Where to Get Breakfast in Downtown Raleigh

From to-go coffee and pastries to a sit-down morning meal, these spots offer breakfast near Fayetteville Street.
By Ayn-Monique Klahre

A Place at the Table | Photograph by Joshua Steadman

With businesses, conventions, and court cases back in-person, we’re finally seeing some energy back in downtown Raleigh. The WALTER offices are right on Fayetteville Street, and we make a point of taking daily walks to get a good cup of coffee — both a treat for us, and our way of doing our part to support our local businesses. 

And of course, we want to spread the love. Whether you’re staying at a hotel downtown, just in Raleigh for the day, or getting back into the office routine, there are great places to breakfast near Fayetteville. Here’s where to find coffee, tea, pastries, and heartier foods like grits or French toast in downtown Raleigh. 

Photo courtesy 42 & Lawrence

42 & Lawrence

Just off Moore Square, this window-lined cafe has a full range of coffees from local brewer Larry’s Coffee, including Nitro Cold Brew on tap. They also have lots of teas and an assortment of fresh pastries. Their entertaining seasonal espresso-based lattes are not to be missed — nor are the boozy beverages they serve in the afternoon.

134 E. Martin Street | 42lawrence.com

A Place at the Table

A bit of a walk from Fayetteville Street, this cafe is part restaurant, part nonprofit: it offers a pay-what-you-can model where patrons can have a meal, regardless of their means. But beyond that, A Place at the Table offers build-your-own breakfast platters, Huevos Rancheros, yogurt bowls, and pastries, plus a full complement of coffees and teas. 

300 W. Hargett Street, Suite 50 | tableraleigh.org

Big Ed’s

Come hungry to this Southern greasy spoon! Big Ed’s is known for its big breakfasts, including its Farm Fresh Country Breakfast, Country Ham with Red Eye Gravy, and various omelets and hot cakes. It’s a bit of a walk from Fayetteville Street, in the quaint cobblestone streets of historic City Market.

220 Wolfe Street | bigedsnc.com 

Carroll’s Kitchen

Another breakfast spot with a mission, Carroll’s Kitchen employs women recovering from trauma like addiction, homelessness, or incarceration. Their vegetarian or bacon-filled quiches are a signature order, but also have a delish Avocado Toast and a Croissant Sandwich with egg and cheese to go, alongside drip coffee.

19 E. Martin Street | carrollskitchen.org


Tucked inside the One City Plaza office building, Crema has four blends of drip coffee at the ready, lattes on demand, and a full range of breakfast sandwiches (from a bacon, egg & cheese to a Breakfast Reuben), plus Southern standards like grits and a Sausage & Cheese biscuit, all available to stay or to go. 

421 Fayetteville Street | cremaandmore.com

Heirloom | Photograph by Smith Hardy


Heirloom is as much a destination for its airy design scheme as it is for its Asian-influenced coffees and teas. Alongside a selection of muffins and scones from rotating local bakeries, consider the Japanese-Style Flash Iced Coffee, green tea infused Hojicha Latte, or “Xieng Khouang” Lao Fog Latte, made with Lao tea and condensed milk. 

219 S. West Street | heirloombrewshop.com


This French-style patisserie has a drool-worthy selection of delicious croissants, pain au chocolate, and other pastries, along with a full range of options for espresso drinks, hot and cold coffee, and hot or iced tea. Enjoy your breakfast to go or seated at one of their signature bright-yellow chairs at the countertop by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

235 S. Salisbury Street | lucettegrace.com

The Morning Times

One of the original downtown Raleigh destinations for an excellent latte or strong cup of coffee, The Mornings Times also offers a diverse breakfast menu, including various scones, muffins, and bagels, and sit-down favorites like French Toast, Corned Beef and Hash, and a Breakfast Burrito. Take food to go, or sit down in the cozy area upstairs or at a table outside. 

10 E. Hargett Street | morningtimes-raleigh.com

Photo courtesy Raleigh Raw

Raleigh Raw

Calling all health nuts! Raleigh Raw specializes in cold–pressed juices, like the Kale Me Maybe, infused with kale, spinach, cucumber, and parsley, or the Morning Glory, with carrot, apple, orange, and ginger. They have lots of fruit and vegetable-forward smoothies, including smaller sizes for kids, plus Crack Coffee for Keto fans and a Golden Turmeric Latte alongside the regular coffee and tea options. Grab-and-go items like smoothie bowls and truffles in their freezer are perfect for mornings on the run. 

7 W Hargett Street | raleighraw.com

Sir Walter Coffee

We love Sir Walter Coffee for its college-town coffeehouse vibe and bright, comfy booths. Here, you’ll find the full range of coffee and espresso drinks, plus cold brew on draft, charcoal drinks, and Vietnamese Iced Coffee. There’s also a full menu of breakfast toasts, a bagel bar, and a waffle bar, to stay or to go. 

145 E. Davie Street | sirwaltercoffee.com


At this location at the southern end of Fayetteville Street inside the Marriott, you’ll find all the treats you know Starbucks will deliver, from its signature dark drip coffee and frappuccinos to egg bites and muffins.

500 Fayetteville Street | starbucks.com

Union Special Bread

A newcomer to Fayetteville Street, this second outpost of beloved Raleigh bakery Union Special Bread opened in fall 2021. Consider their decadent pastries, like the indulgent Ham & Cheese Croissant, the Twice Baked Pecan Croissant, or the Strawberry Matcha Snail, or, if you’re really hungry, their Union Egg Sandwich or Breakfast Quesadilla. They also have great drip coffee, teas, and espresso drinks. While you’re there, might as well bring home a loaf of bread for later.

401 Fayetteville Street, Suite 103 | unionspecialbread.com

Are we missing your favorite spot? Email us here!

This story was originally published in March 2022.