Charlotte may not be known internationally for its food, but that doesn't mean you won't find plenty of great places to eat here. You'll find good food for any time of day in this town, but this list is to be all about the morning.
Here's a look at some of Charlotte's best breakfast restaurants. Of course, if you want to get to the really good spots, you've got to go where the locals do. Drive to any one of these joints, and just park when you see the line of people waiting. That means you're in the right place.
Some of these spots are good for mimosas and brunch, some good for a greasy sandwich packed with three different types of meat, some good for traditional breakfasts with all the standard fare.
With a name like Toast, it's clear what the focus is here. There are two locations in Charlotte, one just minutes out of Uptown in Charlotte's historic Dilworth neighborhood, Toast is one of Charlotte's best breakfast spots.
You'll often have a little bit of wait here, but isn't that a sign they're doing something right? Don't let a long line scare you away though, as the wait staff here is on point and tables turn quickly.
Of course, the food is what you're here for. The coffee here is strong. So strong, the locals call it diesel. Your standard breakfast fare like omelets shine here, but you'll also find unique options like Lobster Benedict. The griddle items are strong,
Toast Dilworth shares a courtyard with several unique shops, so it makes for a great spot to spend a little time over brunch. There's a nice cocktail selection too if you're looking for drinks.
The site also hosts a lot of bridal showers, wedding rehearsals, baby showers, and birthday parties.
Toast began in 2005 in nearby Huntersville when best friends Brian and Robert took a small house turned into a restaurant and opened their first breakfast spot.
Come here if you want: To fill up with breakfast or if you want a little shopping after brunch
A lot of people claim that littleSpoon has an "L.A." feel, and while it's easy to see why, don't be fooled into thinking you'll miss Southern breakfast standards. The owners of littleSpoon moved here from the West Coast, so you will see some California influence on the menu. It's all right if you want to call this joint "hipster."
If you're looking for something unique, be sure to try their grilled pimento cheese and bacon sandwich. If you're not quite brave enough to try pimento cheese, get the bacon egg and cheese, which comes on a grilled roll with runny egg.
The menu at littleSpoon changes, sometimes on a day-to-day basis. So even if you've been before, you'll likely find something totally different when you go back depending on what's in season.
LittleSpoon is a "farm to table" place, which means that portions may not necessarily be the biggest, and you might pay a little more than you would at other places. But you'll get your money's worth in freshness.
There's almost always 90s hip-hop on the radio, which can be a little jarring at 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning for some folks, but that's just what this place is. Check out their website, and you'll see a quote from Biggie Smalls as their unofficial motto.
If you do visit and there's a line, a great little app will tell you how long you've been waiting and how much more you have to go.
Come here if you want: A funky vibe with your omelet.
Laurel Market Deli is a "grab and go" kind of place. It's a neighborhood deli, and a simple walk up spot, so it's not a "sit down and have mimosas over brunch" spot. But this little neighborhood deli is quite often packed, and if you just visit one time, you'll see why in a hurry.
Don't let the look of the market put you off though because what Laurel Market is is home to some of Charlotte's best breakfast sandwiches hands down. It's not cheap, but man is it worth it.
You'll find about 10 different flavored coffees here too if you like to start your morning off with a little caffeine.
This deli makes the list primarily because of one single item. The "Americano" breakfast sandwich here is the absolute stuff of dreams. It's Neese’s sausage (a Southern staple), with bacon, two eggs, and American cheese. And on top of that, the bacon is some of the most premium quality you can buy. Seriously.... do not miss this sandwich. Look at reviews online, and you'll find people calling this Charlotte's best sandwich.
Of course, there are plenty of other things here too that make the trip worth it. The cakes and pies sold by the slide are produced by pastry chef Cadi Browning, a graduate of Johnson & Wales School here in town.
Come here if you want: Sandwiches that may just change your life
Pull up on a weekend morning, and you might wonder what all the fuss is about. Like most of the spots on this list, Zada Jane's might not look like much, but there's a reason there's a line.
With cornhole and shuffleboard, plus self-serve coffee from a variety of mugs, waiting for a table here isn't the worst thing in the world.
This beachfront themed cafe is a tale of two menus. Half the options are vegetarian, half is a meat lover's paradise. There's not a whole lot of middle ground.
Breakfast is clearly their specialty, and it's served fresh all day long. The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, but be warned that more than one review online says this place takes their time getting food to you. If you're in a hurry, you probably want to save this one for another day.
The fare at Zada Jane's is fresh, and the biscuits here are some of the best in Charlotte. They offer favorites like pancakes, hashbrowns, and omelets, and even have glutenfree, organic and vegan versions of their most popular dishes.
Come here if you want: A laid back place where you can sit down, take your time, and enjoy your meal
Terrace Cafe is the place to go if you're looking for something a little nicer (say, a brunch with friends over early morning drinks). There's usually a wait on Sunday mornings, but on other mornings it's not too bad. If you're not there before 10:30, expect to wait a little.
The decor at both Terrace Cafe locations is a little nicer than you'll find in the other spots on this list, with vaulted ceilings and upper-level seating.
The owners describe the food here as "Southern food with a twist," so you'll definitely find your favorites like shrimp and grits, but there's almost always a unique option to toss in. Be sure to try the Red Velvet Waffles here.
Come here if you want: An upscale brunch to wow your out of town guests