Second Helpings: Breakfast Ole!
The weekly Chronicle feature "Second Helpings" offers readers the opportunity to sample tasty, bite-sized restaurant listings compiled from new and previous reviews, guides, and poll results. This week's entries were compiled by Chronicle Cuisines editor Virgina B. Wood. When you need quick, reliable information about Austin eateries, check here in the print edition or look us up on the the Web at http://www.auschron.com/guides/restaurant/.
211 Congress, 472-9357
Long recognized as the preferred breakfast spot for political power brokers and SXSW pilgrims alike, this small downtown cafe run by the formidable Perez sisters is equally famous for the quality of the food. Relax on the back patio with a refreshing glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice or a frosty agua de horchata and devour a plate of Migas Especiales con Hongos or Huevos Motulenos, and you'll be ready to take on the world.
El Sol y la Luna
1224 S. Congress, 444-7770
This whimsically decorated eatery serves as the coffee shop for the So-Co chic South Austin Motel and is as great a place to people-watch as it is to eat breakfast -- and that's saying a lot. Late sleepers needn't worry; the stellar menu of breakfast specialties is available all day. Try the Omelette del Sol (eggs with mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar) or the Omelette de la Luna (eggs with spinach, onions, tomatoes, and jack cheese) or the Omelette del Eclipse with all of the above.
2809 S. First, 326-2026
Patrons of this little, brightly painted South Austin neighborhood joint swear by the hefty breakfast tacos and exemplary migas. It's also known as a quiet weekend spot in which to consume a credible version of the well-known Mexican hangover cure, menudo. Sometimes we expect to walk in here and still find former proprietor Virginia Daugherty and her sister behind the counter taking orders. There just has to be good food karma in the building that once housed Virginia's Cafe.
1800 E. Sixth, 479-8105
Fri-Sat, 7am-6pm; Sun, 7am-3pm
Check the parking lot for police vehicles, because this place is a longtime favorite of many of Austin's finest. The aroma of fajitas attracts hungry diners to this often-crowded little restaurant tucked into a small business center on East Sixth. Try the Fajita Omelette with grilled peppers, onions, potatoes, and beans. Que rico!
Juan in a Million
2300 E. Cesar Chavez, 472-3872
The breakfast menu here has a loyal following, and regular customers chat back and forth between tables like old friends. This friendly joint offers one of our favorite "heart attack" breakfasts, gorditas with chorizo and fried eggs slathered with chile con queso. Arteries are hardening all around the room, but the food's so good, no one seems the least bit concerned.
1511 E. Sixth, 478-2420
Cisco's has been in the breakfast business for 50 years and is still going strong. A second generation of the Cisneros family runs the place these days, but they still serve good migas, huevos rancheros, and hot biscuits with healthy doses of Austin political history (check out the photos on the dining room walls) and loyalty to the UT sports teams.
1911 W. Anderson, 467-7100
Several Chronicle staffers mourned when these folks lost the lease on their I-35 location, but the move to a new northwest home hasn't damaged the quality of the food one bit. The expanded dining area and full bar only enhance our affection for the former campus-area favorite. Hundreds of satisfied customers will testify that the flavorful chorizo migas are worth a drive across town. The hearty breakfasts here are the kind of meals that stay with you all day.
2305 E. Seventh, 472-0017
An Eastside landmark since 1963, Joe's is a great place to belly up to the counter and devour a steaming plate of huevos rancheros, migas, or award-winning menudo. Wash it down with bottomless cups of hot coffee and grab a few delicious pan dulces out of the pastry case to tide you over till lunch.
1816 S. First, 447-1280
This bustling South Austin eatery serves breakfast fit for a queen, just as the name implies.There is something very reassuring about reliable versions of traditional Mexican breakfasts such as huevos rancheros, migas, and huevos con chorizo served in a friendly family atmosphere.
Arturo's Bakery & Cafe
314 W. 17th, 469-0380
Mon-Fri, 6:30am-3:30pm; Sat, 7:30am-1:30pm
This cozy little treasure tucked into a side street is a real find in the artsy district between the Capitol area and the UT campus. You can't go wrong with over 50 varieties of hearty breakfast tacos, an assortment of breakfast sandwiches, omelettes, or breakfast platters with eggs and pancakes. With a menu this diverse, breakfast can always be the most important meal of the day.
600 W. Martin Luther King, 236-0197
Mon-Fri, 6am-4pm; Sat-Sun, 7am-4pm
3223 E. Seventh, 385-8898
Mon-Thu, 6am-8pm; Fri-Sat, 6am-9pm
Although "Chew-Michael's" built their reputation on great Chubby burgers and fantastic Salvadoran weekend specialties, their breakfast offerings are consistently first-rate. A large selection of hefty breakfast tacos (all under $2) will get the day off to a good start. We're partial to the $1.99 "Kitchen Sink" taco stuffed with sausage, potato, egg, and cheese.
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