Raleigh features some of the most rib-sticking, biscuit-sopping, finger-licking southern cooking anywhere in the United States. From craft kitchen creations to the homiest of down-to-earth Southern cooking, Raleigh restaurants deliver on breakfast and then some.
American breakfast is taking new turns as the culinary world explores. Coffeeshops craft artisanal breakfast sandwiches for commuters while diners continue to serve up old favorites with new twists.
Whether you’re on the hunt for a prosciutto croissant paired with a macchiato or an old-fashioned breakfast platter complete with eggs, taters, links, and ham, the best breakfast restaurants in Raleigh will start your day off right.
220 Wolfe St, Raleigh, NC 27601
With multiple locations in shopping centers across the Raleigh area, Big Ed’s is just around the corner wherever you are.
The Wolfe street location sits kiddy corner to a plethora of small businesses, including a fabric store and other hobbyist shops.
Founded over six decades ago by the titular creator, Big Ed brought the farm experience to the Raleigh restaurant scene.
Big Ed’s biscuits are crumbly and absorbent, making them ideal for sopping and soaking up juicy eggs and delicious meats.
Their Cajun chicken biscuit sandwich is a hot treat sure to delight those looking for a spicy way to kickstart the day.
8111 Creedmoor Rd Suite 169, Raleigh, NC 27613
Brigs has four locations, all bursting with life and flavor. My favorite was the Brigs Great Beginnings Location, just down the street from Lincoln Park and City Hall.
For breakfast, they offer eggy sandwiches with just about any meat pairing. I opted for a hickory-smoked spam sandwich with avocado spread and fried onions.
What I didn’t realize was that this sandwich also featured a smear of dijon mustard, a masterstroke that harmonized these disparate ingredients into something much greater than the sum of their parts.
That’s how all of the food at Brigs is. An incredible marriage of ingredients that begets something nigh unreplicable.
First Watch overlooks the Springfield canal, allowing diners to watch the boats coming in at sunset as they dig into their meal. First Watch prides itself on offering a menu based on seasonal availability.
In the autumn, maple, pumpkin, spices, and the bounties of harvest inspire innovative dishes crafted by the First Watch team.
For brunch, I enjoyed bottomless pomegranate mimosas, which left me feeling warm and fuzzy. First Watch’s pumpkin pancakes also blew me away.
While many gimmick pumpkin products can be dense and underpriced, these hot cakes delivered complex flavors while staying light and fluffy.
235 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601
lucettegrace shares a shopping center with a Starbucks, an Office Depot, and a small toy store, making it a great place to stop during a day of browsing.
This quaint and calming cafe is the best place to enjoy some tasty treats and drinks with friends. I adored their macarons, coming in nine different flavors, give or take the season.
The perfect mix of light and chewy, the lemon macarons burst with a citrus sweetness that left me craving more.
For a heartier option, try their Korean Cream Cheese Garlic buns. Inspired by the viral street food, this savory single-serving bread pudding is creamy and achingly delicious.
1240 Farmers Market Dr, Raleigh, NC 27603
The State Farmers Market is located directly on the State Fairgrounds, open all year round. Just a few blocks from the State Fair train stop, it’s easy for those coming in from out of town to stop in.
The State Farmers Market Restaurant works hard with North Carolina growers and producers to create incredible, high-quality, locally sourced food.
The humble Bologna Biscuit at State Farmers Market had me smacking my lips for more. The biscuit was the perfect mix of crumbly while still retaining enough structure to hold a fried egg and a piece of fried bologna.
The bologna had plenty of cajun spices and a hint of sweetness that gave the dish an incredible depth.
2851 Jones Franklin Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606
Barry’s Cafe sits close to the public library, making it a favorite for Raleigh citizens heavy laden with books. It’s a great downtown location and a very important part of the community.
Their all-day breakfast lets you enjoy your morning favorites at any time, but they also have a great lunch and dinner menu.
My favorite offering at Barry’s cafe was the titular Barry’s Burrito. Sausage, tomato, eggs, onion, salsa, cheddar, and sour cream marry together perfectly in a lightly grilled flour tortilla.
Paired with breakfast potatoes, I was well-satiated and well-satisfied with Barry’s Cafe.
2016 Clark Ave, Raleigh, NC 27605
The Flying Biscuit Cafe sits across from Dreamland Pond, an adorable duckpond thriving with waterfowl at any season.
Serving all-day breakfast, the Flying Biscuit is ideal for nocturnal breakfast fans. I especially loved their Belgian waffles.
Fluffy with a good chew, they paired perfectly with the complimentary fresh fruit provided. You can also sweeten your plate with chocolate chips, bananas, blueberries, or strawberries.
If it’s not too late, grab a cocktail or mimosa to go with them!
Speaking of coffee, Jubala’s Coffee’s North Location is just west of the Raleigh firehouse. Frequent guests may find themselves rubbing shoulders with some local heroes while grabbing a drink on the go.
Prioritizing the customer experience, Jubala carefully sources the origins of its beans and other ingredients to guarantee sustainability and ethical treatment. The French press has lost some standing in American coffee shops as espresso has become king.
However, Jubala’s French press coffee is a fine art, a miraculously smooth brew that features little acidity and abundant flavor.
I found myself drinking much more than was wise for my cardiac health, so be warned!
10 E Hargett St, Raleigh, NC 27601
Morning Times shares Hargett street with several small businesses including a board game cafe and three bars.
Operating in the Raleigh area for over two decades, the Morning Times is the eatery equivalent of the first sip of hot coffee on an overcast day.
I chowed down on their Nashville Chicken Biscuit at the bracing hour of 8 am. Still, this honey sriracha sandwich provided comfort and warmth.
A side of cheesy, herbaceous grits paired perfectly with the hot entree makes for a delightfully homestyle meal.
I also split their half-gallon cold brew offering with a friend and found myself with more than enough energy to face the day.
2014 Fairview Rd, Raleigh, NC 27608
Located initially at North Fourth, NOFO has a verified legacy in the Raleigh area for offering delicious food in convenient locales. Now housed in the shell of a Piggly Wiggly, NOFO @ The Pig is full of local history.
It is a robust deli and fully operational cafe, offering incredible grab-and-go options. I happened to stop by on an especially hot day, and their blended coffees hit the spot.
My sweet tooth had kicked in something fierce, so the State Fair Caramel Crunch Blended Coffee was the balm for my heart.
5111 Western Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27606
Western Boulevard bustles with activity at all hours of the day. First National Bank down the block sees people in and out, the McDonald’s across the street is always slinging up burgers, and Parkeigh Florists sends customers back into the world with arms bursting with bouquets.
If you want to slow down for a moment, slide into a booth at Pam’s. Pam’s Farmhouse Restaurant will fulfill all your wildest dreams and more.
I adored their french toast, a fluffy, well-seasoned slice of sourdough with a sweet egg bake and maple syrup.
For a truly unique experience bound to blow away guests, the coffee beef tips are a must-try for any visitor to the Raleigh area.
5625 Creedmoor Rd, Raleigh, NC 27612
Part of the downtown area, Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar sits nestled between Mod Pizza and Bubbly Boba. I, for one, can hardly argue with a boozy brunch.
Beyond the bourbon and offer bar offerings, Relish has an incredible array of dishes that I found both filling and satisfying for the palate.
Comfort food is the name of the game at Relish, a mission they deliver on exquisitely. Their smoky pulled pork mac and cheese paired with an oak barrel bourbon about blew my socks off.
An unconventional breakfast, to be sure, but a delightful one nonetheless.
7705 Lead Mine Rd, Raleigh, NC 27615
Sola Coffee Cafe overlooks Stanton Park, a popular picnic and sports destination. This eatery provides the Raliegh community with coffee and a cozy atmosphere.
However, their most notable contribution to the people near them may be the charity work organized by Sola Coffee Cafe.
Founder Jeanne Luther was diagnosed with progressive degenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and passed away soon after.
Those who survived her honor her memory and the struggles of others with ALS. Make sure to try their lattes on a visit, as their mix of locally sourced milk and expertly pulled espresso meets for a divine flavor experience.
1340 W Garner Rd, Garner, NC 27529
Angie’s Restaurant has been dishing up incredible food for the Garner and neighboring communities for over a decade.
While many eateries focus on culinary principles, Angie’s Restaurant works from a customer service standpoint.
Angie and her team welcome everyone who comes through their doors and makes them feel like family. My favorite offering at Angie’s was the hot cakes.
Perfectly fluffy and even, they made for the cornerstone of a warm, homely breakfast that made me feel the way Angie’s customers must on every visit to her restaurant.
614 W South St, Raleigh, NC 27603
Founded in 2014, Boulted Bread is a grab-and-go breakfast joint perfect for walks in downtown Raleigh. A combination bakery and Stone Mill, Boulted Bread brings unique offerings to the neighborhoods around South Street.
The utility of having a mill onsite comes to the forefront when tasting any of Boulted’s loaves. Coarse flours accent smooth grinds.
Seeds adorn loaves freshly baked in-house. My favorite, which I was barely able to nab just an hour after their opening, was a smoked oat.
This savory loaf makes for the perfect at-home breakfast sandwiches, especially with a runny egg.
Raleigh contains some of the best Southern cooking in the world, and their breakfast offerings are no exception.
Visitors and natives of the Raleigh area alike should make an effort to try out at least a handful of eateries on this list to expand not only their palate but also their breakfast and brunch possibilities.
Grab a few sushi rolls at these incredible sushi joints around town while you’re here in Raleigh, too!
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!
- Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant
- Brigs Great Beginnings Restaurant
- First Watch
- State Farmers Market Restaurant
- Barry’s Cafe
- Flying Biscuit Café – Raleigh NC
- Jubala Coffee
- Morning Times
- NOFO @ The Pig
- Pam`s Farmhouse Restaurant
- Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar
- Sola Coffee Cafe
- Angie’s Restaurant
- Boulted Bread