Raleigh loves a good brunch. The long, lazy weekend meal is as much a Southern tradition as it is a big city ritual, and when you combine the two you get a brunch scene that is bustling with options ranging from homey Southern comfort food to fancier fare. There might not be bottomless mimosas (thanks a lot, North Carolina politicians), but rest assured that there is a brunch menu to fit any taste or occasion in Raleigh and it’s surrounding suburbs.Read More
Top 12 Brunch Restaurants in Raleigh, North Carolina
From chicken and waffles to chilaquiles
1. La Farm Bakery
At La Farm, master baker Lionel Vatinet puts his decades of baking expertise and French technique to work turning out hundreds of fresh baked breads and pastries daily. With three locations in Cary, and a newly opened spot in Raleigh–Durham International Airport, La Farm also offers a Sunday brunch menu that includes creme brulee French toast, eggs Florentine, quiche Lorraine, and more. (The rest of the week La Farm offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.)
Cary, NC 27513
Herons, the Forbes five-star restaurant at Cary’s the Umstead Hotel and Spa, serves what might be the poshest brunch in Wake County. Surrounded by the hotel’s fine art collection, diners can choose from dishes like the shrimp and rice bowl (Charleston Gold rice, charred tomato broth, and country bread) or the crab Benedict (blue crab, Canadian bacon, English muffin, and hollandaise). Lighter options like an acai bowl, yogurt parfait, and egg white omelet are available for those who might be heading to (or coming from) a spa appointment.
3. State Farmers Market Restaurant
A trip to the State Farmers’ Market wouldn’t be complete without stopping in at the on-site restaurant, which serves up Southern breakfast and brunch classics in the form of hot cakes, omelets, waffles, and more. There is an entire biscuit menu (biscuit and sausage gravy, country ham biscuit, steak ‘o lean biscuit, and it goes on), as well as an extensive offering of country breakfasts, like the fried pork chop breakfast with two eggs. The signature dish is Granny Cone’s sampler and comes with two eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, molasses, sausage gravy, spiced apples, three silver dollar hot cakes, choice of home fries or grits, and choice of toast or biscuits.
4. Tupelo Honey
Asheville’s famed Tupelo Honey Cafe has a Raleigh location and serves brunch all day long, with the big draw being the fried chicken (with or without waffles). There is also a sweet and spicy chicken biscuit (sweet and spicy fried chicken, fresh peach coleslaw, milk gravy), and and Old Skool breakfast bowl with two fried eggs, parmesan and rosemary potato cracklings, cheddar cheese, chopped bacon, salsa, roasted red pepper sauce, and heirloom grits with goat cheese. Truly hungry diners head for the Shoo Mercy, a high stack of pancakes with honey dusted fried chicken, two fried eggs, apple cider bacon, and spiced pecans.
5. Irregardless Cafe
This long-running Raleigh establishment serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays with a menu that is heavy on vegetarian and vegan options. A toasted sourdough open-faced sandwich comes topped with guacamole, arugula, tomato, two fried eggs, a balsamic drizzle, and home fries on the side. The vegan burrito is stuffed with a house made vegan chorizo, jasmine rice, black beans, guacamole, pickled red onions, and a salsa rojo. Meat lovers are welcome too, with options like steak and eggs, a smoked salmon Benedict, and a slow-cooked brisket hash topped with fried eggs. The Big Ol’ Cinnamon Roll is a popular table share — and it’s vegan.
6. Plates Neighborhood Kitchen
Over on Glenwood Avenue, Plates Neighborhood Kitchen complements its weekend brunch service by also offering a breakfast and brunch menu Wednesday through Friday. Main dishes include the North Carolina crab cake and fried egg Benedict, pearl sugar Belgian waffles, and a sweet potato hash bowl, but there’s also small plates and shareables (deviled eggs, charcuterie and cheese Board, and more) as well as a limited number of sandwiches.
Chef Kevin Ruiz has breathed new life into the kitchen at this nearly 30-year-old Glenwood restaurant, and the brunch menu reflects his mix of high-end techniques with accessible flavors. Donuts from nearby Tepuy Bakery become French toast, served with blueberry, raspberry, spicy honey, and a toasted meringue topping. The fried oysters come with a black truffle goat cheese mousse, and the Fox Farm omelette is stuffed with both black pearl and maitake mushrooms as well as red onions and more of that truffle goat cheese.
8. NOFO @ the Pig
The quirky cafe and restaurant has been a Five Points neighborhood staple since opening in a former Piggly Wiggly supermarket in 2001 (hence the name Nofo @ the Pig). Weekend brunch at Nofo finds diners chowing down on plates of fried green tomato Benedicts, pulled pork hash, and buttermilk fried chicken and eggs (served with biscuits and Johnston County country ham gravy). A selection of salads as well as brunch burgers are also available.
9. Heirloom - Coffee, Tea, Kitchen
Laotian and Taiwanese cuisine meets hip cafe culture at Heirloom, a more recent addition to the rapidly growing Warehouse District. The morning menu is actually served all week long, beginning at 7 a.m., and is a mix of Southern classics with East Asian twists. The sausage biscuit comes with Lao sausage and Kewpie mayo, while the fried chicken biscuit is a scallion biscuit stuffed with Taiwanese-style fried chicken (and more Kewpie). The popular congee is offered in a smaller breakfast portion and topped with fried eggs. A full coffee and tea menu, along with beer and wine, is also available.
Sunday brunch at Coquette is a purely French affair for those looking for the Parisian bistro experience. Quiches (Lorraine and du jour), crepes (Nutella and hazelnuts or seafood, stuffed with scallops, shrimp, crab, tomato, spinach, and a lobster cream sauce), and croques (madame and monsieur, of course) can all be found on the menu. Additional items include a breakfast burger, steak frites, a number of salads, and a small pastry selection.
11. Beasley's Chicken + Honey
One of the stars in the Ashley Christensen constellation, Beasley’s is the James Beard award-winning chef’s ode to fried chicken. Weekend brunch at Beasley’s includes dishes like hot chicken eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, and the Reunion (fried chicken on a buttermilk biscuit with cheese and hot sauce). The loaded breakfast bowl is a base of grits or hash potatoes with pico de gallo, roasted poblano peppers, and avocado, and is a steal at $6.50, although it can even more loaded with the addition of fried chicken or bologna, country ham, eggs, and more.
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12. Driftwood Cantina
A slimmed-down brunch menu of Mexican classics like chilaquiles verde (topped with Monterrey Jack cheese, a fried egg, steak, and guacamole), chorizo hash, and a breakfast burrito can all be found at Driftwood. The tres leches French toast, a nod to the famous tres leches cake, comes with strawberries and orange-scented whipped cream. Classic platanos are offered as one of the sides, served with both Mexican crema and queso fresco, and a churros sundae dessert sees the homemade churros topped with ice cream, Mexican chocolate, caramel, and whipped cream.