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Glazed doughnuts in a box.
Soft, pillowy doughnuts at Milkbread.
Kenty Chung

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Brunch-Hungry Charlotte Diners Almost Broke Milkbread on Opening Weekend

Here’s what to know when you go

Charlotte-area brunch fans love Milkbread in Davidson so much, they almost broke it.

After an opening weekend of Joe and Katy Kindred’s new breakfast-focused cafe coincided with a snowstorm, internet crashes, and long lines of eager eaters that wiped out the doughnut supply, Katy Kindred announced that Milkbread would close for two days to catch up and reopen Wednesday. The cafe’s regular hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.

“We got four times the customers we expected,” she said Monday.

After a Sunday morning visit, here’s hoping it will reopen quickly, because there’s a lot to love. Even though they only had a couple of flavors of doughnuts – and were working double-fast to keep even those in stock – a single glazed doughnut was enough to make the lines worth the wait. Based on the famous milk bread rolls that developed a cult following at their original Davidson restaurant Kindred, these doughnuts put “Hot Now” Krispy Kremes to shame, with a fluffy, yeasty interior and a double-glaze of a caramel-y sugar with just a hint of cinnamon.

Exterior of Milkbread.
Milkbread opened up to crowds of fans over the weekend.
Kenty Chung

Also irresistible: Mini Cinnies, a half-dozen small cinnamon rolls topped with gobs of buttery cream cheese icing. Once the cafe is up and running again, watch for more flavors, like the current seasonal offering, Meyer lemon brown butter.

The rest of the menu covers breakfast and lunch, from dressed-up toast to grain bowls to crispy chicken sandwiches. Smoked ham toast, topped with just enough nose-clearing mustard sauce, a thick slice of gruyere, and a generous pile of arugula and slices of onion, is savory enough to balance all the sugary doughnuts. It’s built on whole-grain sourdough bread from Charlotte’s Verdant Bread.

A few things to know that will make it easier on everyone:

  • Don’t bunch up in the line at the front door (although it’s fun to watch the doughnut-glazing from there). There are actually three cashiers around the corner.
  • If you’re dining in and you order coffee, it will be brought to your table, so you don’t have to crowd around the coffee bar.
  • Even though your food and coffee are brought to you, you need to pick up your utensils and napkins before you perch at a table. The utensil stand is tucked around one side, out of sight.
  • Prices range from $2 for a glazed doughnut to $20 for a dozen, $7 to $13 for topped toasts and biscuits, $10 to $15 for grain bowls and salads, and $5 to $11 for various forms of crispy chicken, including the Hot Dip, a sandwich with hot sauce-dipped fried chicken on a potato bread bun.
Fried chicken sandwich with pickles and slaw on a potato bun.
The Hot Dip sandwich at Milkbread.
Kenty Chung

Beyond that, the opening of Davidson’s Milkbread is a good preview to the second location, already slated for the old Dairy Queen on Central Avenue in Plaza Midwood. Katy Kindred says it will be the same menu (“more or less”), with walk-up service. Construction has just started and they hope to open this summer, but supply chain and equipment issues may delay that.

Milkbread builds on the Kindreds’ success in the Davidson area, including Kindred, which has been a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award several times, and Hello, Sailor, their lakefront California contemporary version of a fish camp in Lake Norman.

Milkbread [Official]
Kindred [Official]
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Kathleen Purvis is based in Charlotte, NC, and covers Southern food, drink and culture.

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