Brunch is breakfast without the alarm clock, the most enjoyable meal of the week. Today we raise our glasses to toast the Top 5 Lake Wylie Brunch Spots ~ Cheers!
#1 – The Yolk
Known as one of York County’s top breakfast destinations, The Yolk off Mount Gallant Road in Rock Hill is a fan favorite among locals. Owner and Chef Greg Collier takes deserved pride in his restaurant. “We are the only chef-driven, scratch made breakfast restaurant in the area,” explains Chef Greg. “We take extra steps like whipping butter and getting in every morning at 4:30am to cook our Aduluh course ground grits.” Every menu item from the biscuits and waffles down to the salsa verde and hollandaise sauce is made in-house.
A quick look at Greg Collier’s credentials and professional associations, including the Piedmont Culinary Guild and the Catawba Farm and Food Coalition, is sufficient proof that Chef Greg takes his profession seriously. “Our favorite part of the restaurant is our 20 seat community table,” says Chef Greg. “Its first come first serve, and we believe it brings different people together over food prepared with love!”
The Yolk features an inviting, casual dining atmosphere. Popular dishes include the Double Up (2 eggs, TN fries, choice of meat, choice of toast), 2 If By Land (2 eggs, cheese grits, choice of meat, choice of toast – served in cast iron skillet), and Wings & Waffles (house-made seasoned chicken wings and waffles). The TN Fries (Tennessee fries) are another favorite menu item and Perfect TN Seasoning is sold at the restaurant. Gluten-free Sweet Potato Waffles, Vegan Grain Bowl and Veggie Hash (with 8-chile hollandaise) provides options to diners with dietary restrictions.
The Yolk | Daily 7am-2pm (closed Tuesdays) | 1912 Mt Gallant Rd, Rock Hill SC | 803-792-4449 | theyolkcafe.com
#2 – The String Bean
What originally started off as a delicious, smaller menu, Saturday brunch at The String Bean Market in Belmont NC is now a fully involved experience. Classic brunch dishes are offered along with some creative culinary twists, as well as a chef attended ‘build your own’ omelet station and a kid’s ‘everything please’ french toast station. The restaurant features live music on the patio every Saturday from 11am – 2pm and boasts the largest beer & wine selection in Gaston County.
The String Bean Market menu is sourced from local vendors whenever possible. Favorite dishes include the Chicken and Waffles (sweet tea brined fried chicken tenders over a golden Belgian Waffle with maple syrup, Curious George (french toast made from homemade banana bread and topped with sliced bananas, toasted pecans and a warm rum-vanilla maple syrup), Crab Cake Benedict (two homemade lump crab cakes, each atop a toasted English muffin with poached eggs and fresh hollandaise), and The Cure (giant buttermilk biscuit topped with home fries, smoked bacon and smothered in homemade sausage gravy). Bottomless Mimosas are another popular treat.
“Oh, don’t forget about our homemade biscuits that are enormous,” says general manager Nate Helton. “Amongst locals and country folk they are commonly referred to as ‘Cat Head’ Biscuits (they are bigger than a cat’s head!) and of course our chef’s own, Kathy’s quiche of the day!”
#3 – Famous Toastery
A favorite breakfast & lunch restaurant in Tega Cay SC, Famous Toastery originated as a small breakfast spot in Huntersville NC. The success of the first Famous Toastery has led to new locations around the Carolinas and beyond! Jason Serkin, manager/franchise owner of Famous Toastery-Tega Cay explains, what makes Famous Toastery special, “We prepare everything from scratch with top quality fresh ingredients. We use cage free pasteurized eggs, 100% maple syrup, and fly lobster in live from Maine. We don’t pour ‘ready to eat’ products from a bag, and we don’t prepare frozen items either.”
A casual dining restaurant, Famous Toastery does not take reservations. Be prepared to wait if visiting on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Popular dishes include the Avocado Omelet (avocado, tomato, bacon and parmesan), the Left Coast B.L.T. (bacon, lettuce, tomato, brie and avocado), and the Chicken & Bacon Wrap (melted monterey jack and honey mustard).
Famous Toastery | Daily 7:00am-3:00pm | 2429 Hwy 160 West, Tega Cay SC | 803.548.1440 | famoustoastery.com
#4 – Nellie’s Southern Kitchen
Long-time Belmont NC resident Nellie Jonas was known as a gracious hostess and a wonderful cook. When grandson Kevin Jonas Sr. opened the restaurant he wanted to honor Nellie by focusing on the qualities that made meal time special for the family: simple, fresh ingredients and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. “Everybody was welcome at Nellie’s table,” explains Nellie’s daughter Cecilia Lucas. “She wanted everyone to have a good time.”
Nellie’s Southern Kitchen in historic, downtown Belmont offers classic southern staples prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Sunday Brunch includes southern favorites such as Biscuits N Gravy (2 buttermilk biscuits, sausage gravy goodness), Chicken N Dumplins (pulled chicken in rich broth with house-made dumplins), Sunday Meatloaf (gravy, BBQ sauce or ketchup, marinated grilled veggies, green bean casserole), NC Coast Shrimp & Grits (marinated grilled shrimp, stone-cut cheddar grits, bacon, peppers & onions) and Smoke Wagon (pulled NC pork, or smoked portabellas, dixie slaw, pickled veggies, 4 cheese mac), – along with a collection of sides, fixings, deserts and cocktails.
Kevin Jonas Sr explains that while growing up Nellie’s home and kitchen, “had the best people in the world and the best food. Every day my grandmother would come home with cotton in her hair… and make the most amazing chicken and dumplings, biscuits and gravy. And this is our way of paying honor to her and all the good people of Belmont.”
Nellie’s Southern Kitchen | Sunday Brunch 10:00am-3:00pm | 36 N.Main St, Belmont NC | 704-396-7169 | nelliessouthernkitchen.com
#5 – The Flipside Restaurant
Located in historic, downtown Rock Hill SC, The Flipside Restaurant may be a bit of a trek for some residents around Lake Wylie, but we think it’s worthy of inclusion on this (unofficial) list of top brunch spots. Owned by Head Chefs Jon Fortes and Amy Fortes, The Flipside Restaurant’s goal is to, “bring locally inspired comfort food to an upscale southern hospitality dining environment at a great value!”
Dishes on the brunch menu are separated into two groups, ‘Small Bites’ and ‘Not So Small Bites’. Some favorites include Potato Bravas (rosemary crème fraiche, pecorino and smoked paprika), Parmesan Roasted Asparagus (prepared with sea salt and salty crab-hollandaise), Maple Almond Waffle (with rum bananas, almond granola crunch, fresh fruit), The Flipside Breakfast (biscuits and gravy, smoked bacon, cheddar grits, 2 eggs), and Rock Hill Chiliquiles (fried tortillas, chorizo, charred tomato salsa, chipotle crema, 2 eggs).
For those reluctant to make the trip to downtown Rock Hill (although we think it’s well worth it!), the restaurant has a sister café located near Regent Park in Fort Mill (Flipside Café) which features an abbreviated menu.
Although we focused primarily on Lake Wylie restaurants which offer brunch menus/hours, there are plenty of other great spots around the lake for breakfast/lunch. Think we missed any? Let us know in comments below.
Bagel Boat – 4090 Charlotte Hwy, Lake Wylie SC, 803-831-5995, bagelboat.com
Tega Cay Deli – 1143 Stonecrest Blvd #103, Fort Mill SC, 803-396-1500, tegacaydeli.com
Victoria’s Diner – 102 N Main St, Clover SC, 803-222-3310
Five & Dine – 135 E Main St #101, Rock Hill SC, 803-328-3463, eatatfiveanddine.com