Editor’s note: Local Tech Wire’s continuing series on ‘hot spots’ for business today focuses on the AM side of the Triangle. Business doesn’t start at 8 a.m., as entrepreneurs and investors well know.

Try between 6:30 and 8 a.m. over a cup of hot java and breakfast.

The Triangle is blessed with a number of places where business gets done before people head to the office. Here is a look, by area:


Atlanta Bread Co. and Café

Where: 7400 Six Forks Road, Raleigh 919-845-0030
When To Go: Breakfast or Lunch.
What It’s Like: Deli sandwiches, soups, salads, sweets and coffee drinks. This Atlanta chain offers casual dining and bread products baked fresh daily on-site. For a decadent breakfast, try the bear claw or pecan roll.
Who Goes: Dave Murray (Triangle Jumpstart) and potential partners and clients.

Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant

Where: 220 Wolfe St., Raleigh 919-836-9909
When To Go: Breakfast or Lunch.
What It’s Like: Founded by ex-tobacco farmer Ed, Big Ed’s is perfect for hungry lumberjacks…or businessmen…looking for country grub. At dawn, choose from fried eggs, buttery biscuits and red-eye gravy. When the sun is all the way up, try the fried chicken, steak or crab cakes with all the fixin’s. Get there early to beat the crowds.
Who Goes: Ben Brooks says Big Ed’s is a popular spot with downtowners.

Cup A Joe

Where: 3100 Hillsborough St., Raleigh 919-876-4588
When To Go: Breakfast, lunch or a quick meeting.
What It’s Like: Located on the main college drag, Cup A Joe’s primary clients are students from Meredith College and N.C. State. Many coffee experts say this artsy coffeehouse offers the best beans in town. If you’re looking for a small bite, choose from cookies, pastries, muffins and bagel sandwiches. Rumor has it the owners encourage tables to turn quickly.
Who Goes: Public relations firm Porter Novelli Convergence Group has been spotted here with its customer Nitronex.

Horwitz’s Delicatessen

Where: 107 S. Edinburgh Drive, Cary 919-467-2007
When To Go: Breakfast or Lunch at this two-story, New York-style deli in MacGregor Village Shopping Center.
What It’s Like: Omelets, corned beef hash and the nova platter in the A.M., followed by cold cuts, cheeses, reubens, tongue sandwiches and matzo ball soup in the P.M.
Who Goes: FullSeven CEO Barrett Joyner loves the food and says, “Northerners feel at home, and Southerners are attracted to the strange and exotic food of the North Country and enjoy getting yelled at in accents they don’t understand.”

New World Music Café
4122 Pleasant Valley Road, Raleigh 919-786-0091
When To Go: Breakfast or Lunch.
What It’s Like: The hip North Raleigh coffeehouse uses Larry’s Beans, a local coffee bean roasting company, in its coffee drinks and plays world music softly in the background. Pastries in the morning and sandwiches at lunch.
Who Goes: The guys at LiveWire Logic go for its “awesome pastries” and its quiet and relaxing atmosphere well suited for private conversations.

Chapel Hill and Durham

Caffe Driade

Where: 1215 E Franklin St., Chapel Hill 919-942-2333
When To Go: Breakfast or anytime during the day to catch a quick buzz. A quiet spot for one-on-one meetings and interviews.
What It’s Like: Tucked away in the foliage on Franklin Street, it’s easy to miss. With more outdoor seating than indoor, it’s a great place to chat about a business plan while enjoying a nice fall or spring day. Pastries from the Durham bakery Guglhupf fuel light breakfast eaters, while bowls of latte sate most “caffiends”. For non-coffee drinkers, Driade offers teas, alcohol and juices.
Who Goes: Consultant Bill Dunk goes for the atmosphere and the café’s best kept secret: its cigars.

Foster’s Market

Where: 2694 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd Durham 919-489-3944
750 Airport Rd Chapel Hill, NC 919-967-3663
When To Go: Breakfast or lunch at this rustic market resembling Oakville Grocery in the Napa Valley region. Lots of indoor and outdoor seating.
What It’s Like: In the morning, choose from California-style omelets, breakfast burritos, bagel sandwiches, scones, muffins and pastries galore. Or check out the smoothie/coffee bar. For lunch, pick from gourmet wraps, cold and grilled sandwiches, soups and pasta salads. Traffic at Foster’s got a nice boost after it was featured in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.
Who Goes: Occasional sightings of Jonathan Perl (Intersouth) and Randall Gregg (Triangle TechJournal).

Fowler’s Fine Food & Wine Store

Where: 112 S. Duke St., Durham 919-683-2555
When To Go: Lunch or breakfast on the two-story back porch, overlooking Brightleaf Square.
What It’s Like: High-end deli sandwiches and baked goods, H&H Bagels from New York City, shelves stocked with wine, micro brews, and gourmet items.
Who Goes: A local consultant says “You’re apt to bump into anyone at Fowler’s.”

Rick’s Diner

Where: 4015 University Drive, Suite A, Durham 919-419-0907
When To Go: Breakfast or Lunch. A casual spot for interviews and informal sales presentations.
What It’s Like: Typical Southern breakfast grub like eggs, biscuits and gravy, grits, hash browns and some of the best hotcakes in the Triangle, served up by a friendly waitress who will probably call you “Honey.” Lunch fare includes soups, salads, burgers, barbeque and a variety of meat-and-two-vegetables combination.
Who Goes: Just a stone’s throw from Intersouth Partners’ offices, chances are you’ll spot Malcolm Kendall or Jonathan Perl at this country diner.


Brigs at the Park

Where: 4900 Hwy 55, RTP 919-544-7473
When To Go: Breakfast or Lunch. A casual spot for interviews, informal sales presentations, demos. Can get crowded.
What It’s Like: Cafeteria-style deli in the heart of RTP draws one and all. Breakfast “skillets” in the AM, followed by a selection of exotic wrap sandwiches, salads and desserts lift it out of the common sub-shop category. The salmon wrap and broccoli salad come highly recommended.
Who Goes: Dan Allred (Council for Entrepreneurial Development), plus assorted venture capitalists and entrepreneurs who work nearby. Mitch Mumma (Intersouth Partners) says he’s seen deals made on the back of a napkin here.

The chains

Barnes & Noble Booksellers Cafes

Where: 5400 New Hope Commons, Durham 919-489-3012; 4325 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh 919-782-0030; 760 SE Maynard, Cary 467-3866
When To Go: Breakfast or a light bite.
What It’s Like: The typical café found at bookstore giant Barnes & Noble offering pastries and biscotti paired with chais, coffees, juices or herbal teas.
Who Goes: Reid Conrad (Commerciality), as well as public relations specialist Laurie Zuckerman, have been spotted at the Durham location.

Starbucks Coffee

Where: Multiple locations…or everywhere, so it seems…in the Triangle.
When To Go: Breakfast or anytime during the day. Convenient locations for quick meetings.
What It’s Like: The ubiquitous chain that introduced gourmet and have-it-your-way java drinks to the world. From skinny, decaf lattes to mochaccinos, Starbucks persuaded America to pay up to $4 for a coffee drink.
Who Goes: Who doesn’t? Shawn Ramsey-Kroboth prefers its hot cocoa, since she’s not a coffee drinker, and digs the café’s Internet connections.

Wellspring Grocery

Where: 621 Broad St., Bull City Market, Durham 919-286-2290
81 S Elliott Rd., Village Plaza, Chapel Hill 919-968-1983
3540 Wade Ave., Ridgewood Shopping Center, Raleigh 919-828-5805
When To Go: With three locations…one in Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham…Wellspring is a convenient option for most local business execs looking for a casual breakfast or lunch spot.
What It’s Like: In the A.M., the cafeteria-style café offers scrambled eggs, cheese grits, bacon, tofu eggs and fresh baked goods, followed by soups, a monster salad bar, hot entrees and plenty of vegetarian options at lunch. For the uber-healthy, there’s a fresh fruit and veggie juice bar.
Who Goes: The Wade Avenue location is popular for breakfast with Brooks Malone and his colleagues at Hughes Pittman and Gupton.

Coming Thursday: Dinner spots in the Triad.