Ok Raleigh, if you’re wondering where to eat the best breakfast in Raleigh, what local restaurants we love to frequent for a hearty or light meal to start our day including a few great local coffee shops, we’ve got your morning covered down below!
Whilst the breakfast options in Raleigh aren’t as diverse and to the quality of say, brunch in Raleigh or dinner options, you can still get a good range of quality and interesting breakfast dishes plus get a taste of some Raleigh food experiences like Country ham, Southern Fried Chicken, Shrimp & Grits, Biscuits and gravy, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Chicken & Waffle Sandwiches to name just a few.
If you’re new in town or live here like us and searching on your phone for the best breakfast near me, let’s dive in.
Where to Eat the Best Breakfast in Raleigh
Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant
If I had a friend visiting from out of town and had to choose one place to go for breakfast in Raleigh, I would take them to Big Ed’s in City Market. You don’t get more Raleigh, and a taste of Southern comfort food and hospitality, than at Big E’ds.
Here you can enjoy breakfast food like what grandma used to make, personable service, and a laid-back cafe with funky antiques hanging from the old rafters and memorabilia scattered around.
Popular items include their HUGE hot cakes, country ham, aged ribeye steak, sliced pork loin, fried catfish, freshly made hot biscuits, French toast, and double-brewed sweet tea. Read our full review of Big Eds Raleigh here and why I think it’s the best breakfast in Raleigh.
New York Bagel & Deli
I know you Americans love your bagels for breakfast, especially you New Yorkers who have relocated to Raleigh, and whilst I’m no bagel expert I recently taste tested my way around all the bagel shops and I agree with the general consensus that New York Bagel & Deli in North Raleigh has the best bagels in Raleigh.
Here you’ll find the kind of bagels that give New Yorkers a taste of home, and as soon as I walked in I got those NY vibes from the memorabilia on the walls, the ambience, the menu offerings, and the taste of the bagels. It closely resembled a true NY bagel shop and a real NY experience right here in Raleigh.
They use Boar’s Head meats and with 25 bagel varieties the menu is extensive with classics such as the Empire State (Turkey, Bacon, Swiss, Lettuce, Tomato and Onion), Nova Lox – Nova, Onion, tomato, capers & Cream Cheese, and The New Yorker – Pastrami, Corned Beef, Melted Swiss & Cole Slaw w/ Spicy Mustard.
- Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-4pm, Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 7am-2pm
- Address: 7909 Falls of Neuse Rd, Raleigh
- Website: NYBagelRaleigh.com
State Farmers Market Restaurant
Considered one of the nation’s best markets, the Raleigh Farmers Market is also home to one of the most popular Raleigh breakfast restaurants and a place to get a country breakfast and Southern dining experience.
They start each meal with their highly acclaimed “REAL BISCUITS”, hand-made using the best NC self-rising flour and real Buttermilk, or order a biscuit as a main meal with fillings (they are gigantic, almost a hamburger).
Their menu features many fresh grown North Carolina based products, and popular items include their Granny Cone’s Sampler (a little of everything), country ham, omelets, and of course their biscuits. Get there early on a weekend as this place gets busy!
- Hours: Mon-Sat 6am-3pm, Sun 8am-3pm
- Address: 1240 Farmers Market Dr, Raleigh
- Website: RealBiscuits.com
Looking for breakfast in downtown Raleigh in a historic setting? Mecca holds the title as the oldest of the Raleigh restaurants, founded by Greek immigrants in 1930. The historic setting oozes nostalgia with red stools along a long counter, a black and white checkered floor, and heavy wooden booths.
Serving unpretentious and comforting meals, this is one of the few true diners left in Raleigh. Popular dishes include French toast, country ham, omelets, pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches on a scratch made biscuit. If you love value for money, consider this breakfast restaurant for a unique-to-Raleigh experience.
- Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30am- 2pm, Sat & Sun 8am-3pm
- Address: 13 E Martin St, Raleigh
- Website: Mecca-Restaurant.com
Jubala Coffee (3 locations to choose)
If you love great coffee and moist, fluffy biscuits then consider starting your day at one of our favorite coffee shops in Raleigh, Jubala. We are regular visitors to their Hillsborough Street location (across from NC State University) and their newly opened location in the North Hills District has become an instant hit.
Jubala is a specialty coffee shop with a full menu of caffeinated drinks, I personally love their lattes, but they also serve tasty comfort food – I’m a big fan of their biscuits, fluffy and moist and they come with a choice of spreads and fillings. And our kids LOVE their banana nutella waffles!
Note: their North Hills location has an extended food menu including Avocado Tartine, Steel Cut Oatmeal, Granola Yogurt, and a small selection of baked goods (which you can also get at their two other locations).
- Hours: varies by location
- Location: Hillsborough St, North Hills District, Lafayette Village
- Website: JubalaCoffee.com
The Morning Times
Since 2006, The Morning Times in the heart of downtown Raleigh has been a go-to spot for breakfast in Raleigh for locals and visitors alike.
On the menu are unique, and staple breakfast items. If you love breakfast burritos, that’s my personal favorite menu item. Also consider their corned beef and hash, or one of their yummy biscuits. They have great sandwiches too!
Choose to sit in the cozy upstairs that also functions as an art gallery, or on the sidewalk on a nice weather morning and watch the Raleigh street scene go by. Or, grab a bagel or biscuit to go with a cup of their excellent brewed coffee.
- Hours: 7am – 3pm (for the kitchen) drinks till 8pm
- Address: 10 E Hargett St, Raleigh
- Website: MorningTimes-Raleigh.com
A Place At The Table
What a cool concept A Place at the Table is. Raleigh’s first pay-what-you-can café in downtown Raleigh serves chef-prepared food where all menu items have suggested prices. You can pay more or less, or volunteer in exchange for a meal. You can also donate meal tokens for people within the community.
The permanent staff and volunteers are all fantastic and very welcoming, and there is a real community vibe here. Popular items include homemade buttermilk biscuits and/or spicy cheddar biscuits, and the latin breakfast – Chef Andrew’s homemade black beans, eggs, crema, avocado, homemade salsa, and brown butter cornbread.
Great coffee too, they use Black and White Coffee Roasters from Wake Forest, who also have a coffee shop around the corner in the Warehouse District.
- Hours: Mon Closed. Tues-Sun, 8anm-2pm
- Address: 300 W Hargett St #50, Raleigh
- Website: TableRaleigh.org
Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar
Not specifically local to Raleigh but I’m including them as they are local to North Carolina (Asheville), and it’s one of the popular breakfast places in Raleigh that offers an all-day menu of Southern comfort food with a creative twist – and a good kids menu.
Tupelo is famous for their buttermilk biscuits, fried tomatoes, classic fried chicken & waffles, Bacon & Sausage Scramble, and Cast Iron Pork. A good staple place with reasonable portions and a busy atmosphere. Be sure to make reservations for the weekends!
- Hours: Mon-Fri: 11am-9pm, Sat & Sun: 9am-9pm
- Address: 425 Oberlin Rd, Raleigh
- Website: TupeloHoneyCafe.com
If you’re looking for Raleigh bakeries and more of a grab-and-go breakfast rather than dining in, Boulted Bread is that chic, local neighborhood bakery you might be craving that features pastries and artisan bread made with local and organic grains.
As one of the most popular Raleigh bakeries with the locals, they serve craft bread and pastries ranging from their popular flaky croissants, to sweet fruit-filled tarts, and savory breakfast quiches and morning buns.
Pop in and grab something to go then head to one of our favorite neighborhoods in Raleigh, the Warehouse District for a coffee at Heirloom Brewshop, or Black & White Coffee.
- Hours: 7am-4 pm Wed, Thurs, Friday. 8am-4 pm Sat & Sun
- Address: 614 W. South St
- Website: BoultedBread.com
Fount Coffee + Kitchen
If you’re looking for the best gluten-free breakfast in Raleigh with great coffee and find yourself in the Morrisville area of Wake County, it’s hard to beat Fount Coffee + Kitchen, a specialty coffee bar and 100% gluten free cafe with delicious food and coffee.
A latte paired with their coffee cake is one of my favorite mouth-watering pairings in Raleigh. For something a little less sweet and more substantial, their smashed avo on toast will satisfy. Also have smoothie bowls and other stacks served on a slice of toasted GF Simple Kneads Sourdough Bread.
- Hours: Mon-Sat, 7am-4pm. Sun closed.
- Address: 10954 Chapel Hill Rd Ste 109, Morrisville
- Website: FountCoffee.com
Another of the most popular bagel shops in Raleigh is Benchwarmers Bagels, located inside the equally popular Transfer Co. Food Hall. Benchwarmers use a wood-fired oven, heirloom grains, extended fermentation, and fresh-milled, pre-fermented 100% organic flour to make their modern bagels.
They have 6 styles of bagels including the usual classics and some unique cream cheese spreads including pimento cheese, Maitre d’hotel (herby + lemon), Carolina reaper (spicey), pecan butterscotch, and a cashew (vegan).
Their bagels don’t contain any dairy or egg, and if you’re looking for a tasty bagel and coffee option don’t sleep on this spot for breakfast in Raleigh – one of the founder’s is the owner of Jubala Coffee, so good coffee here too!
- Hours: Tue-Fri 7am-2pm, Sat & Sun 8am-2pm
- Address: 500 E Davie St STE 107, Raleigh
- Website: BenchwarmersBagels.com
Idle Hour Coffee
If the idea of donuts and coffee appeals to your morning taste buds, then Idle Hour Coffee shop serves up the popular Tepuy Donuts and an excellent range of coffee options.
Located on Oberlin Road in a lovely neighborhood spot not far from Five Points and the Village District. This boutique coffee house also has a small cafe menu with pastries, paninis, sandwiches, bagels and baked goods.
Comfy inside seating consists of cozy couches and booths, and outside are a few tables and chairs for when the weather is nice. Read our full review of Idle Hour Coffee.
Iris Coffee Lab & Cafe
For those in the Glenwood Ave area, Iris Coffee Lab & Cafe has got you covered. Whilst there are no shortage of bars and dinner spots in this area of downtown Raleigh, there was a definite lack of local coffee shops until Iris opened their doors during the pandemic.
Upon entering you’ll notice how modern, clean and cool the space is, coupled with personable staff and a relaxed vibe to sit for a while and enjoy a lovely coffee and bagel, or pull out your laptop and work online over breakfast.
They have a rotating menu that changes daily, for example at time of publishing bagels are a feature, with their Hotshot Bagel an all time best seller: egg, cheese, bacon, chive cream cheese, and hot honey from NY. In the past we’ve had smashed avo on toast and donuts. Super cute place that is continuing to evolve!
The Flying Biscuit, Village District
Not local to Raleigh, but the Flying Biscuit Cafe is certainly popular with Raleigh locals and is one of the most popular brunch spots and they’ve been welcoming villagers since 2009.
Well known for their Southern hospitality, bright décor that gives you permission to relax, and of course their tasting and filling food – most notably grits and fluffy biscuits (they bake nearly 5,000 biscuits a week).
After you’re seated, you’ll be welcomed with those fresh, warm biscuits and apple butter (think apple pie). From breakfast bowls to hashes, pancakes to and acai bowls and standard southern breakfast foods, there is a variety of healthy food options on the menu, especially gluten free.
One of the things we love most about eating at Flying Biscuit is the high-quality food and experience at affordable prices – breakfast dishes range from $5 – $15. If the weather permits, we recommend sitting on the outside patio!
Other Raleigh breakfast spots
Below are more breakfast restaurants in Raleigh we have yet to try personally but are on our hit list for the near future:
- Herons at Umstead Hotel
- Sola Coffee
- La Farm Bakery
- Rise Biscuits
- First Watch
Now it’s your turn. Please share with us who you think makes the best breakfast in Raleigh in the comments section down below? And be sure to ask any questions you may have!
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