The 12 Best Brunches in Houston for 2016 (With Video)

An order of light-as-air beignets at Bernadine's, one of the restaurant's newest brunch dishes.
An order of light-as-air beignets at Bernadine's, one of the restaurant's newest brunch dishes.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

7. Bernadine’s and 6. Hunky Dory, 1801 North Shepherd. We put these two together because they are right next door to each other and are both owned by the Treadsack restaurant group. However, the cuisines are very different, so choose based on mood. The very fine brunch at Bernadine’s features a special Sunday punch (such as a recent offering that involved orange juice spiked with mezcal), Southern specialties like beignets and fresh Gulf coast seafood. Hunky Dory’s brunch is British-influenced and includes tender scones with clotted cream and homemade jam, boldly spiced lamb vindaloo and the impressively large Smithfield’s Breakfast with a British banger (sausage), back bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, Heinz baked beans, a fried slice of bread and eggs. In other words, diners really can’t go wrong at either place. Brunch is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

A tray of irresistible churros, one of the many brunch items at Picos' huge buffet.
A tray of irresistible churros, one of the many brunch items at Picos' huge buffet.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

5. Arnaldo Richards’ Picos, 3601 Kirby. Picos's big buffet and festive atmosphere — which includes live guitarists — make it a top pick for Sunday brunch in Houston. The all-you-can-eat feast includes several types of meats with mole (the pork in coloradito, a brick-red mole made from roasted peppers, is a favorite); pans full of tamales; paella; red and green posole; and good old-fashioned cheese enchiladas. Save room for dessert so as not to miss out on creamy rice pudding and the cinnamon- and sugar-encrusted churros. Brunch hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.

Crusty-edged brioche French toast at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro topped with bananas Foster, blueberries, coffee butter, whipped maple syrup and a sprig of mint.
Crusty-edged brioche French toast at Hubbell & Hudson Bistro topped with bananas Foster, blueberries, coffee butter, whipped maple syrup and a sprig of mint.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

4. Hubbell & Hudson Bistro, 24 Waterway, #125, The Woodlands. Chef Austin Simmons and his staff make the best pancakes. No, it’s true. These are tall and fluffy flying saucers of delight, slathered in coffee-infused butter that soaks right into the airy little holes in the surface. As if they're not enough of a bread-y breakfast delight, there’s also thickly crusted brioche French toast topped with bananas Foster that might make diners weak in the knees. Like the pancakes, it’s topped with whipped maple syrup and coffee butter. On the savory side, Hubbell & Hudson’s rendition of chicken and waffles is a must-order item. A boneless, spicy, battered chicken breast rides high on a thick Belgian waffle topped with two fried eggs. Saturday brunch is from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday brunch is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A more extensive menu is available on Sundays, but everything mentioned here is on the shorter “greatest hits” menu on Saturdays. We had no complaints about the selection. 

Just a "small sampling" of the many dessert delights available during brunch at Caracol. There's an equally impressive dessert table every Sunday at Hugo's.
Just a "small sampling" of the many dessert delights available during brunch at Caracol. There's an equally impressive dessert table every Sunday at Hugo's.
Photo by Phaedra Cook

3. Caracol, 2200 Post Oak #160 and 2. Hugo’s, 1600 Westheimer

Caracol and Hugo’s have several similarities when it comes to brunch. They’re both owned by the married power couple of businesswoman Tracy Vaught and chef Hugo Ortega. Ortega’s brother, Ruben, oversees the fantastic dessert program, which often incorporates gorgeous chocolate made from their own in-house roasted cacao beans. Both restaurants put forth buffet-style brunches that are to die for (or to dine for), and beverage director Sean Beck oversees the killer wine and cocktail programs at both places. Here's how to choose between them: Hugo’s focuses on interior Mexican food. Caracol is all about coastal Mexican cuisine. So, for the most beef, pork, cheese and chicken dishes, aim for Hugo’s. For more seafood, including ceviche, fresh fish, shrimp, oysters and roasted red snapper, head to Caracol. That said, there’s lots of crossover between the two when it comes to meats, so Caracol might have delectable lamb ribs while Hugo’s sports banana leaf-roasted red snapper in achiote sauce. 

1. Brennan’s of Houston, 3300 Smith. This beloved Creole restaurant is the granddaddy when it comes to luxurious brunches. Brunch is held on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The latter is the more festive of the two days, as that’s when a strolling band wanders from one dining room to the next playing feel-good jazz standards like “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “What A Wonderful World.” General manager and former executive chef Carl Walker still keeps a watchful eye on the place, as does president Alex Brennan-Martin. In the kitchen, chef Danny Trace and the rest of the talented staff skillfully prepare not only Brennan’s classics, like turtle soup and Bananas Foster finished table-side, but seasonally driven inventions. For example, when peaches are in season, they’ll show up in dishes like Texas peaches and cream pain perdu with applewood smoked country ham, homestead sorghum granola, Creole cream cheese whip and bayou rum cane syrup. Honestly, brunch at Brennan’s of Houston is a bucket list item every Houstonian needs to check off. Be sure to watch the video above to see Brennan's of Houston's Sunday brunch in action.


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Related Locations

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Brennan's of Houston
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Caracol

2200 Post Oak Blvd
Houston, TX 77056

713-622-9996

www.caracol.net

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Hugo's

1600 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77006

713-524-7744

www.hugosrestaurant.net

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Arnaldo Richards' Picos

3601 Kirby Dr.
Houston, TX 77098

832-831-9940

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Hubbell & Hudson Bistro

24 Waterway Ave.
The Woodlands, TX 77380

281-203-5641

www.hubbellandhudson.com

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Bernadine’s

1801-B North Shepherd
Houston, TX 77008

713-864-2565

treadsack.com/bernadines

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Hunky Dory

1801 N. Shepherd
Houston, TX 77008

713-864-2450

treadsack.com/hunkydory

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Rainbow Lodge

2011 Ella Blvd.
Houston, TX 77008

713-861-8666

www.rainbow-lodge.com

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Izakaya
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Etoile Cuisine et Bar

1101 Uptown Park Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056

832-668-5808

www.etoilecuisine.com

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Davis Street At Hermann Park

5925 Almeda
Houston, Texas

844--328--4778


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