Trendy new restaurants pop up all over the Triangle with nary a complaint. And while there’s the desire to try every new diner, café and cinema drafthouse (looking at you, Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh) as soon as the Instagram photos appear on your feed, there is something about the “old reliables.”

So yes, new places can be fantastic, and there is no shortage of food for every palette. But while in Raleigh for brunch, the holiest of meal outings when the love of breakfast and lunchtime combine, I personally like to order these few go-to favorites and recommend you give them a try too!

So-Ca’s Puerto Rican Pork Belly Mofongo

So-Ca is beautiful in every way: The atmosphere inside is artfully crafted; there is a parking garage to ensure a close spot (that is a thing of beauty); the food is impeccable. A number of dishes on the brunch menu deserve recognition, but one that has yet to leave my brunch order is the mofongo.

It’s as unique as it is flavorful: Tender pork belly AND pork shoulder complement the green plantain base and are cut nicely with the mojo pickled onion, in addition to chicharrón and bacon juice to make it an untouchable brunch dish in the area.

Jubala Coffee’s Biscuit Sandwich

Whether in North Raleigh running errands or heading to a downtown Raleigh festival, both bustling locations of Jubala Coffee consistently deliver a quality breakfast sandwich. I cannot emphasize the consistency aspect; that is half of the battle.

While there are variations on the only biscuit sandwich that could make me weather a hail storm for, Jubala’s thick cut bacon nestled beneath the creamy pimento cheese blanket and the Instagram-worthy yolk pop is the only option with a perfectly fluffy, slightly sweet biscuit.

The Remedy Diner’s Tempeh Tantrum

Vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores swoon over the sandwich that takes the BLT to another level at The Remedy Diner. While I would be remiss not to order the bacon in its full meaty glory, don’t take this sandwich lightly: There is just something about the nutty tempeh paired with the distinct salty “bacon” and coupled with the extremely flavorful pesto mayo and avocado that seals its rank as one of PETA’s top 5 vegan sandwiches. Bonus points if you order your Tempeh Tantrum with an Attitude Adjustment.

Plates Neighborhood Kitchen’s Beignets

This item I have to leave somewhat open-ended because the beignet flavor is based on the seasonal menu, but you cannot go wrong with it y’all at Plates Neighborhood Kitchen. The current confectionary offering, the sweet cinnamon beignets, is a staple, especially if a little sweet is all that is needed to round out your brunch. But I won’t soon forget about the crab beignets that definitely hit the spot too. In general, an order of beignets needs to accompany a locally-sourced brunch entrée at Plates.

Irregardless Cafe’s Smoked Salmon Hash

Another prime local spot for people of all food persuasions, Irregardless Cafe provides the full brunch experience. Enjoy the patio on a nice day or be serenaded into the dining room with live music and hanging fish decorations while you peruse the day’s locally-sourced offerings.

(Ir)regardless, you cannot go wrong with a menu staple: the smoked salmon hash with crispy breakfast potatoes, near-popping poached eggs, and wilted spinach, all coated in a generous helping of hollandaise sauce. But again, there are vegan and vegetarian substitutions for just about anything on the cafe’s deliciously awesome menu, as well as a separate menu of meat-free dishes too.

Raleigh’s Brunch Offerings Simply Rock

There’s just something about a dish that requires taking smaller bites so it can be enjoyed a few moments longer; when you know, disappointment won’t be on the menu. These few brunch favorites are sure to fit the bill. Give them a try one of these days and don’t forget to Insta.

So what were your favorite moments from the Thrive NC festival? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

This post was created in collaboration with the Downtown Raleigh Blog editorial team and 919 Blog contributor Melissa Kahan for exclusive digital publication via TBN