But as we begin to narrow down the search for our future mountain home, few towns have impressed us quite as much as Brevard, North Carolina.
But as a diehard foodie who has been covering the Atlanta culinary scene for more than 25 years, what impressed me most was the excellent assortment of restaurants Brevard has to offer.
For a town with less than 10,000 residents, the diversity of places to eat in Brevard is amazing, from fine dining and farm-to-table restaurants to traditional Mexican, Japanese, Indian, and more.
Read on for our guide to the best restaurants in Brevard NC for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including Quixote Fine Cuisine, Sora Japanese Restaurant, the Square Root, Wild Morel Restaurant, and more!
Best Restaurants in Brevard NC Guide
- Blue Ridge Bakery
- Bracken Mountain Bakery
- Quixote Fine Cuisine
- Quotations Coffee Cafe
- Sora Japanese Restaurant
- The Square Root
- Sully’s Steamers
- The Sunrise Cafe
- Wine Down on Main
- Wild Morel Restaurant
1. Blue Ridge Bakery
86 W Main St, Brevard NC • (828) 883-8444
HOURS: Mon to Fri 7AM-4PM; Closed Saturdays & Sundays
From the Sweet Shoppe in Blue Ridge GA and Sassy Sunflowers in Cherokee NC to the Flat Rock Bakery near Hendersonville, we’ve visited some excellent bakeries during our travels in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Blue Ridge Bakery offered unique elements that quickly made it one of our favorite places to eat in Brevard NC, including a prominent Greek influence and live bluegrass music at lunchtime on Fridays.
Opened in 2004 by Charlotte transplants Katina and John Hansen, this was one of the first bakeries in Brevard.
In addition to specialty cakes, cookies, baklava, muffins, and scones, they also have an impressive lunch menu that includes sandwiches (we love their Meatball Gyro and Pimiento Cheese), soups, and salads.
Their Mediterranean menu also includes a Hummus Snack Basket, Spanakopita, and a Greek Pizza. I’m a pizza snob (after 6 years of working in the industry), and I’d rate it among the best pizza in Brevard!
2. Bracken Mountain Bakery
42 S Broad St, Brevard NC • (828) 883-4034
HOURS: Tues to Sat 7AM-6PM; Closed Sundays & Mondays
Another of several great Brevard bakeries, the Bracken Mountain Bakery is located in the heart of Downtown Brevard, across the street from the Crystal Mountain Gem Mine.
The smell of freshly brewed gourmet coffee and freshly baked European-style breads and pastries tantalize your senses from the moment you walk in the door.
Their friendly staff was great about answering questions and recommending unique pastries we’d never tried before, including a delectable Lime Coconut Danish and a Maple Mocha Swirl Cinnamon Roll.
Other items we sampled (including a Blueberry Oat Scone, Apple Turnover, and a fantastic Ginger Molasses Cookie) made it clear why Southern Living named this one of the South’s Best Bakeries of 2022!
3. Quixote Fine Cuisine
43 S Broad St, Brevard NC • (828) 966-4554
HOURS: Lunch- Tues to Sat Noon-2:30PM; Sun Noon-4PM; Closed Mondays
Dinner- Tues to Sat 5PM-9PM; Closed Sundays & Mondays
My family’s roots in the Appalachian Mountains date back 250+ years, but my grandfather grew up in New Mexico. So my childhood was filled with more than my fair share of traditional Mexican food.
Nearly all of the Blue Ridge Mountain Towns we’ve visited have at least one decent Mexican restaurant. But most of them offer Americanized “Tex Mex” food, with limited traditional dishes to choose from.
Part of what makes Quixote Fine Cuisine one of the best restaurants in Brevard NC is their traditional menu, which focuses on family recipes from the Guadalajara region. But it’s the excellent execution that impressed us most.
After a morning exploring hiking trails to local waterfalls, we ravenously devoured House Specials like Barbacoa (a Jalisco-style slow cooked beef stew) and Pollo con Manzana y Nuez (chicken cooked in a creamy pecan sauce with fresh apples, and served with rice).
Their outdoor patio is a lovely spot with access to the full bar, but make sure to check out some of the amazing Don Quixote-in spired art inside the restaurant.
4. Quotations Coffee Cafe
147 E Main St Ste 200, Brevard NC • (828) 883-8966
HOURS: Mon, Tue, Fri & Sat 7AM-4PM; Sun 8AM-4PM; Closed Wednesdays & Thursdays
One of the most popular places for breakfast in Brevard, this cozy coffeehouse is large, with lots of intimate spaces for lounging and working, plus a free Community Meeting Room.
True to its name, the cafe features famous quotes on the wall (including some great chalkboard art of Dr. Seuss), and a menu that features tons of coffee, tea, and breakfast options.
They proudly serve four excellent roasts (light, medium, dark, and decaf) from Counter Culture Coffee Roasters in Durham, North Carolina. There are also Limited Release Seasonal Blends available by the cup or by the bag.
While we wouldn’t say they have the best food in Brevard NC, their menu features fresh-baked pastries and tasty options such as the Quiche of the Day (our favorite), Lox Bagels, Biscuits, Yogurt Parfaits, and more.
At lunchtime they also offer 7 sandwiches, 6 salads, soups, and sides to choose from, as well as a “Pick 2” House Special combo deal for under $10.
5. Sora Japanese Restuarant
91 Forest Gate Drive, Pisgah Forest NC • (828) 883-9808
HOURS: Lunch- Mon, Wed, Thu & Fri 11:30AM-3PM; Sat & Sun Noon-3PM; Closed Tuesdays
Dinner- Mon, Wed, Thu & Sun 4:30PM-9PM; Fri & Sat 4:30PM-9:30PM; Closed Tuesdays
It’s also very popular with the locals: We had to sit at the sushi bar because there were no tables available, even though we dined before 6PM on a Sunday. So arrive early on weekends if you don’t want to wait!
Their expansive menu starts with familiar appetizers like Fried Calamari, Shrimp Tempura, and Yakitori. But it also includes delicious options like Hamachi Kama, a grilled yellowtail cheek with ponzu sauce.
Entrees at Sora include traditional favorites like Bento Boxes, Fried Rice, Tempura, and Teriyaki. But we are diehard sushi fanatics, and rarely pass up a chance to get a few rolls.
Their Dragon Roll and Rainbow Roll were fantastic, fresh, and flavorful, with healthy portions of fish. We also loved the Shrimp & Scallop Hibachi Combo, making this one of our favorite restaurants in Brevard.
6. The Square Root
33 Times Arcade Aly, Brevard NC • (828) 884-6171
HOURS: Tues to Sat 11AM-9PM; Closed Sundays & Mondays
When it comes to fine dining in Brevard NC, few restaurants are more highly recommended than the Square Root.
Located in a beautifully restored historic building in the heart of Downtown Brevard, the Square Root has been voted the best restaurant in Brevard the last 13 years in a row!
It’s easy to see why, as chef/owners Adam and Cindy Wilson have imbued their eatery with an array of international influences you won’t see in most North Carolina mountain towns.
Cindy’s background is Indian, Adam brings Latin influences from his time in South Florida, and they use spices shipped by Cindy’s mom from South Africa. But their fantastic menu is literally all over the global map.
We started with savory Poke Ahi Tuna Nachos and a Bavarian Soft Pretzel Board. For entrees, we recommend the exceptional Rabbit & Crawfish Gumbo and the authentic Chicken Curry. Even the salads and desserts are to die for!
7. Sully’s Steamers
33 E Main St, Brevard NC • (828) 966-3378
HOURS: Mon to Sat 8AM-8PM; Sun 8:30AM-3PM
Brevard is a relatively small mountain town, with a population of around 7,600 people.
But because it’s home to Brevard College, the Brevard Music Center, and a Blue Ridge Community College campus, the area has a younger vibe than many of the North Carolina towns we’ve visited.
So perhaps it’s unsurprising that this laid-back bagel shop (which started in South Carolina) is one of the most popular restaurants in Downtown Brevard. It’s warm, welcoming, and low on both pretense and prices.
Their sandwich names are full of pop culture references, from “The Griswold” and “Hello Newman” to healthy options such as “The Partridge Family” and “Vulcan.”
We loved the California Steamin’ (bacon, egg, veggie cream cheese & avocado) and Fesler’s Five (ham, egg, green peppers, onions & muenster), which paired perfectly with Cold Brew coffee. The Original Italian is also excellent.
8. The Sunrise Cafe
273 N Broad St, Brevard NC • (828) 884-3331
HOURS: Mon to Sat 7AM-2:30PM; Closed Sundays
There’s no shortage of great places to get breakfast in Brevard, but none are more colorful than the Sunrise Cafe.
Located right across the street from Brevard College, the restaurant feels a bit like a hippiefied hangout, with vivid local art on the walls and classic rock on the sound system.
Their breakfast menu is fairly basic and VERY student-friendly, with affordable bagels, coffee/espressos, sandwiches, and a number of vegetarian and vegan options.
We enjoyed their Lox Works (one of their Specialty Sandwiches) and especially the Breakfast Burrito Supreme, which features a jalapeño cheddar tortilla stuffed with eggs, sausage, salsa, home fries, and two kinds of cheese.
They also have deli-style sandwiches on fresh-baked bread for lunch, as well as salads, Pizza Bagels, quiche, and a Soup of the Day.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Restaurants in Boone NC
9. Wine Down On Main
28 E Main St, Brevard NC • (828) 883-9463
HOURS: Wed to Sat 3PM-9PM; Closed Sundays, Mondays & Tuesdays
Although the emphasis at this happening hotspot is more about the vibe (fine wines, good friends, and live music) than the food, Wine Down On Main still deserves recognition as one of the best places to eat in Brevard.
The colorful dining room is artsy and eclectic, with colorful paintings on the walls, stained glass windows, and a swinging jazz duo on the night we visited.
They offer an impressive array of wines from around the world (including whites, reds, dry rosés, and sparkling wines), most of which can be had by the glass or bottle.
In terms of food, the menu mostly features flatbreads, paninis, salads, and soups. But we highly recommend their excellent Charcuterie Boards, and the Tiramisu is truly divine!
10. Wild Morel Restaurant
204 W Main St, Brevard NC • (828) 883-4841
HOURS: Thurs to Mon 5PM-9PM; Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays
The Square Root tops virtually everyone’s lost of restaurants in Downtown Brevard. But Wild Morel Restaurant was, for us, a VERY close second.
It’s got an excellent location (formerly occupied by Marco Trattoria) with an expansive outdoor patio that’s well-shaded by two massive trees.
Trained at Johnson & Wales Culinary Institute in Charleston, Chef/Owner Tony Pope has crafted an exceptional farm-to-table menu that changes seasonally to highlight fresh ingredients from local and regional farms.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Local Blackberry & “Goat Lady” Cheese Salad, Shrimp & Coldwater Creek Farms Grits, and 14oz Cheshire Pork Rib Chop with local corn and field peas, braised greens, and new potatoes.
They also have a gorgeously designed Wine Bar, as well an impressive array of craft cocktails. –by Bret Love; photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett