In our Where to Brunch series, we search Greater Houston’s vast array of neighborhoods and communities for the very best brunch offerings. Originally published in 2017, we are now refreshing, updating, and adding to this series, including new neighborhoods and destinations.
Though River Oaks is actually residential community spanning 1,100 acres, locals consider its boundaries to expand beyond the homes. The classy neighborhood is home to upscale shopping districts, beautiful gardens, the classic River Oaks Theatre, and a wealth of awesome places to brunch.
Note: For the purposes of this list, River Oaks is bound by Buffalo Bayou to the north, Westheimer to the south, Dunlavy to the east, and 610 to the west. Look out for River Oaks District in a separate post.
Where to Brunch in River Oaks
- a’Bouzy – The party is serious at this Champagne-fueled brunch spot. Pop in to pop bottles alongside a roster of elegant morning plates, from duck fat pommes frites & eggs and Gulf oysters to braised pork hash and blueberry butter waffles. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm. Click here for directions.
- Backstreet Cafe – You’ll want to start with fresh-from-the-oven orange chocolate brioche buns and pillowy buttermilk biscuits at this elegant (yet totally cozy) Houston institution. If that doesn’t set the tone for a great meal, live jazz, and a few eye-opening morning cocktails certainly will. Brunch plates offer a range of tastes, with Southern, Gulf, Creole, and Mexican influences. Get house-cured salmon and avocado toasts, wood-grilled shrimp and cheesy stone-ground grits, and smoked chicken and potato hash with perfectly poached eggs. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm. Click here for directions.
- Brasserie 19 – For a people-watching experience that’s as enticing as the food, hit this chic brasserie set in the trendy River Oaks Shopping Center. Come dressed to impress and nosh on challah pain pardu and savory smoked salmon crepes that will transport you to the streets of Paris. Tack on coffee and bubbly service for good measure. Sunday 10am to 3pm. Click here for directions.
- The Dunlavy – How does brunch in a glass treehouse overlooking the Buffalo Bayou sound? The answer is great, and The Dunlavy’s rockin’ menu and picturesque atmosphere will prove that. Stop in for a chandelier-lit meal daily from 7am to 2pm. Click here for directions.
- Eloise Nichols Grill & Liquors – This neighborhood bistro set out to create an easy-going, inviting vibe and living room feel with its 120-seat space, and it seems as though the vision was a success. All are welcome to dig into locally-inspired brunch fare and cocktails with a twist, from a pulled pork buttermilk biscuit Benedict to challah French toast with horchata custard. Mimosas can be ordered by the pitcher, with flavors including classic, pineapple, and grapefruit. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm. Click here for directions.
- Emmaline – Get a taste of European refinement at this chic West Dallas hotspot. At brunch, you’ll find cinnamon rolls laced with orange bourbon caramal, fresh Maine lobster eggs benny, grass-fed hanger steak & eggs, and morning pizzas topped with market cured meat and sunny-side eggs. On Saturdays, the DJ starts spinning at 11am. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 3pm. Click here for directions.
- Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette – In addition to its excellent oyster offerings, Liberty Kitchen is known for its fresh, inventive fare; and brunch just may be the best way to experience that. Get chicken-fried steak & eggs, Kona Town fried rice, and short stack pancakes, and wash it all down with bubbles by the glass and bottle. Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2:30pm. Click here for directions.
- State of Grace – Start your Sunday with beignets and hushpuppies from this trendy, Gulf Coast-kissed favorite; then move on to chicken-fried-chicken and eggs, fajitas con huevos served with bacon fat tortillas, and a beautiful, hearth-baked Dutch baby pancake that is almost too good to eat. We said almost…Sunday 10am to 3pm. Click here for directions.
- Other great options – Get classy takes on comfort fare at Ouisie’s Table; spend Saturday with Bloodys and hot honey chicken biscuits at Relish Restaurant & Bar; go for bellini carafes and donut burgers at California-import Bosscat Kitchen & Libations; and unwind with frozen cocktails and wings & waffles at Piggy’s Kitchen & Bar.