Best Brunch Spots in Philadelphia
Weekends are made for brunching in the city
Weekends are made for brunching — chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a cup of a coffee and a few refills (or maybe a few Bloody Marys).
And, to be sure, it’s always sunny-side up in Philadelphia. Philly boasts a wide array of fantastic brunch options, whether you’re craving a five-star buffet with caviar, a Latin feast of plantains and agua fresca cocktails or fresh granola and locally grown blueberries.
So next time you’re looking for where to go for an awesome brunch in Philadelphia, you need only consult this list.
Adjacent to the gorgeous new Hotel Monaco and overlooking Independence Mall, Red Owl Tavern offers a perfect perch for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Snag a seat on the new sidewalk patio or in the airy dining room to choose from chef Guillermo Tellez’s feel-good dishes like build-your-own oatmeal or granola pancakes and indulgent eats like Denver-cut steak and eggs or huevos rancheros.
The long-awaited second location of Honey’s opened on South Street, and the Graduate Hospital neighborhood rejoiced. Believe the hype and go for weekend brunch, which might include challah French toast, enfrijoladas or biscuits with gravy.
Refined dining extends to Sunday brunch at Ela, the stylish Queen Village restaurant from chefs Jason Cichonski and Chip Roman. Dine indoors or out on elevated morning makers like biscuits with bone marrow, short rib eggs Benedict and French toast with hot chocolate chip cookie dough. The brunch cocktail list deserves attention, too; try a truffled or kimchee Bloody Mary.
With just a handful of tables, this intimate Graduate Hospital eatery keeps things simple and fresh. Serving breakfast all day, everyday, folks can stay or take-away eggs sandwiches, bagels and whitefish and omelets with a side of Miles Sriracha turkey sausage.
With all the furnishings and fittings of a traditional pub, The Cambridge invites diners to kick back and settle in either indoors or on the backyard patio for its weekend brunch. Start with a house-made Bloody Mary before digging in to pork-belly sliders with a quail egg or a Taylor pork roll and chorizo egg sandwich.
House-made and local are the mantras at this Bella Vista neighborhood spot, which recently debuted alfresco seating. On Saturdays and Sundays, The Mildred dishes an accessible-yet-sophisticated brunch, serving plates like beetroot-cured wild salmon and ricotta pancakes.
In Graduate Hospital, hungry brunch-goers already know newcomer SoWe will satisfy with hearty fare and casual digs. Served up both Saturday and Sunday, menu standouts include piled plates ranging from sweet (carrot-cake waffles, bacon beignets) to savory (Kentucky hot brown, house-cured lox). Vegetarians will do well here, too, with veg-friendly dishes like vegan Ruebens and vegetable hash.
Chef Christopher Lee’s contemporary American bistro, Sophia’s, began brunch service in April with a curated menu of breakfast stars like brioche French toast and classic eggs Benedict, and lunch bites like Virginia ham and Gruyere pressed sandwiches and meatballs with polenta. Don’t miss the Smokin’ Mary cocktail — a Bloody laced with smoked poblanos.
Though a meal may be made solely of Metropolitan Bakery’s fantastic just-baked breads and pastries, at Metropolitan Cafe daily brunching options reach beyond baked goods with a modest menu spanning house-cured salmon to creative grilled cheese.
This Queen Village pub maintains its bar-appropriate menu through Saturday and Sunday brunch with heavy-hitters like bourbon-banana pancakes and a French toast burger with bacon cream cheese whiskey maple syrup. Lighter fare features prominently too, though, with smoked-salmon eggs Benedict, quinoa salad and nice selection of omelets.
Along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in verdant Sister Cities Park, an outpost of West Philly-staple Milk and Honey keeps families and museum-goers well fed. On Saturdays and Sundays, a $10.95 per person prix-fixe brunch includes coffee or tea and from-scratch waffles or made-to-order eggs. Snag an alfresco table for an exceedingly pleasant experience.
Marc Vetri’s newest spot, Alla Spina on North Broad Street, has a new Italian Sunday brunch that’s a must-try. The pig’s head hash poutine is a winner, especially washed down with one of the excellent brunch cocktails.
As of this July, brunch is available at Morgan’s Pier on Saturdays and Sundays starting at noon. It’s the only chance, outside of their actual shop, to get Philadelphia’s beloved Federal Donuts. Other brunch favorites include the Monte Cristo, Crispy Pulled Pork Patty Sandwich and the Salmon BLT. And a heads up: Morgan’s Pier is closing for the season on Sunday, September 30, so make sure to get there before next weekend!
Brunch at the awesome new Hickory Lane American bistro in Fairmount, offered Saturdays and Sundays, means light, refreshing salads, hearty sandwiches and bright egg dishes, all for under $15.
Saturday and Sunday brunch at the newest restaurant on Rittenhouse Square, Rittenhouse Tavern, combines deliciously fresh plates (we love the heritage turkey schnitzel with red eye gravy) with an excellent setting. Whether you’re indoors, inside the Philadelphia Art Alliance, or outside in the quaint courtyard, you’ll feel transported.
This popular Northern Liberties spot has brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays. The menu offers decadent Spanish dishes like huevos de cordoniz escalfados (poached quail eggs with jamón Serrano, saffron aioli and piquillo peppers) and banana-and-chocolate-stuffed empanadas. You can also get in on their new brunch special, $3 a glass or $12 per pitcher of mimosas and bloody marys.
On Saturdays and Sundays, this Pennsport bar from the guys behind Good Dog aimed at restaurant industry members dishes up brunch to the masses. They’ve got a whole section of the menu devoted to Hangover Cures, and bottomless coffee for three bucks.
Graduate Hospital’s popular Sidecar Bar & Grille serves a priced-right Saturday and Sunday brunch with a great range of options for any appetite, whether you’re craving bloodies or bellinis, burritos or benes. Bonus: they’ve opened up a new second floor.
This East Passyunk staple offers brunch daily — the perfect excuse to play hooky. Cantina’s comprehensive Mexican menu offers all manner of empanadas, tostadas and tacos, plus a full suite of brunch beverages like tequila-laden Mexican favorites and Bloody Marys infused with garlic and basil.
It may look like a typical diner on the outside, but Silk City serves up anything but standard brunch fare on the inside. And what better to go with smothered chicken and waffles, cider-braised pork belly hash or shrimp and grits than one of their specialty lunch cocktails (the options change weekly) or a beer from the 35+ option suds list?
Oui, monsieur, we will take another of those delicious bread baskets. Parc’s brunch menu just gets better after the bread, with a perfect quiche lorraine, chicken paillard, pommes frites and other French plates that pair perfectly with prime Rittenhouse Square people-watching.
Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy’s Washington Square spot offers elegant plates starring local ingredients during its Sunday brunch, like seared scallops and farro salad with market veggies and an omelet with local Kennett Square mushrooms. And for those who prefer garden views (which are aplenty) with a splash of liquor, there are cocktails like The Optimist featuring citrus vodka, sweet tea, huckleberry and lemon.
You can’t ask for a better view for Sunday brunch than the gorgeous waterfront vista in front of Water Works Restaurant on the Schuylkill River. The Sunday brunch buffet is worth getting dressed up for, and perfect for special occasions. It’s $40/person, kids 12 and under $17.50.
If you find yourself in Graduate Hospital on the weekend, head directly to Pub & Kitchen for brunch, where there is great outdoor seating along 20th Street. P&K has just launched a brand-new brunch menu with a lot of awesome-sounding choices — a grilled cheese with duck rillette on sourdough, bourbon butterscotch French toast, a maple bacon sticky bun, etc. And be sure to try one of their award-winning Bloody Marys.
Chef Evan Turney’s spot in Washington Square West offers creative, kicked-up American food by night, and equally compelling brunch dishes by weekend day. Cheese fries come topped with truffle oil and jumbo lump crab meat (but don’t call them “Crab Fries”); grilled cheese comes with the most velvety, decadent tomato soup imaginable; and with a knowledgeable bar staff to guide you through the 19 beers on tap, there’s no way you’ll go thirsty during a meal here.
Nothing says brunch like $3 Bloodies or Rattlers. During Sunday brunch, the eye-openers are just $3 until 2 p.m. at Fishtown beer garden Frankford Hall, where the adult beverages pair well with a handful of breakfast items — including fluffy pancakes and a tasty egg sandwich with German sausage and Gruyere. When the weather is fine, the alfresco courtyard is an ideal spot to sip away the afternoon.
Nighttime revelers keep the party going at The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar and its sibling The Continental Mid-town, with brioche French toast, tiramisu waffles or a turkey club with caramelized apple mayo, all of which can be accompanied by a champagne cocktail or an espresso martini.
The burgers, fried smelts and chalkboard omelet specials at Northern Liberties’ Standard Tap can chase any hangover away, though a pint of local microbrewed beer won’t hurt, either.
We just love Chef Guillermo Tellez’s food. Brunch at Hotel Palomar’s Square 1682 means locally sourced, sophisticated American fare with excellent cocktails to boot. Dog lovers, take note, pet-friendly during the summer months.
As purveyors of farm-fresh food, The Food Trust Farmers’ Markets are excellent destinations for weekend grazing, with locations across the region. Open year-round every Saturday, the Clark Park market in Spruce Hill and the Fitler Square market deliver grab-and-go foodstuffs from vendors and food trucks. Come May, the Headhouse Market will bustle will fresh-food lovers every Sunday.
In 2013, Farm to City rolls out 18 farmers’ markets around town, including the always-bustling year-round Rittenhouse Square market every Saturday. Plenty of brunch-appropriate goods abound — from fresh breads to lovely lemonade and more.
A West Philly institution, The Gold Standard Cafe keeps its faithful crowd full and happy with a menu of hearty homemade fare during its busy weekend brunch. Go for one of the three preparations of eggs Benedict, all served on homemade English muffin, and for those who want to BYOB, pitchers of Bloody Mary mix are standing by. When the weather is fine, outside tables pop up.
Specializing in eco-conscious fare with local and sustainable ingredients, Green Eggs (in South Philly, Northern Liberties and Midtown Village) makes socially responsible breakfast super tasty (and BYOB) every day with peanut butter crunchy French toast with blackberry coulis; scrambled eggs over homemade biscuits with sausage gravy; and quinoa porridge with fresh berries.
At all three of its locations (in Bella Vista, Fairmount and University City), Sabrina’s redefines brunch with creative dazzlers like the blue cheese frittata, polenta fries and, of course, its famous thick slices of French toast stuffed with all manner of sweets.
The Loft District’s sleek Café Lift specializes in European-style delicacies like a banana and chocolate hazelnut crespelle and a pesto and tomato frittata with thick home fries.
Stephen Starr’s take on the The Brady Bunch living room delivers on the brunch front in a way that would make Carol proud. You must order the shareable monkey bread, served gooey and hot, followed by any of the delicious egg dishes (spinach and feta omelette with tater tots, smoked salmon benedict). And don’t forget the great brunch cocktails.
The lines out the door never lie: Sam’s Morning Glory Diner is a favorite for its homemade ketchup and creative pancake specials served with a side of hot biscuits (MUST try the biscuits) and greasy-spoon attitude.
A homey hipster hideaway in Northern Liberties, Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat charms with its fusion of Southern and Jewish fare. Think chicken-fried steak, fresh biscuits and giant crispy latkes. Get there early to avoid a long wait. P.S. A second location is opening in Graduate Hospital in the coming months.
A Philadelphia catering institution since 1981, Day by Day at 21st and Sansom Streets also serves a mean brunch to a dedicated local following Fridays through Sundays. The stuffed challah French toast is seriously good (even though it’s not the size of your head, as at Sabrina’s — which may be a good thing), and make sure you order at least one thing from the specials menu.
Lots more brunches below, including Great Deals, Non-Traditional Options and more.
In lovely Mt. Airy, the uber-charming Trolley Car Diner sits right on Germantown Avenue and beckons with daily served-all-day breakfast offerings. It’s a gimme to head here for weekend meals, too, which could include malted Belgian waffles, homemade corned beef hash or cornmeal-dusted catfish with cheesy grits. A trip to the Trolley Car wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the adjacent converted 1948 trolley car for ice cream or water ice.
Open for breakfast daily and a weekend brunch, Chhaya is an East Passyunk Avenue go-to for fair-trade coffee, homemade pastries (including vegan cupcakes) and a lengthy menu of decadent waffles, which can be laced with sweet or savory toppings from classic macerated berries and maple syrup to veggie chili and cheddar cheese.
On Baltimore Avenue in West Philly, Aksum brings bright Mediterranean flavors to the brunch table. The extensive menu includes such reliable Medi standards as a fattush salad and a chicken pita wrap, but also goes beyond basics with Moroccan-style eggs with spicy ground beef, sweet corn griddlecakes topped with blueberry compote and caramelized fig crepes with red onion and cinnamon cream cheese.
At East Passyunk’s Italian kitchen Birra, brunch has an appealing Italian-American accent. Dig in to the brunch calzone filled with house-cured pancetta, scrambled eggs and mozzarella, or go the dessert-for-brunch route with tiramisu waffles. Go ahead, add a side of locally sourced and house-cured meat — especially the Fiorella’s sausage made in the nearby Italian Market.
Stephen Starr’s most recent culinary contribution to the city incorporates seafood favorites from its dinner menu into a versatile brunch menu. Go the breakfast route and try the salmon, crab or traditional eggs Benedict, or if you’re more in the mood for lunch, try the irresistible chicken fried lobster tails. Hint — a basket of the cinnamon sugar donuts with raspberry dipping sauce is a crowd pleaser.
This Southern-inspired eatery on South Street offers weekend brunch to complement its Southern-style dinner and drink offerings. Highlights include shrimp and grits and — get ready for this — a duck confit and chaurice omelet. They bake the bread onsite daily, but they also offer a gluten-free menu. Beverages are plentiful as well, with a menu of Southern-inspired cocktails like the Deep South and the Mint Julep.
Australian-style coffees (flat white or long black, anyone?) accompany “brekkie platters” of eggs, bacon-stacked sandwiches and French toast with sour cream sauce at this South Street favorite in Graduate Hospital.
Stephen Starr’s Mexican spot in Midtown Village has an all-new brunch menu available on Sundays. Pair your Crab and Corn Omelet, Breakfast Burrito, Huevos Sopes with Chipotle Hollandaise or Steak and Egg Chilaquiles with a Blood Orange mimosa, the perfect breakfasty take on their super popular Blood Orange margarita.
Stephen Starr’s English-style pub in Rittenhouse Square is known for fish and chips, but the brunch menu is its hidden gem. Scotch Pancakes, with gooey, glazed apples and cinnamon-tinged cream, are the perfect start to a weekend day. But once you get one of the Dandelion Pub’s signature cocktails in hand — like the Beer Flip, with chocolate stout, marmalade and a whole egg — you may not want to do anything at all.
French fare typically dominates the kitchen at Cochon, a cozy BYOB spot in Queen Village, but the brunch menu is a pan-national meat-lovers’ affair with Eggs Cochon (poached, over slow-roasted pork shoulder with a bacon cheddar biscuit) and deep-fried oysters served with fennel slaw and bacon mayonnaise.
The flavors of Cyprus come alive at this Washington Square BYOB, where the brunch menu features flavorful goodies like crepes stuffed with manouri cheese and drizzled with carob syrup; eggs stewed in tomato and pepper with grilled bread; and ground lamb flatbreads with pine nuts.
Every day feels like Sunday at Mixto, a Cuban/Columbian hotspot on Pine Street’s Antique Row. The daily breakfast offerings include Argentinean steak and eggs, frittata Colombiana and huevos rancheros. Bonus: sunny outdoor seating in the warm months.
Brunch at Amis is a little under the radar, but that’s actually a good thing. The brunch menu transports you to Italy with perfect pastas and other fare: baked pecorino with almond honey, salumi misti, rotini with breakfast sausage and egg yolk, braised san marzano tomatoes with farm eggs and basil, and housemade polenta scrapple. Also, don’t sleep on the Cannonball.
If you haven’t tried Jose Garces’ GTC for brunch, you haven’t tried it at all. The Saturday and Sunday brunch menu is a bite right out of the Mediterranean with cheese, charcuterie, eggs, sandwiches and so much more. The $25/person menu option includes your choice of one main, one side, and one dessert plus unlimited Garces Trading Company Coffee. And did we mention it’s one of the best brunches in America? Done and done.
This cozy Queen Village restaurant and bar specializes in locally sourced fare and offers an awesome brunch on weekends. Try the Italian Breakfast, with house-made gnocchi that’s absolutely to die for and a variety of local veggies, or the butter beans, braised with tomato and ale and served on brioche toast. There are also plenty of local brews and a cocktail menu featuring drinks like an all-organic Bloody Mary. And don’t sleep on the wood-fired pizzas; especially the porchetta.
Never mind the name. Supper serves a superb brunch with chilaquiles navidad replete with homemade chorizo; red velvet waffles with cream cheese mousse; a cereal bar; and a roasted tomato and gruyère-topped burger with duck-fat fries (an egg can be added for extra brunch effect).
Crepe craving? Located in Fairmount, the cozy French Cafe L’Aube offers breakfast and lunch (=brunch) seven days a week. L’Aube serves its own micro-batch roasted L’Aube Torrefaction coffee and has free wireless. What’s not to love?
Iron Chef Jose Garces does an expert Mexican brunch at his University City restaurant Distrito. You have two options: for $10, get “Kegs & Eggs” with your choice of one of four beers and one of four egg dishes; or for $20, get the prix-fixe brunch, which includes a selection of two courses (with tons of options for each) along with Garces Trading Company coffee.
Brunch-goers generally overflow onto the sidewalk at Hawthornes, a Bella Vista-neighborhood standby. A beer cafe with more than 1,000 single bottles, 12 growler fills and eight rotating drafts, an excellent selection of brews often fills tables alongside brunch dishes hailing from around the world — think traditional Welsh rarebit, Mexican-style breakfast nachos and Southern fried chicken and waffles.
Lemon Hill is a neighborhood favorite, located right by the Philadelphia Museum of Art offering a delicious brunch with serious cocktails. Dishes like brown sugar soaked French toast, with vanilla whipped cream cheese, chocolate maple syrup, pretzels and mint, can be chased with creative cocktails from The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. folks, like the Blues Explosion, with whiskey, fresh grapefruit, maple and angostura.
Weekend brunch at SPTR in South Philly is a great deal. You can get in and out for a cool twelve bucks, and if you want to start your day off with a cold one (no judgement), you’re at the right place. Also, it’s worth noting that the vegan options are delicious even for meat-lovers.
Aside from its strong local beer program and awesome live music upstairs, a hallmark of Fishtown’s Johnny Brenda’s is its focus on fresh and seasonal fare. In fact, the menu is written on chalkboards around the restaurant since it changes so often, in tune with what’s in season. Even when they’re not hosting one of their awesome brunch events, Johnny Brenda’s is a brunch go-to.
Bloody Mary fan? Go no further. This Old City spot has one of the most impressive Bloody Mary bars we have ever laid eyes on, a perfect quaff to match the veggie-friendly brunch offerings. There are 11 egg dishes, French baguette toast and both plain and blueberry pancakes on offer, all great.
Six words: Make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. The food at London Grill is excellent, but it’s the make-your-own Bloody Mary’s that really sets their brunch apart from the rest. Choose your vodka (highly suggest the bacon infused vodka), choose your Bloody Mary mix and then add as many ingredients as you need to create the ultimate brunch cocktail.
The N’awlins-style kitchen at Khyber Pass Pub is the perfect place to indulge in Louisiana flavors like shrimp, tasso and grits smothered in Creole gravy; Bananas Foster French Toast; and bourbon milk punch. Also, don’t miss the Creole Bloody Mary.
Sister restaurant to Devil’s Alley in Rittenhouse, Smokin’ Betty’s in Washington Square West has a solid weekend brunch that changes with the seasons. The menu is sparing, which makes it easy to order, and the drinks; oh, the drinks. Whatever the seasonal sangria is, order it. And don’t forget they’ve got a whole second floor, with bright and airy windows and comfy booths.
West Philly beer bar Local 44 serves brunch on weekends that includes a fried-egg-topped burger. No matter what you order, you can wash it down with any of the 500+ bottles in the Local 44 beer bottle shop.
Valanni has a new Saturday and Sunday brunch menu, and the offerings are unbeatable. Think chocolate chip and banana pancakes with vanilla-maple syrup, ricotta-walnut cream; and the “Valanni Hangover,” two eggs any style, pancakes, chorizo or bacon and home fries accompanied by a virgin Bloody Mary. And speaking of brunch cocktails, $25 gets you unlimited Blood Marys or Mimosas.
At the lively McKenzie Brew House in Chadds Ford, Devon and Malvern, brunchers wash down the brewer’s breakfast (steak and eggs) or the chicken and eggs burrito with refreshing pints and champagne cocktails.
Set in the Robertson’s Flowers’ solarium, Cake offers a brunch that’s unrivaled for its sunny, family-friendly atmosphere, smoked salmon and potato pancake plates, breakfast pizza and to-die-for baked goods.
The seasonal New American menu at Old City’s Fork is always changing, with the exception of the house-baked scones and buns, house-cured salmon and fluffy omelets stuffed with local ingredients.
The morning buffet at chic Nineteen (XIX) at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue begins with continental pastries, an extensive raw bar and pan-Asian dim sum; continues with egg and waffle entrees; and includes mimosas and Bloody Marys along the way.
Housed in The Rittenhouse, Lacroix serves a filling Sunday brunch prix- fixe menu ($69 per person) featuring appetizers, raw-bar specialties, a chef’s table hot buffet and wine pairings. This is a special occasion brunch that surely will not disappoint. A decadent dessert table and live music round out the offerings.
One of Philly’s favorite farm-to-table BYOBs serves brunch to hungry locavores every weekend. Mains include buckwheat crêpes and Maine lobster omelets prepared with marinated heirloom tomatoes, chili oil and garlic chives. There are also classic European pastries to go along with the cafe’s many beverage options, including Counter Culture coffee, a carefully curated selection of tea, homemade seasonal sodas and fresh-squeezed juice.
This spot is University City’s go-to destination for up-market cuisine served in a warmly lit townhouse. Morning offerings include Elvis-style French toast with peanut butter mousse, caramelized bananas and hickory smoked bacon; and duck confit panini with goat cheese and pickled red onions.
Fine dining tastes even better in the daylight hours with Jake’s expansive brunch menu. A fan favorite, the eggs benedict features arguably the city’s best crab cake topped with brioche and leek cream. Other options include a lobster omelet, bananas foster pancakes and small plates like butter nut squash mac and cheese.
Sea lubbers hop aboard the Moshulu for a Sunday brunch on the water, featuring champagne, a three-course prix-fixe meal and dessert buffets. Diners can choose a nautical-themed meal like the Maine diver scallops over risotto or keep it traditional with the caramel apple brioche French toast.
The first meal of the day is the mainstay at downtown West Chester’s Market Street Grill, which has developed a devoted following for its brown sugar-swirl French toast with caramelized bananas and Kennett Square mushroom omelet.
Come weekends, Old City’s adorable Wedge + Fig serves up memorable panini like the Bleu Figs (Fourme d’Ambert bleu cheese, fig preserves and prosciutto on pretzel bread), the Betty Draper (truffled egg salad, cucumber and lemon salt on whole wheat with candy cigarettes on the side) and Tamamend (brie, house-roasted turkey, walnut mustard aioli, mango and arugula on brioche).