20 of the Best Brunch Spots in Raleigh, N.C.
Thursday, April 21, 2022, 9am by visitRaleigh
Weekends are meant to be brunched on! Time spent with family and friends over stacks of blueberry pancakes or the perfect eggs Benedict should be cherished—in the Raleigh area, it is. We get asked about brunch spots all the time, so we've put together this list of some of the area's favorite places to convene for muffins and mimosas. Cheers!
The oysters are fresh and the po’boys are loaded—don’t even get us started on the hushpuppies. At chef Sunny Gerhart's St. Roch, you’ll get as close as you can to a New Orleans dining experience without leaving town, complete with Big Easy-inspired cocktails, wine and beer (mimosas and bloody Mary's included, of course). An indulgent brunch at St. Roch—grits, biscuits, hotcakes, fried oysters and so much more—is among the top dining experiences in the City of Oaks.
When: Sat. and Sun., 11am-4pm
Raleigh-native chef Sean Fowler serves traditional Southern foods with influences drawn from all over the world. The menu changes daily due to the commitment of using only the freshest ingredients, including brunch! Try items like the Mandolin Omelet Du Jour, Smoked Sunburst Trout Florentine and more. Consider making a reservation, because this hotspot was just named among the 50 best Southern restaurants in America!
When: Sun., 10:30am-2:30pm
Passionate mind Niall Hanley's Hibernian Restaurant & Pub celebrates both the old world flavor and the new vibrancy of Ireland. The Irish breakfast—two eggs, two bangers, two slices of bacon, black and white pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and sourdough toast—may only be eclipsed by a brand new menu item. The fried chicken bloody Mary—complete with bacon, jalapeno, tomato, celery, tomato, pepperoncini and more (including a giant slab of fried chicken, of course)—wouldn't be passed up at our table!
When: Sat. and Sun., 10am-2pm
It's not unusual to see a line form before the doors open on weekends at this popular eatery by James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen. And it's impossible to go wrong here, but we can't not recommend getting a taste of the fried chicken that Beasley's is named for. At brunch time, spring for the chicken and waffles (drizzled in honey with real maple syrup on the side; pictured in header) or the Hot Chicken Eggs Benedict—two poached eggs with Béarnaise sauce, creamed collard greens and buttermilk biscuits.
When: Sat. and Sun., 11:30am-3pm
Open since 1999 in Cary, La Farm Bakery has consistently wowed visitors and earned media recognition from all over the world. Under the guidance of master baker Lionel Vatinet, La Farm produces some of America's high-quality bread, pastries and other baked products on a daily basis. Open for brunch on Sundays, dig into the Smoked Salmon Benedict, Creme Brulee French Toast and more.
When: La Farm Bakery on N.W. Cary Pkwy. is open for breakfast Mon.-Sat. beginning at 7am, and Sun. beginning at 8am.
Tucked away in Raleigh's Lassiter District in North Hills, Midtown Grille is upscale-but-comfortable and serves a brunch worth traveling for. You'll find contemporary American cuisine with some classic Southern flavors. The menu has great options for vegetarian and gluten-free diners, too, so whether it's shrimp and grits or a country benedict, you're all set.
When: Sun., 10am-2:30pm
Across from downtown Raleigh's Nash Square, Parkside's brunch menu has lots of Southern staples, including a chicken and waffle sandwich that tastes as good as it sounds. Elsewhere, they've got you covered with everything from their Braised Boneless Short Rib Benedict to a massive pancake plate and a bananas foster French toast that's sure to hit the spot (especially when paired with mimosa or Bloody Mary). With a spacious dining room and casual ambiance, Parkside works especially well for bigger group outings.
When: Sat. beginning at 10am, Sun. beginning at 9am
Downtown Raleigh's first distillery and restaurant became a reality in 2021 thanks to the owners of Raleigh's beloved Trophy Brewing. Young Hearts offers a variety of liquors, tasty bites, a rooftop patio, event space and more. With a focus on ethically and locally sourced ingredients, Young Hearts provides guests with a mix of small plates, salads and larger entrees as well as several vegan and gluten-free options. The drink menu focuses on local producers and botanical-forward spirits to provide a sense of place and season in the Tar Heel State.
When: Sat. and Sun. at 11am
Serving chef-inspired fare meant to share, Humble Pie offers delectable plates during Sun. brunch that are best enjoyed outside on their beautiful, covered patio when the weather's warm. Order tater tots for the table for dunking in Humble Pie’s chipotle ketchup. You can’t go wrong with the breakfast burrito or the “Cornmealius Pancakes,” with blueberry sauce, whipped cream and syrup.
When: Sun., 11am-2pm
Located in the historic Capital Club Building in downtown Raleigh, Capital Club 16 offers scratch-made meals inspired by classic dishes and family recipes that make it a true locals favorite. The menu—American combined with European/German influences—features seasonal and local ingredients, including specialty artisanal items like Schaller and Weber Gold Medal sausages and meats, and a variety of plates, sandwiches and bowls full of eggs, steak, bacon, home fries and more at brunch time (vegetarian options included, too).
When: Sun., 11am-3pm
They don’t call it “Big” Ed’s for nothing! This City Market gem is beloved for its ginormous pancakes, loaded country breakfasts and some of the best biscuits you’ll ever have. On the weekends, you’ll find the joint just as crowded with guests as it is with its plethora of antique decorations covering the walls, floor and ceiling. But no matter how long the wait, it’s worth it.
When: Sat. and Sun., 7am-2pm
A true farm-to-table restaurant that has been on the restaurant scene for more than 40 years, Irregardless Cafe is a great spot for brunch, especially if you have foodie friends visiting who follow the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. From a tofu Reuben to banana walnut pancakes, the brunch menu has something for everyone.
When: Sat. and Sun., 10am-2:30pm
Plates' menu is rooted in Southern cuisine, with a hint of international flavors and techniques taken from the owners' travels to France, Tuscany, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany and beyond. Dinner dishes include crispy Brussels sprouts, three-cheese and truffle tortellini and oven-roasted grouper, while weekend brunch feature rotating favorites from chef David Mitchell that include huevos rancheros, sweet potato hash bowls and the signature N.C. crab cake Benedict.
When: Sat. and Sun., 10am-3pm
At Relish--an undeniable favorite among City of Oaks locals--a menu of modernized and refreshed Southern classic dishes feels right at home in Raleigh. Rich comfort foods--fried chicken and gravy on a classic English muffin, tater tot beef nachos served with fried green tomatoes--are the name of the game, and the breakfast doughnut holes are a true treat meant for sharing and/or taking home to savor later.
When: Sat. and Sun., 9am-2pm
The Rockford's almost-hidden upstairs location in the Glenwood South entertainment district has been going strong for more than 20 years now—it's all about good food with good friends at this neighborhood staple. With a focus on locally-sourced and fresh ingredients, you can always count on the chicken and waffles (dash of powdered sugar included) and the burger (topped with bacon pimento cheese and served on a locally-made brioche bun).
When: Sun., 11am-3pm
You'll find Southern-inspired, refined comfort food at Peck & Plume, the restaurant at The Mayton in Cary, one of the area's most unique hotels. The atmosphere is relaxed with a touch of elegance—both the hotel and restaurant space are truly gorgeous. The menu offers plenty of gluten-free options like the eggs with local Andouille red eye sausage gravy. The shrimp and grits with an egg or the caramelized apple and toasted pecan pancakes—paired with a cocktail—all make for a great, leisurely brunch. Don’t forget to order a pitcher of peach Bellini or pineapple mule for the table!
When: Sat. and Sun., 10:30am-2:30pm (open for breakfast Mon.-Sun., 8-10am)
Chef Andrew Ullom's Union Special is a full-service bakeshop and café offering sweet and savory pastry, bread, cookies and vegan fare. With industrial décor, the café dials up the nostalgia, history and work ethic of traditional American manufacturing. The name “Union Special” is even inspired by America’s oldest and last industrial sewing machine. When it comes to food, however, you can expect a modern menu that revolves and evolves with the times, featuring selections of grain and vegetable-forward sandwiches and salads. For breakfast, egg sandwiches, potato hash, biscuits and sausage gravy and hot ham sandwiches are the name of the game (and never disappoint!).
When: 8am-3pm at the original Gateway Plaza location (note that the downtown Raleigh location is not open on weekends)
Rooted in the Carolina mountains, Tupelo Honey in Village District offers an exceptional brunch featuring a revival of Southern food and traditions. The “Shoo Mercy Sweet Potato Pancakes” are a must and served with buttermilk fried chicken, apple cider bacon, spiced pecans, two fried eggs, grilled seasonal fruit, pickled blueberries and hot honey! Order the honeysuckle and lavender flip for a boozy brunch cocktail option, which features Cathead honeysuckle vodka, house-made lavender sour, fresh lemon and soda water.
When: Sat. and Sun., 9am-4pm
NOFO @ the Pig is a combination café, food market and gift shop that is visually vibrant, quirky and unique. Perfect for an afternoon date, take a seat and enjoy brunch followed with some shopping. Take a seat and enjoy an award-winning meal like a sausage, apple and cheddar omelette or a fried green tomato benedict.
When: Sat. and Sun., 10am-2pm
Located in beautiful Lafayette Village, Driftwood features an open kitchen and an ever-changing menu of fresh Mexican ingredients paired with warm homemade tortillas--all served inside a newly renovated, beachy atmosphere with bright colors, unique artwork and fun decor. On weekends, tres leches French toast are the ultimate showstopper, and a chorizo burrito remains a house favorite. Paired with summer fruit and a glass of sangria? Yes, please!
When: Sun., 10:30am-2pm
Header photo of St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar by FOOD SEEN, courtesy of JNK Public Relations
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