My husband and I have a weekly tradition of going to a local coffee shop after church on Sundays. One of our new favorites is Queen City Grounds. Located on the edge of Uptown, QCG has everything we want and more in a coffee shop. From the bright, open space to the never-ending reggae music, bar countertops and cozy couches, this modern coffee spot fits the needs of anyone who wants to work, relax, play games or read a book found in the open library. Featuring a full breakfast and lunch menu, classic coffee options, and a few unique creations of their own, QCG has managed to provide an eclectic offering in a simple atmosphere. I have no doubt that our weekly tradition will continue to bring us here for a long time.
Pro tip: If you're like me, then you tend to prefer breakfast, or even brunch, over lunch options. Try the Rancheros Burrito. Made to order with options including bacon or tofu, avocado, pico de gallo, topped with crunchy corn chips and wrapped in a spinach or whole wheat wrap, this option can be altered to suit everyone's preferences. Just be sure to order before they switch over to the lunch menu!
Pro tip: You can't go wrong with any of the drink options. My go-to at every coffee shop is a chai latte, and they did not disappoint. Topped with plenty of cinnamon, this chai was very flavorful and not too sweet. More of a cold brew type of person? Well they have that on tap (as well as a few select beers). Really love their coffee? You can purchase bags to take home with you and try your hand at barista life from the comfort of your kitchen.
The first stop on our tour of Asheville is one of my favorites- a place that I keep going back to every time I visit. We all have our favorites and sometimes tradition trumps quality, but not in this case! This time around the tradition was born because of the quality; the quality of food, service, and atmosphere!
Sunny Point Cafe in West Asheville has it all. While I've only been there for some amazing brunches, they also feature equally amazing lunch and dinner menus, as well as a selection of wines, craft beers, and cocktails.
Rated #1 on TripAdvisor for the best brunch in Asheville, Sunny Point Cafe can also be found on hipster foodies' lists everywhere, ranking in the Top 10 for Best Asheville Brunch/Breakfast spots. Some examples of their award-winning dishes (yes, they have won awards for their amazing culinary talents), are the shrimp 'n' grits, which won the 2016 and 2017 Stoobie Award for Asheville's Best Shrimp 'n' Grits. I've also heard that their avocado toast is among the best in the city.
My personal favorites are the Huevos Rancheros- eggs topped with black bean cakes, feta, and cilantro crema (a gluten-free dish), and the Fried Chicken and Waffle sandwich- a pecan waffle topped with fried chicken, bacon, pimento cheese, and jalapeño jam. Their menu also features several options that can be made gluten-free or vegan.
INSIDER TIP: Because of the cafe's popularity, it is more than likely that you will arrive and have to add your name to a long list of those waiting- DO NOT LEAVE. I know how easy it is to be turned off by long wait-times, but believe me it is well worth it. In fact, the cafe understands your displeasure with having to wait, and makes it infinitely more enjoyable by providing a coffee station in the outdoor waiting area, where you can help yourself to unlimited refills of fresh coffee, and enjoy watching West Asheville life pass you by. On a nice day, you may even get to experience some live music, as local bands have been known to set up and play for hungry customers.
Aside from the incredible variety of dishes and flavors that are served up here, one of my favorite things about Sunny Point Cafe is that they are very socially conscious, featuring a different nonprofit partner every month! Every table in the restaurant has an envelope on it for customers, should they so choose, to donate money for the nonprofit that month. Along with the money from generous customers, Sunny Point also adds a donation to the collected funds, and delivers it to the chosen partner. In 2017, they raised and donated $16,856, and in 2018 they increased that number to $20,517. Read more about the organizations they've partnered with here.
INSIDER TIP: After your meal, head outside to the neighboring garden- here you can walk through the garden beds and see where the cafe plants and harvests the produce found in your meals! It's as fresh as you can get!
INSIDER TIP: Take a bit of the West Asheville flavor home with you! You can shop the selection of jams, dressings, and sauces that you may have experienced in your meal. If that's not enough, you can even purchase the Sunny Point Cookbook, featuring several recipes that have developed since the opening of the cafe, as well as other timeless comfort food dishes.
Have you been to Sunny Point Cafe? Let us know your favorite dishes in the comments! Got another favorite Asheville brunch spot! Let us know so we can check it out!
I travel and then I write about it. I hope you enjoy my experiences, and can learn from my trial and errors!