AED: Breakfast and brunch

Asheville takes breakfast and brunch pretty seriously. Simple or elegant, urban or rustic, Asheville and environs offers options ranging from a heaping stack of pancakes with eggs and bacon to a breakfast salad — and just about everything in between.

A walk through downtown on a weekend morning reveals a staggering number of choices. Eateries both casual and upscale display sandwich boards touting tempting edible and drinkable specials. Craving something light and vegan? No problem. Seeking a build-your-own bloody Mary bar? You’ll find more than one in Asheville. And farther afield, places like the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Pisgah Inn and Leicester’s Turkey Creek Cafe can be counted on to dish up hearty, satisfying fare.

Here are just a few of the many local breakfast and brunch spots worth checking out:

  • Kosta’s Kitchen is a cozy, unassuming little diner in Fletcher that serves a large menu of family-friendly, homestyle breakfasts at affordable prices.
  • Mama’s Fast Food in West Asheville is great for those with a hankering for down-home, Southern food served with some kitsch. Old license plates, Mickey Mouse memorabilia and drive-thru speakers complement the not-necessarily-healthy but definitely delicious diner breakfasts.
  • At Mayfel’s on College Street downtown, diners can use the build-your-own bloody Mary bar to add a creative tipple to any of the eatery’s numerous Louisiana-inspired breakfast and brunch items.
  • The Blue Ridge, a farm-to-table artisanal buffet at the Omni Grove Park Inn is the place to take your mother on her birthday, complete with bubbly, expansive mountain views and even a doughnut buffet to top it all off.
  • Leicester’s Turkey Creek Cafe is great if you’re heading out into the country for a hike and want to stoke up with a solid Southern breakfast. A cast-iron wall display anchors the decor.
  • Perched at 5,000 feet on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pisgah Inn is another contender for best breakfast with a view, at least during the milder months (it’s open April through October).
  • A longtime Tunnel Road fixture, the Corner Stone restaurant is a good place to go when you’re really hungry — the menu offers huge portions of everything from pork chops to waffles.
  • A much newer addition to the Tunnel Road food scene, Happy Jack’s small but thorough menu features things like hotecakes, biscuits and gravy, and more, with many items made from local ingredients and all at affordable prices.

Long a local favorite, West Asheville’s Sunny Point Café is also a national hit: Its huevos rancheros were a finalist in the “Good Morning America” show’s 2010 Best Breakfast in America competition.

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About Pat Barcas
Pat is a photojournalist and writer who moved to Asheville in 2014. He previously worked for a labor and social rights advocacy newspaper in Chicago. Email him at pbarcas@gmail.com. Follow me @pbarcas

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