Rise & Dine

Fort Worth’s Best Brunch Spots

If everybody’s working for the weekend, a leisurely brunch is the reward. Unlike breakfast, often consumed in a hurry (if at all), brunch is best drawn out with decadent dishes and good conversation. It’s what inspires folks to climb out of bed and into a Bloody Mary, or three. Here are some of Fort Worth’s best brunch spots, with plenty of choices for buttery, rich menu items as well as budget-friendly, after-church-appropriate, health conscious and boozy options, too.

| photography by Alex Lepe |




Pacific Table While Chef and Restaurateur Felipe Armenta’s first Fort Worth restaurant, The Tavern, has established itself as a brunch go-to, his California coast-inspired, Zagat-rated Pacific Table is noted for breathing new life into a vacant corner of University Park Village. Visit for lemon ricotta pancakes topped with blueberries and powdered sugar and the lobster meat and white cheddar-stuffed omelet, the only seafood dish on the brunch menu. Other items include a country ham and bell pepper frittata, chilaquiles with avocado slices, seared prime sirloin with eggs, and classic French toast. Plan for an oyster shooter (or two), made with vodka and Bloody Mary mix.  11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday • 1600 S. University Drive • Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.887.9995 • pacifictableftworth.com


AF+B Short for American Food and Beverage, AF+B has amplified the brunch game in town with Chef Jeff Harris’ hearty, scratch-made dishes. Begin with the Scotch eggs, AF+B’s signature starter of two boiled eggs wrapped in chorizo that are deep-fried and halved, revealing deliciously runny yolks, and garnished with oil-cured chiles and cilantro. Traditionalists will be happy with the American breakfast of soft scrambled eggs served with house-made bacon and home fries, but standout brunch dishes include a Benedict-style savory bread pudding of poached eggs, arugula, bacon and hollandaise, as well as the smoked brisket hash with fingerling potatoes and salsa verde. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 2869 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.916.5300 • afandbfortworth.com


Barcadia Barcadia, the classic arcade game-filled So7 bar and restaurant (where adults can feel like kids again, except with a drink in hand), recently launched Sunday brunch, freshening up the dated menu with new items like jalapeño-cheddar biscuits with chorizo gravy and French toast topped with fresh blueberry compote. Also find bagels and lox, a prime Waygu beef breakfast burger, croissant breakfast sandwiches, breakfast tacos and plenty of Bloody Marys and Bellinis to wash it all down. 12 – 3 p.m. Sunday • 816 Matisse Drive, Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.348.8606 • barcadiabars.com


Tina’s Cocina Flying under the radar as one of the best brunch deals in town is the Saturday and Sunday morning buffet at Tina’s Cocina. For $10 per person, diners can enjoy excellent San Felipe-style Mexican breakfast dishes likes picadillo and fideo (sautéed ground beef and vegetables over noodles simmered in a light tomato sauce) and posole, a heart-warming traditional Mexican stew made with shredded chicken, hominy and light green sauce garnished with crisp, sliced radishes. Both are hard to find on menus around town, but worth a visit on their own. Other buffet items include huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, barbacoa tacos with onions and cilantro, breakfast potatoes and a veggie medley of yellow squash, zucchini, corn and mushrooms. The tiny, low-key dive also offers bottled beer and mimosas. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 961 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth • 817.367.9807 • tinas-cocina.com


Esperanza’s Bakery & Café Fort Worth lost a culinary icon when Hope Lancarte, the daughter of restaurant legend Joe T. Garcia, passed away last fall. Her namesake Mexican bakery and café, Esperanza’s, has been a brunch mainstay since it opened as a Joe T.’s breakfast and lunchtime spin-off around 30 years ago. Patrons will find hot breakfast plates of scrambled egg favorites like chilaquiles (fried with corn tortilla strips), chorizo and potatoes, and migas topped with shredded chicken. All are served with heaping portions of refried beans and tortillas. Try an “aqua fresca,” like watermelon, horchata or lime, and visit the “panaderia” for Mexican breads and pastries to go. 6 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 2122 N. Main St., Fort Worth, 76164 • 817.626.5770 • 6:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturday • 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday • 1601 Park Place Ave., Fort Worth, 76110 • 817.923.1992 • joets.com


The Bearded Lady It’s brunch on overdrive here, so prepare accordingly. The folks at The Bearded Lady (where the women are actually clean shaven) are doing crazy things like frying their breakfast burritos, stuffing baked apples with breakfast sausage and making straws out of bacon for their “turnt up” Bloody Marys. The Near Southside gastropub with fearless food and drink also features an “Elvis heart attack” sandwich with peanut butter, bacon, bananas and a fried egg, and breakfast shots of butterscotch and whiskey that are chased with orange juice and a piece of bacon. Sunday sangrias and breakfast cocktails change frequently, as does the featured craft beers on tap. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday • 1229 7th Ave., Fort Worth, 76104 • 817.349.9832


Brewed  Since its buzzy opening in 2012, Brewed, the popular gastropub, coffee bar and hipster hangout on West Magnolia Avenue, has built a reputation for its comfortable, sophisticated interior, elevated pub fare, and, unfortunately, inconsistent service. But maybe the laid-back vibe is an intentional part of the comfy coffee pub’s unrushed experience. The expansive coffee menu featuring beans from local Texas roasters is worth a visit alone. Brews come via drip, clever pot and press pot, or cold brewed and even frozen into ice cubes with milk. For eats, the farm egg sandwich is notable for its Nueske’s bacon (from Wisconsin), tomatoes and arugula on sourdough paired with duck fat fries. There are also biscuits with andouille sausage and IPA beer gravy, seasonal waffles, and a simple two-egg breakfast with jalapeño grits, bacon or ham and garlic toast. 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Saturday • 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Sunday  • 801 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, 76104 • 817.945.1545 • brewedfw.com


Buttons Go big or don’t go. Buttons brunch is all about indulgence with an expansive buffet of made-to-order omelets, grits and collard greens and the Southern-inspired restaurant’s signature dish: fried chicken and Belgium waffles. Order them a la carte with blueberry-infused butter and thin sweet potato frites or pick them up on the buffet, along with the usual suspects, like eggs, bacon and biscuits, and the not-so-usual, such as mac and cheese and fried catfish. There are also mimosas, a full bar and live jazz music. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday • 4701 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.735.4900 • buttonsrestaurant.com


Fred’s Texas Café At the original Fred’s Texas Café, there are just two hours a week to indulge in “Outlaw Chef” Terry Chandler’s brunch, and that’s 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Sunday. (Brunch runs until 2 p.m. at Fred’s Texas TCU.) Arrive early for sourdough biscuits with sausage gravy, huevos rancheros and Fred’s famous grilled quail and eggs, one of Chandler’s personal favorites. Most items are served with home-fried potatoes, and all deserve to be washed down with a “cold-ass” mimosa in a schooner. 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Sunday • Fred’s Original • 915 Currie St., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.332.0083 / 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday • Fred’s TCU • 3509 Bluebonnet Circle, Fort Worth, 76109 • 817.916.4650 • fredstexascafe.com


Reata Reata updated its brunch menu and expanded service to Saturdays last year to the delight of regulars and downtown visitors alike. Decadent dishes include the smoked salmon eggs Benedict, buttermilk biscuits with elk sausage gravy, and two-inch thick stuffed French toast filled with a sweet goat and cream cheese mixture and finished with a banana-pecan rum glaze. The restaurant also offers a Sundance Square version of the hot brown, open-face sandwich, which originated in Kentucky. Reata’s version comes with beefsteak tomato, ham, turkey and bacon on sourdough doused in cheesy Mornay sauce and broiled until crisp. There’s also shrimp and chorizo grits with Tabasco butter, and cake batter waffles, which come with fried Bandera quail. 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 310 Houston St., Fort Worth, 76102 • 817.336.1009 • reata.net

Lucile’s Stateside Bistro Folks have been brunching at Lucile’s for more than 20 years, noshing on classic eggs Benedict with grilled country ham, homemade corned beef hash and thirst-quenching Blood Marys. Specializing in American classics, the Westside staple is also one of the few places around offering wood-fired breakfast pizza. This one comes with eggs, sausage, salsa, peppers and cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses. Signature items also include banana nut bread French toast and the Dutch baby German pancake, drenched in butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice. Sweet sides great for sharing include hot cinnamon rolls and New Orleans-style beignets. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 4700 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.738.4761 • lucilesstatesidebistro.com

Righteous Foods Having revamped his namesake fine dining concept last summer into the restaurant hit, Righteous Foods, Lanny Lancarte is helping Fort Worthians eat “clean,” meaning he’s responsibly sourcing ingredients and forgoing preservatives and processed foods, making brunch time dining more “detox” than “retox.” Offered only on Saturday mornings, righteous brunch items include organic omelets, sweet potato and zucchini hash, and acai bowls with organic fruits and house-made granola. Further detoxify with cold–pressed juices or rejuvenate with Portland-based Stumptown Coffee. But Lancarte does advocate “retoxifying” responsibly by offering organic liquors to make the healthiest cocktails possible, like hibiscus and beet Mai Tais and carrot juice daiquiris. 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday • 3405 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.850.9996 • eatrighteously.com

Little Red Wasp “The Wasp” is Grace’s more casual sister restaurant, serving comfort cuisine in large portions. That includes Saturday and Sunday brunch, which features a short menu of brunch classics like French toast, chilaquiles and steak with sunny-side-up eggs. Standout dishes include the chicken biscuit. This version is about three times larger than the fast food favorite and made with locally-sourced chicken that’s nestled inside a cheddar biscuit atop a pool of black pepper cream gravy. There’s a wide range of prices here, from the $8 granola with Greek yogurt and fruit to the $26 short rib Benedict. Don’t miss the doughnut holes tossed with cinnamon and sugar or the brunch cocktail menu, which offers a Tito’s vodka Bloody Mary garnished with local Best Maid hot pickles. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 808 Main St., Fort Worth, 76102 • 817.877.3111 • littleredwasp.com

Woodshed Smokehouse Aside from all of Chef Tim Love’s wood-smoked specialties, brunch is nice at Woodshed Smokehouse because diners can bike, jog or walk it off along the Trinity River afterward. With a waterfront view and expansive patio, Woodshed offers smoke-influenced weekend brunch dishes like the smoked bacon benedict, pancakes with vanilla smoked butter, brisket with biscuits and gravy and a “Texas-size” kolache made with elk sausage. Breakfast tacos are filled with chilies, smoked cheddar cheese and eggs scrambled with the smoked animal of the day, be it beef, lamb, pork or cabrito. Arrive early as brunch ends at 11 a.m. 8 – 11 a.m. Saturday & Sunday • 3201 Riverfront Drive, Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.877.4545 • woodshedsmokehouse.com

Tillman’s Roadhouse Bring a group and order the hangover platter, which is back on the brunch menu after disappearing for a spell. Intended to serve three to four, the tray includes bourbon caramel-coated, pull-apart monkey bread, scrambled eggs, diced breakfast potatoes, sausage, bacon, fruit, biscuits and gravy, and preserves with Texas toast. The triple stack of pancakes comes with fresh ricotta cheese and braised apples with maple syrup, and the shrimp and grits offers a taste of the South with pimento cheese. Old standbys like the venison Frito pie and tableside s’mores with house-made marshmallows are still on the menu, as is the brunch-perfect blood orange margarita. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 2933 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.850.9255 • tillmansroadhouse.com

Café Modern Because Café Modern chef, Dena Peterson, embraces seasonal foods, menu items change frequently at this lustrous museum restaurant, which features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a serene reflection pool. Visit for creamy egg custard quiche baked in a flaky crust, crab tater tots with malt vinegar aioli, seasonal pancakes and eggs Benedict, and when in season, fried green tomatoes, one of Peterson’s most popular dishes. Parents of little ones will appreciate the children’s brunch menu (Peterson has a toddler herself), which offers simple selections like scrambled eggs with toast, peanut butter and jelly, and French toast with bacon or sausage, making Café Modern an ideal, post-church service stop. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 3200 Darnell St., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.840.2157 • themodern.org/cafe

Spiral Diner Vegan café Spiral Diner proves an indulgent brunch can span beyond bacon, eggs and sausage gravy. The West Magnolia Avenue dive draws crowds on Sunday for scratch-made pancakes sweetened with agave nectar (add blueberries, chocolate chips or pecans, if desired) and savory tofu scrambles like migas with black beans, corn, zucchini, potatoes and peppers. Diners might be surprised to find “sausage” and “homemade bacon” on the menu, but know these are savory and satisfying vegan versions made with ingredients like soy and wheat gluten. Don’t miss the “disco hash” with hash browns, dairy-free cheese and gravy, and pair it with organic fresh-squeezed orange juice. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday • 1314 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth • 817.332.8834 • spiraldiner.com

Paco & John Mexican Diner Here’s a BYOB option that won’t break the bank. Already well-known by the Near Southside community, Paco & John Mexican Diner opened in 2009 and combines French influences, like white wine-steamed mussels and herbed pomme frites, with a menu of Mexican staples like enchiladas, tacos and quesadilla. (One of the owners has tenure at Saint-Emilion Restaurant.) The cozy diner, once a gas station, is well-suited as a post-workout destination on Saturday, as patrons visit in everything from running shoes to cowboy boots and the scene is informal and unfussy. Diners can build their own omelets (salmon and avocado is a favorite request) or choose breakfast plates like chilaquiles, migas, or the “good morning” breakfast torta with queso blanco, eggs and bacon. All pair well with a thermos of mimosas or Micheladas. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday • 1116 8th Ave., Fort Worth, 76104 • 817.810.0032 • pacoandjohn.com

Sera Dining & Wine When Magnolia Cheese Company announced it would shut its doors as a restaurant and reopen this year as a market, many wondered what would happen to Chef Jen Williams’ artisan dishes. They’re now at Sera, where Williams filled an executive chef vacancy last fall. (Her predecessor, Brandon Hudson, left after the birth of his newborn son.) Now Sera’s Sunday brunch menu features Magnolia influences that fans will be happy about, like the cheese platter of chèvre, cheddar and blue with Marcona almonds and honeycomb and the kale Caesar with white anchovies. The menu changes often, but recent brunch items have included French toast cakes, suckling pig hash, steak and grits and a frittata du jour. Owner John Marsh is also having fun expanding his wine menu beyond French and Spanish varietals. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday • 2418 Forest Park Blvd., Fort Worth, 76110 • 817.927.7372  • seradiningandwine.com

Max’s Wine Dive Quickly gaining recognition as one of Fort Worth’s best brunch (and old-school jukebox) joints, Max’s menu changes frequently with imaginative specials from Chef Stefon Rishel, like tiramisu French toast, “gluten-friendly” wild rice and blueberry pancakes and house-made boudin and biscuits. There’s also a kids’ menu of scrambled eggs and bacon and a peanut butter and house-made jam sandwich on Texas toast. Menu regulars include the black truffle aioli-tinged fried egg sandwich and Max’s jalapeño-buttermilk marinated fried chicken served with collard greens and Texas toast. Pair it with champagne because, as the restaurant’s motto puts it, “Why the hell not?” 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday & Sunday • 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Monday • 2421 W. 7th St., Fort Worth, 76107 • 817.870.1100  • maxswinedive.com