Acme Food & Beverage Co. 

110 East Main Street, Carrboro, 

The proper way to do brunch at Acme is as follows: Go around noon on Sunday (get reservations). Order a coffee and a cocktail. Order the hot chocolate donuts, one cinnamon roll, and the angel biscuits. Order the crab Florentine omelet (with grits) and French toast. Eat. Have a beer, but nothing too heavy. Go home. Sleep all afternoon. 


4351 The Circle at North Hills, Raleigh, 

Brunch didn’t originate with the French. It’s an English portmanteau that arose in late nineteenth-century Britain, then took off in postwar America. But the French penchant for indulgence suits the meal perfectly. The quiches at Coquette are a specialty, especially the quiche Lorraine, but don’t miss hangar steak frites. 

Dame’s Chicken and Waffles

530 Foster Street, Suite 130, Durham; 823 Bass Pro Lane, Cary; 

From foodies to families to the Sunday churchgoing crowd, locals flock to Dame’s booths in search of soul food. Try the Orange Speckled Chabo, a sweet-savory riff that combines honey Dijon mustard and a buttery orange-honeycomb “shmear” atop a sweet potato waffle. Make a reservation to skip the inevitable line on Sunday morning. 

Grub Durham 

1200 West Chapel Hill Street, Durham,

Anywhere that serves breakfast until a civilized 3:00 p.m. daily is a brunch winner in our book. Plus, the roster of breakfast sandwiches (get the fried chicken on a biscuit), plates, and bowls (try the West End grit bowl) will fill you up without draining your wallet, and the bloody marys make for the ultimate hair-of-the-dog remedy. In good weather, sprawl out on the upstairs patio.

Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten

2706 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard, Durham, 

One of the city’s low-key favorites, the German-inspired restaurant has outdoor seating that feels like a magical getaway even for a casual brunch (let alone an upscale dinner). Allow us to point you to the eggs Arnold (if you’re vegetarian) or the eggs Benedict (if you’re not). Good cocktails and beer options abound, too. 

Harvest 18

8128 Renaissance Parkway, #114, Durham, 

Brunch al fresco or beside one of the large windows, soaking up the sunlight. Savory brunch dishes reign supreme here; the tastiest entrées are those that let the meats shine, such as the short rib—best enjoyed in sandwich form—or wood-fire grilled trout. 


504 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, 

Served buffet-style seven days a week, brunch at this Indian restaurant includes savory dishes such as paneer, chicken saag, and chana masala, desserts such as the syrupy-sweet ras malai, a variety of fresh and pickled sauces, and plenty of naan to sop it all up. And did we mention bottomless mimosas?

Monuts Donuts 

1002 Ninth Street, Durham, 

Yes, Monuts has donuts, and they’re good. But that’s not why you go, and that’s not why you battle a weekend line that stretches well out the door. (Things are much more manageable on weekdays.) You go because of the breakfast burrito, because of the Heirloom Summer (heirloom tomato, chevre, and basil pesto on a bagel), because of maple Sriracha home fries, because of the quinoa and kale grain bowl that has no business being as good as it is, because, even on a seasonally rotating menu, there will always be something that becomes your morning go-to. 

True Flavors Diner

5410 N.C. Highway 55, Suite AJ AK, Durham,

Tucked away in the Greenwood Commons Shopping Center in South Durham, it’s easy to forget that True Flavors exists, especially if you don’t live nearby. But you shouldn’t do that. This is Southern decadence in all its glory: butter and fat and cheese and meat and oh-my-god-the-biscuits. (Good news: A second location, in Durham’s Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood, is coming soon, and may have opened by the time you read this.) 

Watts Grocery 

1116 Broad Street, Durham, 

It’s a little weird to think that, at twelve years old, Watts is an elder statesman of the Durham culinary scene, but here we are. An upscale Southern eatery at Broad and Club, its brunch menu has lots things you’d expect—a crab cake benedict, a vegetable scramble, fried chicken—but The Hangover (French fries, gravy, cheddar cheese, roasted pepper, hot sauce, fried egg) surpasses expectations. And yes, we can attest that it is, indeed, ideal for a hangover. 

2018 Best of the Triangle Readers’ Picks, Best Brunch:

Guglhupf Bakery, Cafe & Biergarten, Durham County

Elmo’s Diner, Orange and Chatham Counties

Irregardless Café and Catering at the Glenwood, Wake County