Phoebe’s Diner: Classic American diner in South Austin

Looking for brunch in South Austin? Look no further than Phoebe's Diner
Looking for brunch in South Austin? Look no further than Phoebe’s Diner

Phoebe’s Diner, located in Austin, Texas, is a casual diner serving everything from scratch-made American classics to barbecue. In 2017, the owners of Winebelly, one of South Austin’s best wine bars, opened Phoebe’s Diner. The diner, located a few doors down from Winebelly, sits next to a gas station in a strip mall off W Oltorf St.

Since opening, the breakfast and brunch spot has gained a following for its extensive menu featuring made-from-scratch Americana dishes. Dishes include fried chicken, shrimp & grits, biscuits & gravy, and Texas barbecue.

Tip: On weekends, be sure to join the Phoebe’s Diner waitlist on Yelp before you arrive. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting a while for a table.

Interior

Due to its strip mall location, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I walked inside the restaurant. When I made my way from the parking lot and through the door, I was pleasantly surprised.

The first thing that caught my attention was how small the dining room was. On one side of the narrow room was a long counter, ubiquitous at most American diners. On the other side, opposite the counter, were small booths. At the far end of the dining room was a nook with a few more tables. At the front, near the entrance, was a small covered patio.

Another thing that caught my attention was how loud the place was. It was busy and loud with people talking, sounds from the kitchen, and music playing in the background. So, if you are looking for a quiet meal, this might not be the best spot. For me, this was no issue at all. It was all part of the ambiance of the small diner.

As for the décor, I would describe it best as clean and modern while rustic and cozy at the same time. The simple white walls, checkerboard floors, and retro red lamps reminded me of a 1950’s diner with a modern, industrial twist.

Phoebe’s Diner Menu

Breakfast and brunch menu at Phoebe’s Diner, Austin, Texas
Breakfast and brunch menu at Phoebe’s Diner
Lunch menu, Phoebe’s Diner, Austin, Texas
Lunch menu
Drinks menu
Drinks menu

For a small diner, the extensive Phoebe’s Diner menu surprised me. The menu featured a little bit of everything from classic American dishes to barbecue using brisket smoked in-house. This made ordering difficult as there were so many great options to choose from.

Breakfast items included eggs benedict, omelets, fried chicken, grits, pancakes, crepes, and French toast. Enjoy Texas barbeque? Be sure to order something made with smoked brisket such as the Smoked Brisket Burrito ($11.50).

The second page of the menu featured snacks, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and mason jar goodies. If you aren’t too hungry, you can find something on the à la carte menu. Dining with kids? Check out the small selection of items for those 10 and under.

As for drinks, you had coffee, tea, cocktails, craft beers, wine, mimosas, juice, soda, and milk.

Brisket Benny

The Brisket Benny, Phoebe’s Diner, Austin
The Brisket Benny

Two of my favorite things are eggs benedict and smoked brisket. So, ordering the Brisket Benny ($12.50) seemed like an easy decision for me. This Texas-style eggs benedict was made with over easy eggs, chopped BBQ brisket, buttermilk biscuits, hollandaise sauce, and BBQ sauce. Served on the side was a hash brown casserole.

At first glance, I thought to myself, where is the brisket? I quickly learned that looks can be deceiving. Hidden under the eggs was a generous amount of chopped brisket. Brisket can be difficult to cook and easy to overcook. I know from personal experience. But, at Phoebe’s Diner, they cooked their brisket to perfection until tender and moist. Each shredded piece of brisket was the perfect mix of meaty bits mixed with rich, melt-in-your-mouth fatty goodness. The smoky brisket, sweet and salty BBQ sauce, hollandaise, and the yolk from the perfectly poached over easy eggs was a match made in food heaven. They all complemented each other.

Speaking of the hollandaise sauce. I found its taste to be buttery and tart from butter and lemon juice. But, I felt the smoky brisket and BBQ sauce overpowered the bright flavors of the hollandaise.

Traditionally, eggs benedict is made with English muffins. At Phoebe’s Diner, they used buttermilk biscuits instead. The unique square biscuits were golden brown and crispy on the outside while moist and buttery on the inside. Even topped with brisket, eggs, hollandaise, and BBQ sauce, the biscuits remained crispy on the outside until the last bite.

Hash Brown Casserole

Hash brown casserole served on the side
Hash brown casserole served on the side

Served on the side was a hash brown casserole. This interesting side was different than expected. The potatoes, served cold, were crispy on the outside while soft and tender on the inside. The potatoes had a texture which seemed undercooked or even raw. Mixed in with the potatoes was cheese, making each bite creamy. While I enjoyed the casserole, I could see how others might not enjoy the texture of the potatoes.

Two types of salsa
Two types of salsa

Without even asking, my friendly server brought over two types of homemade salsas. The red tomato salsa was both smoky and spicy. The green salsa was also smoky and spicy but had a bright, tart flavor from tomatillos and jalapenos. I enjoyed pouring each salsa over the brisket benny and hash brown casserole for another layer of flavor and a kick of heat.

Service

Even though it was a busy day, I found the service at Phoebe’s Diner to be both efficient and personable. I appreciated how my friendly server gave me her recommendations, which turned out to be great. And, food arrived quickly even with a busy kitchen. I also enjoyed how my server seemed to come around when I needed something yet knew when to leave me to enjoy my meal.

Conclusion

Phoebe’s Diner is a hidden gem located between a gas station and mobile store in South Austin. Even with its unusual location, it’s not uncommon for there to be a long wait for a table. But, the wait is worth it for their scratch-made American classic dishes and Texas barbeque. Everything on the menu looked great. With its great menu, friendly service, and cool décor, I can’t wait to return to Phoebe’s Diner on my next visit to Austin.

Pros

  • Smoky brisket cooked to perfection
  • Extensive menu
  • Modern yet old-school décor
  • Friendly and efficient service

Cons

  • Can be busy on weekends
  • Loud dining room

Hours

Monday-Sunday: 7:00AM-3:00PM

Address

533 W Oltorf St, Austin, TX 78704
GPS Coordinates: 30.24152,-97.75929

Map

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