On the theory that restaurant people know about good competing restaurants, I arrived at this list after consulting friends who work at such places as Café Europa, Crafted and Table 16 (all of which are on the list, but are there because they were recommended by people who work at other establishments).
200 N. Davie Street, Greensboro.
Patio-goers at this Greensboro institution now have a lovely park rather than a muddy eyesore next door, and can enjoy ice skating or ice sledding after they dine, although doing so is not recommended after mimosas or Bloodies (not that they have a breathalyzer). This was my late iguana’s favorite patio, as he could swim in the fountain and the staff brought him fruit. Dogs are welcome on the patio, too (but not in the fountain). If you’re in luck, they’re offering Andy Beaver’s gravlox that Sunday.
The Claddagh Restaurant & Pub
130 E. Parris Avenue, High Point
At $8.25, the fresh corned beef hash is about as cheap as you can get in the Triad without it coming out of a can, and it includes two poached eggs. The Irish Mixed Grill is a porktastic triple threat with pork loin, sausage AND bacon, as well as two grilled tomatoes, two eggs and toast.
Crafted: The Art of the Taco
219-A S. Elm, Greensboro.
527 Liberty Street, Winston-Salem
I regret that they’ve discontinued their excellent Sunday brunch menu, but they serve their equally excellent regular menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays, and The Messenger, which has chorizo, scrambled eggs, potatoes, ranchero, guacamole and crumbled queso, is pretty darn brunchtastic. Plus, Bacon Barbecue Bloody Mary. For an appetizer, dessert or general decadence, there’s the Mason of Bacon, a jar filled with applewood-smoked bacon served with salted caramel and chocolate sauce for dipping.
Mary’s Gourmet Diner (former Breakfast of Course and Mary’s of Course)
723 N. Trade Street, Winston-Salem NC.
Family owned and operated and locally sourced, this Winston institution has been praised by the San Francisco Examiner in an article picked up by the Huffington Post, which called it “a Bohemian cool atmosphere serving vegan/organic/locally sourced cuisine” and said “owner Mary Haglund loves and follows the Alice Waters-esque philosophy.” (No, I don’t know what that is, but it sounds cool).
M’Coul’s Public House
110 W. McGee Street, Greensboro
A Greensboro standard with two excellent patios. The upstairs room has a painting that inexplicably put my friend Tom Abrams, who currently cooks at Café Europa, at a bar with Yeats, Joyce and Brendan Behan, but Tom’s not the one who recommended this place (he’s always cooking or sleeping on Sunday mornings). Try the boxties (Irish potato pancakes stuffed with scrambled eggs, veggies and cheese, also available with bacon, sausage or corned beef) from the brunch menu, or the bangers and mash from the regular menu (also available during brunch).
The Porch Kitchen & Cantina
840 Mill Works Street, Winston-Salem
This is the favorite brunch getaway of one of Greensboro’s top chefs and restaurant owners, who makes the drive to this competitor even when hungover. I’m usually not terribly fond of Tex-Mex, but theirs is delicious. And they have a very good kids menu. Adults might want to check out the Bloody Mary bar or the watermelon mojito. Try the Companion Bakery Corncake Stack, which comes topped with cheese, fried eggs, fried avocado, and pico de gallo.
Print Works Bistro
702 Green Valley Road (adjacent to the Proximity Hotel), Greensboro.
OpenTable voted this one of the 100 best brunch restaurants in America. The Short Rib Hash, Smoked Salmon Benedict and Creamy Steel Cut Oats with Poached Fruit Compote & Honey are all recommended
Saffron Indian Cuisine
1500 Mill Road, Greensboro
An Indian buffet may not be the first thing to come to mind when you think of Sunday brunch, but I have two words for you: Unlimited Mimosas. And yes, they’re included in the buffet price. This is a particular favorite of the staff at several downtown establishments when they’re not working brunch at their own restaurants.
600 South Elm Street, Greensboro.
As this is one of Greensboro’s very best fancy restaurants, you might expect brunch to be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. The Low Country Benedict (Country ham on a biscuit with kale, poached eggs and gravy, served with hash or grits) is worth the $14, but you can spend less than $10 on three items from the a la carte menu (which includes crab cakes, country ham, bacon, sausage and eggs) and be well satisfied. Tell them that Ian sent you (and say that he wishes they’d bring back the gravlox).
Tessa Farm to Fork
3929 Battleground, Greensboro
Excellent locally-sourced choices include Sugar and Spice Rolled Oats, NC Shrimp with Chorizo and Grits and the Duck Confit Benedict. For $6, you can get a big biscuit with pork belly, pimento cheese, tomato and greens (2 for $10). From 8 to 9 a.m. on Sundays, their Early Bird Specials include bacon, sausage or country ham with grit cakes or roasted potatoes and a biscuit for $5.50. The Tessa’s Mimosa is made from Prosecco, white balsamic vinegar and fresh squeezed orange juice.