Where I send my friends for breakfast

From   |  May 18, 2014
In Hometown Scoop

From Harden Rives: Kitchen Scoop Assistant

I moved to Wilmington nearly six years ago to attend UNCW with little else on my mind but the beach. What I didn’t realize as a wide-eyed eighteen year old was that the beach, while beautiful and relaxing, wasn’t what made me fall in love with this town: It was the food. In the beginning of my college career, I did my best to use my meal plan that my mother had so graciously paid for, but the school cafeteria lost its appeal around week three. So, I ventured out in hopes of finding food that would revive my taste buds, and the rest is history.

My friends always ask where they should eat when they come to Wilmington. There are too many fantastic eateries in Wilmington to name them all, but there are several places that I am always certain to leave with a happy heart and fully belly. First we'll deal with breakfast -

I grew up the notion that breakfast was most important meal of the day, but when I got to college it was often my most frequently skipped meal. When I graduated and got a job I actually had to be awake during breakfast hours. Upon venturing out and sampling some breakfast spots around town, I realized the injustice I was doing myself by missing the morning hours and the food that comes with it. Two of my favorite places to go are Cobblestone Café and The Dixie Grill – both downtown.

Cobblestone Café, one of Wilmington’s newer breakfast spots, sits nestled on the corner of Water and Orange Streets amidst the shops at Chandler’s Wharf. If you’re not careful you may miss it, and that would be shame. Owners Breana and Mike have a way of making everyone feel like old friends, even if it’s your fist time there. I typically opt for the “Build Your Own” breakfast option with eggs, bacon, home fries (to die for) and perhaps the biggest English muffin I’ve ever seen. Breana will hand you one of the many mugs that have been collected from different travel destinations over the years and you get to pick from four different types of coffee – one of my favorite features of this place. I have never left Cobblestone dissatisfied and that to me speaks volumes. Side note from Alicia: I treat myself to their delicious pancake breakfast at least every other week. It is worth saving up my carb calories for a short stack of their delicious pancakes!

The Dixie Grill, one of Wilmington’s older breakfast joints, is also a crowd pleaser. Its location on Market Street between Second and Front Streets makes it quite easy to stumble upon. Their full bar is a great place to sit while waiting with a mimosa and their charming decor is very indicative of Wilmingtonian culture. Once you’ve been seated and served up some of their banana pecan French toast, you will see what all the fuss is about. But don’t forget to keep your head up while you’re eating; even celebrities can’t get enough of The Dixie Grill and you will often see stars of your favorite films and TV shows shot here in the Port City enjoying themselves, too. Side note from Alicia: I can't get enough of their over-stuffed ham and cheese egg scramble served in a huge fluffy biscuit - Yum!

If you're going:

Cobblestone Café-
225 S Water St, Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 202-5701

The Dixie Grill
116 Market St. Wilmington, NC 28401
(910) 762-7280

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