Lake Wylie restaurants: Top 5 for Brunch
Article updated March, 2019 to reflect new restaurant openings and closings
Brunch is known as breakfast without the alarm clock. Brunch is the most enjoyable meal of the week. We raise our glasses to toast the Top 5 Lake Wylie Brunch Spots ~ Cheers!
#1 – 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!”
#2 – Seven Oaks Cafe
The sister-restaurant of The String Bean(see above!), Seven Oaks Café offers casual southern fare including a mix of original dishes. Seven Oaks is conveniently located for many Lake Wylie area residents. The restaurant is located in the newly developed McLean neighborhood along the shores of Lake Wylie in southern Belmont.
Seven Oaks Cafe sits on the ground floor of the historic John Davidson McLean house, circa 1850s. The cafe draws it’s name from the past. The area surrounding McLean was once named Seven Oaks due to the seven, majestic oak trees growing around the house.
Seven Oaks features both indoor and outdoor seating and is pet friendly. Dishes include “fresh-from-our-garden” vegetables and other locally sourced food. For Sunday brunch, try the Belmont Bowl (scrambled eggs, sausage, sauteed spinach, hashbrown casserole and mixed melted cheeses) or the Sweet Sensation French Toast (locally sourced bread of the week, cream cheese filing, strawberries and warm bourbon maple syrup). For diners seeking more spice on their Sunday, Seven Oaks Cafe also offers a bloody mary bar.
Seven Oaks Cafe | Sunday Brunch 10am – 3pm | 175 Armstrong Road, Belmont NC | (980) 283-7238 | sevenoakscafe.com
#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 on Lake Wylie restaurants offering brunch menus & hours, there are 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