Breakfast at the Moose Cafe.

From the RAD to the North Side, from Haywood Road to Hendersonville Road, here’s the Ashvegas picks from a native who knows. Hipster joints, diners, and Greek restaurants alike, we visited them all to make our picks and share them with you.

What do you think? What did we miss?

ASHVEGAS TOP PICKS: The best of the best

* Early Girl. Downtown. Egg breakfasts, quiche, French toast. There’s always a wait during peak times, but there’s coffee in the waiting area. Homey, bright, welcoming, casual and delicious. Farm-to-table approach with organic ingredients. Menu.

* Over Easy Cafe. Downtown. No longer quite a best-kept secret, but still too far under the radar for breakfasts this good. The lavender French toast is a city standout, as are the omelets. Cozy, small, casual and many locally sourced foods on the menu. Link to PDF menu.  Website.

Hotcakes at Over Easy.

* Sunny Point. West. Regarded as the best breakfast joint in town if not the best in the observable universe, the Point delivers with southern comfort breakfasts including huevos rancheros, an ingenious “breakfast salad” (eggs and bacon on a salad), and nearly perfect biscuits sprinkled with sugar that beg to be smeared with butter and local blackberry jam. Vegetarian options, too. Menu.


The Green Sage: Perhaps better known as a coffeeshop serving lunch, the Green Sage also serves up a very tasty breakfast including omelets, oatmeal, granola…and carrot-cake pancakes. Breakfast all day. Menu.

Posana Cafe: Everything is gluten-free here: Toast, pancakes, and even desserts. Creative breakfasts change seasonally, and can include pecan toffee pancakes with blackberry maple syrup and hazelnut puree. Casual but with elegant food that’s a notch above–and a nice side patio, too. Menu.

Mayfel’s: A little taste of New Orleans in Asheville, Mayfel’s serves beignets as well as benedicts, shrimp & grits, a tofu scramble and more. Casual with a wait on weekends, and some of the best courtyard seating in Asheville. Check it out on a sunny day. Menu.


Tod’s Tasties: On Wednesdays, the heavens open, the angels sing, and still-warm fresh-baked doughnuts from Vortex Doughnuts Table baker Laura Goetz appear. Every day, there’s delicious breakfast bowls (eggs, greens, kimchi, tempeh), and the occasional breakfast special is always worth checking out. Great coffee and baked goods, too.  Menu. (Scroll down to see more breakfast options.)

Five Points Restaurant: A diner and Greek restaurant near downtown with a local clientele and an affordable breakfast in oversized portions. Just the classics here: eggs, bacon, biscuits & gravy, real hash browns, no-frills service, and good prices. Hot, fast, filling, and so unhip we can’t link to a menu.


HomeGrown: Fresh, local ingredients and a changing seasonal menu that can include corned beef hash, a veggie frittata, and absolutely killer fried chicken biscuits. Busy and noisy at peak times, but the line moves fast and the wait is worth it. Menu.

Breakfast burrito at Rise ‘n’ Shine

Rise ‘n’ Shine: Casual and hip, with wake-you-up yellow walls, Rise ‘n’ Shine’s got great selections of pancakes and omelets, including the Funky Monkey (banana-walnut pancakes) and a Greek omelet with spinach, tomatoes, black olives, onions and feta. Menu.


The Green Sage (South): The same as above in the Downtown listing, just South instead of downtown.


The Corner Stone: Another family-friendly Greek restaurant to make the list, the Corner Stone serves a traditional, affordable menu of country egg breakfasts, Belgian waffles, steak & eggs, pancakes and more. Menu.


Moose Cafe: Eggs, grits, sawmill gravy, liver mush biscuits and the Blue Ridge Breakfast (two eggs, a pancake, country ham and grits or home fries). You get the idea. Nothing over eight bucks on the menu. Enjoy. Menu.

Got a favorite we missed? Comment and let us know!

Last updated February 25, 2013




  1. Scott Crosby says:

    Biscuit Head! just fantastic. Kinda meat-centric, but that’s my only complaint. get there early or wait in line. It’s on our shortlist every visit to Asheville now (along with the Wedge, of course x1000).

  2. Can’t believe no one has mentioned West End Bakery. Challah french toast is amazing, as is their vegetarian sausage biscuit.

  3. What about Limone’s and the Junction?

  4. Morning Glory in Black Mountain and Stoney Knob Cafe in Weaverville.

  5. Kosta’s in Fletcher is top notch…

  6. Morning Glory in Black Mountain… worth the trip.

  7. Moose Cafe is my #1 pick, BUT I am trying to lose weight and portion control is difficult when their best value is the all-you-can-eat special. Plus you have to drive there, which from where I live east of AVL is inconvenient. But their biscuits are like crack cocaine.

    My new gf just introduced me to Over easy, which was facinating, if crowded. Our next brunch will be at Early Girl, so I guess her recommendations would be these two. I like them cuz we can walk off the calories between downtown and her place in Montford.

  8. come on man were is the med in all this breakfast talk!

    • Yeah. This is an invalid list if The Med is not included!

      Which begs the question, how does Ashevegas come up with these lists in the first place?

      • The Med is great for inexpensive (but good) diner food and good service. I hear brunch at Jerusalem Garden on Saturday and Sunday is quite spectacular as well.

      • Guys, I like the Med, and I’d include it in a list of best cheap breakfasts. And best cheap lunch. And classic Asheville eateries. But the food is just not quite good enough to get it into a best breakfasts list. I come up with the lists by making my own shortlist, researching online (Yelp, UrbanSpoon, etc.), asking for additions to the list on Facebook, and then personally checking out any venue I haven’t been to. While the list IS subjective, it represents 30 years of living in Asheville, plus research, work, and a spirit of inquiry.

        I always listen when I’m asked to make additions, and several are on my list to check out.

        – Jennifer

        • So basically it boils down to whether or not you personally like/approve the restaurant. Gotcha.

          • Wanna rate your best breakfasts? Start your own blog. It’s not a list of “favorites”.

          • Ashevillain, yes. It’s subjective and personal, though I can be swayed by reader suppport, and I try hard to be fair to all parts of town, and what I think of as the creative and independent spirit of Asheville. Which is to say, creative indie restaurants have an advantage.

        • The Med is way better than the Moose.

        • I’ve never been to the Med so I can’t comment there, but any list that includes Moose Cafe and “good food” is highly suspect. Moose Cafe has always served greasy, lackadaisical food with no real character other than the cachet of being at the farmer’s market.

    • The reason The Med doesn’t show up in sites like Urban Spoon is because it truly is a LOCALLY known place. It’s been there when there wasn’t much else downtown after the AVL mall opened in the early 70s through the early 90s. They’ve been there and been the favorite when it was pretty much the only restaurant in downtown serving everyone from judges and lawyers to the homeless.

      In addition, The Med 1) is NOT chi-chi trendy food, 2) Southern Living doesn’t feature it every other issue like it does Early Girl (worthy of the coverage) and Tupelo Honey (questionable in my humble opinion), 3) in fact, Southern Living has never featured The Med (why my focus on that magazine–it brings tons of people and money to the businesses it features in Asheville and across the south), 4) it actively serves some of the less beautiful people in town so it likely scares off a percentage of eaters.

      The fact is that Pete makes amazing!!! biscuits every day, serves turkey sausage, makes the best French toast ever, is very entertaining whether he’s in a great mood or he’s shouting all over the place. It’s a scene, man, and if you’re not into it, well, you’re losing out.

      Plus he goes to the Fresh Market every morning, buys fresh sirloin steaks there and has them grind the steaks into hamburger that he takes back to the restaurant and forms into the burgers and hamburger steaks he sells. Very fresh, hand patted, very good.

      Go figure.

  9. Nothing beats a simple, diner-style breakfast. I loved Five Points until I moved to Leicester. In my opinion, Mountain Diner, on New Leicester Hwy, is less greasy and more tasty. Super sweet wait-staff, as well.

  10. Mama’s

  11. Tupelo Honey is conspicuously absent from this list. We love both the downtown and South Asheville locations.

  12. Ok, “Corner Grill” (Diner Style) Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. I’ve only eaten breakfast & lunch there multiple times and the service is dead on and fast. The wait staff keeps your drink refilled and there is always a daily special. The food is not fancy but your standard breakfast with pancakes or waffles, lunch has a million things on the menu and the onion rings and chicken salad are awesome. This is a great place to catch a quick filling meal whether driving through Asheville or on your way to work. 191-Brevard Road and Long Shoals connected to the right side of the Shell Station, but don’t let that fool you. The Corner Grill can seat 60+ and is always full of folks getting good eats. Not a hipster joint, but a place for everybody.

  13. Hank’s.

  14. Just my opinion but Mayfels has survived on Tupelo Honey’s wait list for years.

  15. Bagel sandwiches at Tod’s are not to be missed. Bacon, egg and cheese is best.

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