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Best Brunch in Asheville—A Local’s Perspective

If you polled people on their favorite meal, I reckon brunch would come out miles ahead. Maybe that’s just my predilection. But the fact is you got all the best parts of breakfast, and you don’t even have to wake up early. Some places don’t stop brunching until three in the afternoon; that’s practically dinner time.


If you ask me, brunch is a win-win, and many of my fellow Ashevilleans seem to agree. Just about every restaurant worth it's salt down here offers up brunch at least once a week. But with so many opportunities to satisfy your longing for eggs benedict and celery garnishes, it may be hard to pick the right spot. I get it; it’s too much pressure for ten in the morning.


Fortunately, I have chosen five of the best spots for brunch in Asheville and laid them out right here. Read on, and may you brunch blissfully.


best brunch in Asheville - eggs benedict
Image from Wix

Ukiah has come up many times in passing, typically when I’m talking about Asheville’s famous South Slope brewing district. But by golly, any place with the boldness to combine Japanese delicacies with classic Southern barbecue and good ol’ breakfast food deserves its own place in the sun.


Start with some edamame, then indulge in eggs benedict with yuzu hollandaise, salmon sashimi, pork and shiitake gyoza, Japanese sweet potatoes with miso butter, and their crowning accomplishment: breakfast ramen.


Typically when I have ramen for breakfast, it's a sign I need to go grocery shopping. But if I could make it Ukiah-style, with maple shichimi bacon and a sunny side egg, now that’s a breakfast I could be proud of.


And of course, as any self-respecting South Slope restaurant, Ukiah sports a robust drinks menu, including local draft beers, Japanese imports, and seasonal cocktails. That’s a heck of a brunch place if you ask me.


Brunch Hours: Sundays 10am to 3pm. Reservations recommended.


best brunch in Asheville - stack of pancakes
Image from Wix

Whereas Ukiah expands the meaning of brunch, Cornerstone is more of that classic downhome breakfast vibe we all know and love. I’m talking biscuits and gravy, baby. The kind of brunch that fills you with all the energy you need to take on the day like a thunderstorm, or alternatively, sit back on your porch and fall asleep. Whatever floats your boat.


What typically floats my boat is their peaches and cream French toast with a side of bacon and eggs. Or if you're more of a banana man, order some pancakes banana-foster style; there’s no better brunch place in town to get it. Other menu highlights include build-your-own omelets, fried chicken benedicts, country fried steak, and meatloaf hash. 


As you can see, Cornerstone serves brunch with authority. And as they sit on Asheville’s eastern edge, it's a great place to fuel up for a day spent exploring Black Mountain, one of the many great small towns near Asheville.


Brunch Hours: Open seven days a week, from 7:30am.


best brunch in Asheville - brunch dishes
Image from Unsplash

Now some brunches aren’t just brunches. They’re celebrations. Birthdays, Mother’s Days, and the like. For such special occasions, you need a special spot for brunch, and Vivian happens to come equipped with a James Beard-nominated chef.


Vivian's located in the River Arts District, nestled amidst a row of galleries behind an unassuming exterior. But inside, you’ll find brunch like none other. Their menu’s jam-packed with culinary creations along the lines of deviled eggs with caviar, deep fried chicken biscuits, a daily fish filet with bacon and eggs, lamb benedict, and shrimp kedgeree. You won’t be finding breakfast like that anywhere else, no sir.


Try and get a table under their covered patio, pair your brunch with an enlivening cocktail, and there you have it: the perfect spot for a celebratory brunch in Asheville.


Brunch Hours:  Sundays 10:30am to 1:30pm. Reservations recommended.


best brunch in Ahseville - ham on bread
Image from Wix

It was inevitable this downtown brunch spot would find a place on my list. After all, they combine two of my greatest passions: Spanish food and breakfast. And locally roasted coffee. That makes three passions. Luckily, they all play nice.


Located around the block from their flagship restaurant, Curate, a proper brunch at La Bodega starts with a xuixo, a traditional Catalan cream-filled pastry, and of course, a cup of coffee. As to the main event, you’ve got your pick of savory breakfast bocadillos, filled with anything from a French-style omelet to jamon serrano to crispy fried shrimp. Or, if you’re so lucky as to brunch here on the weekend, be sure to catch their specialty: a tortilla vaga with mushrooms or sausage.


Brunch Hours: 9am to 3pm, seven days a week.


best brunch in Asheville - breakfast dishes
Image fromWix

If you ask a local, especially one from West Asheville, chances are the Sunny Point Cafe’s their prime pick for brunch. It’s an Ashevillean institution, a family-owned restaurant cooking with ingredients from their very own garden. That’s about as local as it gets.


Now getting a table at Sunny Point on the weekend is bound to require some patience. It’s a popular place. But if you’re willing to endure the wait, or visit early in the week, say Monday or Tuesday in order to skip the lines, then you’ll be treated to just about the best Southern brunch you can find anywhere in western North Carolina.


Pound cake bites, fried green tomatoes, stuffed French toast, biscuits and gravy, carrot hotcakes, shrimp and grits, a chicken-and-waffle sandwich; it’s all there, the brunch you know and love, cooked to perfection.


Add on a selection of vegan options, dynamite specials, and a spread of refreshing cocktails, and you’ll see there’s no mystery why this place is a brunch-time favorite for locals and travelers alike. 


Brunch Hours: 8am to 2pm, seven days a week.


Businesses Mentioned

Ukiah Japanese Smokehouse

(828)-470-7480

121 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Cornerstone

(828)-236-0201

102 Tunnel Rd, Asheville, NC 28805

Vivian

(828)-225-3497

348 Depot St Ste 190, Asheville, NC 28801

La Bodega

(828)-630-0330

32 S Lexington Ave, Asheville, NC 28801

Sunny Point Café

(828)-252-0055

626 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806



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