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South Congress Cafe

American Bistro$21 - $30
1600 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704

Restaurant Information

About South Congress Cafe
As the namesake suggests, South Congress Cafe is located in the heart of the entertainment and shopping district on the South side of central Austin. Unlike the namesake, we would really suggest So Co Cafe is a typical cafe. While they do offer feature a great brunch and early hours, the restaurant is modern and upscale than your typical cafe. Opening in 2003, So Co cafe is located in a former drug store from the 1940s. The original brick structure was updated to add artistic architectural touches, giving it a hip and trendy vibe.

The Menu at So Co Cafe
Offering one of the more popular lunch and brunch spots, the menu is dynamic based on the time of the day. You can get an amazing and traditional Eggs Benedict for $13. But many choose to take it to another level by serving it on crab cakes with crispy proscuitto for $15. The dinner menu features appetizers like queso flameado for $11, seafood crostini, pork belly, and beer can quail all for $12. Entrees include several seafood options such as the Seared Gulf Redfish with maitake mushrooms and lump crab, roasted fresno beurre blanc, leek smashed potatoes, balsamic grilled frisee for $24 and Pan Roasted Seabass with sweet corn puree, morita oil, micro basil, smoked brussel sprouts, lime basmati for $28. There’s also a hamburger for $12, St Louis ribs for $18, and grilled beef tenderloin for $34. South Congress Cafe definitely offers a wide variety of options and prices that appeal to anyone with a refined palette.

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Reviews

Overall Rating

4.5
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62 reviews
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Andrea Rios
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2018-07-25
Just wow. The food is THAT GOOD! We had a long wait on a Sunday morning but it was worth it! There’s a parking garage right across the street, so that made it super easy to get to. Nice decor, it was super busy but we enjoyed our time. My friend had the steak egg and potato(SO GOOD I’m ordering this next time) and I had the goat cheese and bacon omelette which was delightful. The goat cheese was fluffy and it was all just so good. We also had mimosas. Best brunch EVER
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Anita Mohan Saha
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2018-05-04
Absolutely delicious brunch spot on South Congress!! Great for groups or be prepared to wait at the bar drinking delicious Bloody Mary’s. The whole entire menu is good. You cannot go wrong. They really know how to make things spicy if you ask!! The service is great and fast as well. We got the carrot cake French toast as a dessert to share. That was a mistake; next time I will get my own!! It was decadent.
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David Michaels
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2018-07-06
Now, listen…this is great food and perfect cocktails, but if you go before 4pm, you can get carrot cake French toast! I love carrot cake, and I love French toast and when you make French toast out of carrot cake, I’m gonna try it. To be sure, not everything works this way (I’m looking at you bacon and chocolate) but I have dreams about the carrot cake French toast sometimes. If that’s not your sort of thing, everything they make is excellent.
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Carin Pearson
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2018-05-13
Atmosphere in the restuarant has a more upscale feel and the patio is casual. Truly like being in two different restaurants. A friend and I brunched for mother's day on the patio. Food was excellent as always but our server was not engaging at all and consistently took about ten minutes to do anything. I ordered the crab cake appetizer and carrot cake French toast. I am a Marylander and our standards are very different. There was so much breading! But the crab filling and presentation on greens was nice and fresh. French toast is very sweet, moist, and tasteful. I recommend both.
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Jeff Liu
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2018-07-30
Totally missed the green front doors and wandered into the back patio. Calmer and less crowded than inside the food is delicious and the coffee amazing. One of the best places for coffee so far for me. Service is friendly and accommodating.
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Joe Robinson
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2018-08-07
Ok. The food was perfect. The service was superior. Alex as server and Paul managing was over the top. Incredibly pleased with the entire experience. If you haven't been, GO !!
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Lj
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2018-08-26
I visited for brunch Sunday late morning. Great place to relax while shopping on South Congress Ave. Atmoshphere is enjoyable, quiet and comforting for table conversations. Food is missing a little for my own taste(dropped my rating by 1 star), but others really boast highly for it. I ordered the Migas plate. You more than likely be waiting long for a table here, but I'll say, It's worth the wait.
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betty h
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2018-09-08
We went for Saturday brunch. The wait was much shorter than we expected, the food was delicious, and everyone was kind. The Bloody Mary was good and spicy. The carrot cake French toast is more cake then toast, but still delicious.
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Aaron Lee
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2018-09-11
First time to Austin and this was our first stop. The drinks were perfect, the food was amazing. At the suggestion of our phenomenal waiter Alex, I had the Shrimp&Grits and a Bloody Mary....Ohh man it was great! Let me tell you, I'm sure all of the staff is wonderful, but ask for Alex!
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Daniel Aguilar
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2018-09-16
Summary: Seating 4/5 Waitress 5/5 Environment 5/5 Food 10/5 (not hyperbole) The self seating patio option worked out great for us at Sunday brunch, as there was no wait whatsoever even though the inside had an hour wait (hence the 4/5). However, that wait time is a testament to the demand for this place. Our waitress was very friendly and gave great recommendations on the menu. The inside and outside seating almost feel like they can be two different experiences from classy to casual, respectively. The food did not take overly long like you might come to expect at other brunch hotspots. The flavor did not indicate that it was rushed through though. I will definitely be returning and bringing family whenever they're in town.
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Marc Starvaggi
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2018-09-26
I came here with my mother and sisters one weekday morning. I had a hash which was delicious. We all loved the sweet potato croquettes. I think that's what they were. Everything was delicious, and our waiter was so nice. Great place
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Megan Evans
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2018-10-10
We had a delicious lunch at South Congress Cafe! The restaurant was not too crowded and our server was very attentive. I was worried about finding parking, but luckily we were able to park about a block away. Highly recommend!
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Nicky Nicky
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2018-10-24
My wife and I try to eat brunch here as much as we can. This place has tasty food and drinks! It's hard to find awesome places like this one. Local fresh food and local awesome staff!
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Dakota Wilson
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2018-10-22
Be sure to get on the call ahead list for brunch! Our wait on a Saturday during ACL Fest was 30 (with call ahead). Walk-ins were waiting 1.5 hours. The food was worth every minute of our wait. Be sure to enjoy a cocktail while you wait.
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Colleen Williams
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2018-11-06
I've shared a before and during picture of my meal. It was seriously heavenly! I can't recall the name of the dish but it was on a pretzel bun (which I LOVE) and it had crispy bacon and eggs cooked to perfection. I enjoyed my meal with a San Pellegrino and a mimosa and it was complete perfection. I sat at the bar, which was fine, but the hostess pressured me to do so because I was eating alone and that made me a little uncomfortable because the bar area is a little smaller and was very busy already. However, the bartender was polite and friendly and I really enjoyed the experience!
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Brandy Hodge
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2018-11-19
Hands down one of the best places I have ever eaten! (I had the artichoke omelet.) We had a group of 9 and drank four bottles of champagne for our mimosas. Ambience is fun and laid back. Patio was perfect. We experienced amazing service by both our server and management. First time visitor to Austin and I seriously will return just to eat at this restaurant again!
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Monica Sivilli
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2018-11-28
There’s a bit of a wait, but it’s totally worth it! They also have a call ahead list for brunch so definitely use that if you have the time to plan ahead. Cozy cafe atmosphere with a great menu. I recommend the carrot cake French toast (you can order just one slice) for first timers!
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Chris Jackson
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2018-11-27
A high end spot on SoCo that won't break the bank. It is small with a small bar area so reservations are highly recommended. Huge brunch crowd. Great food and service. You won't be disappointed.
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Hendri Ernst
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2018-12-09
The word Cafe does not accurately describe. Food was superb. Brie and clam starters highly recommend if you like spicy. Mains were suprisingly inexpensive. Great spot.
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Google User
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2018-12-17
YUM YUM Fantastic, big, juicy, great tasting hamburgers, cooked just the way we like 'em. Excellent fries and coleslaw, too. Great service, fair prices, and wonderful area of Austin.
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Fernanda Sancevic
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2019-01-04
We always have a good experience eating here. The food tastes good, especially the steak. The staff is always friendly and ready to help. The location of the restaurant is amazing! You can enjoy your meal and then walk through South Congress.
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K Noire
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2019-01-05
Part of me would love to leave some mystery about how delicious everything was on my first visit here. I sat at the bar where Danielle and Crystal help me out with amazing recommendations. The caramelized bacon is to die for. Never in my life have I tasted bacon so delicious. Then to my delight the banana pudding bread tacos was amazing with pecans. I intentionally desire to return to this location. The infused bloody Marys are delicious my date said.
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Stephanie Arato
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2019-01-06
Had a lovely salad for lunch while visiting from Canada. The best part was that I accidentally left money at the table and they saved it for me- many hours later I realized I lost it and they held onto it and then gave it back. THANK YOU!
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Dan Salter
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2019-01-14
Nice casual spot, not too noisy, very good - not typical brunchy / lunch menu. Good salads as well. Can handle more, but 4 is optimal. Go to spot for business lunch and small group friend get together.
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Darren Carson
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2019-01-08
Shane was very informal and fun to hang with. It was the first time I had been to this place and the first experience was awesome!!!!! Will definitely come back!!!
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Gustavo Aristi
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2019-01-28
If you want the best hospitality, service and quality for a good price, this is definitely a must try. We moved nearby and regret not coming here before. We were already sold by the hospitality of the staff (Danny and Paul) but all the food and cocktails we had were outstanding. All great recommendations by our host. Chatting with Paul he mentioned the tortillas are ✋ made which it shows. We were already really happy by our experience and planning on the next visit when we got our check and noticed we had a BIG discount
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Yu Liang
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2019-02-07
Must come here to try the delicious brunch
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Tori Lansing
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2019-01-31
Great award-winning bloody Mary, and the potato pancake that comes with most brunch dishes was unique and delicious. We had a great brunch here! Somewhat of a wait for a table, but we strolled around the shops on South Congress while waiting, and received a text when our table was ready.
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Kevin Sharkey
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2019-02-10
Tight quarters and a bit of a wait for brunch. We called in beforehand as recommended on the site got their around 11:30 and had a 45 min wait which really wasn't bad. Without calling ahead that wait was 1.5 to 2 hours. Food was pretty good. Their cornbread is delicious and apparently gluten free. The carrot cake french toast was good as well. It was a lot of food and definitely requires a sweet tooth. They had some good gluten free options for their brunch entrees as well. Coffee was good. It's a tight spot though. We were close to the kitchen and had a constant stream of trays coming by. Service was friendly and fast.
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P. Kahn
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2019-02-19
Very nice place for breakfast and the selections were wonderful. All of the dishes were well liked by our group and for the most part the service was excellent. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of 5 was because one of the main dishes was delivered while the other members of our group had to wait a bit prior to their food coming. Certainly a popular spot in a hip neighborhood. Worth a try for sure.
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David Skirrow
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2019-02-17
I would give this delightful place 5 stars had the service been better, but I've been here a few times and know poor service is not the usual. The food is great, not out of this world but it's well done with a great atmosphere and typically great service. Portions are on the small side and prices aren't cheap, but it's great for a date without breaking the bank.
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Sean Haney
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2019-02-24
Great dinner service with huge portions. We sat down to the table with waters already poured, and the rest of the drinks, appetizers and food came out quickly. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and gave great recommendations. We ordered calamari as an app and we all agreed that it was some of the best we’ve ever had (they slice it a different way, it’s extra thick). The salads that came with our meals were huge, and almost all of our meals were big portions, a rarity in Austin. Most of the worse reviews seem to come from people who came for brunch.
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Polina Sorokina
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2019-03-06
Unbelievable place! One of the rarest times we had trouble finishing the meal because it was so filing and large. An absolutely perfect place for breakfast/brunch. The croque madame was the best breakfast meal we have ever tried. Savory and spicy, it blew our expectations. The atmosphere is old fashion and cute. Your best bet to get a table is by showing up right when they open, as they will up very quickly!
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Karen Fadden
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2019-03-07
Worth the wait! Everything was so delicious, the little corn muffins they give you to start off are so yummy. We shared a bottle for mimosas and they brought us different juices we could self pour which was great. I had the Croque Madame which was delicious! Great spot in on Congress, get your place in line and go for a walk down Congress and visit all the nifty shops.
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Beth Platek
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2019-03-12
Tasty Americana fare with a Southern flair. Large selection of beers on tap. Beers and apps are half off during happy hour. Both apps and entrees were quite delicious. Servers were attentive. Good people watching too if you get a table by the window!
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Carin Pearson
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2019-03-21
Upon reading other reviews, I visited this establishment to try their carrot cake French toast. I decided to sit at the bar, service was quick and friendly. I ordered the gumbo with duck and oysters which was excellent then the French toast. Everything was good and the flavors were distinct.
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John Thomas
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2019-03-24
This Cafe is a great brunch location and stays pretty busy on the weekend. We called an hour ahead and secured our spot. Great, quick service. Food came out fast considering how busy they were. Place is clean though it could use a little brighter color. Nothing negative about the place.
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Theo Bill
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2019-03-23
Lively atmosphere, good service and good quality food. The burger was good, if a little rich for my taste. But even though they were busy, I didn't wait long for anything and the waitress was attentive and apologetic for the wait I did have. A little thing but a huge attention to detail was the butter. It was soft, seasoned, and whipped, easily spread on the warm bread unlike a hard rock you have to crack with an ice pick like other places.
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Silvia Carrion
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2019-04-10
Vibrant place, specially for brunch. There's usually a wait but totally worth it. Service is good but take into consideration the amount of customers they are tending. This is not a high class place but a down to earth goodness sort of restaurant.
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Jaclyn Vigil
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2019-04-24
This place was spectacular! The wait was about 45 minutes but we were sat faster by waiting for a table outside. The brunch was so delicious and service was quick. Our waiter was very attentive and the atmosphere was beautiful. I would recommend South Congress Cafe to anyone looking for a fun place with great food!
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Kevin Murrell
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2019-04-28
Loved the atmosphere. The hamburger was awesome. The rating would have been a solid 4 but our server never visited our table after our food was delivered. Our drink were empty for most of our meal. We finally asked a bus person for a refill.
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Dave Ryther
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2019-05-06
I had a pretty good meal here. The happy hour specials are pretty incredible values if you're willing to eat that early. The place has the feel of one that's been around longer than most of its neighbors but that's not a great thing. The cleanliness of the newer restaurants is certainly appealing. That said, food here is good and so is the service.
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Jacob Milam
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2019-05-07
Great food. It can be a long wait so I would advise calling in to set up a reservation before hand. We had about a 10 minute wait because we did this and the food and drinks are amazing. Great brunch location!
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Mike Post
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2019-06-05
Came for dinner. Beautiful corner space right on S Congress. The Kale and beet salad had an overpowering lime dressing. I only ate it because it was healthy. Meatball appetizer wasn’t much better than IKEA. The sea bass and red fish were both well seasoned and well prepared, but the Brussels sprouts were undercooked.
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Paul Richter
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2019-06-12
Excellent spot. The food is fantastic and the pricing is really reasonable. Nice and clean, beautifully treed patio. I'll definitely return to this cafe when I head back to Austin from Canada.
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Dusty Colquitt
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2019-06-17
It was quite packed for fathers day, but we ate on the patio at the bar. Crystal was knowledgeable, pleasant, and courteous. But Man! The food was incredible! And so are the prices.
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butcher slim
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2019-06-23
Awesome cocktails on S. Congress. I duck in here while my out of towners soak in the shops. Great beer selection as well. Food is amazing. Get brunched!
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Nik Kontrimas
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2019-07-04
Great brunch place on Congress! Love the outdoor patio! It’s well worth the wait here. You’ll find menu items in classic brunch fare with little twists to make them unique. I had an omelette, which was stuffed with meat and peppers and served with some yummy salsa. Drinks here are pretty yummy too. Overall good value for what you’re getting.
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TJ Costello
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2019-06-29
Been inside before and it was nice-Went to the back patio this time and it was GREAT. Will go again, absolutely! Got the vibe of a cool tropical bar (without the chill music in the background though :-(
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Amanda Staschke
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2019-07-01
The carrot cake waffle was delicious!! Service, drinks, and other food was good as well. It was really busy on a Saturday so it wasn't the fastest meal, but worth it. Patio area is also very nice
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Amber Jackson
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2019-07-02
Awesome place to go for brunch. Had the carrot cake French toast and I don't even like carrot cake but wow! Mimosas are great as well, I will be back to try other dishes.
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Quincy Jones
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2019-07-06
My Food came out a tad late but it was no issue what so ever. Heather the manager went above and beyond to make sure our party was good and even comped out my meal without me asking! No business is perfect but how she handled it was. I will definitely be coming back and this was the prime example of how to build a loyal customer base. South congress cafe if they know it or not just won over a male cheerleader!!!!
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Marjorie
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2019-07-17
Took out of town family here for dinner and everyone enjoyed it. The food was good and made from scratch and they did well with my food allergy. The service was also good and the cocktails looked very tasty. I went 4 stars though because it was pretty warm in the restaurant and I was almost uncomfortably warm - and I tend to be cold most of the time so don't know what was up with the AC - and more importantly the collard greens were horrible. IF YOU GO THERE DON'T ORDER THE COLLARD GREENS. I actually had a nightmare about how bad they were. They don't taste how collard greens should taste. I'd hate to think that people come from other parts of the country and think that that's what collard greens are supposed to taste like. I had to explain to my Californian inlaws that they were not a correct representation. They treated them like wilted kale or spinach - so they were tough and dry AF. I felt like I had to chew for 30 minutes per leaf. And they tasted like they were coated in syrup. It was the weirdest thing ever and not how they should be cooked or treated. It's like someone had a vague understanding of how a collard green should taste and then treated it like spinach when it's in actuality exponentially tougher and more fibrous. So good food, decent service, but someone needs to teach their kitchen how to cook greens properly.
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Jay Finesilver
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2019-08-08
Really good lunch and service was tops. A nice varied menu too, something for everyone. Mostly locals in the know were there, not very many tourists at all. I had the steak and eggs and a caesar salad. Both good and solid. Bread came with the meal too. Service was very efficient and extra friendly. Love that.
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Evaleen Chalkley
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2019-08-05
Went in for Monday at brunch. I was really surprised how quickly we got in, were seated, got our food, and got out. I never felt rushed but everything happened at a speedy pace. The waitress was great. My poached eggs were a TINY bit overcooked and in under 5 mins (maybe 2-3) I had fresh, soft poached eggs. Really pleased
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Monica Barrientos
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2019-08-03
Our server, Adam, was very attentive. It had a nice atmosphere, and despite being super busy we got our food quickly. Even our order with a bunch of substitutes came out perfect. All the food was amazing and the infused bloody mary was the absolute best.
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Jessica Moore
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2019-08-21
Freaking delicious!! Good gracious! Don't miss the opportunity to go here if you get a chance! You won't regret it.
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Kristi
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2019-08-29
Oh my gosh, my favorite breakfast place in Austin. I love that I can call ahead and put myself “in line” so that I can plan for my morning. The food is delicious and the bloody Mary’s are awesome. Recommend for brunch!!
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Victoria Wetherington
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2019-09-09
Delicious. We went on a Saturday for brunch and the wait wasn't too bad. I ordered the eggs Benedict with crab cakes and a bloody Mary. The crab cakes were absolutely perfect and the bloody Mary was packed with flavor and garnished to the nines. Added bonus, they are peanut free, so those with peanut allergies rejoice!
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Shannon Clark
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2019-09-20
The bisque was delicious. The wine was just right. The cauliflower was okay... it was missing something. But the service at the bar with Crystal was great. I was pleased overall.
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Eric Kurth
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2019-10-03
Enjoyed the Carrot Cake French Toast. Not too sweet, good carrot cake taste. Just the right amount. Get the venison sausage. Grill to the perfect taste. Great Bunch or Breakfast place.
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David Minear
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2019-09-23
Great food. Well thought out. Service was helpful. Beautiful room. You gotta go
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