At Your Leisure

At Your Leisure: Great spots to brunch in Asheville—without the wait
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Oh, Asheville. Where does one go these days without standing in a frustration long line to get brunch? We might be shooting ourselves in the foot here, but we're noting some of our favorite under-the-radar brunch spots where in-the-know locals like to go


Order at the counter from a menu of international, healthy cuisine served in this light, airy spot. Wild mushroom toast, quinoa oat waffles, yam hot bowls, and other whole foods join with more exotic offerings like Korean Soondubu (tofu and kimchi hot pot). There are also pastries and strong coffee. 697 Haywood Rd.; (828) 505-0328;

Fig Bistro

Tucked into Biltmore Village, this intimate space leans toward the savory side with smoked trout plates, shrimp fritters, and steak and eggs, but options like apple-compote pain perdue and zeppole (house-made ricotta donuts with lemon curd and powdered sugar) tempt the sweet tooth. 18 Brook St.; (828) 277-0889;

Smoky Park Supper Club

On the banks of the French Broad, this restaurant made of shipping containers has a terrace, porch, and picnic tables on which to sip your brunch cocktails and dig into plates of cast-iron seared shrimp with blue corn grits, house-made crumpets, tomato-blue cheese tarts, and other rustic treats. And there’s live music from noon to two on Sundays. 350 Riverside Dr.; (828) 350-0315;

Liberty House Cafe

With patio, terrace, and garden seating, this spot triples in size in warm weather and serves one of the best avocado toasts around with an egg and toothsome grain bread. Wash down homemade pop-tarts and beet, blood orange, and goat cheese salads with coffee or tea beverages like the London Fog (made with Earl Grey, lavender, and honey). 221 S. Liberty St.; (828) 412-3225;


Enjoy classic European cooking, like crab Neuberg soufflé omelette, Croque Madam (a toasted sandwich of ham, cheese, mornay sauce, and egg), and tiny Scandinavian pancakes, on the outdoor patio or inside this minimalist River Arts District space. Kentucky cappuccino (with bourbon) and a brunch cocktail with vodka and elderberry syrup are part of an enlightened beverage menu. 348 Depot St.; (828) 225-3497;

All Day Darling

A bright neighborhood space (with outdoor patio) offers breakfast all day, serving options like lentil fritters and kale breakfast bowls, pastries, fresh-pressed juices, and hot drinks like the golden mocha (with turmeric, ginger, black pepper, and cardamom). Also look for sandwiches, fried chicken biscuits, and superfood sides. 102 Montford Ave.; (828) 505-3701;

The Social Lounge

The quintessential rooftop bar at night, this sister space to Strada Italiano turns into a sun-dappled terrace for breakfast poutine, ricotta pancakes, sausagey pizza, peach Bellinis, Italian Bloody Marys, and more. 29 Broadway St.; (828) 575-9005;

DeSoto Lounge

This near-obscure West Asheville dive bar will sate your appetite for a hangover cure. Favorites include the waffle sandwich with ham, cheese, and egg, the breakfast burrito, and the Cuban sandwich with jam. Forego coffee and opt instead for a little hair of the dog with the build-your-own Bloody Mary and mimosa bar. 504 Haywood Rd.; (828) 255-1109;

Photographs courtesy of Bimberibon; by Josh McClure; Andy Lukacs-Ormond; Shannon McGaughey; Treavis Taylor