Note: This list was most recently updated on Aug. 12, 2021.
It’s the most important meal of the day, they say. We’re talking about breakfast.
Whether you like to eat it early in the morning or well into the afternoon, we’ve rounded up some of the best breakfast spots in Charlotte and what to order from each.
Grab-N-Go Breakfast Spots
Small, but serving up big New York-style bagels and cream cheese.
Award: Best bagels
Must order: A toasted everything bagel with bacon, egg and cheese ($5.59).
- Cotswold – 2921 Providence Rd., Suite 102
- South End – 2201 South Blvd.
[Related guide: 8 must-try bagel spots in Charlotte]
Cozy bakery chain serving up coffee, pastries and breakfast sandwiches.
Award: Best croissants. Their vanilla sugar rolls (basically a sweet croissant topped with powdered sugar) are one of their most popular pastries. They usually sell out in the morning, so get there early!
Try this: A bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on one of their cheddar biscuits ($6.75).
- Elizabeth – 2001 East 7th St.
- Dilworth – 220 East Blvd.
- Harrisburg – 5040 Highway 49 South
- Ballantyne – 14021 Conlan Cir., Unit B-9
Seasonal and vegan-friendly doughnut shop.
Award: Most innovative doughnuts.
Must order: Blueberry lemon swirl doughnut.
- South End – 101 West Worthington Ave., Ste. 150
- NoDa – 2810 North Davidson St.
Chill urban grocery, bar and food counter.
Award: Best bodega-style breakfast.
Must order: Breakfast burrito with scrambled egg, potato hash, sausage, cheese and salsa ($4.99).
- Wesley Heights – 1500 West Morehead St.
- Uptown – 420 Church St.
- South End – 1414 South Tryon St.
- NoDa – 2320 North Davidson St.
Craft donut shop with 12-15 different flavors available daily.
Award: Best square donut.
Try this: The lemon honey donut, it’s a crowd favorite.
- Park Road – 4205 Park Rd.
- Matthews – 11025 Monroe Rd.
Eclectic sandwich shop and market with breakfast and lunch sandwich options.
Award: Best breakfast wrap.
Must order: The J Wrap (Plaza Midwood location). Eggs, protein of your choice, pepper jack, black bean and corn in a wrap ($6.75).
- Plaza Midwood – 2007 Commonwealth Ave.
- South End – 235 West Tremont St., Ste. 103
- Oakwold – 4420-A Monroe Rd.
Fun donut shop with unique flavored, made-to-order donuts.
Award: Best bacon donut.
Must order: The maple icing donut topped with chopped bacon.
Location: Dilworth – 1710 Kenilworth Ave., Ste. 220
Scratch-made biscuits and crispy chicken served hot and fast. This national chain started on South Tryon Street in Charlotte in 1977.
Award: Best tailgate breakfast.
Must order: A Cajun Filet Biscuit and Bo-tato Rounds.
Locations: They have tons around Charlotte. Find the closest one.
Casual Breakfast Spots
A retro breakfast and brunch spot.
Award: Most decadent breakfast.
Must order: Their signature pancake flight.
- South End – 2041 South Blvd., Suite 106
- Plaza Midwood – 1331 Central Ave., Suite 100
New York-style deli meets European street food.
Award: Best bratwursts
Must order: The sausage, egg and cheese on an everything bagel for $6.95 (Full menu here).
Location: 3001 Central Ave.
Quirky artisanal market with sandwiches and specialty coffee drinks.
Award: Best English muffins.
Must order: Mary’s Muffin — scrambled egg, tomato, Duke’s mayo with choice of hickory nut gap ham, bacon or avocado ($8).
Location: South End – 1300 South Blvd., Suite S
Southern-style breakfast served all day.
Award: Best grits.
Must order: The ‘Award Winning Shrimp and Grits’ or the ‘Heavenly French Toast’ if you’re craving something sweet. See the full menu here.
- Park Road Shopping Center – 4241 Park Rd.
- Stone Crest at Piper Glen – 7930 Rea Rd.
Casual, no-frills breakfast place loved by locals.
Award: Best family spot.
Must order: Huevos Rancheros ($10.99) – Two eggs any style served over black beans, cheddar & feta cheese, with crispy tortilla strips, topped with cilantro, pico de gallo and avocado slices.
- Uptown – 330 South Tryon St.
- Dilworth – 2400 Park Rd.
- University City – 8933 JM Keynes Dr. Ste. 2
- Ballantyne – 8430 Rea Rd.
- They have 10 additional locations in the surrounding Charlotte area. Find the closest to you.
Plaza Midwood cafe offering local, organic menu items and a funky vibe.
Award: Best neighborhood brunch.
Must order: Bunny Rancheros. Two eggs cooked over easy on a bed of black beans with home fries, plus your choice of protein and topped with queso, guacamole, salsa verde, sour cream and served with flour tortillas ($9.95).
Location: Plaza Midwood – 1601 Central Ave.
A casual breakfast joint specializing in stacks of fluffy pancakes.
Award: Most pancake options.
Must order: The apple pancake, oven-baked with fresh granny smith apples and pure Sinkiang cinnamon glaze.
- Midtown – 915 Charlottetown Rd.
- SouthPark – 4736 Sharon Rd.
Hip, relaxed hang out with frothy lattes and small plates.
Award: Best avocado toast.
Must order: Seasonal avocado toast ($8) and a vanilla sugar latte ($4.87).
- Dilworth – 2230 Park Rd.
- Providence – 421 Providence Rd.
- Atherton Mill – 2000 South Blvd.
- See the full list of locations here.
Classic, shiny 1950s-style diner open 24/7 with all your southern faves.
Award: Best late-night breakfast.
Must order: The chicken and waffles. Two jumbo chicken wings served on top of a golden brown Belgian waffle ($10.99)
Location: Uptown – 115 East Carson Blvd.
A neighborhood coffee shop with artisan lattes and homemade breakfast items.
Award: Best quiche.
Must order: One of their scratch-made quiches and a dirty chai latte.
- Plaza Midwood – 719 Louise Ave.
- South End – 1700 Camden Rd., Ste. 101
A no-fuss eatery that serves breakfast all day long.
Award: Best all-day breakfast.
Must order: Eddie’s Traditional Benedict – toasted English muffin topped with ham, two eggs your way with hollandaise sauce and your choice of a side ($11.25)
Location: Cotswold – 617 South Sharon Amity Rd.
A bright, airy vegetarian oasis with organic fare and cold-pressed juices.
Award: Best vegetarian breakfast.
Try this: The avocado toast – it’s made on sourdough bread and topped with mashed avocado, arugula, roasted pepitas and basil cilantro vinaigrette ($10).
Location: South End – 2000 South Blvd., Ste. 300
Gourmet market with breakfast items.
Award: Best cafe.
Must order: The avocado toast, topped with pickled red onions, roasted tomatoes and microgreens ($5.99).
- Uptown – 121 West Trade St.
- Myers Park – 2823 Selwyn Ave.
- SouthPark – 4331 Barclay Downs Dr.
- Levine – 135 Levine Avenue of the Arts, Ste. 120
Just good, cheap eats with a smile and hard-working customer base.
Award: Best cheap eats.
Try this: One of their breakfast platters. Our very own Michael Graff likes to order his with a side of country ham.
Location: 4818 Rozzelles Ferry Rd.
Neighborhood deli with grab-n-go breakfast sandwiches.
Award: Best grab-n-go.
Must order: The Breakfast Torta. It’s a breakfast wrap made with two eggs, dry-cured chorizo, Havarti cheese, scallions and cilantro ($5.95).
Location: Eastover – 114 Cherokee Rd.
Sleek two-story coffee shop in Skyhouse offering food from FūD on the MūV.
Award: Best coffee shop burrito.
Must order: “The Burrito You Want.” It’s a classic breakfast burrito made with eggs, smoked bacon, pico de gallo and avocado all wrapped in a spinach herb wrap and served with tortilla chips and firecracker sauce ($9).
- Fourth Ward – 644 North Church St. (Breakfast served at this location)
- Uptown – 101 West Morehead St.
Popular restaurant and bakery serving artisanal bread, pastries and mouthwatering breakfast sandwiches.
Award: Most creative biscuit.
Must order: ‘Chicken & the Egg’ biscuit with hand-breaded chicken tenders, aged white cheddar, poached egg, microgreens and chipotle Cheerwine sauce ($10).
Locations: NoDa – 800 East 35th St.
Elevated Breakfast Spots
A charming French bistro offering mouthwatering egg benedict, crepes and beignets.
Award: Most Insta-worthy benedict.
Must order: Benedict Monte, with a croissant, smoked ham, two eggs, tomato, asparagus and hollandaise ($15).
Location: SouthPark, 6700 Fairview Rd., Ste. 108
Southern kitchen and cocktail bar with weekend brunch.
Award: Best weekend brunch.
Must order: Chicken & waffle – waffle, deboned fried chicken thigh, slaw, bread and butter pickles and honey butter syrup ($10).
Location: NoDa – 3106 North Davidson St.
Southern comfort food with a creative twist.
Award: Best biscuits (served with blueberry jam).
Try this: The Sriracha Honey Fried Chicken & Waffles – sweet, spicy & savory fried chicken with cilantro, over fluffy buttermilk waffles ($15.75).
Location: Uptown – 101 South Tryon St.
Brewery, coffee bar and culinary cafe with expansive outdoor seating and coffee cocktails.
Award: Best coffee cocktails.
Must order: The chicken biscuit – scratch biscuit, topped with a flash-fried chicken breast, scrambled egg, caramelized onion gravy and served with roasted breakfast potatoes ($14).
Location: South End – 2911 Griffith St., Ste. A
Cute neighborhood brunch spot with farm-fresh fare and a sense of humor.
Award: Thickest bacon.
Must order: The breakfast tacos (corn tortillas, egg whites, kale, quinoa, tomatillo salsa) or the Cinnamon Toast Brulee (brioche toast, cinnamon sugar butter) and a side of ‘Slab Bacon’.
Location: Myers Park – 2820 Selwyn Ave.
Editor’s note: This story was last updated, August 2021.