• Katie McCarthy

The Most Important Meal of the Day Served up the Gaston County Way at these 20 Breakfast Spots

Breakfast takes all shapes and sizes and all too often we overlook what’s deemed the most important meal of the day. We switch out crepes for pop tarts, omelets for a breakfast bar, and hop in our cars as the sun is barely rising, rushing off to work or school drop-off. A nice slow morning has numerous benefits and one of those is enjoying a good breakfast to fill you up before your day gets started. So whether you’re refueling after a grueling morning work-out or just barely wiping the sleep from your eyes, rest assured you can find a quality breakfast in all corners of the county.

So, go ahead, give your snooze button a rest and take a walk down main street for 19 delicious breakfast options right here in Gaston County. There's no shortage of variety, whether you're looking for breakfast on the go, eggs with a view on a sunny outdoor patio, or plant-based and vegan options. We all know the early bird gets the worm, but who knew that worm could come in the form of avocado toast, pancakes, and breakfast bowls.

Ball's Grill and Produce

2325 S York Rd., Gastonia

Monday-Saturday, 5 a.m.-4 p.m.

Save time by combining breakfast and a trip to the farmers' market by stopping in at Ball's Grill and Produce in Gastonia. Self-proclaimed as the best place to buy tomatoes, you can never go wrong with fresh produce and great food. Everything is made fresh to order and they open early enough for you to grab breakfast on your way to work.

We recommend: Bacon and Country Ham Breakfast Sandwich ($2.35) for breakfast on the go or try the No Meat Plate ($3.79) for a plant-based breakfast.

Byrum’s Grocery & Grill

4606 South New Hope Rd., Belmont

Tuesday-Friday, 5:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Saturday 5:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Serving their community since 1972, Byrum's Grill has grown a lot since it first opened in Belmont. With counter-style service, Byrum's is dedicated to serving high-quality food at a price that will keep you coming back for more. Take your pick from breakfast listed on a letter board and have a seat or take it to go.

We recommend: Bologna & Egg Sandwich- A southern classic like mom used to make. And if you aren’t in the mom-used-to-make-it set, give it a try. You’ll thank us later. -$2.99

Cherub’s Café

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

23 N. Main St., Belmont

Monday-Thursday & Saturday, 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

Located in downtown Belmont, this café offers employment opportunities for individuals with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities. Cherub’s Café, a brand of Holy Angels, serves a hearty breakfast with lots of special little touches.

We recommend: Cloud Nine- go with the 3 crepe option, Banana Mudslide style, with bananas and Nutella, for a sweet breakfast treat. -$7.00

Everyday Market

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

7 S. Main St., Belmont

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Add a side of breakfast to your coffee, by pairing the freshly brewed coffee at The Everyday Market with a made-from-scratch item off of their breakfast menu. Take an extra stroll down downtown Belmont this week and pick up a sweet or savory breakfast from Everyday Market.

We recommend: A newly added favorite, Avocado Toast includes in-house-made cranberry walnut toast, topped with smashed avocados and herbs. -Prices vary.

Famous Toastery

Photo courtesy of Famous Toastery

6425 Wilkinson Blvd., Belmont

Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

A recent expansion from Huntersville-based breakfast giant, Famous Toastery brings in all their breakfast favorites to the ever-growing Wilkinson Boulevard in Belmont. Stop in and set up camp over a variety of breakfast dishes.

We recommend: Huevos Rancheros-This Mexican breakfast staple is perfect for a leisurely breakfast. Two eggs any style lay atop black beans with cheddar and feta cheese, topped with cilantro, pico de gallo and avocado. Add in some breakfast potatoes for a well-rounded meal. -Prices vary

Fannie Cakes Cafe

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

103 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. Way, Gastonia

Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Looking to spice up your breakfast? Look no further than Fannie Cakes Cafe in downtown Gastonia. At Fannie Cakes they are serious about serving food for the soul with their southern cajun take on classic breakfast favorites. Stop in and experience the cozy atmosphere or order online through DoorDash.

We recommend: Sweet and savory all in one the Stuffed French Toast involves scrambled eggs, your choice of bacon, chicken sausage, salmon patty, or liver, sandwiched between two pieces of French Toast, topped with berries, syrup, and powder sugar. -$4.99

Floyd & Blackie’s

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

137 8th Ave, Cramerton

Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

Breakfast spot in the early mornings, ice cream and other treats at night, Floyd & Blackies Cramerton location offers an array of breakfast pick-up items from muffins to savory selections as well as locally roasted coffee.

We recommend: Caribbean Colada Smoothie- offer a warm welcome to spring with this delicious morning treat that will leave you yearning for summertime. -$3.89

Friendly’s of Stanley

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

119 N. Main St., Stanley

Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

This log cabin restaurant in Stanley serves homemade breakfast all day, with the exception of Sunday. You can stop by for your breakfast fix no matter the time of day.

We recommend: Philly Cheese Omelet- Packed with seared steak, cheese and grilled onions, the Philly Cheese Omelet is a perfect start of the day for the super hungry. -$7.39

Gaston Pour House

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

170 S. South St., #103B, Gastonia

Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m.-12 a.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-12 a.m.

Whether you’re stopping in for a while or on the go, Gaston Pour House’s breakfast menu has you covered. Let the good times pour on with a cup of Dilworth Coffee’s Honduran or Colombian roast in this downtown Gastonia staple.

We recommend: Brie & House Jam – what we can only assume is a play on the fact Gaston Pour House hosts jam sessions, this delicious breakfast sandwich combines tomato bacon jam with brie cheese, topped off with thick-sliced bacon on a fresh bagel. -$6.25

Georgio’s Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Georgio's Restaurant

202 Market St., G, Cramerton

Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.

This mash-up of American, Greek, and Italian food hits the nail on the head with breakfast. Opening up at 7 a.m. daily for all the early birds, Georgio’s in Cramerton is a great stop for classic breakfast offerings. Get your fill with large portions, a large menu, and great food.

We recommend: French Toast – Served on thick bread, we recommend this with a side of bacon to get your fix of sweet and savory. -$3.75 for 2

Grits N’ Greens Southern Cuisine

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

125 N. Main St., Lowell

Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Whether you’re in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Grits N’ Greens specializes in southern cuisine and is a staple to the Lowell community. Looking for a spot to host a breakfast event? Grits N’ Greens has got you covered, with grits and biscuits for all.

We recommend: Main Street Breakfast Special- This special comes with 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, and grits with your choice of bacon, sausage or livermush. -$6.99

I Love Juice Bar

Photo courtesy of I Love Juice Bar

6425 Wilkinson Blvd, Belmont

Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Breakfast on the go has never been easier with your favorite fruits and veggies blended into one delicious smoothie. For a little more substance opt for one of I Love Juice Bar's smoothie bowls. For the perfect power blend after your morning work-out, build your own bowl with toppings like granola, banana, hemp seeds, and local honey, or choose one from their berry-lover approved menu.

We recommend: Tangy Pitaya Bowl- apple juice, dragon fruit, and mango blended together and topped with granola, banana, strawberry, and local honey. -Prices vary depending on location

Mount Holly Grill

1118 S. Main St., Mount Holly

Monday-Saturday, 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

Mount Holly Grill is a family-style restaurant that prides itself on classic southern fare. Now your favorite dishes can come to you with new delivery options including DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats.

We recommend: Country Breakfast- Grab a gravy biscuit, sausage patties, and two eggs in this classic southern breakfast plate. It’ll leave you feeling full like grandma’s. -$5.25

The Notary at The Esquire Hotel

Sam West, Photo Courtesy of Notary at the Esquire

168 W. Main Ave, Gastonia

Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m.-11 a.m.

For those days when you want an extra touch of special with your breakfast, head to the Notary at the Esquire Hotel for an upscale breakfast and cup of coffee. Everyone is welcome with both vegetarian and vegan options available to fix your sweet tooth or to fill those savory cravings.

We recommend: Breakfast Burrito- bacon, egg, cheese, and blackened potatoes. -$5 Or for a plant-based option try the Veggie Breakfast Burrito with eggs, greens, tomato, and blackened potatoes. -$5

Pancake House

1700 N. Chester St., Gastonia

Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Find yourself dreaming of pancakes? Gastonia's Pancake House has you covered with enough pancake varieties to satisfy any pancake connoisseur, many of which can come as waffles as well. If berries, nuts, and chocolate don't do it for you, stop in for an omelet or breakfast sandwich. With service starting at 6 a.m., skip the snooze button for a breakfast that will leave you feeling full for the rest of the day.

We recommend: Get your fill with The Hungry Man's Breakfast, that's country ham, 2 large eggs, hashbrowns, grits, and your choice of silver dollar pancakes, toast, or a biscuit.- $8.45

Rita's Family Restaurant

108 Beaty Rd, Belmont, NC 28012

Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-1:20 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Rita's is one of those "iykyk" places in Gaston County. The family owned and operated joint is tucked away in a Belmont side street, and offers homey dishes and a staff that'll strive to get to know you on a first name basis. Rita's is super affordable. The way to eat here is to order several dishes à la carte and split it up among friends.

We recommend: Get the egg plate with livermush. - $3.50. Then move on "any style" omelets with gravy, hashbrowns, biscuits or toast. - $5.50.

Smith's Soul Food Bistro

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

209 South Chestnut St., Gastonia

Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

At Gastonia's Smith's Soul Food Bistro, they cook with a passion and purpose that shows through the smiles of their patrons as they dig into their favorite American comfort foods. For food with soul, you'll just have to try it for yourself.

We recommend: Can't decide between Breakfast and Lunch? Try the Stack and Quack for 2 pancakes and 2 wings.- $10

Spruced Goose Station

Photo courtesy of Spruced Goose Station

118 Wesleyan Dr., McAdenville

Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Support the mission of Holy Angels in providing meaningful employment opportunities for individuals of all abilities by dropping in for breakfast at Spruced Goose Station. Spruced Goose has only been serving Mcadenville for a little over a year now but has waddled its way into the hearts of everyone that stops in.

We recommend: Jumbo Breakfast Sandwich for a breakfast that will fill you up on the go. Two scrambled eggs, with bacon, sausage, turkey or ham, your choice of melted cheese, on toast, or croissant served with a side of Breakfast Potatoes, D's grits, or fresh fruit.- $7

Tex-Mex Backroad Grill

5316 Union Rd., Gastonia

Monday 7 a.m.-3p.m.; Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

For a well-rounded breakfast with a dash of Tex-Mex flare, this Gastonia Tex-Mex restaurant has you covered. With a full menu stop in for a quick bite of one of their breakfast sandwiches or stay awhile to enjoy the colorful and artistic environment. Come for breakfast, stay for dinner.

We recommend: Fajita Breakfast Bowl- This bowl starts with hash browns and is topped with peppers, onions, Philly steak, melted cheese and a side of toast. When in Rome… -$6.99

White’s Restaurant

417 Catawba St., Belmont

Monday-Tuesday, Thursday-Friday, 6 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Wednesday 7 a.m.-4 p.m.; Saturday 6 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Find out what the breakfast lovers in Belmont are munching on with what has been referred to as an “iconic” restaurant in Belmont. White’s offers an array of southern classics for both breakfast and lunch.

We recommend: Gravy Biscuits with a side of hash browns. –Prices vary (cash only)