Crème de la Crème: Brunch Options Worth Waking Up For

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These restaurants’ brunches were voted best by our readers, and their mouthwatering dishes are sure to have you up and at ’em!


Chef Younes Sabouh’s Moroccan roots and meticulous French training shine in this simple yet savory dish. Slow-cooked red peppers and whole cloves of roasted garlic meld seamlessly in a richly spiced tomato sauce, but the real magic happens when you cut into the pair of poached eggs and scoop up a perfect bite of runny yolk with a crunchy slice of toasted baguette. Shakshouka recipes can vary widely around the world (common additions include olives, goat cheese, lemon and even spicy sausage); Chef Younes’ version gets a brunch twist with fresh slices of avocado and a handful of cilantro. Paired with a seasonal Tandem Spritz, which features a house-made shrub, lemon and bubbly, the shakshouka’s creamy brightness will sparkle. We recommend enjoying this dish surrounded by the lush greenery on Tandem’s patio, and trust us – you’ll want to go ahead and order extra bread for dipping. – Morgan Cartier Weston


Greetings from Carrboro! Chef and owner Kevin Callaghan takes pride in using local ingredients to create his version of Southern American cuisine. Step through the curtained entrance at Acme Restaurant for Sunday brunch, and the fragrance alone will make your mouth water. Waitstaff weave their way through the dining room, leaving a wafting trail of cinnamon spice and hints of orange zest as they deliver plates to tabletops. The rolls arrive, still warm from the oven, and are filled with raisins and pecans. The glaze carries a citrus finish, and the dusting of powdered sugar is a signal to grab a fork. After indulging in the rolls, enjoy a classic brunch dish. The Acme Deluxe Benedict presents with a pair of toasted English muffins, each topped with a stack of thinly sliced ham, fried green tomato and a lightly poached egg topped with buttery hollandaise sauce and a dash of black pepper. Accompanying the eggs is a bright green salad mix with a refreshing dressing and a small bowl of cheese grits. And when you’ve put down your fork, finally, you’ll catch yourself repeating Kevin’s motto: damn good food. – Anna-Rhesa Versola


Don’t let the French names and small menu intimidate you – Bluebird, Meadowmont’s newest addition by Hawthorne & Wood’s Michelin-starred chef and owner Brandon Sharp, serves up Sunday brunch dishes that’ll send seasoned foodies and menu-pointers alike into a satisfied food coma. Plus, the white tiled floors, copper horseshoe counter and Parisian cafe vibe create an upscale atmosphere that’s perfect for a celebratory meal.

Start off with a warm and flaky kouign-amann, a Breton morning bun made with laminated dough and topped with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Then, balance the palate with a savory dish like the goat cheese and spinach quiche. This classic brunch dish is ultra fluffy (don’t resist the temptation to jiggle the plate!), topped with piperade and served with crispy potatoes. Leave your mark on the paper tablecloth using the pencils provided at each table; your artistic creation might just earn you a special feature on the Instagram page, @blue.birdnc. – Brooke Spach

Crossroads Chapel Hill

Sitting down to brunch at The Carolina Inn on a rainy Sunday morning in May, it’s impossible to feel down. The coffee comes quick – and often. Everyone’s welcoming, and then there’s the buffet. It’s a little like being my favorite Disney princess, Belle, during the “Be Our Guest” scene. (“We’ll prepare and serve with flair, a culinary cabaret! … The banquet’s all prepared. No one’s gloomy or complaining.”) The nearly 100-year- old inn’s impressive spread features breakfast and lunch offerings ranging from waffles and made-to-order omelets to mac and cheese and pork – and that’s all before you’ve made it to the scones, muffins and pastries! Help yourself to seconds of the dreamy cinnamon buns with cream cheese icing and the grits (“try the gray stuff – it’s delicious!”) loaded up with cheddar and scallions. – Jessica Stringer

Honorable Mentions 

These local staples are also worth a visit!

Carolina Coffee Shop

Dish Stay classic with biscuits and gravy or eggs Benedict.
Sips The usual coffee bar staples such as iced coffee, iced tea and hot chocolate.

Carolina Brewery

Dish Chow down on some chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits or breakfast burritos along with cold bar offerings included with each brunch entree.
Sips $2 mimosas and $5 bloody marys

Top of the Hill

Dish Sample the bananas foster French toast, Cajun pork Benedict, chicken and waffles or bruschetta caprese.
Sips $5 mimosas and $4 bloody marys


Dish Indulge with a variety of salads, burgers, egg dishes and waffles. There’s also a kid’s brunch menu for your little one! 
Sips The brunch cocktail menu features brunch staples along with Venable signatures like the Morning Ritual composed of vodka, cold-brew coffee, vanilla bean syrup and chocolate bitters.

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