Where to Eat Brunch in Asheville
By Cat Kessler
A Guide to Weekend Mornings in Foodtopia
Brunch. That magical, (mostly) morning meal that permits diners to mix pancakes and sandwiches, eggs and entrees--perhaps with a little hair of the dog to boot.
For weekend travelers, brunch also offers another opportunity to sample the local flavor. And in Asheville, N.C.--also known as Foodtopia--there is no shortage of choices.
A recent article in the Mountain Xpress, a local arts and entertainment newspaper, bills Asheville as "brunch city," explores several popular spots for Sunday morning eats and offers a handful of tasty-looking recipes from local chefs. As the article makes clear, there's no one way to do brunch, and it would be difficult to sum up the entire brunch scene in a single list.
Nevertheless, in an attempt to tackle some of Asheville's possibilities, here are 22 ideas for your next brunch outing:
Best at Breakfast
According to an informal poll of our Facebook fans, many of the most popular spots for brunch are restaurants that serve breakfast all week long. Longtime favorites like the sweet potato pancakes at Tupelo Honey Cafe, the huevos rancheros at Sunny Point Cafe, the creative benedict dishes at Early Girl Eatery and the enormous biscuits at Biscuit Head all topped the list. Other a.m. choices such as Over Easy Cafe, The Corner Kitchen, City Bakery and King Daddy Chicken & Waffle are beloved brunch stops at as well.
A word to the wise: All of these restaurants get quite busy on Saturday and Sunday mornings--and for good reason! Go on a more leisurely day when you have some time in your schedule, or visit on a weekday for a shorter wait time.
James Beard Brunch
Three of Asheville's James Beard Award-recognized chefs are cooking up something a little different for the weekends. Sunday brunch at Table spotlights the culinary creativity that fans of chef Jacob Sessoms have come to expect, perhaps with a few more down-home flavors. At Curate, chef Katie Button puts a morning spin on her authentic Spanish cuisine. And look for breakfast and lunch dishes filled with local fruits, veggies and meats at John Fleer's Rhubarb.
A Little Something Unexpected
There's another group of restaurants that are perhaps better known for something else but which offer a scrumptious brunch that shouldn't be overlooked.
King James Public House and The Junction both boast great cocktail programs and innovative twists on regional fare during the week, and both extend their expertise into their Sunday morning menus. Three prime dinner time hotspots--Limones, Chestnut and The Market Place--offer fresh and affordable brunch plates as well. And Posana, famous for its delicious, you-would-never-guess-it gluten-free menu, makes waves at a meal so often dominated by toast.
For some more fresh choices, head north of downtown--in a few minutes you could be at Ambrozia, which features a four-courses prix fixe brunch menu as well as a la carte options. In addition to their mouthwatering barbecue and sides, Luella's Bar-B-Que injects brunch-ier specials and entertainment on Sunday mornings. And in nearby Weaverville, the eclectic menu of Stoney Knob Cafe adds creative french toasts and pancakes to its world cuisine.
Brunch & a Show
If delicious food and a strong cup of coffee aren't enough to get your toes tapping, stop in for Bluegrass Brunch on Sundays at Mojo Kitchen for breakfast tacos, a Bloody Mary bar and free live music. Or start your day off a bit slower at Burial Beer Co., which hosts a weekly New Orleans Jazz Brunch beginning at noon on Sundays.
In downtown Asheville, The Blackbird is making a name for itself with a delicious brunch in a great atmosphere. Enjoy the house-made Bloody Mary, local coffee from Dynamite Roasting Company (Black Mountain) and the beautiful French Toast. For egg lovers, try the 64-degree egg (the perfect egg!) or the gluten-free Huevos Rancheros. Also in downtown, the Princess Anne Hotel now serves brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You do not need to be a guest to enjoy favorites such as the Alchemy French Toast and Salmon Eggs Benny.