If there’s one thing that plentiful in Charlotte, it’s brunch. No matter what you’re craving, there always seems to be an option of tasty chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits or breakfast sandwiches ready to satisfy your cravings. Brunch in the Queen City is also a transcendent experience, meaning it has the power to take you to knew places. Two restaurants in particular feature destination menu options, with enough flavor to transport you halfway around the world. It’s an experience that we had to try to believe.

Ruby Sunshine

The first stop is at Ruby Sunshine, a New Orleans-themed breakfast/brunch spot known for its diverse array of benedict options and breakfast specialties like BBQ shrimp and grits, biscuits & gravy and french toast bites. According to its website, Ruby Sunshine opened in 2008 in Mid-City New Orleans “with the hope of serving as a vibrant gathering place for good food and community while rebuilding the city following Hurricane Katrina.” Ruby Sunshine is located in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood, with additional locations in South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana.

Everything about Ruby Sunshine is big and bold––beginning with the choice of cocktails. One of the drinks we started out with was the peach bellini, which consisted of a sparkling wine base and finished off with peach puree and peach schnapps. Our second drink choice was their original ruby mimosa. It consisted of a generous pour of their sparkling wine, orange and pomegranate juice.

Next up was the appetizer: a nice helping of their fluffy, yet light, french toast bites. Tossed in cinnamon sugar and partnered with cream cheese icing & praline sauce, these were a heavenly offering of what was to come. In addition, we were treated to the pig candy bacon bites, applewood-smoked bacon bites with a candy glaze.

For our entree, we got the Chicken St. Charles and Bayou Shrimp Benedicts. We also the chicken sausage breakfast tacos,  filled with a scramble of eggs, pico de gallo, pepper jack cheese, chipotle sour cream, and avocado served with a side of black beans & rice. Finally, we got the sweet heat-style fried chicken sandwich, served on a brioche bun with cheddar, red onion, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayo.


Dean’s Italian Steakhouse

The JW Mariott in Uptown is quickly becoming one of the trendiest new spots for hanging out in Charlotte. Its Aura Rooftop Bar has garnered much attention for its classy drinks, poolside service and stunning Uptown views. However, just downstairs you’ll find the quaint, yet sophisticated Dean’s Italian Steakhouse.

If you’re looking for a classier way to do brunch, visit the hotel’s staple restaurant. Complete with patio seating and gorgeous uptown views, this eatery creates an ideal brunch environment whether you’re waking up at the hotel or just stopping by for something good to eat.

We got things started off with the refreshing mai tai mimosa, complete with a splash of rum, orange & lime juice, and champagne. For our entree, we got the italian sausage hash, a savory blend of sliced italian sausage, grilled onions, an egg fried hard, and blistered grape tomatoes in a creamy, cheese, butter sauce. We also got the decadent steak & eggs, complete with a cut of Wagyu flat iron steak, soft scrambled eggs and a side of crispy heirloom potatoes.  


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