June’s All the Way
With its concentration of food trucks, hipster boutiques, wafting live music, and long lines for lattes, burgers, and pizza, Austin’s South Congress Avenue can feel like an endless street festival—or ground zero for weekend tourists, depending on who you ask. But just south of the selfies (snapped in front of the “I Love You So Much” mural), on a sunny corner, June’s All Day is an increasingly rare thing: a newish restaurant that feels like a long-established neighborhood haunt. June’s is where girlfriends meet for spontaneous weekday lunches that start with salt cod croquettes and pink bubbly and end with marshmallow fluff brownies. With its long marble bar, lovely stemware, and cozy banquette seating, the small space is stylish enough for birthdays and other occasions, but specials like half- price sparkling wine on Monday, and Sunday Pub Nights (with $5 pints of Old Speckled Hen, homey Indian food, soccer fans, and a British playlist) foster a laid back, come-as-you-are vibe that welcomes sneakers and hoodies. Named for master sommelier June Rodil, the restaurant is devoted to serving the perfect foods to complement the restaurant’s ever changing wine and cocktail program. For oenophiles, the curated wine list is as much a draw as, say, the farm egg omelet with boursin or steamed artichokes and vinaigrette. (Since June’s first opened in 2016, Rodil has moved on to Goodnight Hospitality in Houston, but remains a partner in the restaurant.)
As the name implies, the menu is wide-ranging, from morning pastries and coffee to bone marrow bolognese. But with a roster of sweet and savory options that will please everyone at the table, mimosas served by the magnum (!), and a parade of pooches strolling past the patio, June’s shines at brunch. “We definitely fancy ourselves a late-night spot, but the truth is that June’s reaches its ebullient peak during brunch,” says bar manager Sean Woosley. Regulars and first-time guests alike dig the bright but cozy space and infinite deep cuts on the stereo. “Brunch vibes at June’s are always upbeat and downright boisterous at times,” he adds.
Crowned with a sunny-side-up egg, an Instagram-worthy buckwheat crepe with Gruyère, for instance, serves up a momentary cure for Gallic wanderlust. If you’re post-yoga and feeling virtuous, June’s house-made granola with buckwheat groats, pine nuts, sesame, and pecans will prolong your inner peace. Meanwhile, the comforting pecan coffee cake—a gluten-free indulgence—or sourdough pancakes with seeded butter and macerated cherries will sate a morning sweet tooth. But you might con- sider a second course. Why not follow with a gin cocktail (perfumed with Bruto Americano, rosemary, and grapefruit) and smoked salmon niçoise?
Whether you’re perched at the bar or nestled on the banquette there’s no reason to rush—the sun is on your shoulders and the weekend stretches before you. After dessert, when you discover you’ve spent a good part of the day at June’s, you will have embraced the convivial spirit of the place entirely.