Breakfast the way it used to be: A roundup of Asheville’s old-fashioned places to eat a morning meal

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Nothing’s locally sourced. No huevos rancheros. No “breakfast salad.” No tofu chorizo to sub for the Hickory Nut Gap Farms hormone-free, antibiotic-free, all-natural humanely raised local bacon brought in from Fairview this morning by a team of fairies.

No chai, no latte, no soy milk. No 25-minute wait. Probably no outdoor seating and no dogs.

Just breakfast the way it used to be. Here’s the list:

The Rite Aid Coffee Shop: North Asheville
(Story in above link by Jacob Biba, Carolina Public Press.)

“It’s kind of like family here,” says Randy Burrell, who has been coming to the coffee shop since 1993. He lives nearby and usually comes in on Fridays to kick back with a cup of tea, pancakes, eggs, hash browns and sometimes an apple turnover. “Gnelle makes us all feel at home.”

The Tastee Diner: West Asheville

The servers are sweet and call you “darlin’.” Go for breakfast and TRY to spend more than $5, you’ll be stuffed if you do. It’s delicious and perfect for the value. Make sure you bring cash OR check because they don’t take debit or credit cards- it’s old school.

Five Points Restaurant. Breakfast until 11:30. Outskirts of downtown.

The quintessential diner. Very friendly wait staff of the “more coffee, hon” variety.

The Miami Restaurant: Candler

The food is down home southern! Cooked fresh by the owner, the staff have been there forever, and all the locals eat there. Was there this AM and could not get in!! Small area to dine with the old style chairs, but it is all worth it!

The Cornerstone Restaurant: East Asheville

We stayed at the Homewood Suites, so it was very convenient to walk to the Cornerstone. I had the perfect omelette, and my husband was very happy with his Greek Salad. I kept finding reasons to go back, their lemon cake was to die for. TripAdvisor link

Moose Cafe: West Asheville

My backpacking friends wanted to eat at Hardees and get back on the road so we could get to the trail. I strongarmed them to get them to the Moose Cafe. That was six years ago…now, they will not pass Asheville without stopping at the Moose Cafe. TripAdvisor link.

Baba’s Kitchen. Breakfast until 2 p.m. North Asheville.

Only good things to say. Cynthia & I had a late brunch today. We really enjoyed the potato & egg sandwich, the Russian Omelet, the mini-latkes, and most of all the friendly staff and warm feel of the restaurant. We’ll be back with friends soon.

The Mediterranean: Downtown

This is a low key, casual, old-fashioned type place in the center of downtown. I would say that this is a place locals go for a good meal. The inside is charming and the service very good. There’s a counter, as well as a lot of booths.

I only had breakfast. The best over medium eggs I have ever had. And, I’m not usually a grit-eater, but these grits were good – they were yellow grits – perfectly cooked. The meal was SO cheap – like $3-something. It was prepared quickly and the server was very efficient.

The Leicester Family Restaurant: West Asheville

I love this restaurant.  It’s totally unpretentious, the food is homemade and delicious and the staff and owners very friendly – a real effort is made to make you feel at home.  All kinds of people eat here, from locals to professionals working in the area.

What’d we miss?

(Got something around town you’re passionate about and want to share with Asheville? Your picks for the Best Bloody Mary bars? The best veggie burgers? The best places for miniature golf?  Contact us and tell us!)


Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Jamie Bailey February 18, 2013

    I am a member of The Asheville Breakfast Club and we meet every Thursday at 6:45 a.m. for hot coffee and breakfast. Many area restaurants aren’t open till after seven, so we are limited to the early breakfast spots. Besides Tastee Diner, The Mediterranean, Five points, and Leicester Family Restaurant that you mentioned, other early breakfast spots open 6:45 or earlier are Mamas Fast Foods, Eats and Treats, The Athenian Bistro, The Breakfast Shoppe, and Edna’s. Does anyone know of other breakfast spots open before seven in the area?

  2. Angie Newsome June 28, 2012

    For those who want to read the full story and see the full photo gallery from Rite Aid, which was reported and photographed by Jacob Biba, a contributor to Carolina Public Press, go here:

    “A vanishing breed, this Asheville coffee shop defies the odds”

  3. Carol Meenan June 27, 2012

    I just want to thank you so much for the great review that you wrote for Baba”s Kitchen it was heartfelt and made me very proud of my little hole in the wall neighborhood restaurant. We are changing the name to The Potato Wedge but we will still be the people. Thank you again. Hugs Baba’s.
    p.s. please make it a point to let me know when you come back.

    1. Jennifer Saylor June 27, 2012

      Hey Carol, that review was taken from the Urbanspoon link–but I’ll say hey when I come back in. Good luck to The Potato Wedge!

  4. Localgal June 27, 2012

    Is the copy after each of these written by Jennifer Saylor or quotes from other websites? You might want to include quotation marks and sources if it’s the latter.

    Nice rundown!

    1. Jennifer Saylor June 27, 2012

      Localgal, it’s a little confusing in this post, but that shaded style is blockquoting, and is generally understood to show excerpts and quotes on the web. So YES, everything is a quote from the linked source.

    2. Jennifer Saylor June 27, 2012

      And I’m glad you liked it!

  5. NFB June 27, 2012

    Athenian Bistro 224 Biltmore Avenue near McCormick Field.

  6. Melissa June 27, 2012

    I LOVE this!

  7. Jason Sandford June 27, 2012

    Great round-up, Jen!

  8. Jenny June 27, 2012

    Happy Hill Restaurant on Patton. Counter and table service, breakfast all day, good food, great service, even better prices.


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