The best thing about breakfast at Eddie's? The fat, luscious, unmissable ciabatta French toast. Dusted with powdered sugar, it comes with your choice of side, but we recommend the bacon, which the kitchen will cook to order. The second-best thing? You can get that French toast, and any breakfast dish, any time of the day. And it's always served with a smile.
617 S. Sharon Amity Rd., 704-442-0147; 12239 Toringdon Way, 704-542-0000
This relatively new entrant to the breakfast scene already has a devoted core of regulars, and with good reason. The front room is set up like a classic café, with coffee drinks listed on the blackboard. The main dining room has two-story ceilings and windows, and a second floor has tables along a rail- ing and private booths in the back. On the long, Southern-inspired breakfast menu, the Southern Sausage Benedict (house-made sausage, poached egg, and hollandaise on a flaky biscuit, $10) is a stand- out. Kids love the S'mores French Toast ($9.50). 4625 Piedmont Row Dr. South, 704-554-6177
When it comes to brunching on Sundays at this Charlotte stalwart, we offer one simple piece of delicious advice: head straight for the buffet. This is where Chef Andrew King puts his heart and soul right into the cinnamon bun bread putting, mac and cheese, broccoli cheese casserole, biscuits and gravy, griddle-hot pancakes, and inventive items like Trailer Park Casserole, a Southwest-inspired dish topped with crumbled Doritos.
705 S. Sharon Amity Rd., 704-364-8755
Because of its central location in SouthPark, break- fast at Zebra is ideal for those early-morning meetings. In fact, we'd argue that all power deals and networking connections should be made in the comforting glow of Zebra's warm wood interior as opposed to a bland hotel restaurant or quickie coffee shop. Start negotiations with simple items like a French baguette toast with tart raspberry jam ($3.95) and Illy coffee and close the deal over a crispy, golden Belgian waffle with berries and fresh whipped cream ($6.95) and an Italian black truffle omelet ($11).
4521 Sharon Rd., 704-442-9525
Here you can indulge in the elaborate Sunday buffet ($25) or, for a unique—and tasty, lighter experience—try a few of the brunch tapas options. These are sample-size portions from the á la carte menu and include items like the brioche French toast, stuffed with apple and golden raisins ($10), and the Carolina Shrimp and Grits ($14), featuring sweet onions and tasso gravy.
6902 Phillips Place Ct., 704-556-7730
This neighborhood favorite gets packed with the Myers Park after-church crowd, who seem to go, well, religiously. With an extensive menu of brunch specialties including strawberry almond French toast ($8.75), crabcake Benedict ($12.95), and shrimp and grits ($12.95), its busy patio and buzzing dining room shouldn't be a surprise. Looking for something really sinful? Try the Omelet Oscar, a light omelet stuffed with tender lump crabmeat, asparagus, and cream cheese, and then drenched in hollandaise sauce ($9.55). 110 Perrin Pl., 704-376-2008
On the bottom floor of a nondescript office building, this restaurant may not at first appear inviting for Sunday brunch. But a look at the rich woods inside and the expansive outdoor patio is all the invitation you need. A bite of one of the complimentary freshly baked apple walnut muffins served with whipped honey butter seals the deal. The large menu features Belgian waffles ($5.50), slabs of sweet French toast ($6.75), and rich Benedicts, but you'll be missing out if you don't order the brie and bacon omelet ($8.50). Stuffed with creamy melted brie and crispy semisweet apple- wood-smoked bacon, it's the kind of dish your cardiologist will be glad is only avail- able on Sundays.
4201 Congress St., 704-552-9983
The menu here screams classic brunch. Omelets, Belgian waffles, quiche, crepes, various Benedicts (try the luscious and savory Monte [$13.95] — smoked ham, asparagus, tomato, eggs, and Hollandaise on a croissant). There are also plenty of French entrées and sandwiches, and delish bakery items (macaroons! Chocolate croissants!). The look is pure Parisian, right down to the mirrored walls and newspaper racks.
6700 Fairview Rd., 704-552-1116