This piece was first published Dec. 2017 by Alicia Thomas and updated by Sean Clark-Weis April 2018.
We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and many of us can agree that it’s the most delicious meal of the day. But have you ever considered breakfast as a contender for the most Instagrammable meal of the day?
Listen, we’re not crazy. We know that breakfast/brunch-time is first and foremost about how your meal tastes, and we’ve already told you what our favorite breakfast places in Charlotte are for the meals themselves. But we also know that sometimes when it comes to going out to eat, you’re in it for the ‘gram.
Looking for some of the most aesthetically pleasing breakfasts in the Queen City? Cooked-to-order eggs, golden brown waffles, crispy bacon — whatever your favorite parts of the first meal of the day may be, Charlotte’s got ’em, and they’re beautiful.
(1) Breakfast hash at littleSpoon Eatery
2820 Selwyn Ave. Open Tuesday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Spoon? More like swoon. This savory hash features sweet potatoes, purple potatoes, onion, peppers, sausage, and your choice of egg.
(2) Red velvet waffle at Terrace
4625 Piedmont Row Dr., Suite 105. Open Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, the red velvet waffle at Terrace (whether at their SouthPark or Ballantyne location) is the way to go. You’re gonna love that cream cheese drizzle. You can also add fried chicken if you prefer a meal that’s equally salty and sweet.
(3) Steamed bagel sandwich at Owen’s Bagel
2041 South Blvd., Suite G. Open Tuesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Monday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
We like ours with bacon, egg, cheddar cheese and avocado – but honestly, whatever you choose to put inside your bagel sandwich, the key is the bagel itself. Shipped in from New York City’s Just Bagels, it’s always kettle-boiled to perfection.
(4) Waffles with fruit (and quiche du jour, and grits) at Haberdish
2041 South Blvd., Suite G. Open for brunch Tuesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Basically everything on the menu at Haberdish (whether brunch, lunch or dinner) is begging to be photographed, then promptly devoured. We recommend going with a friend and sharing the waffles with fruit, quiche du jour, and grits for a well-rounded meal. If you’re feeling a little hungover, pair your meal with The Big Fix, a vodka-based breakfast cocktail featuring Pedialyte and muddled ginger to cure what ails you. Hair of the dog that bit you, right?
(5) Grit bowl with pork belly and a farm egg at Earl’s Grocery
1609 Elizabeth Ave. Open for breakfast and brunch Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Looking for a Southern-inspired breakfast? Earl’s Grocery has you covered with the Grit Bowl, a delightfully savory creation featuring cheesy grits, a farm egg pork belly and other tasty ingredients that will make your mouth water.
(6) Stuffed french toast at Famous Toastery
8933 JM Keynes Dr., Suite 2. Open daily 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
What is the french toast stuffed with, you ask? That’s the beauty of this meal: you get to choose. Pick from raspberry, blueberry, peanut butter and banana, or strawberry and cream cheese filling. Get it with a side of fruit to avoid that post-breakfast guilt. And with plenty of locations throughout the Southeast, you can even enjoy this meal when you’re traveling.
(7) Avocado toast at Kid Cashew
1608 E. Blvd. Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Basic? Maybe. Delicious? Absolutely. Smashed avocado and a poached egg atop toast (gluten-free bread is available, heads up) is one of our favorite ways to start the day. Also worth noting: on Saturdays and Sundays, you can pair this meal with a $3 mimosa or a $5 Bloody Mary.
(8) Cap’n Crunch pancakes at Fahrenheit
222 S. Caldwell St. Open for brunch Sundays 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Channel your inner-child with jumbo pancakes topped with Cap’n Crunch and a vanilla milk reduction. You can also just get a big bowl of Cap’n Crunch and milk if that’s more your speed, or spring for the Cinnamon French Toast Crunch casserole.
(9) Breakfast sandwich on a cheddar biscuit at Sunflour Baking Company
220 E. Blvd. (Dilworth) or 2001 E. 7th St. (Elizabeth). Both locations open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Oh, cheddar biscuits. Those delicious little suckers give us life. This is one of those classic Charlotte breakfasts that just never gets old. We like ours with egg, roasted tomatoes, spinach and provolone, but you can customize yours any way you want it.
(10) Southern Shakshuka at Tupelo Honey
1820 S. Blvd. Open for brunch Saturdays and Sundays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This is certainly not a Charlotte-specific restaurant (you can find Tupelo Honey in the Carolinas, Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas and Colorado) but this is still definitely one of the prettiest and tastiest breakfasts you can find in the Queen City. Featuring two baked eggs, goat cheese grits, avocado and creole sauce, it pairs well with ‘The Queen’ Bloody Mary – which is basically a meal in itself.
(11) Booker T’s Eastside Hasher at Zada Jane’s
1601 Central Ave. Open Mondays and Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Here’s the thing about Zada Jane’s: they serve breakfast ALL DAY, and they’ve got tons of options. Though it’s hard to choose (and we’re also big fans of the Bunny Rancheros and the Amaretto French Toast), when it came down to it, Booker T’s was our top choice for both ‘grammability and deliciousness. Two ‘happy eggs’ frittata style over a bed of sweet potato hash browns, with your choice of protein, then smothered in melted cheddar cheese and green onions – and served with toast or a biscuit? Yes, please!
(12) Strawberry shortcake biscuit at Rise
Multiple locations, open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
This one is perfect for all your morning sweet tooth cravings. Rise takes this traditional dessert and gives it a breakfast twist by adding one of its delectable biscuits. The biscuit comes filled with fresh strawberries and whipped cream oozing out the side. Get the biscuit with a donut glaze on top for that extra touch of sweet.
(13) The Lumberjack at Cast Iron Waffles
Multiple locations, Ballantyne location is open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., SouthPark location is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
While it is hard to go wrong with the crispy outside and soft inside of one of Cast Iron’s waffles, an ideal choice is The Lumberjack. You will have all your followers drooling as they look at this fresh liege waffle covered in maple buttercream and hickory smoked bacon.
(14) Acai bowl at Rico’s Acai
Multiple locations, Times vary based on the location
Just look at the colors! Who wouldn’t want to throw this summer in a bowl a like? This known hotspot for those looking to eat healthy and clean is a great spot to snap a pic before you start digging in. Start with the delicious acai puree, add your favorite fruits, granola, maybe some coconut and top it with Nutella. No filters will be needed for this nice way to start your day.
(15) Croque Madame at Cafe Monte
6700 Fairview Rd, Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This traditional French dish is a ham and cheese sandwich classed up a bit. It comes with both Gruyere cheese and a béchamel sauce, and is topped with a fried egg. If you aren’t an egg fan, just order the Croque Monsieur, which is the same sandwich without the egg. Before you pull out your phone for a photo, take a fork to the egg to capture its goodness running down the side of the sandwich. Also, Cafe Monte has some of the best fries in town, so make sure to grab some for your side.
(16) Roasted strawberry parfait at Vivace
1100 Metropolitan Ave. Building E, Suite 100, brunch is served Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There are times that less can be more … this is one of those times. This parfait is made with Greek yogurt, mascarpone creama, house granola and a roasted strawberry compote. You may not think to order parfait at as nice a restaurant as Vivace, but don’t make that mistake. This will definitely be one of the best ones you have had. When you decide to take a photo, make sure to leave plenty of negative space around the parfait to show off some professional-looking photography skills.
(17) The Large Marge at Moo & Brew
1300 Central Avenue, open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight
It’s a drink and brunch combo large enough for the whole table. If you truly want a post that will catch the eyes of your followers, head to Moo & Brew and immediately order a Large Marge. It is a 20-oz. Bloody Mary, topped with a burger, grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, fried green tomatoes, a jalapeño popper and cheese curds. None of that was a typo — all of that comes as the topper for one large drink. It’s a traditional brunch beverage with enough food to last you the entire day.
(18) Speciality French toast at 300 East
300 East Blvd., Sunday brunch is served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
While this photo features the strawberry cheesecake stuffed French toast with white chocolate ganache and house blueberry ice cream, 300 East offers different speciality french toast dishes and they are all incredibly photogenic. Some of the others featured on the brunch menu have been vanilla mascarpone French toast with balsamic and brown sugar roasted nectarines, and peach melba French toast with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream.
(19) Chicken and Biscuits at Heist
2909 N Davidson St #200, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight
This take on a Southern breakfast/brunch classic comes with buttermilk fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, herb gravy, smoked bacon and fried eggs. Your friends will become instantly jealous when they see this dish come up across their timelines. The chicken and biscuits are a perfect way to start your day before spending the afternoon enjoying the variety of beers offered up at Heist.
(20) Living Bagel at The Living Kitchen
2000 South Blvd. Suite 300 and 4521 Sharon Road, Suite 175, Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. South End location is open on Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This plant-based breakfast option is as good as it looks. The bagel is made with almonds, flax, zucchini and rosemary, before it is topped with cashew sour cream, tomato, onion, micro cilantro, avocado and sprouts. Spice up the taste and the pic by adding some jalapeños to this already flavorful dish. While this is on the breakfast menu, it is served all day.
Featured photo: Haberdish