You missed breakfast, but it’s not quite time for lunch. Maybe you’re hosting out-of-town friends and want to introduce them to the incredible local food scene, or maybe you just need some time to reconnect with family. Lazy weekend mornings are begging for brunch, for the chance to enjoy a slower-paced weekend meal with friends.
Brunch is so much more than having breakfast and lunch options on the menu together. Jason Smith, chef-proprietor at Cantina 18, believes that the heart of brunch is social, a chance to slow down and savor a meal. It’s lingering over daytime cocktails. It’s a break from the busy work week. Whether you’re looking for traditional eggs and bacon or wanting to take your brunch cuisine to the next level, our full service restaurants have the spot for you.
Cameron Bar and Grill
Brunch Saturdays from 11-2 and Sundays from 10-2
Sitting down in Cameron Bar and Grill is comforting, like stepping back in time. Its warm, dark wood decor is accented by photos of retro Cameron Village scenes. A chalkboard sign covering one wall proclaims a favorite Julia Child quote: People who love to eat are always the best people. It has a warm vibe that invites you to tuck into a booth with friends, the perfect spot on weekends that call for comfort food.
Among the most popular brunch dishes, you’ll find the Cameron Breakfast, a classic brunch plate loaded with eggs and bacon, grits and toast. Specialty omelets and benedicts stay true to the spirit of those quintessential favorites. But chef Scott Schabot has some tricks up his sleeves, with a revamped brunch menu rolling out soon. When Saturday morning at mom’s kitchen table isn’t an option, the warm atmosphere at Cameron Bar and Grill will welcome you with open arms.
Brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 11-2:30
Indoors or out? At Cantina 18, no need to choose. The accordion windows that line the front of the restaurant are more wall than window. They fold open completely; you can hardly tell where the restaurant ends and the streetscape begins. That openness lends a bright & airy feel, perfect for a laid back brunch.
It’s more than TexMex fare here. Chef Jason Smith grew up in Raleigh and uses local NC ingredients to create a southern meets southwestern cuisine. Shrimp & Grits Eggs Benedict is a brunch favorite: a southern grit cake, perfectly seared, is topped with sauteed shrimp & a poached egg. Finish with a southwest Hollandaise sauce and you have the kind of quirky but accessible dish that’s made Cantina 18 a neighborhood favorite. And the cocktails? Light and easy, perfect for day drinking! Pair the shrimp & grits with a Vanilla Bean Strawberry Sangria, made from the freshest local strawberries, and you have a brunch meal perfect for lingering and enjoying the breeze from the street.
Brunch Saturday 11-2 and Sundays 10-2
For Saturday brunch at so·ca, the patio is packed. Always. Open since March, the brunch menu is already making waves in the Raleigh food scene. Named because its dishes are inspired by cuisine south of the tropic of cancer, so·ca brings a delicious taste of the Caribbean and Latin America.
The decor in so·ca is simple and minimalist, with potted succulents on the tables and a gorgeous display of air plants along one wall. Stylish plating matches the comfortably elegant atmosphere. Among the most popular dishes you’ll find Carne y Huevos with a red pepper Hollandaise, and Jamaican Pepper Shrimp with Curried Grits. But it’s not just brunch; the full dinner menu is available. Even the cocktails get a Latin spin, with the standard Bloody Mary alongside her tequila-loving sister, the Bloody Maria.
Eating gluten free? Traditional brunch dishes can be carb-heavy, with biscuits & toast often taking center stage. Not so in South American cooking, says Chef Andrew Smith, with yucca and corn subbing for flour. Gluten free options abound here, and the kitchen crew is careful to ensure vegetarians, vegans, and anyone with dietary restrictions can relax and enjoy a taste of the tropics.
For other great choices, try:
Benelux Coffee – Open daily at 7 a.m.
Cafe Carolina – Open Saturdays at 7 a.m., Sundays at 8 a.m.
Rise – Open daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tazza Kitchen – Sundays 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The Flying Biscuit – Open daily at 7 a.m.