One of the great things about vacation is the opportunity to sleep in. So don’t be lured from bed early simply to make it to a restaurant before breakfast ends. There are plenty of restaurants, cafés and diners throughout North Carolina that offer breakfast and brunch later in the day – or even all day.
From traditional egg dishes to flavored and smothered pancakes, baked goods, donuts, and Southern specialties like chicken and waffles or red eye gravy, the menus at these local eateries will remind you why this is the most important meal of the day.
1 Louise’s Kitchen
1 Louise’s KitchenBlack MountainSee on map
Breakfast is served all day, every day at this charming old home in Black Mountain. Enjoy favorites like Belgian-style waffles, breakfast quesadillas and buttermilk pancakes. Because of its quaint size, be sure to take a left and head on back to the counter right when you arrive and order before finding a table where you will be served.
2 Café Monte French Bakery and Bistro
2 Café Monte French Bakery and BistroCharlotteSee on map
Eat brunch like a Francophile every day of the week at Café Monte, where the menu features classics with a French flair, such as Parisian omelettes, smoked ham crepes and quiche Lorraine. Whether you order from the quick counter or take in the full dining experience, the farm-to-table freshness will be evident.
Also try: For more traditional options in the Queen City, check out Leroy Fox for its coveted chicken-for-breakfast dishes, Mert’s Heart and Soul for Lowcountry and soul food at its finest, and Haberdish in the artsy NoDa neighborhood.
3 Dixie Grill
3 Dixie GrillWilmingtonSee on map
A Wilmington staple, Dixie Grill serves classic diner fare along with Southern-inspired brunch dishes, including a fried green tomato BLT on Texas toast; the Dixie Benedict with fried green tomatoes and Vidalia onion gravy; Louisiana hash; and shrimp and grits.
4 Early Girl Eatery
4 Early Girl Eatery3 locations in AshevilleSee on map
Showcasing local ingredients, this casual spot’s eclectic Southern menu focuses on made-from-scratch fare, such as the customer-favorite Yam Scram (eggs scrambled with pork sausage, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, applewood-smoked bacon and onions) and various breakfast bowls.
5 Bike, Brunch & Bubbles or Sunday Brunch Walkabout with Beaufort Grocery Co.
5 Bike, Brunch & Bubbles or Sunday Brunch Walkabout with Beaufort Grocery Co.BeaufortSee on map
For an outside-of-the-box Sunday brunch experience, enjoy a two-wheeled Bike, Brunch & Bubbles tour or two-footed Sunday Brunch Walkabout tour with Hungry Town Tours. After pedaling or walking the historic town of Beaufort, settle in at Beaufort Grocery Co. for a Benedict Arnold with crab cakes, poached eggs, asparagus and sweet potato threads, or eggs Florentine with sautéed spinach, portabella mushrooms, poached eggs and hollandaise.
6 Sunrise Grill
6 Sunrise GrillBooneSee on map
The Hunter family prides itself on quality food and friendly service. Try the signature biscuits and gravy, and The Grayson, which is raspberry cream cheese-stuffed French toast. Plus, there are signature specials like the Lonestar Benedict with brisket hash and sausage gravy, chocolate chip pancakes and Nutella-stuffed French toast.
7 Joey’s Pancake House
7 Joey’s Pancake HouseMaggie ValleySee on map
Serving only breakfast for the past 45 years in a classic mountain diner, Joey’s is the place to come for pancakes. And with more than 10 choices, there’s a flavor for everyone. If pancakes aren’t your thing, the diner also serves a variety of eggs and tasty sides like creamed chipped beef and hash brown casserole.
8 La Farm Bakery
8 La Farm BakeryCarySee on map
At this modern-day French boulangerie and café, master baker Lionel Vatinet showcases his passion for bread and local ingredients in his baked goods and signature breakfast items. Whether a breakfast sandwich on a hard roll, a croquet monsieur or madam on the signature sourdough La Farm bread, or creme brulee brioche French toast, you’ll leave with a renewed respect for housemade bread.
9 Elmo’s Diner
9 Elmo’s DinerDurhamSee on map
This classic diner offers up an infinite variety of egg combinations. But that’s not to say its pancakes, waffles and baked French toast (more like a breakfast bread pudding stuffed with cream cheese and apples) don’t take the cake as well.
10 The Dunes Restaurant
10 The Dunes RestaurantNags HeadSee on map
Offering a classic breakfast buffet on the Outer Banks for the past 30-plus years, The Dunes specializes in big breakfasts. The breakfast and fruit bar is loaded with fresh fruit, homemade pastries, eggs, grits, bacon, creamed chipped beef, sausage gravy and more. Or create your own feast with omelettes, hot cakes, French toast or breakfast specialties like corned beef hash, scrapple platter, and shrimp and grits.
Also try: If you find yourself even farther south, check out Orange Blossom Bakery and Café in Buxton for its famous Apple Uglies.
11 Tupelo Honey Café
11 Tupelo Honey CaféAshevilleSee on map
This downtown Asheville hotspot is where it all began in 2000 – there are now Tupelo locations in south Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh and a handful of other cities across the Southeast. Serving breakfast daily in its downtown location (and weekend brunch in the other locations), this place is oh-so-sweet, with its scratch-made fare that is good for the soul. Don’t miss the signature sweet potato pancakes with peach butter and spiced pecans or the fried chicken and biscuits.