20 of the Best Brunch Spots in Raleigh, N.C.
Friday, May 28, 2021, 9am by Tabletop Media Group
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: Sat., 11am-2:30pm, and 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: Sun., 11am-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., 11am-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: Sun., 7am-3pm (open for breakfast at 7am every day)
This Mexican restaurant, opened in 2013 by a set of brothers with a family history of owning popular Mexican eateries in the Raleigh area, has truly made a name of its own in recent years. The heavily Southern-influenced restaurant (roosters and milk jugs adorn walls and shelves) is known for its warm, rustic atmosphere and its feast-worthy food. For brunch, you'll start with what they call “Raleigh's Best Bloody Mary,” house-roasted vegetables and clamato, choice of vodka or tequila, pickled vegetable garnish and a beer chaser. Then, dive into menu staples like the huevos rancheros and Guadalajara skillet. Really want to try something unique? The “Mexnugget Wrap” features a flour tortilla with homemade panko-crusted chicken nuggets, lettuce, pico de gallo, avocado and chipotle aioli.
When: Sun., 11am-3pm
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 (not to mention $5 bloody Mary and mimosas).
When: Sun., 10am-3pm
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. and Sun., 11am-3pm
Poole's Diner (note: currently not serving brunch due to COVID-19)
Major brunch news alert! Poole's Diner, the downtown comfort food spot from chef Ashley Christensen that will turn 10 years old this Dec., recently reintroduced brunch service. Poole's previously served an incredibly-popular brunch service before Christensen opened a handful of other dining and drinking spots in town. Items like short rib hash, seasonal hot cakes and grits bowls, plus lots of weekly specials, make up a menu that you don't want to miss.
When: Currently not offered but may return soon
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
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
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 Inn 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)
Located in the Raleigh Marriott City Center in downtown Raleigh, Rye Bar & Southern Kitchen serves up a delicious Sun. A La Carte brunch. Start your day in City Plaza with a filling meal, then walk down Fayetteville St. to the City of Raleigh Museum (COR Museum), North Carolina State Capitol, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and North Carolina Museum of History.
When: Sun., 10am-2pm
Located in the center of downtown Cary, Academy Street Bistro has an A-plus location—outdoor patio included—with the food and cocktails to match, featuring a menu of Italian-American cuisine that makes for equally inviting Sat. night dinners and Sun. morning brunches. A filet Benedict, Caprese salad, classic buttermilk waffles or a grilled brie sandwich make for a perfect way to fuel a day of exploring around town.
When: Sun., 11am-3pm
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-3pm
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: Sat., 11am-3pm
Major upcoming events in Raleigh, N.C., to plan around
- N.C. State Fair, Oct. 14-24
- Carolina Ballet presents The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Oct. 14-31
- Exhibition: Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau Visionary, through Jan. 23, 2022
- Exhibition: Dressing the Abbey, through Jan. 17, 2022
- Downtown Raleigh Restaurant Week, Nov. 5-14
- North Carolina Theatre presents Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Nov. 5-14
- North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, Cary, opens Nov. 19
- 26th Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration, Nov. 20
- 77th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade, Nov. 20
- WRAL Nights of Lights, opens Nov. 26
- Raleigh Little Theatre presents Cinderella, Dec. 3-19
- Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour, Dec. 11 and 12
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