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From Tex-Mex to Texas barbecue to modern American fare to Asian fusion, the Dallas dining scene is bursting with brunch options. Don’t squander what could be one of the most enjoyable meals of your trip by filling up on your hotel’s continental breakfast. Get out and see what this buzzing metropolis has to offer in the way of brunch. Here are eight restaurants you should definitely try.

RELATED: This is your be-all, end-all West Texas road trip

Americano | Photo courtesy of The Joule

Casual Italian boozy brunch
At some brunch spots, the only morning libation is a watered-down mimosa or an unadorned Bloody Mary made with a bottled mix. Not so at Americano, a sleek and modern Italian restaurant at The Joule where the array of brunch cocktails is as inspired as the food. There’s the Cafe Americano, a Campari and cold-brew coffee cocktail; the Bergamot Breakfast Cocktail, a concoction of earl gray gin, lemon and orange marmalade; and a classic and refreshing Aperol Spritz, to name a few. On the menu are sophisticated takes on Italian comfort food, such as a Neapolitan-style breakfast pizza; Ciabatta french toast with almonds, lemon-whipped ricotta and cranberry maple syrup; and the torta rustica, a savory pie stuffed with eggs, vegetables, provolone and prosciutto.

A mimosa bar in a gastropub
If a boozy brunch is your thing, make a beeline for Henry’s Majestic on McKinney Avenue in Uptown. Not only will you find many inventive cocktails—such as the 8 AM, a nitrous-charged Vietnamese coffee with vanilla-infused bourbon—but you can also experience the “sparkling bar,” a make-your-own-mimosa station featuring house-made cordials, fresh fruit juices and more. Take a seat inside the restaurant’s industrial-themed dining room—think found signage and Edison bulbs—or out on the dog-friendly patio, and enjoy hearty brunch dishes like chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, a pork belly bowl with grits and avocado toast with bacon.

Mudhen, Dallas, brunch

Mudhen Meat and Greens |Photo courtesy of Mudhen

Healthy, but never boring
Tucked inside the Dallas Farmers Market, Mudhen Meat and Greens specializes in farm-fresh dishes that are healthy, flavorful and not at all pretentious. As the website wryly states, “For those that yawn at the thought of healthy eating, we also offer food that just tastes good, feels good, and won’t kill you.” Brunch ranges from lighter items such as avocado toast, whole wheat pancakes and groatmeal—wheatberries, farro and oats with dried cranberries and raisins (which the menu deems “horrible sounding…yum good”)—to a bacon-and-egg farmhouse sandwich and Mudhen migas with green chili pulled pork.

Oddfellows, Dallas, brunch

Oddfellows | Flickr photo courtesy of John Tornow

Good coffee in a hip hotspot
Need a Tuesday brunch? How about on Thursday? Oddfellows, a charming, bustling coffeehouse and diner in the Bishop Arts District, serves up chicken and waffles, huevos rancheros, pork belly benedict, pancakes, quiche and other morning fare seven days a week—perfect for all your spontaneous breakfasting needs. Weekends are especially packed, so plan for a bit of a wait. And don’t miss the coffee: It’s some of the city’s most celebrated.

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Rapscallion | Photo courtesy of @camparichaser

Hearty and inventive Southern food
Elevated Southern fare is the name of the game at Rapscallion, an approachable neighborhood bistro in Lowest Greenville. Gammy’s sticky-sweet monkey bread is a popular starter, while not-messing-around mains include the Rapscallion hot brown, a finely honed take on the famous Louisville sandwich; duck confit hash; and soba noodles in a smoked pork broth with bacon, ham and a poached egg. Meanwhile, the Cinnamon Toast Punch is a brunch cocktail unlike any other: Old Grand-Dad bourbon, cereal milk and, of course, a Cinnamon Toast Crunch garnish…not for kids!

A smoke-tinged establishment
As the name implies, this popular West Dallas restaurant is all about barbecue. Smoke chef Tim Byres won a James Beard Award for his book on firewood cooking, and his techniques continue to draw the masses. Pulled whole hog barbecue benedict and smoked brisket cornbread hash are among the rich and smoky brunch offerings, or you can lie to yourself that you’re keeping things “light” and get the granola parfait—with a side of thick-cut, pork belly bacon, of course. The good thing about Sunday brunch is you have the whole week to burn it off.

The Theodore | Photo courtesy of @crabcakesandsteaks

Eclectic meal in a mall
Located inside the upscale NorthPark Center shopping mall, The Theodore is a great place to fuel up before shopping until dropping…or treating yourself to a fancy craft cocktail after giving your credit card a workout. Named after Teddy Roosevelt and inspired by the aesthetic of Wes Anderson films, this quirky restaurant specializes in American classics with a twist. Brunch items range from fried chicken and coconut waffles to sticky toffee French toast. Alternatively, go for the unfussy two-egg plate with homemade toast, beans, potato hash and a choice of meat. It’s what Margot Tenenbaum would do.

Well-executed Asian fusion
Traditional brunch gets an infusion of Asian, Latin American and Mediterranean flavors at Top Knot, a vibrant, laid-back restaurant located above modern Japanese hotspot Uchi. Start with pastries, such as buttermilk biscuits with miso honey butter or a sausage-stuffed kolache, then move on to specialties like short rib onigiri or the hot fried chicken bun (think Asian meets the American South). Refreshing cocktails like the Pamplemousse, composed of Broker’s London dry gin, grapefruit, elderflower, lemon and basil, or a Honeydew Bellini are perfect brunch complements.

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Laura Pearson

Laura Pearson

Laura is a travel-loving Chicago-based journalist who writes about art and culture. Follow her on Twitter at @tislaurapearson.

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