The 25 Best Off-the-Tourist Track Brunch Spots in Asheville
Our brunch scene is so abundant and diverse it can be challenging to figure out where to eat in Asheville. We want to make it fun and easy for you, so besides offering a list of the best brunch places in Asheville, we’ve grouped together our favorite off-the-tourist-track brunch spots for your dining pleasure!
From Mexican and Argentinian to Southern and Canadian, there’s something to suit all tastes. Locals love them. They all serve great food. And experiencing them will give you a glimpse of how Ashevillians roll (did you know that our unofficial slogan is “Keep Asheville Weird”?).
So enjoy your brunch (always call the restaurant first if you’re going on a Sunday), and please tell us how it went!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
The 25 Best Brunch Spots in Asheville According to a Local
1. Make Your Own Bloody Marys at Desoto Lounge
Desoto Lounge is an eclectic, award-winning bar that’s been serving customers in West Asheville for the past 14 years. If you’re looking for a place that’s full of character and has great food and beer, this is easily one of the bests brunch spots in Asheville!
They specialize in local craft-brewed beer on tap. They also serve cocktails and wine and have a Make-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary and Mimosa Bar for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
You can enjoy the jukebox, the pinball machines, or play ping-pong or foosball. Plus, there is outdoor seating on the patio if you prefer to dine alfresco.
Try the Chicken N’ Waffles (fried chicken on a Belgium waffle, served with a side of butter and spicy maple syrup (only on Saturdays), the Meatloaf Sandwich, or the Biscuits and Gravy.
Be sure to check the menu to see what else is on offer. They post their full brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday mornings on their Facebook page.
2. Socialize Over Locally Sourced Brunch Fare at Vivian
Vivian started as the food truck Salt & Smoke in 2016, and it’s now one of the best restaurants in Asheville and, in my opinion, they serve up the best Sunday brunch in Asheville!
The food is fun, creative, and made with locally sourced ingredients. Everything tastes excellent! It has the vibe of a neighborhood restaurant with upscale food, and the staff is super friendly.
I love the Fisherman’s Breakfast, the Deep Fried Chicken Biscuit, and the Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Please make reservations, as this place does get crowded.
3. Enjoy All-Day Breakfast at All Day Darling
All Day Darling is my go-to place, and they serve one of the best breakfasts in Asheville. It’s open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm (all day, darling!), and the menu offers a variety of market-focused foods.
It’s in Montford, just a few blocks from downtown Asheville, and is still off the tourist track. I love their outdoor seating areas and the extra-friendly staff. I also love that all the items on their menu are served all day.
They are dog-friendly, and there is a kids’ menu. The Fried Chicken Biscuit, the Lox Plate, and the Shakshuka are the best! The pastries and cakes are also delicious. Plus if you’re working remotely we think it’s one of the best Asheville cafes to work from as well.
4. Brunch with an Argentine Twist at Cecilia’s Kitchen
Cecilia’s Kitchen restaurant and food trucks are adored by locals who attend festivals and enjoy local, organic, and multicultural food. Cecilia is from Argentina and offers a solid menu of tamales, crepes, and mouthwatering empanadas.
Being also from Argentina, I, of course, recommend the beefy Empanadas de Carne de Vaca, but the cheese-and-veggie-stuffed vegetarian ones are excellent too. The brunch menu includes a “Brunch from the Grill” selection: the Pain Perdu “Lost Bread” is fantastic. That’s why Cecilia’s Kitchen also made our list of the best food trucks in Asheville!
5. Experience Southern-Japanese Fusion at Ukhia
Ukhia Japanese Smokehouse is one of the best places to eat in Asheville and one of the most original downtown Asheville restaurants. In the words of its founders, Ukhia was born “out of a true passion for Japanese soul food and southern BBQ (with a good cocktail on the side!).”
How does it sound? The name spells “haiku” backward, reflecting a little bit on their approach to food: “structure and balance turned upside down.” I love the Karaage Chicken & Waffles and the Wagyu Ribeye Steak & Eggs.
If you’re visiting Asheville, please take my advice: Don’t leave our city without eating at Ukhia!
6. Savor Mexican-Influenced Brunch Specials at Abeja’s House Cafe
If you ask local families about Abeja’s House Cafe, they will tell you it’s one of the best brunch spots in Asheville. The restaurant blends recipes from different cultures using healthy, locally sourced ingredients.
The result is a solid, hearty breakfast and lunch menu with many surprises and vegan and vegetarian options. The portions are very generous, which is always appreciated. I love the Huevos Rancheros, the Breakfast Sandwich (served in a perfect texture homemade croissant), and the Tres Leches Cake.
7. Dine on American Brunch Fare with a Mediterranean Twist at Stoney Know Cafe
Established in 1962, Stoney Knob Cafe is a legendary restaurant located in Weaverville, just 10 minutes from Asheville. Head to the website, and you can read the story of Gus and Ismini Dermas, the Greek founders.
Operated today by their sons John and Yotty, they offer “a sample of the world” where they combine flavors from different cuisines using seasonal ingredients. All the locals love this place and agree on one word to describe it: “consistency” over the menu and the years.
I loved the Shalom Stuffed French Toast from the Sunday brunch menu and the Gyro Sandwich.
8. Brunch with a Canadian Twist at Sawhorse
Locals agree that Sawhorse is one of the best brunch places in Asheville. The food and drinks served here reflect a Northeastern American and French Canadian influence inspired by the chef’s roots in upstate New York.
The menu offers a solid selection of brunch staples made from scratch and finished with the right amount of twist. Standouts are the Buckwheat Pancake, the Poutine, and the Lumbercamp Breakfast, with a Sawhorse meat pie, maple beans, home fries, and two eggs.
9. Get to Know The Block at Benne on Eagle
Benne on Eagle is located on Eagle Street in the historical, once predominantly African-American neighborhood called The Block in Downtown Asheville.
The restaurant’s theme is Sankofa, an Andinkra symbol in Ghana that translates as “go back and get it.” This concept aims to integrate new food techniques and methods while looking back to history to learn and bring awareness to culinary traditions from the African-American culture of The Block. The result is creative soul food that tastes amazing!
The brunch menu features all sorts of addictive dishes. From the Fried Green Tomatoes with mozzarella foam and the Huevos Rancheros with chorizo and avocado puree to the Seafood Benedict and the Shrimp Po’Boy, you’ll want to try everything on the menu!
10. Dine in a 1920s Cottage at Liberty House Cafe
Liberty House Cafe is within walking distance of downtown Asheville and my house, so it’s been one of my regulars since it opened in 2016. It’s set on a one-acre property in a 1920s cottage that was repurposed and features a lovely garden area.
You can enjoy simple, delicious food made with high-quality ingredients while you sit by fruit trees, gigantic sunflowers, and an abundant vegetable garden. It’s dog and kid-friendly (it has tons of space for the kids to run around), and it also offers indoor seating.
The brunch menu differs weekly. My family’s favorites from the regular menu are the Bison Burger, the Farmhouse Skillet, and the Sourdough Pancakes. Liberty House is next door to the nationally renowned yoga studio Asheville Yoga Center, in case you want to enjoy a hearty brunch after your yoga class, like many locals do on the weekends.
11. Enjoy Breakfast Tamales at Tamalería y Tortillería Molina
Did you know tamales are a traditional breakfast food in Mexico and other Latin American countries? If you want to mix things up, Tamalería y Tortillería Molina offers, by far, the best tamales in town.
Big, delicious, fresh, and loaded with goodness, they sell out fast! These tamales are amazing all day, but I recommend you go in the morning when they are just made. I love the Tamal de Pollo (Chicken Tamal) with green tomatillo sauce.
They have a variety of tacos on the menu too. I recommend the fresh tortillas and the traditionally cooked Tacos de Birria de Res.
12. Indulge in Lebanese at Gypsy Queen
Locals have loved Suzy’s (Asheville’s Lebanese Gipsy Queen!) food from the food truck and the restaurant for years. She’s been cooking since she was a little girl in Lebanon and still uses her family’s recipes (there are photos of her grandmother decorating the walls).
Everything is so tasty, and the food is made with high-quality local produce. I love the Lebanese Fries, the Half Cauliflower/Half Brussels, the Lebanese Poutine, and everything with falafel.
It has a kids’ menu and family-style dishes (our favorite is the Lamb Kafta, which comes with hummus and a bag of pita bread). Gypsy Queen is a staple for local vegans and vegetarians (try the Vegan Lebanese Poutine). The market selections are also great.
13. Head Over to Biscuit Head
The original Biscuit Head opened in West Asheville in 2013, and since then, it’s opened two more locations in Asheville, and another one in Greenville, SC. They serve regular and gluten-free biscuits and have many gravy and biscuit sandwich options.
Do as the locals do and begin with a giant, fluffy biscuit, then add whatever you want. You can choose from tons of biscuit sandwich options, five types of gravy, and a slew of sides. Think Sriracha Slaw, Fried Chicken, Jalapeño Pimento Cheese, and Fried Green Tomatoes.
Everything tastes good and homemade, the portions are generous, they have a jam bar, and they never skimp on the bacon. The last time I was there, I had the Biscuit Donut with the local Iced AppalaChai – so yummy!
Try a side of the Goodnight Brothers dry-cured country ham, or better yet, order the Country Ham Biscuit with fried green tomatoes, a cheesy egg, and a side of espresso red-eye gravy. There’s no doubt it’s a favorite for southern comfort food in Asheville. Also, if you feel like picnicking, they offer meal kits.
14. Go Greek at 5 Points Restaurant
I’ll be honest: I’ve lived a block and a half away from 5 Points Restaurant for the past 10 years, and I had never gone there until, a few days ago, I asked my friends about the best brunch spots in Asheville, and many of them brought up my neighborhood’s restaurant.
So, I went one morning, and I had the perfect classic BLT. Now I’m humiliated. 5 Points was established in 1972 by the same Greek family that owns it today. I might be back tomorrow to try some of the Greek specials. Actually, I might be back every day to try every item on their menu.
From Greek specials like the Spanakopita (Spinach Pie) and Moussaka to the traditional waffles and omelets, there’s something for everyone in your crew.
15. Visit the City Bakery in North Asheville
While City Bakery in downtown is one of the best breakfast places in Asheville, it’s not precisely off-the-tourist track. But its sister in North Asheville has a neighborhood vibe, a patio where locals sit with their dogs, and the same great food.
As one of the best bakeries in Asheville, City Bakery is known, and it’s been awarded for its artisan bread and pastries, and its sandwiches are amazing. Try the Breakfast Torta – an addictive combination of scrambled eggs, jack cheese, local HNG chorizo, pico de gallo, avocado, and jalapeño goat cheese dressing piled high on freshly baked ciabatta.
Other options include the Veggie & Goat Breakfast Sandwich, the Pastrami Reuben Specialty Sandwich, the Avo Melt Classic Sandwich, and the Sausage, Egg & Cheese Cheddar Scallion Biscuit. You really can’t go wrong!
16. Pick Up the Best Pastries in Town at OWL Bakery
Since you’re on Charlotte St., go across the street to OWL Bakery and grab coffee and pastries (or a fantastic vegetable strudel) from one of the best Asheville bakeries. You’ll thank me!
Enjoy the naturally leavened bread and the beautifully presented European-inspired pastries made by hand using local, seasonal ingredients. The cardamom buns and the croissants are the most delicious!
The menu varies seasonally. OWL’s bread selection is broad. I love the baguettes and the seeded whole-wheat sourdough packed with toasted millet, pepitas, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
Fun fact – OWL stands for “Old World Levain”!
17. Pick Up More of the Best Pastries in Town at Old Europe
Old Europe Asheville has been “making Asheville sweeter since 1994” with its beautiful cakes, pastries, and desserts. This place is a downtown Asheville classic and might be the perfect option for a quick brunch.
While they don’t offer the classic brunch staples, their quiches and savory croissants are delicious. They also serve seriously good cookies, cake slices, and macarons, in case you want to skip straight to dessert!
18. Brunch on Burgers at Baby Bull
Well, it’s not the classic brunch restaurant, but they serve the best burger in Asheville, and only a few people know this secret. When my friend told me about this place, he described it as “a miracle.”
So if you feel like burgers for brunch, go to Baby Bull. The Double Cheeseburger is marvelous! The Lobster Roll and the Fried Fish sandwich are also favorites. The fries are perfectly salted and served with aioli. They have Burger Monday deals, too.
Do note that all of their burgers and sandwiches are served “all” or “nothing,” so don’t even think about adding or subtracting condiments.
19. Experience Southern Comfort at The Local Joint
The Local Joint is a beloved 10-year-old Fairview restaurant that serves Southern comfort food made with high-quality local produce. Its menu has something for everyone.
All their sandwiches are good, but The Big Bear breakfast sandwich is a favorite: Cajun fried chicken, Applewood smoked bacon, and cheddar cheese on a scratch-made biscuit, topped with their signature sausage gravy. I also love the French Toast made with local challah bread, the Fairview with poached eggs, avocado, and hollandaise, and the Fried Green Tomatoes.
20. Dine Where the Locals Do at Ivory Road Café and Kitchen
Locals love this charming, cozy restaurant in a quaint house with beautiful surroundings. The menu at Ivory Road Café and Kitchen is creative, and it changes with the seasons. Depending on when you visit, you can sit outdoors or inside by the fire.
Try the Bessie’s Biscuit Breakfast, which comes with a homemade cheddar and chive biscuit topped with bacon jam, cheddar cheese, and an egg. The Nutella & Banana Stuffed French Toast is also great, and the baked goods are delicious!
21. Enjoy a Boozy Brunch at Louise’s Kitchen
Louise’s Kitchen is in Black Mountain, just 12 miles from downtown Asheville, but the town and the cafe are worth the drive. The restaurant is inside a lovely old house that was built in 1904.
They serve Sunday brunch from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. I loved the Eggs Louise (Sunday brunch specials) and the Grits Cakes (regular breakfast menu). I don’t drink alcohol, but my Black Mountain friends rave about the Bloody Mary made with a local jalapeño pale ale and house-made Bloody Mary mix.
Louise’s Kitchen is pet-friendly, and it offers a kids’ menu. Space is limited, and you can sit inside or outside on the porch. Unfortunately, they don’t take reservations.
Black Mountain won the TripAdvisor Readers’ Choice Award for Prettiest Small Town Vacation in America in 2017. So, take the opportunity to enjoy its downtown filled with local independent stores (I recommend the bookstore Sassafras on Sutton and tasting The Hop’s handcrafted ice cream if you still have room). Or visit the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center and Lake Tomahawk.
22. Seek Out Star Diner
This hidden gem is in downtown Marshall, 20 miles from downtown Asheville. Star Diner is one of the best places to eat Sunday brunch. Enjoy the outstanding food in a fun, old-timey atmosphere, and take some time to walk around Marshall’s lovely town.
The Crispy Fried Brussel Sprouts, the Pork Schnitzel and Eggs, and the Shrimp & Grits were out of this world. Please call to make a reservation.
23. Get Your Breakfast Bagel Fix at Joey’s Bagels
If you feel like eating freshly baked bagels, Joey’s Bagels has been offering the most authentic New York bagels in the Western Carolinas since 2011. The bagels are baked daily, and the cream cheese selection is excellent (Try the Bean and Chive and the Walnut Raisin).
In addition, the menu has an extensive selection of bagel sandwiches, sandwiches, and wraps. I love the simple Bacon and Eggs Bagel and the Bagel with Cream Cheese and Lox.
24. Eat All the Breakfast Tacos at Taco Billy
Taco Billy is famous for its breakfast tacos served all day and for having the best breakfast tacos in town. They work with local produce growers and use the tortillas from Tamalería y Tortillería Molina!
The Billy Holiday (sausage, egg, and cheese), Billy Ocean (home fries, eggs, and cheese), and Billy Joel (bacon, eggs, and cheese) tacos are great, but please try Mama’s Favorite (sausage, eggs, spinach, sweet potato, and goat cheese on a plantain tortilla) or the ultra-popular among locals, Migas Taco (eggs, jalapeños, tomatoes, crispy-fried tortilla, and Colby-Jack cheese.
Or build your own breakfast taco. You can choose from flour, corn, and gluten-free plantain tortillas and tons of fillings like veggie chorizo, goat cheese, sausage, and eggs (to name a few), all drizzled with the fresh salsa of your choice.
25. Brunch with a Side of Drag Queen at the Asheville Beauty Academy
This brunch party happens every Sunday, and it is fun! The tickets include a classic brunch buffet, a mimosa or Bloody Mary, and a fabulous Drag Queen show. The show features award-winning Ida Carolina, the legendary Euphoria Eclipse, and other Asheville and out-of-town queens.
This boozy brunch is only for ages 21+. Seating is limited, so definitely purchase your ticket in advance. The Asheville Beauty Academy is located in a historic building in downtown Asheville.
Home to a beauty academy in the 1950s, it recently claimed its name back to offer a space to create joy and “to throw a party and let people show their true beauty in a welcoming space where everyone can share with good company and embrace what shines from within.”