Learning to be a local Series
There’s nothing quite like brunch. This weekend morning tradition is a staple for many Triangle residents, and it’s no wonder. Brunch tends to be a social event where friends and family can connect over unforgettable food and delightful cocktails. Across Raleigh-Durham, phenomenal chefs are tackling brunch menus in ways that are innovative and oh-so satisfying. Best of all, with spring, comes bright new brunch menus you’ll want to explore. Check out some of our favorite brunch spots to start eating like a local, just in time to celebrate spring and the Easter season.
When: Sat., 11am-2:30pm, and Sun.,10:30am-2:30pm
Chef Sean Fowler’s debut restaurant, Mandolin, offers farm-fresh ingredients from across the Triangle region. Mandolin is known for its seasonal dishes that draw inspiration from both southern cooking and global cuisine. For a real southern delicacy, go with the shrimp and grits, but ask for a side of panzanella to sample homegrown tomatoes from Mandolin’s farm. You’ll want to put Mandolin on regular rotation, we promise!
When: Sat. and Sun., 11am-3pm
You can’t visit a restaurant named “Chicken + Honey” without sampling the dish for which it is named. Just be sure to add waffles to that dish! This restaurant is known for offering a modern spin on southern comfort foods, so it’s packed with southern staples like creamed collard greens, grits, dishes with pimento cheese, and the most mouth watering fried chicken you’ve ever tasted. Beasley’s Chicken + Honey is an Ashley Christensen restaurant. Ashley is a cookbook author and James Beard Award-winning chef known for her many outstanding restaurants, all of which are phenomenal.
When: Sat. and Sun., 10am-2:30pm
There is so much to love about Irregardless Cafe. For one, it’s filled with stellar local art and music you won’t want to miss. It also offers a ton of vegan brunch options that are delicious for even non-vegans. Put your perceptions of vegan meals to the test with a tofu scramble, which is fully loaded with vegan sausage and home fries. They also have gluten-free options, like their craveable chilaquiles. Add on a Corpse Reviver No. 2 or a mimosa and settle into one of your favorite new brunch spots.
When: Sat. and Sun., 9am-4pm
If you’re a brunch lover, you probably already know Tupelo Honey Cafe has consistently earned accolades for its brunches. The cafe’s executive chef, Eric Gabrynowicz—a four-time James Beard Award semifinalist—has reimagined southern cooking. Their bone-in chicken is brined for over 18 hours before it reaches your plate, so you can’t go wrong with any of their chicken items. For a true southern staple, try their outstanding fried green tomato dish that’s served over grits with goat cheese. And you won’t go wrong with their biscuits and Bloody Mary, which have both been named the “best of” in Wake County. Come hungry and go home ready to nap!
When: Sat. and Sun., 10am-3pm
NOFO @ The Pig is a fun brunch destination that nods to its historic Five Points location as a former Piggly Wiggly. Choose from true North Carolina brunch items such as Pulled Pork Hash or a fried green tomato eggs benedict, which is topped with NOFO pimento cheese and smoked bacon jam. Then, when you’re waiting for your food to come, look around for the fun Piggly Wiggly elements that are displayed throughout the restaurant. NOFO @ The Pig also has house-crafted beverages made straight from their bar, which was created using vintage Piggly Wiggly food cans and dairy cases. NOFO @ the Pig is fun and flavorful!
When: Sat. and Sun., 9am-2pm
Relish prides itself on its “new southern” handcrafted comfort food made from local ingredients. You can’t go wrong with their Mater Biscuit, which offers a southern twist on a traditional breakfast sandwich. Their delicious sweet potato biscuit is loaded with fried green tomatoes, bacon, a fried egg, and cream gravy. Don’t forget to choose from a traditional southern side, including grits or more fried green tomatoes. Relish also offers a wide collection of whiskeys and they’ve crafted cocktails for nearly any palate. Don’t be afraid to put them and their skilled mixologists to the test!
When: Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm
Chef Sunny Gerhart was recently named a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Award for his outstanding St. Roch Fine Oysters & Bar. Hailing originally from New Orleans, Gerhart brings that taste of Louisiana to his establishment. You’ll get some fun twists on your typical brunch menu here, from the Bolo ‘n Grits—a gator bolognese dish served with grits and eggs—to oyster hotcakes and a cajun-style sausage served with eggs and a brioche cinnamon roll. You’ll want to sample from their bar menu, which has great Louisiana-themed drinks, too!
When: All day breakfast
If you stayed up too late to catch a Sunday brunch, don’t worry! Flying Biscuit Cafe serves an all day breakfast you’ll love. This award-winning franchise offers a little something for everyone. If you like to stay on the healthy side, they have a quinoa power bowl, oatmeal, or a parfait to start your day off right. They also offer southern staples like pimento sandwiches, green tomato BLTs, and southern-style eggs benedict. You can’t go wrong at this great cafe.
When: Sun., 7am-3pm (open for breakfast at 7am every day)
If you love bread, La Farm Bakery is a destination you need to visit immediately. Master Baker Lionel Vatinet, a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for “Outstanding Baker,” opened La Farm Bakery to offer French-style, artisan breads to his guests. Most of the brunch items are served using his bread as the centerpiece of the dish. Try the Croque Madame, which is ham, gruyere, and mozzarella served on toasted La Farm Bread. Or, for something sweeter, ask for the Crème Brulée French Toast, a to-die-for cinnamon brioche served with maple syrup, strawberries, and whipped cream.
When: serves brunch until 3:00 pm
Grub perfectly fits the vibe of a college town. This affordable, but delicious spot is in the heart of Durham and it offers tried-and-true breakfast options and then some. Their Texas toast is loaded with house-made cashew peanut butter and a banana, which is perfect with a side of brioche donut holes. For something different, they offer smoothies, too, some blended with their house-made cashew peanut butter. But what we really love are their brunch-style drinks, like the Blue Devil Mary and the GRUB Lassi, which is the perfect mix of raspberries, banana, yogurt, Frangelico, and Chambord. Yum!
We know there are a ton of brunch spots across the Triangle. Did we miss any you want us to add? Or are you getting ready to head out to one of these spots? We’d love to hear from you! Share your favorite brunch spots and tag us in your posts so we can keep sharing local love for our Triangle restaurants.
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