In Charlotte, brunch is more than just a meal. Brunch is the time we use to catch up with our friends. Brunch is where we finally get to decompress after a long work week. And sometimes, brunch is a verb.
But finding a healthy place to brunch isn’t always easy. Face it — a typical Charlotte brunch is much more likely to consist of a country sausage biscuit and cheesy grits than pack in the fruits and veggies.
However, no longer do we have to make the choice between a delicious brunch and a healthy brunch. Why? Because these Charlotte restaurants have flawlessly combined the two into one package for all of us to enjoy.
Dishing the goods in Atherton Mill of the historic district of South End, owners Juliana Luna and Stephen Edwards set out to create a restaurant that delivered organic, plant-based dishes to Charlotteans that actually taste good. And after much early success, they have expanded their menu to also include a brunch (start planning Sunday Funday)! If chia breakfast bowls or fresh muesli sounds appetizing, you won't want to miss out. Just looking for a light brunch? No problem — Living Kitchen offers arguably the most extensive selection of smoothies and cold-pressed juices in Charlotte, so you can enjoy some guilt-free sips.
Pizza for brunch. Need we say more? Pure Pizza supplies Plaza Midwood and 7th St. Market shoppers with the freshest ingredients straight from pasture to pizza. The popular pizzeria has mastered the art of gluten-free pizza by using alternative, rich grains, like quinoa and buckwheat (we promise it’s good). And if ’za that early in the day isn’t your jam, give the BYO skillet omelet or house-made cereal a go. Really, this place has it all.
If you’ve walked through Dilworth, it’s likely you’ve seen Fern. Now, instead of passing by the eatery, take a step inside. Right off the bat, it’s clear that Fern is a unique restaurant — the ceiling is plastered with wooden shutters and adorned with mason jar chandeliers. But the decorations aren’t the only distinguishing factors. Fern offers healthy, and delicious food that is created by partnering with local farmers to get the freshest ingredients possible. Take the chef scramble, made with kale, bell peppers, and onions. And, yes, this is a “healthy brunch” article, but it would be a crime to not mention they also serve delicious cinnamon buns.
What else can you expect from South Park other than a French bistro that consistently ranks as one of the top brunch spots in America? Café Monte dishes up delicious French fare with a strong commitment to using only the very best ingredients. We have our eyes on the gluten-free Belgian waffle. The restaurant also accepts reservations and you should probably make one — one week in advance is commonplace prior to Sunday brunch. Bon Appétit!
A favorite of pescatarians everywhere, Upstream dishes out some of Charlotte’s most flavorful seafood. Imagine steaming fresh cashew-crusted trout served with potato purée and freshly-made peach chutney on the table in front of you. Come down to Phillip’s Place in South Park and you’ll see what we mean. And, for just $30, you have access to the unlimited tasting menu, which means all the seafood and tapas your heart desires.
Breakfast, lunch, and brunch. Famous Toastery does it all. Their giant menu has all the brunch classics—eggs any style, breakfast sandwiches, and omelets galore—and they offer tons of healthy options. You can swap your eggs for egg whites, or switch out your bacon for turkey bacon. You can also put in a request for gluten-free toast, pancakes, and french toast. With five different Charlotte locations, including University Place and Dilworth, you can hit up Famous Toastery with all of your friends across town.
Brooklyn-based Siggy’s Good Food near Central is serving up a mouth-watering combo. The café’s take on organic comfort food with a Mediterranean flair is stirring up the traditional Southern comfort eats scene. If you want to stray from your standard bacon-and-eggs brunch, head over to Siggy’s. Their frittata with kale, artichokes, olives, and tomato salsa is sure to satisfy tastebuds seeking savory plates. But if a sweeter dish is desired, turn to the gluten-free pancakes. Pair your meal with a fresh juice or sangria to round out the brunch.
For a place that gets to the root of a healthy brunch, look no further than… Roots Café. The fast-casual is offering a fresh take on all-day breakfast and lunch. Join them in their enviable South End space for a weekend-only brunch. Want a different take on avocado toast? An order here comes with caramelized onion spread, alfalfa sprouts, an egg, and chili-lime vinaigrette. Or, you can load up on the Huevos Rootscheros for some decadent gluten-free grub. Whatever you choose, you’ll end up leaving full but looking forward to round two.
It might be hard to remember whether you’re at a restaurant or an art gallery once your order is set in front of you at littleSpoon Eatery. The dishes are something to behold at this ever-evolving restaurant. Fresh food. Boozy brunch. Seasonal switch-ups. That’s how owner Alesha Sin Vanata and her team at littleSpoon roll. Snag a seat at the patio, order a hot cup of java, and study the menu as a catchy playlist sets the soundtrack to your brunch. The menu is constantly evolving, but look for bites like the Egg White Raft, with whipped goat cheese, egg whites, and salsa verde or the PCGY, with Greek yogurt, house-made granola, pineapple, mint, and honey.
**Updated by Elizabeth Segarra, February 2019