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Updated: Mar 31

Indulge in the marriage of breakfast and lunch in the Port City. Whether it's a meal with mom, celebrating with girlfriends, or recovering from a rowdy Saturday night, it's easy to make a case for brunch. You can see syrup spill over pillowy pancakes. Hear crackles of bacon — clinks of cocktail glasses. Feel the steam rising off well-made omelets and the warmth of pleasant conversation. But brunch isn't the same everywhere. Some, like The Second Glass, Dram Yard, The Famous Toastery and Seabird, pull off the replenishing weekend ceremony better than most.

By Cape Fear Living Staff


Q&A with Owner & Chef Dean Neff

Photos Baxter Miller

What makes brunch at Seabird unique?

We have such a wonderful, historic location in the heart of downtown Wilmington on Front Street, with views of the water. Mauer Architecture and Smith Hanes Studio did such a lovely job restoring this building and making it feel warm and welcoming for daytime and nighttime. At our brunch, you can count on having raw North Carolina oysters with bubbles or brunch cocktails.

Two must eat items on the brunch menu.

Our Fried Chicken Biscuit has been on our menu since opening. It’s really both salty and sweet. We use great local chicken from Changing Ways Farm, and add our pimento cheese and sweetness from the Muddy Pond Sorghum.

We always offer a rice pudding from Pastry Chef Jim Diecchio. It’s made with Carolina Gold rice, and right now, it is served with seasonal citrus.

3 key elements to a great brunch?

Having a mix of breakfast and lunch oriented dishes seems important. Right now we have Baked Eggs with a spicy tomato and chickepea stew with cilantro yogurt, but also have a NC Shrimp & Oyster Po’ Boy with Alabama White Sauce and Bread + Butter Relish.

Signature brunch cocktail.

This is the meal when both seasonal coffees and cocktails are really important. We use Counter Culture Coffee and also have a brunch cocktail menu with spritzes, mimosas, bloody mary’s and more. We have a full list of brunch cocktails, including two Bloody Mary’s that are really delicious and spicy from a Castelvetrano Olive brine. The “Top Shelf” version comes with whatever seafood is in season… so it may be served with pickled shrimp, smoked tuna, an oyster & clam.

Essential brunch tunes.

Seabird by Alessi Brother’s

Peace Blossom Boogie by Babe Rainbow

This Must be the Place by Talking Heads

Brunch Times

Weekends 10am-1pm

The Second Glass

Q&A with Owner Celeste Glass

What makes brunch at the Second Glass unique?

We always strive at The Second Glass to make a unique and memorable brunch experience. We have a wonderful ambience, with creative cuisine and delightful cocktails. And, each week we feature a different omelet and benedict, always using seafood and seasonal ingredients from local farmers.

Two must eat items on the brunch menu.

Quiche – We like to think of quiche as more of a custard dish than an egg dish, so ours has a higher ratio of cream to egg, which gives it a much richer texture. It is filled with bacon, spinach and sharp cheddar.

French Toast – We use Little Loaf Bakery’s brioche and macerated seasonal fruit, topped with confectioner’s sugar.

3 key elements to a great brunch?

Outstanding food & drink options

A relaxing environment

Attention to detail

…..and a lot of caffeine!

Signature brunch cocktail.

A mimosa flight.

Essential brunch tunes.

Hall & Oates – You Make My Dreams Come True

Will.I.Am - I like To Move It

Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam

Brunch Times

Sunday 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Dram Yard

Q&A with Executive Chef Joe Wolfson

What makes brunch at Dram Yard unique?

The amount of thought and preparation the team puts into it. We wanted to make sure that, since we were doing a completely different menu for brunch, that we still did something that was complimentary to our dinner menu. The team has put together a top notch brunch cocktail list that is super unique. As far as the food we put the same energy in to it that we do for our dinner menu. We are doing house-made Canadian bacon, duck confit, chorizo, and salmon gravlax. For our Salmon Benedict we make our own crumpet batter which is cooked to order. Every dish has the same level of attention and craft.

Two must eat items on the brunch menu.

The Brunch Wrap, has house-made chorizo, nacho cheese sauce, scrambled egg, avocado poblano crema, rosti potato, tostada, lettuce, and tomato wrapped in a large flour tortilla. It is crisped up on our plancha and served with house made hot sauce and cilantro.

For something sweet we would recommend our Vanilla Bean French Toast. We soak challah bread in a vanilla bean crème anglaise and serve it with strawberry preserves, maple syrup, and whipped cream.

3 key elements to a great brunch?

Great food and drinks, good ambience, and stellar service.

Signature brunch cocktail.

Verde Maria: inspired by salsa verde. We wake up bright and early to juice fresh cucumber, green apple, pineapple, lime, poblano, serrano, and cilantro, along with white pepper and miso. We serve it with blanco tequila and a Tajin rim. It's a great balance of sweet, spicy, savory, and tart flavors, and is an awesome pick-me-up at the start of the day (or hangover treatment from the night before). It goes great with everything on the brunch menu, but we crafted it specifically to pair with the Brunch Wrap.

Essential brunch tunes.

Velvet Underground - Sunday Morning

Bob Marley - Three Little Birds

Outkast - Bombs Over Baghdad

Brunch Times

Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Famous Toastery

Q&A with Owner Jamie Kloiber

What makes brunch at The Famous Toastery unique?

The Toastery offers a variety of AMAZING Breakfast and Brunch items. Every delicious item on the menu is made with fresh ingredients. The entire team (FOH & BOH) consists of only the best, which has helped to create an extraordinary culture like none-other. Our beautiful building and relaxed ambiance is very popular with our guests.

Two must eat items on the brunch menu.

Avocado Benedict Split: Avocado baked with cajun seasoning, two eggs and style, topped with melted pepper jack & pico de gallo.

Stuffed French Toast French: Toast with your choice of filling: raspberry, blueberry, peanut butter & banana or strawberry & cream cheese. This delicious concoction is served with a breakfast meat.

3 key elements to a great brunch?

Great Food

Great Service

Amazing Ambiance

Signature brunch cocktail.

Our Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice makes our mimosas. CRAZY Good!!

Essential Brunch Tunes

We have created our own playlists with thousands of songs.

Brunch Times

Everyday 8 am – 2:00 pm

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