Breakfast Joints of the Sandhills

Breakfast Joints of the Sandhills

By Nicole Letts

 Whether you are fueling up for a day on the links or simply starting your morning on the right foot, you’re in for a breakfast delight when visiting the Home of American Golf. From coffee shops to trackside noshes, there are some seriously captivating and delicious spots to start your day in and around Pinehurst, Southern Pines, and Aberdeen. At each spot below, you’ll find more than just a cup of coffee.

The Track

Set just beyond the fence of the Pinehurst Harness Track, The Track Restaurant is an unassuming eatery. Once parked alongside the horse track facility itself, head toward the cinderblock building where a small open sign will beckon you through the door. Order at the counter before sitting at any of the empty tables. The best table in the house is right by the window. Here, you might get lucky and see daily warm-ups from horses and riders. The menu is simple yet satiating. You’ll find eggs prepared any way, sausage, bacon, and home fries. However, the real star of the show is the enormous blueberry pancakes served piping hot. Enjoy your meal before paying at the register. Heads-up: it’s cash only, so plan accordingly!

Pinehurst Track
Pine Scone Cafe

With two locations in the Sandhills area, Pine Scone offers not one but two menus full of sweet and savory scones. Rae Anne Kinney began selling her scones in 2009, and by 2016 the demand outgrew her home kitchen. She opened her first retail shop in Pinehurst followed by a second, larger cafe in neighboring Southern Pines. Flavors range from cranberry almond orange to savory jalapeno cheddar and just about everything in between. Kinney also offers take-and-bake options that are ideal for entertaining or having a scone whenever your heart desires.

Pines Scone
Pine Crest Inn

Early risers rejoice! Pine Crest Inn is the perfect place to start your before-sunrise day. Breakfast is served beginning at 6:30 AM, Monday through Saturday and starts at 7:00 AM on Sundays. As such, the inn has become a go-to choice for those with early tee times and business meetings. The inn has a storied history, especially because it was once owned by Donald Ross, who is considered to be the father of modern-day golf course architecture. While weekday breakfast is reliable, the most well-known meal at Pine Crest Inn is its Sunday brunch buffet. Served until 12:30 PM, guests are treated to an omelet station, biscuits and gravy, pastries and cereals, and much more.

Pine Crest Inn
Swank Coffee Shop

One part coffee house, one part handmade market, Swank Coffee Shop in Southern Pines offers a variety of coffees, espressos, baked goods, and more. The store has a seasonal menu that keeps regulars and newcomers excited to sip. In addition to their robust roasts, Swank stocks a collection of locally made goods.

Swank Coffee
The Villager Deli

This restaurant is a local hotspot. Opened in 1982, The Villager Deli sits in the heart of Pinehurst Village. A majority of ingredients are locally sourced, which makes for a regionally inspired menu. Typical breakfast favorites are available, or you can select from a few more decadent items such as eggs benedict, avocado toast, or croissant French toast. Choose a seat on the restaurant’s expansive porch, which is ideal for cool breezes and people watching too.

The Villager Deli

Nicole Letts is an Atlanta-based freelance journalist focused on the modern American South. Some of the country’s top magazines and digital publications have published her work, including AAA Explorer Alabama, Architectural Digest, BBC Travel, Fodor’s Travel, Garden & Gun, Good Grit, Southern Living and many more. She is also the author of the new book, Unique Eats and Eateries of Alabama. When she’s not writing, you can find stitching cheeky needlepoint canvases or perusing local antique shops for her online business, Grandmillennial Shop.


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