Last Updated on May 15, 2022
Last Updated on May 15, 2022
We’ve been fortunate enough to travel throughout our state and visit many restaurants that serve breakfast in NC. Our experiences have ranged from elevated to down-home country classics, and all are delicious in their own ways.
This guide features mostly standalone restaurants, with some of our favorite bed and breakfasts mixed in, too! So hold on to your grits, butter, and livermush. We’ve got some drool-worthy places to eat for your next trip!
Also, make sure you read all the way through, because we’ve got some bonus brunch spots for you!
Read More: Food and Drink in North Carolina
Where to Eat Breakfast in NC
Note: Our food guides are continually growing, so if you don’t see your favorite places to eat breakfast in NC on this list, let us know, and we will get our stretchy pants out for our next trip to your area!
We’ve organized this article in alphabetical order, and it does not represent our personal preferences. Because let’s face it. Who can choose a favorite!?
Read More: The NC Tripping North Carolina Travel Map
The Asbury (Charlotte)
The Asbury is named after the architect who designed The Dunhill. This restaurant celebrates Southern cuisine with a modern nod and creative whimsy. Dark blue walls and walnut tables create an elevated atmosphere.
For breakfast, you will notice classic choices but with an added Southern flair. Tasty examples from the seasonal menu are banana pudding pancakes and chicken biscuits with a sweet potato turnover.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Charlotte
Baker’s Kitchen (New Bern)
Hot and fresh biscuits and cinnamon rolls are baked daily and you cannot leave town without trying this Bear Town restaurant’s famous Dutch Potatoes!
Read More: Things to Do in New Bern
Bantam Chef (Marion)
Don’t believe us? Swing by and the line of people and cars will be the first sign that this is one awesome place to grab breakfast in NC!
The Basics (Wilmington)
The Basics offers much more than its name indicates. This place will fill your hungry belly with a menu that is as diverse as the visitors and locals.
Located inside the Cotton Exchange, you’ll find ample seating and album covers lining the walls of Historic Downtown Wilmington.
Stop by for breakfast and brunch, lunch and dinner, and eat a delicious meal of Southern and American comfort food with contemporary favorites, too!
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Wilmington
Betsy’s Crepes (Southern Pines)
We’ve arrived at Betsy’s Crepes by 8:00 am when they open, and by the time we’re seated, the place is almost full.
This place in Southern Pines serves up incredible crepes that are both sweet and savory, you can order just about any combination.
Carl once ordered the Superman, which is a crepe with peanut butter, Nutella, banana, bacon, egg, and cheese. Don’t knock it until you try it!
Beyond their tasty crepes, you can enjoy standard breakfast items, sandwiches, and more. With all these options, it’s no wonder that Betsy’s stays packed for breakfast.
Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant (Raleigh)
Big Ed’s was founded in 1958 and has called its City Market location “home” since 1989. Late great founder Big Ed developed the recipes used today while preparing meals for workers on his farm.
At Big Ed’s, you can dig into some of the most delicious red-eye gravy, all-you-can-eat fluffy and buttery biscuits, blackstrap molasses, and more Southern classics that stick to your ribs.
There’s nothing like a farm-fresh breakfast in NC’s capital city. Big Ed’s makes sure even Raleigh’s city folk can enjoy some down-home cooking.
Read More: The Best Restaurants in Raleigh
Biscuit Head (Asheville)
If you want the definition of a cathead biscuit, Biscuithead will provide it. We’ve never seen Biscuit Head without a line outside of it- and if there is some secret trick then share!
But the wait for Biscuithead is well worth it and you’ll see why it landed on our shortlist of must-eat restaurants in Asheville.
The eggs are cooked to order. Biscuits are light, fluffy, and ginormous. And did we mention a jelly bar?! Oh, and those with dietary considerations can rejoice! Biscuit Head also has incredible gluten-free and vegan biscuits.
Read More: The Best Breweries in Asheville
Biscuits N’ P*rn (Nags Head)
Biscuits N’ P*rn makes the best drop biscuits in North Carolina. More of a convenience store than an Outer Banks restaurant, The Stop Quik food joint serves two kinds of biscuits—plain, and cheese stuffed with any of the meat choices you so desire.
The name is a smart marketing ploy that just stuck over time. Like many convenience stores in the early 2000s, there was a rack of adult magazines somewhere around the deli and the name stuck.
Today, you won’t find that much adult content as you will find a line of hungry foodies!
The Daily Grind (Surf City)
If you’re vacationing on Topsail Island, a stop at The Daily Grind is a must! Pair one of their various coffees or lattes with a homemade doughnut or bagel, and you’ve got the perfect morning pick-me-up!
If you have some time after lunch or dinner and want to stop by, this place also serves delicious ice cream and has live music playing.
Early Girl Eatery (Asheville)
Sourcing from high-quality local ingredients, Early Girl Eatery is one of the best places to grab breakfast in NC’s mountains, especially Asheville. The folks there believe that local tastes better, so everything is made from scratch.
Plus, you’ll find a list of the farmers Early Girl works with as soon as you walk in. Tomatoes are a key ingredient for Early Girl and their shrimp and grits with tomato gravy will show you exactly why.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Asheville
Elmo’s Diner (Durham)
You can’t come to the Bull City without having breakfast at Elmo’s Diner. This Downtown Durham restaurant is an institution and you’ll hardly ever walk by during weekend mornings without seeing a line.
If it’s on Sunday, that’s because they’re likely waiting for the best brunch in Durham! Everything is delicious here, but their quiche is something to die for!
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Durham
Engadine Inn and Cabins (Candler)
About 20 minutes west of downtown Asheville, Engadine is a wonderful bed and breakfast that was once a wine-producing estate, and that’s just a part of the history you’ll find here.
The home and its surrounding cabins sit on a beautiful 12-acre property, surrounded by mountains and beautiful scenery all around. Inside, you have a variety of comfy rooms to choose from, and then there’s the amazing breakfast.
This two-courser will get you going for a day of exploring Asheville and its surroundings!
Read More: Our Favorite Hotels in North Carolina
Helios’ Hideaway (Ocracoke)
The Hidaway prepares tasty breakfast pitas that are warm, cheesy, and complemented by meats and veggies to start your day.
Joey’s Pancake House (Maggie Valley)
Ask anyone about where to grab breakfast in Maggie Valley and they’ll tell you Joey’s Pancake House. We agree with that answer and will always tell people to get there as early as possible.
They are only open from 7:00 am to 12:00 pm, and there is typically a wait even if you show up at 7:01 am on a weekday!
Order a stack and we guarantee that you’ll be fueled up for your day of adventure.
Kai Joe’s (Oak Island)
We’re noticing a theme here, but you should also arrive at Kai Joe’s as soon as they open because everyone knows about this Tex Mex restaurant. Their shrimp tacos are hard to beat but the Fonz lands this place on our guide.
It’s an awesome breakfast burrito that is the perfect start to your day on Oak Island!
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Kate’s Pancake House (Carolina Beach)
As the name suggests, the pancake selection here is quite vast. Some of our favorites include pigs-n-blanket pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, banana nut, and s’mores!
You don’t have to eat pancakes here, as Kate’s also serves a mighty fine eggs benedict, omelets, biscuits, and waffles.
The Kettle Diner (Jacksonville)
Even if you’re not in the Jacksonville area, you need to check out The Kettle Diner. Serving up casual and tasty dishes since 2001, The Kettle Diner is one of our absolute favorite spots for breakfast in NC!
They serve breakfast all day but you’re more than welcome to try their ever-changing daily specials.
Lovick’s Cafe (Kinston)
You’ll find a great breakfast menu with familiar favorites, but don’t sleep on the yummy (and historic) Doughburger.
Lovick’s was the perfect Kinston restaurant for farmers who were in town selling their tobacco. Many would order the Doughburger, a product of meat rationing during World War II.
This delicious sandwich has stuck around and I think you should eat it at least once in your life.
Read More: Must-Eat Kinston Restaurants
Melanie’s Food Fantasy (Boone)
Melanie’s Food Fantasy is one of our favorite Boone restaurants, right in the middle of town. This eclectic spot has an exciting menu, and is complemented by colorful cloth napkins, thrift store-curated coffee mugs, and genre-spanning art adorning the walls.
This place is also pet- and kid-friendly, making it perfect to show off for friends and family! We really enjoyed their bacon avocado benedict and look forward to returning for more made-to-order yumminess.
Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Boone
Whoever said doughnuts don’t qualify for breakfast in NC obviously doesn’t know. At Monuts, you’ll also usually find a line out the door.
Along with a fresh list of cake or dough selections, Monuts also has incredible breakfast sandwiches and bowls!
Every person who orders gets a fun fact card to read while they wait, too!
Read More: Our Favorite Coffee Shops in Durham
The Olde Hickory Station and Market (Hickory)
The Olde Hickory Station and Market (OHSM) is a converted train station in the center of Downtown Hickory.
The “Station” side provides a full-service dining experience seven days a week. You can choose from breakfast, lunch, dinner, or brunch (Saturdays and Sundays).
We highly suggest breakfast here. Dig in on the patio or back deck, and you’ll see why this is one of our favorite restaurants in Hickory.
Read More: 20+ Great Things to Do in Hickory
Orange Blossom Bakery (Buxton)
Of course, we can’t talk about breakfast in NC without mentioning those Apple Uglies from Orange Blossom Bakery in Buxton. They serve other things for breakfast but these huge, doughy, and sweet apple uglies alone are worth the wait in line!
Trust us when we say there will be a line. If not, then Orange Blossom Bakery is closed for the offseason!
Pig and Grits (Burnsville)
If you’re a sauce fiend, then you’ll be pleased! They have five regional sauces, from Eastern NC to Georgia, and Tennessee. They even have seasonal sauces like Cherry Bourbon, Honey-Sriracha, Applewood Smoked BBQ & more.
Pig. Grits. Livermush. We’re in heaven!
Scrambled Southern Diner (Greensboro)
Located next to Hops Burger Bar, Scrambled Southern Diner is a family-friendly Greensboro restaurant that is almost always slammed. They use local produce and North Carolina products and are well-known for an amazing all-day breakfast menu.
From breakfast sandwiches and biscuits to creamy hollandaise plates, most people waddle away full and happy from Scrambled! Also, any place that lets you get a side of bacon-wrapped meatloaf for breakfast gets an A+ in my book.
Shelby Café (Shelby)
“Split and Dropped” is exactly how you should order the regional favorite of livermush at Shelby Cafe. This spot in Shelby has been serving some of the best breakfast in NC since 1922 and continues to do it well.
You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but an order of that mush is a must!
Read More: Amazing Small Towns in North Carolina
Six28 House (Elkin)
You have to stay at Six28 House to indulge in Keith’s amazing breakfasts, and we highly recommend both!
Before coming to Elkin, he cooked at some highly-regarded restaurants in Raleigh and elsewhere. The food, your cozy room (one of two currently available), and conversations with the owners are the perfect way to start your days in Elkin.
The Southerly (Carolina Beach)
Open Thursday to Sunday, The Southerly serves some of the finest scratch biscuits, pies, and confections. You won’t go wrong either way, but just try a biscuit and you’ll be hooked!
Some of their best include the traditional buttermilk biscuit, a funky catfish biscuit, or a spicy BLT biscuit with sriracha.
Stack’em High Pancakes and So Forth (Kitty Hawk)
Stack’em High Pancakes and So Forth is another top choice for breakfast in NC’s Outer Banks. Their food is served up cafeteria-style, and you grab a tray as you did in elementary school.
Grab-and-go items include fruit, muffins, and yogurt, and then you place hot food orders at the end.
This place is known for light and fluffy pancakes, but Stack’em High Pancakes and So Forth also has scrumptious waffles and traditional eggs and meat sides.
Stick Boy Kitchen (Boone)
If you’ve been out to eat breakfast in NC’s wonderful mountain town of Boone, you’ve likely seen Stick Boy Bakery appear on the menu. That’s because of their incredible bread, pastries, and baked goods being used by restaurants throughout Boone.
At the Stick Boy Kitchen, grab a Salty Hog or a Son of a Gouda, and don’t you dare miss the Shut the French Door Toast!
Read More: Amazing Hikes near Boone
Sunny Point Cafe (Asheville)
There aren’t very many places left where you can order a meal any time of the day- but Sunny Point Cafe changes that. Start your day with an elevated breakfast outside before exploring more of Asheville.
We highly recommend breakfast here, but they also pull off amazing lunch and dinner services.
Read More: 75+ Great Hikes near Asheville
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen (Chapel Hill and Louisburg)
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is a welcome sight before or after downtown Chapel Hill, depending on which way you’re headed. If you’re headed toward UNC, it’s a convenient right turn off Franklin St and you may have a wait to dig into some amazing biscuits.
While it’s great for take-out, there are a few picnic tables out front for you to enjoy. You can also enjoy a Sunrise Biscuit or two at their Louisburg location.
Read More: 50+ Day Trips from Raleigh
Switzerland Inn (Little Switzerland)
While staying at Switzerland Inn in Little Switzerland, treat yourself to a meal at the Chalet Restaurant, especially for breakfast. The restaurant offers serene views to complement upscale and locally sourced ingredients.
Read More: Weekend Getaways in North Carolina
The Table (Asheboro)
Dine on a yummy breakfast in their renovated 1925 historical building and remind yourself about the ways breakfast should be done.
The Table at Inner Banks Inn (Edenton)
The menu changes daily at The Table, and the culinary team works closely with nearby farmers to keep everything fresh, local, and unique.
Timberlake’s Restaurant at Chetola Resort (Blowing Rock)
Chetola Resort is the perfect place to stay in Blowing Rock, especially because of Timberlake’s delicious made-to-order breakfast. Options will include stuffed French toast, chicken and biscuits, and shakshouka—an excellent variety indeed!
The food is certainly worthy of a “fine dining” classification, but you’ll find a relaxed atmosphere here. Children are also welcome and the menu for tiny foodies is equally exciting.
Time Out (Chapel Hill)
Time Out is a popular late-night spot for UNC students but you’re welcome to come and eat one of their amazing biscuits for breakfast.
Ironically, this restaurant was named long before the infamous Chris Webber timeout that handed a National Title to UNC. There’s still a picture of it on the wall for you to reminisce or seethe.
Read More: 50+ Day Trips from Durham
True Flavors (Durham)
Upscale diner favorites with a twist of southern hospitality is exactly what you’ll get when you walk into True Flavors. Chef Sidney Coves takes the standard southern classics and kicks it up so high that even momma will start drooling.
Soft Butter Biscuits, Duck Hash, and smooth cheesy grits grace the breakfast menu at this awesome black-owned restaurant in Durham, which you must visit when in the Bull City!
Read More: The Best Restaurants in Durham
Vicky’s Biscuits and Chicken (Fayetteville)
Vicky’s large and buttery biscuits make this one of our favorite places to eat in Fayetteville. In fact, other restaurants in Fayetteville call on Vicky’s for their biscuits.
And while the biscuits could fill your belly, try and save room for one of their incredible cinnamon rolls!
Read More: 40+ Great Things to Do in Fayetteville
Village Juice (Winston-Salem)
Not every breakfast in NC has to be a heavy one, and Village Juice in Winston-Salem is here to help! They serve fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and healthy breakfast, with lunch options, too!
Grab a couple of juices and their delicious bacon, egg, and avocado toast. They have two locations in Winston-Salem as well as a location in Charlotte.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Winston-Salem
Yana’s Restaurant (Swansboro)
You won’t be disappointed.
(Bonus) Where to Eat Brunch in North Carolina
Circa 1800 (Fayetteville)
This must-eat Fayetteville restaurant is one of our favorites for a lot of reasons, especially because they cook with locally sourced ingredients.
For dishes, we highly recommend stopping for their Beef Tips and Grits! You can also sip on North Carolina draft beers or Craft Pickle Martini with North Carolina spirits while enjoying brunch!
Read More: Things to Do in Fayetteville
Copper Barrel Brew Haus (North Wilkesboro)
They’re also a rare spot in the area that offers Sunday brunch. The Smokehouse Benny (with brisket) is a huge reason why they landed in this guide, but there are even more favorites to try on Sunday!
Fern, Flavors from the Garden (Charlotte)
You’ll discover Southern food is not just for carnivores after visiting Fern, Flavors from the Garden. Their Seitan chicken and waffles and Panko-crusted Violife mac and cheese top our brunch rankings. However, there are plenty of more dishes to explore throughout the day.
If you’re coming hungry, reserve a table in advance because this place fills up.
Read More: Outdoor Things to Do in Charlotte
You’ll find a little bit of everything when you pull up a barstool at Hummingbird.
Located in Raleigh’s Whitaker Mill, Hummingbird showcases a wide variety of dishes including Shakshuka, Peacemaker PoPo’oy, Tomato Pie, and Chef Coleen SpSpeaks’signature Boozy Sticky Buns (Pictured, Right).
Read More: Date Night in Raleigh
Magnolia House (Greensboro)
Sunday Brunch at The Magnolia House is absolutely a must. You can enjoy while staying there, but brunch is also open to the public.
The menu features Fried Chicken and French Toast and a special Fried Fish, Shrimp, and Grits!
Read More: 7 Fun Museums in Greensboro
Print Works Bistro (Greensboro)
Here, you can soak up the beautiful greenery on the outside patio for feel sophisticated in their dining room. Either way, order the Duck Confit Hash and prepare for an amazing meal!
Read More: Restaurants in Greensboro
What are Your Favorite Places to Eat Breakfast in NC?
We hope you’re able to run into some of these awesome places to eat breakfast in NC. If you’ve passed through our state, get to eat here often, or have the fortune of living here, what are your favorites?
It is always our goal to thoroughly eat…I mean, research when sourcing places to visit in our state. Let us know if there’s somewhere we missed and we’ll be happy to investigate further.