It is my firm belief that the best breakfast is enjoyed at mid-day or later, after a good night's sleep and complemented with a cocktail. In sampling the best brunch and "breakfast all day" menus in the Triangle, I found plenty to like, whether day or night.
If you're already in your Sunday best, you can hardly do better than the brunch at Coquette. Towering quiche, crepes and omelets join salads, sandwiches and even steak frites on this menu that mixes the best of breakfast and lunch. With entrees starting at just $6, brunch is a way to try this more pricey North Hills brasserie on the cheap. Arrive late – brunch is served until 3 p.m. and draws quite a crowd during the noon hour –but plan to linger. The bottomless mimosa is just $10!
I grew up in Pennsylvania and didn't know the comfort and joy of good bowl of grits until I moved to the Triangle. One of my favorite spots to get them – any time and as a side to any item – is Flying Biscuit Cafe in Raleigh's Cameron Village. They don't call these "creamy, dreamy grits" for nothing. You can order from the vast breakfast menu of omelettes, wraps and even vegetarian options any time at Flying Biscuit.
If you've spent any time at all in the Raleigh-Durham area, you know Brigs as the place with the extensive menu and seasonal specials like August's blackberry pancakes. This is the stack 'em-high, never-leave-hungry kind of place reminiscent of the diners of the past. There are five area locations; only the Raleigh one is open past mid-afternoon, so don't dawdle!
Another local standard is the State Farmers Market Restaurant in Raleigh. This is where we take new hires at WRAL for their first lunch, and it's another place open only early in the day (They close at 3 p.m.). The home cooking here is like grandma would make. From chicken-fried anything to hand-written specials and 10 varieties of biscuits, you won't go wrong and your won't go hungry. Bring the out-of-town guests for brunch, then cross the street to buy dinner from the farmers' market vendors.
Finally, a friend introduced me to her brunch secret, Flying Burrito off Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. As you might expect from a Mexican restaurant, they serve a bloody Mary touched with cayenne. Indulge for $5, but expect to need another drink to cool you off. The menu includes pancakes and eggs, but you'll miss out if you don't try the Kitchen Sink. It's a little bit of everything – tortillas, eggs, salsa, cheese, jalepenos, potatoes. Just trust me. It works and is enough to feed at least two. Burrito brunch is Sundays only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.