Words and Photos by Kristen Olson
Chicken and waffles. The finest combination of words known to man. It’s the yin and yang of food—the salty with the sweet, the fluffy with the crunchy, and the a.m. with the p.m., making it the true epitome of brunch itself. Austin has combined its modern food savvy with the Southern authority on fried chicken to create some of the state’s best chicken & waffles dishes. Here’s where to get your fix.
Max’s Wine Dive
207 San Jacinto Blvd
Max’s Wine Dive has taken things a step further and made a trio out of this delectable duo—here, you’re in for chicken, waffles, and champagne. Max’s delivers on the chicken & waffles with a huge, fluffy waffle topped with three pieces of homestyle bone-in fried chicken, better than your mama’s recipe. It’s all fried to order, so allot the 15-20 minute wait as prime mimosa-drinking time. Soon you’ll be chanting their motto—“Fried chicken and champagne…why the hell not?!?”—and coming back for seconds (maybe thirds).
600 N Lamar Blvd
When the brunch hours are well past and the chicken & waffles craving strikes, this farm-to-table restaurant is here for you. 24 Diner is a city favorite for elevated comfort foods like meatloaf and milkshakes, but the chicken & waffles is a standout star. A waffle cooked with bourbon vanilla pairs perfectly with the side of brown sugar butter, and the hot sauce-marinated chicken is sweet, crispy and tangy. Drench the whole thing in Grade A dark amber Vermont maple syrup for a dish that delights at any time of day.
303 Red River St
If side pairings are what make chicken & waffles something extraordinary for you, stop at Moonshine to be satisfied. Prepare for the main event with samplings of corn dog shrimp, warm kale with bacon dip, and pretzels with pimiento. Then enjoy the chicken & waffles platter with a trinity of elevating extras—load on the chipotle cream gravy, add a dollop of creamy whipped butter, and drizzle with rich maple syrup for the ultimate meal. The delicious corn meal waffle and juicy chicken strips will be happy you did.
407 Colorado St
For some people, it’s not brunch without some bacon. At Frank, bacon bits are spun into the waffle batter for an end result that’s already sweet, salty, fluffy, and crispy—add some fried chicken on top, and it doesn’t get any better. It’s only served on Sundays from 10 to 3, so plan accordingly if this chicken & bacon waffle has you watering at the mouth. Fun cocktails like The Whole Enchilada (a twist on a Michelada) and the Crankenstein (a chocolate, Vodka, cold brew concoction) help wrap up your weekend brunch in just the right way.
1209 E 7th St
Eat at this East Austin restaurant for chicken & waffles that are packed with flavor. The Hightower serves you a pile of crispy fried chicken thighs atop a golden waffle, which taste best when eaten on the breezy outdoor patio. Spice up your brunch with a generous dribble of hot sauce or go ham with the ginger honey syrup, then be a good Southerner and spread on some butter. One bite, and you’ll be questioning why you don’t eat chicken & waffles for every meal.