It’s the time of year when the days are short, the weather is frigid, and even though we know Summer bodies are made in Winter, we’re all looking for some comfort food. After a long week of bundling up, and racing from door-to-car to avoid the cold, when the weekend comes, we can’t wait for a nice warm brunch, and a drink or two (bonus if it’s followed by an afternoon nap). To achieve this ultimate weekend goal, we’ve pulled together a list of some of our favorite spots to grab a warm cup of coffee, some hearty food and brunchy cocktails to warm you from the inside out.
Why we love it: Legion Brewing has new brunch items on the menu starting this week, including the Maple Canyon Waffle (pictured below). This dish has crispy waffles, a decadent chocolate sauce, fluffy Chantilly cream and is topped off with Maple candied bacon. Try it paired with it’s namesake beer, Maple Canyon, which will also make it’s return to Legion starting January 20th. Other delicious plates from Legion’s brunch include their Southwest Grit Bowl, Mixed Berry Parfait, and a Breakfast Slider with bacon, cage-free egg, cheddar, tomato, and black pepper aioli.
Why we love it: Corkbuzz offers all the brunch staples you desire and the brunch drink specials are a steal. Whichever classic brunch booze you choose, Corkbuzz has you covered: mimosas, bloody marys, screwdrivers, and bellinis are only $5 (not to mention Champagne bottles are half-off on weekends). Brunch offerings include options for sharing, like Charcuterie, cinnamon rolls (with vanilla icing and walnut syrup), and seasonal tarts; as well as more substantial plates to take on solo, like burgers, chicken, and a proscuitto Monte Cristo. For your caffeine needs, enjoy a cup of local joe, courtesy of Dilworth Coffee.
Why we love it: While most places are only offering up brunch staples on Saturdays and Sundays, Haberdish now serves their drool-worthy brunch every day (except Mondays when they are closed all day). We love their Southern specialties like the Chicken Biscuit Sandwich (with slaw, honey mustard, bread and butter pickles), slow-cooked Anson Mill grits, and the Country Ham Biscuit Sandwich (with housemade pepper jam, thin-sliced Edward’s country ham). The warm and inviting atmosphere, and thermoses full of hot coffee are the cherry on top of this must-try for weekday brunch.
Nellie’s Southern Kitchen
Why we love it: Nellie’s Southern Kitchen is exactly what you would imagine; the quintessential southern spot with all of your favorites from the country. While there are classic dishes like biscuits and gravy, Nellie’s also has their own creative additions thrown in, like their Crunchy Chicken with Blackberry Chili Sauce, and their Vanilla Rum French Toast. The envy-inspiring decor is modern but casual, with touches of southern charm; a perfect match for their menu. Check them out on Sundays from 11 AM – 3 PM.
Why we love it: It’s no secret that local roasters Summit Coffee Co. make a great cup of coffee, but did you know they have a location that also boasts a full restaurant? Just a stones throw from their Basecamp location on Main Street, Summit houses their Outpost. Nestled in the heart of Davidson College’s campus, the combination coffee house, bar and restaurant has everything you need to hunker down for a chilly winter morning (or all day… did we mention it’s also a bar?). Their brunch menu for 2018 includes a slew of breakfast toasts (with a gluten-free option), and brunch essentials like pancakes, granola, and biscuits. Another reason we love them, is that they serve their full brunch menu until 4PM. Check out their tasty offerings Sundays, starting at 9AM.
Reid’s Fine Foods
Why we love it: If you’ve been to Reid’s Fine Foods, you know that it’s more than just a specialty food store. While they do offer gourmet provisions, they’re also serving up brunch in both their Myers Park, and South Park locations every Sunday. The South Park location offers a brunch buffet with sweet and savory classics like pastries, pancakes, smoked salmon, and even cheese and charcuterie. Over at Myers Park, you can make selections from a full brunch menu, including standards like biscuits and gravy, and dishes with their own twist, like their Crispy Brussels Sprouts (with spicy chorizo and a maple soy reduction). One our favorite things about Reid’s for brunch is that a lot of the meats and seafood they offer on their menu, are also available right in their butcher shop (that’s our kind of souvenir).
Why we love it: Located in a historic house in Cornelius, Fork! has a charming, yet upscale atmosphere. If it’s too chilly for their wrap-around porch, take a seat inside where it’s just as inviting. Their ever-changing menu features ingredients from many local farms, making for fresh and delicious dishes, like their Local Cheese Plate (which also features local jams), available along with the rest of their brunch menu.
Sun Up Cafe
Why we love it: This Langtree mainstay has a little something for everyone. Sun Up Cafe‘s menu ranges from housemade granola (with almonds, pecans, oats and clover honey), to Cap’n Crunch French Toast (thick cut challah dipped in vanilla egg batter, crusted in Cap’n Crunch and fried). Sun Up’s variety of offerings, and relaxed atmosphere make it a great place for kids too. For these reasons, the cafe has been a frequent stop for us this winter. Our favorite way to warm up when we arrive? A plate of Sun Up’s fried-to-order doughnut holes. They’re rolled in cinnamon sugar, and served with vanilla anglaise and mixed berry compote – and they never last long.
Why we love it: Tucked away in the Vermillion neighborhood of Huntersville, Block Bistro is a gem we can’t believe we didn’t discover sooner. Their menu includes a collection of delicious benedicts, omelets, and other brunch favorites; plus a la carte options to satisfy all of your breakfast cravings. Our recommendation is the hugely satisfying (and also just huge), stuffed French Toast. Perfectly toasted bread with a cream cheese and strawberry filling. It comes with a side of bacon, and we recommend adding a mimosa to the equation too.
Why we love it: Vivace is the perfect place to go for an upscale vibe, without sacrificing your comfort food favorites. A true brunch menu, Vivace’s AM offerings include not only breakfast items like the Crispy Chicken & Biscuit, but hearty Italian classics like Spaghetti Carbonara. If you can’t decide between breakfast and lunch, go for both. For $30, you get two courses, plus their Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar. Then top it off with one of their indulgent desserts like the Black & White Tiramisu, and be prepared to nap through the second half of the day.
This weekend when you’re struggling to get out of your nice warm bed and brave the cold weather, let these mouth-watering, belly-filling dishes be be your motivation. Between these champs of AM nosh, you have plenty of options to get you through the rest of this chilly season.
Haley and Carly are sisters, friends, working moms, 30-somethings and Charlotte natives. We blog about all things Charlotte, from food to family-friendly events. After years of moving around, Haley has settled in South End, and Carly in Davidson.