11 of the Best Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina

Last Updated on May 27, 2021

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We’ve been fortunate enough to travel throughout our state and visit so many restaurants in North Carolina, especially during breakfast. Our experiences have ranged from elevated to down-home country classics, and all are delicious in their own ways.

And since you might be visiting our state from any direction, we thought we’d share some of our favorite breakfast restaurants in North Carolina, from the mountains to the sea.

So hold on to your grits, butter, and livermush, we’ve got some drool-worthy places to eat for your next trip!

This post is part of our series on Food and Drink in North Carolina.

Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina

Note: Our food guides are always growing, so if you don’t see your favorite breakfast restaurants in North Carolina on this list, let us know and we will get our stretchy pants out for our next trip to your area!

Baker’s Kitchen, New Bern

Best Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina Bakers Kitchen New Bern Image

You’ll get hungry before starting your day in New Bern’s historic downtown, and Baker’s Kitchen is exactly where you should eat breakfast. Hot and fresh biscuits and cinnamon rolls are made daily and you cannot leave town without trying this Bear Town restaurant’s famous Dutch Potatoes!

Baker’s Kitchen complements a great restaurant scene, which also pairs nicely with our favorite things to do in New Bern.

Barrier Island Bagels, Southern Shores

Best Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina Barrier Island Bagels Image

The bagels proofed by Allison and Josh of Barrier Island Bagels have received a wide stamp of approval from the people of the Outer Banks.

No matter how far you are from the OBX town of Southern Shores, drive to BIB as early as possible. Grab an egg bagel and a smear, a delicious hot coffee, or an acai bowl and fuel up with goodness before you hit the beach.

It’s a no-brainer that Barrier Island Bagels features among the best Outer Banks restaurants that you’ll find.

Circa 1800, Fayetteville

Best Breakfast in Fayetteville NC Circa 1800 Image

We can’t stop thinking about the build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar or the signature Chicken and Waffles during brunch at Fayetteville’s Circa 1800!

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!

Circa’s brunch features among our favorite things to do in Fayetteville, especially during winter!

Early Girl Eatery, Asheville

Asheville Restaurants Early Girl Eatery Image

Sourcing from high-quality local ingredients, Early Girl Eatery is simply the best breakfast restaurant in 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.

Early Girl ranks high among our favorite restaurants in Asheville, which we highlight here. We definitely think you should visit during your next weekend there!

Fern, Flavors from the Garden, Charlotte

Brunch Charlotte Fern Flavors from the Garden Image

Southern breakfast is not just for carnivores in North Carolina’s largest city, thanks to places like Fern, Flavors from the Garden. At this Charlotte spot, you’ll find Seitan chicken and waffles and Panko-crusted Violife mac and cheese, which are delicious and yes, a healthier brunch option.

Just a heads up, you should reserve a table in advance because this place quickly fills up.

We included Fern among other tasty places in our guide to restaurants in Charlotte.

Hummingbird, Raleigh

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 Po’ Boy, Tomato Pie, and Chef Coleen Speaks’s signature Boozy Sticky Buns (Pictured, Right).

We’ve included Hummingbird among Raleigh’s must-eat restaurants and our favorite ways to enjoy a date night.

The Kettle Diner (Jacksonville)

Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina The Kettle Diner Jacksonville NC

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 breakfast restaurants in North Carolina!

They serve breakfast all day but you’re more than welcome to try their ever-changing daily specials.

We obviously included The Kettle Diner among our favorite restaurants in Jacksonville and its Onslow County surroundings.

Pines Country Inn (Brevard)

Bed and Breakfast Brevard NC Pines Country Inn Breakfast Image

Overlooking its beautiful Pisgah Forest surroundings near Brevard, the Pines Country Inn sits on a 12-acre pinewood plot. While it’s not a typical restaurant, we totally recommend a stay here just for their delicious farmhouse breakfast.

Locals rave about it and we couldn’t agree more, which is why it’s one of our favorites throughout North Carolina.

We included the Pines in our guide covering things to do in Brevard and also wrote about it in more detail here.

Print Works Bistro, Greensboro

Brunch Greensboro NC Print Works Bistro Image

Located inside Greensboro‘s employee-owned and LEED-certified Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, Print Works Bistro is the perfect place for an elevated brunch. It was named one of OpenTable’s 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America, and we can vouch for it as being a must-eat spot in 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!

Print Works is one of the many reasons we’ll be back to stay at Proximity. We highlighted a few more here.

Shelby Café, Shelby

Best Restaurants in North Carolina Shelby Cafe Image

“Split and Dropped” is exactly how you should order the regional favorite of livermush at Shelby Cafe. This Cleveland County spot has been serving one of North Carolina’s best breakfasts 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!

Shelby is one of our favorite small towns in North Carolina, thanks to amazing restaurants like Shelby Cafe and more that we discovered during our weekend there.

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!

We’ve covered quite a few places to eat in Durham, including casual spots and the city’s awesome international restaurants.

What are Your Favorite Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina?

We hope you’re able to run into some of these awesome breakfast restaurants in North Carolina. 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 do 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.

More North Carolina Eats

10 thoughts on “11 of the Best Breakfast Restaurants in North Carolina”

  1. We love Sizzlin’ Steak & Eggs in Aberdeen ( or maybe it’s actually Southern Pines ). Totally plain & simple food. Most restaurants can’t seem to serve your food got but this place is like being in your Grandma’s kitchen & the food is steaming hot. Very reasonable prices too.

    • Thanks for the recommendation, Leslie. I think we’re gonna have to travel down US 1 and eat there! I pass through Aberdeen when driving down to my mother’s house, so this would be a convenient stop.

  2. You should try the Farmer and the Dell in Snow Hill. It is a small place out in the country that is amazing. It is only opened until lunch but their biscuit bombs are amazing. Also they are bakery so be sure to enjoy the cheesecake brownie. Yummy

  3. Daniel Boone Inn in Boone, Farmer and the Dell in Snow Hill, Amy Jo’s Country Restaurant in Wilson, Shatley Springs in West Jefferson and Melanie’s Food Fantasy in Boone are all great places if you haven’t tried them yet.


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