Nestled in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, this artists’ haven and historic town—it’s home to the breathtaking Biltmore estate—is known for its bounty of craft breweries. But it’s also brimming with breakfast spots serving up locally sourced farm-to-table fare and classic Southern comfort food. Here are six spots where we love to get up and at ’em in Asheville.
Don’t let the line outside deter you (and yes, there’s guaranteed to be one). Whatever you decide to pile on top of yours—from jalapeño pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes to crispy fried catfish and Sriracha slaw—Biscuit Head’s flaky, buttery monster biscuits are worth every second of the wait. Feeling indecisive? Try a flight of three gourmet gravies, then hit the bar for a spoonful of strawberry-habanero and mango-vanilla marmalade.
417 Biltmore Ave, Suite 4F Asheville, NC
733 Haywood Rd West Asheville, NC
early girl eatery
Locals love this unassuming eatery, whose dining room is much like its menu—frills free and filled with simple pleasures. Locally sourced ingredients make everything taste like it came from Mama’s kitchen, including everyday staples—local sausage and sweet potato scramble—and blackboard specials, like a custardy quiche filled with tart green tomatoes, meaty shiitake mushrooms, and sharp, salty cheddar.
Early Girl Eatery
8 Wall Street Asheville, NC
over easy cafe
Asheville is chock-full of art galleries and studios, and Over Easy Cafe is the edible equivalent. How? Unexpected ingredients elevate ordinary dishes, from challah French toast topped with vanilla-lavender yogurt, to flaky, egg-topped puff pastries filled with a heavenly mushroom-cream cheese mix. Even the mimosas get an artful add-on in the form of crimson cherry ice cubes. The best part? It’s all as delicious as it is delightful on the eyes.
Over Easy Cafe
32 Broadway St Asheville, NC
A taco might not be the most obvious early-morning option, and that’s just what makes the espresso bar/taqueria Bomba one of Asheville’s best under-the-radar breakfast spots. Savory starts to the day include egg-and-avocado tacos piled with sausage, hot salsa, arugula, and frijoles, plus bacon-and-egg burritos stuffed with pico de gallo and sweet plantains. Add a creamy latte to your order and head outside to enjoy the feast—and people-watching—al fresco.
1 Pack Sq Asheville, NC
With former Blackberry Farm chef John Fleer at the controls in its kitchen, brunch at Rhubarb is all about breakfast basics with a gloriously gourmet spin (think PBJ Royale—griddled brioche with Big Spoon cocoa peanut butter and local berry jam). But don’t overlook the bakery goods at the bottom of the menu—pastry chef Cynthia Wong’s sweet and savory cruffins are causing quite a stir.
7 SW Pack Square Asheville, NC
tupelo honey cafe
If you’re counting calories, keep walking. Breakfast at Tupelo Honey Cafe is about big flavor and even bigger portions. Thankfully, too, because once you dig in to a bowl of creamy shrimp and (goat cheese!) grits or a fluffy sweet potato pancake with whipped peach butter and sweet, spiced pecans, you won’t want to stop. Even the Bloody Marys here read like a meal (garnishes alone include maple-peppered bacon, pickled okra, and pimento cheese-stuffed olives), so just be sure to pace yourself.
Tupelo Honey Cafe
12 College St Asheville, NC