brown gravy) along with burgers, sandwiches and even fish & chips. But the place really goes all out when it comes to breakfast, with options covering everything from Greek omelets and smoked salmon Benedict to those oh-so-amazing chicken-bacon-and-waffles that come topped with strawberries and, wait for it; cream puffs. And yes, you definitely want to slather the whole thing with butter and maple syrup. The best part? You'll find all the breakfast items on offer every day, and because of that, you can have brunch anytime you want. Oh yeah, they have boozy milkshakes here too.

Recommended for Brunch because: Maple Leaf Diner takes breakfast waffles to soaring heights, literally.

Ilene's expert tip: The diner also sells Canadian merchandise and treats like Nanaimo Bars and butter pies.

Read more about Maple Leaf Diner →

Photo courtesy of Oddfellows Facebook

Though this hipster hangout serves meals at all hours, it's breakfast and brunch that draw in the crowds. But be warned, you'll have a hard time deciding what to order. Go sweet and you'll be confronted with a choice between banana cream pie French toast with candied pecans or red velvet pancakes with whipped butter and maple syrup. Go savory-- and the choices get even harder. Will it be the duck chilaquiles with tortilla strips and fried eggs? Or perhaps the Angry Frito Pie (the crowd fave) with wild boar chorizo chili and all the fixings? No matter what you decide, there's no better place to whittle away the day than in the restaurant's rustic-chic surrounds while you sip a cup of Oddfellows' famous premium coffee.

Recommended for Brunch because: Oddfellows is known for its terrific food and stellar coffee program.

Ilene's expert tip: Oddfellows does not take reservations during weekend brunch. But no worries, you can wander around the neighborhood while you wait and they'll text you when your table is ready.

Read more about Oddfellows →

Kirin Court Chinese Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Kirin Court Chinese Restaurant

The dim sum dining darling of the metroplex, Kirin Court is perennially popular for its authentic, perfectly prepared little packages of Cantonese treats, which fortunately can be had every day of the week. Though if you're yearning for the full trolley delivered experience, you'll have to head here on weekends or from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the week. The pickings (over 40 items) run the gamut from dumplings galore to spring rolls, taro cakes, congee, barbecue pork buns and even chicken feet. Also, don't skip dessert, the flaky egg tarts are magical.

Recommended for Brunch because: Kirin Court is one of the area's best places for dim sum.

Ilene's expert tip: This place packs a crowd on weekends, especially Sundays, so come by 10:30 (it opens at 9:30) if you don't want to wait for a table.

Read more about Kirin Court Chinese Restaurant →

La Duni-Northpark Center
Photo courtesy of La Duni-Northpark Center

This deservedly popular brasserie excels at decadent desserts and Latin-inspired comfort food, so it should come as no surprise that it also serves up a phenomenal brunch. Served on Saturdays and Sundays, the menu runs the gamut from breakfast style chile relleno and tacos to huevos finos (a sliced pop-over topped with ham, Gruyere, eggs, and Hollandaise) and huevos gauchos. If you've got a serious sweet tooth, don't miss the Capirotada, a Mexican breakfast bread pudding topped with maple syrup and bacon. Speaking of sweets, don't get us started on the homemade pecan sticky buns, guava rolls and Mexican sweet breads. To drink, there's everything from horchata and lattes to a 22-item espresso menu. Or for those craving a breakfast booze, the mimosa bar (cava, freshly pressed orange juice and choice of fruit puree: orange, grapefruit, mango, berries, guava or passion fruit) comes highly recommended.

Recommended for Brunch because: La Duni is the best place to go for unusual Latin-inspired brunch offerings and phenomenal pastries.

Ilene's expert tip: Beat the lines by calling or adding your name to the online wait list before you go.

Read more about La Duni-Northpark Center →

Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar
Photo courtesy of Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar

This wildly popular Lebanese café (one of the best openings of 2017), has just dropped a killer new Sunday brunch lineup to its repertoire. On the menu are things like eggplant shakshouka (2 eggs baked in the center of an eggplant); lamb & sweet potato hash, and even Middle Eastern style breakfast tacos. Equally irresistible is the shish taouk and waffles, featuring anise infused waffles topped with fried chicken breast, carob molasses and powdered sugar. To drink: There's Arabic coffee and ice tea flavored with orange blossom water, or boozy brunchers can tank up on sumac Bloody Mary's and frozés (frozen rose). Don't miss dessert, the platter of loaded pancakes stuffed with Nutella and halawa is calling your name.

Recommended for Brunch because: Zatar is the best place for when you want a Middle Eastern feast.

Ilene's expert tip: Brunch is served on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Read more about Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar →

Smoke Restaurant Dallas
Photo courtesy of Smoke Restaurant

Barbecue brisket omelet? Yes please. For those in search of something more exciting than the usual brunch fare, behold Smoke, a buzzy, upscale smokehouse where almost everything on the menu is cooked over hardwood. The line-up (breakfast and weekend brunch) features everything from breakfast tacos and brisket cornbread hash (with a poached egg and poblano chiles) to pulled whole hog barbecue eggs benedict, fried chicken and coconut waffles, blueberry ricotta pancakes and so much more. As for cocktails, don't pass up the Double Barrel Bloody Mary, made with a roasted tomato-chile base and garnished with house-made pickles. Good luck trying to stop at just one.

Recommended for Brunch because: Smoke is where to go when you're in the mood for elevated wood-fired fare in a rustic chic setting.

Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to reserve in advance or expect to find a wait. Also note that Smoke has a Plano location.

Read more about Smoke Restaurant Dallas →

Photo courtesy of Jonathon's Oak Cliff Facebook

Don't be surprised to find long lines outside of this charming 1930s bungalow because Jonathon's is something of an institution, and for good reason. The place not only serves terrific comfort food favorites, ranging from burgers and pork chops to chicken pot pie, it's also the go-to-spot for some of the best brunch options in town. Though the menu churns out everything from eggs benedict to Danger Dogs (a glorious concoction of pancake battered, deep-fried turkey sausage links), it's the southern-style chicken and waffles that really reign supreme. Jonathon's takes the dish's sweet and savory mix to new heights by loading massive hunks of crispy fried chicken onto thick Belgium waffles before crowning the whole thing with pepper gravy. Finished off with a splash of warm maple syrup and the dish becomes pure magic. Best of all, you don't need to wait for weekends to get your chicken and waffle fix--Jonathon's dishes up its brunch options all day long.

Recommended for Brunch because: Jonathon's is a Dallas institution for chicken and waffles.

Ilene's expert tip: The best thing at Jonathon's is an off-the-menu item called the Nooner, a gut-busting burger with ham, bacon, tomato, fried egg and two kinds of cheese.

Read more about Jonathon's Oak Cliff →

Photo courtesy of Elliott Munoz

A perennial favorite among Dallas chefs and locals alike, Bolsa packs in one of the best brunches in the city. We're talking bacon and egg flatbreads; chilaquiles; French toast cakes; crispy scallops and bacon-cheddar frittata; bacon-and-egg-topped burgers, and BBQ pork belly with pimento cheese grits. The craft cocktails here are no slouch either. There's also a DIY option, where $15 gets you a bottle of sparkling wine and your choice of juice. Stuck on what to order? Then go for the Brunch Deluxe, which includes maple-bourbon glazed pork belly, French toast cakes, sunny-side up eggs and fingerling potatoes.

Recommended for Brunch because: If you want take brunch to a higher level, it doesn't get any better than Bolsa.

Ilene's expert tip: Make sure to reserve online in advance. Check Facebook for daily specials and events.

Read more about Bolsa →


Meet Ilene Jacobs

As a perpetual wanderer, foodie freak and wannabe chef, Ilene is always on the lookout for the best places to see, eat, drink and sleep. When she's not writing about the latest happenings in...  More About Ilene