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April 18, 2014

Roundup: The Best Brunch Spots In Philadelphia – Uwishunu’s Brunch Guide Updated For Spring 2014

Philadelphia offers almost innumerable options in every corner of the city for brilliant weekend brunches. Here, we've rounded up our top picks for spring 2014. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Weekends were made for brunching — chatting with friends, digging into a stack of syrupy pancakes, lingering over a latte or a Bloody Mary.

Brunch is the most important meal of the weekend, and with the start of the spring season, we thought it was high time to revisit our roundup of brilliant Philadelphia brunches.

This city sure knows how to brunch — and we’ve got the list to prove it.

We’ve poured over the nearly endless options for brunching in the City of Brotherly Love, and here offer up more than 100 picks for superlative weekend starters in the neighborhoods of Philadelphia.

With more than a handful of newcomers to the brunch scene, as well as the time-honored standards and on-trend hotspots, Philadelphia brunchgoers have plenty of go-to spots for a late-morning or early-afternoon meal.

Plus, to make this list a bit more digestible, we’ve called out key information for each restaurant including which days brunch is served and particulars like alfresco seating, live music, special-occasion appropriate (bring the parents), family-friendly accommodations (bring the wee ones), vegetarian-friendly menus (hello, tofu scramble), and excellent adult beverages (read: Bloody Marys to die for).

Of course, this list doesn’t include every single brunching option in Philadelphia. So, as always, please let us know your favorite neighborhood brunch spots via our tips line or in the comments below.

Note: Prices and menu items mentioned are accurate as of the published date; always check with the restaurant for the latest prices and dishes.

Newcomers

 
The Gaslight: Old City. Chef Jason Cichonski, a recent cheftestant on Top Chef New Orleans and chef/co-owner of Ela in Queen Village, brings his culinary talents to Old City at The Gaslight, a casual American eatery where brunch is served all day on Sunday from a menu including decadent-sounding sticky bun-style waffles, coddled eggs with corned-beef hash, smoked salmon with crispy capers, buttermilk fried chicken and a big burger. Of the nearly dozen brunch-specific cocktails, diners might just carry a torch for the kimchi Bloody Mary with cucumber vodka. Sunday Only | Brunch Cocktails

a.kitchen: Rittenhouse Square. Though not a brand-new restaurant, per se, neighborhood favorite a.kitchen feels fresh thanks to the partnership between the culinary minds at a.kitchen and the team behind acclaimed Old City establishments Fork and High Street on Market — chef Eli Kulp and owner Ellen Yin. Chef Kulp developed entirely new menus for the Rittenhouse dining destination, and brunch now brings such plates as freshly baked pastries, soft scrambled eggs with sea urchin, French toast with rhubarb and a chicken-fried pork cutlet with fried eggs and black-pepper gravy. We say, welcome to the neighborhood. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

Tela’s Market & Cafe: Fairmount. With an appealing lineup of fine groceries, on-site coffee bar and a whole menu of prepared goods and cafe-style fare, Tela’s Market & Cafe makes for an ideal all-day neighborhood destination. Daily breakfast fare makes for a fine weekend brunch, too, with staples like buttermilk pancakes, house-made granola and a breakfast burrito brimming with chorizo, fried eggs and potato hash. Daily | To-Go

Indeblue: Midtown Village. Crossing over the river from Collingswood, New Jersey, IndeBlue delivers freshly conceived modern Indian cuisine for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch. Set to the dulcet tunes of a live sitar player, brunchgoers can start the day with traditional lentil rice crepes, a paneer scramble or with a sweet American-Indian fusion of challah bread French toast with mango cinnamon cream cheese and cardamom maple syrup. Sunday Only | Live Music

The Good King Tavern: Bella Vista. Charming French brasserie The Good King Tavern is an inviting locale for an eye-opening cocktail and homey brunch fare on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chef Paul Lyons whips up nearly every component in-house on plates like smoked salmon tartines, croque madames with Mornay sauce, leek bread pudding, and poached eggs with house-made bread, breakfast sausage and charred scallion pistou. Don’t pass on a classic cocktail or pichet of chardonnay. Friday, Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Sancho Pistola’s: Fishtown. The second venture for partners Casey Parker, Joe Gunn and Adan Trinidad, Sancho Pistola’s now supplies Fishtown with the same super-quality modern Mexican fare, choice craft brews and cocktails that have earned Jose Pistola’s in Center City raves. The chill eatery’s Saturday and Sunday brunch service keeps things simple by offering a $30 prix-fixe option including one appetizer (go for the tortilla soup), one entree, one side and unlimited mimosas, margaritas or Bloody Marys for two hours. The entire brunch menu is available à la carte, too. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Rosa Blanca: Washington Square West. Philadelphia star chef Jose Garces’ Cuban diner, Rosa Blanca, joins the Washington Square West neighborhood to serve up an unfussy daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, and huevos are on the menu everyday, all day. The affordable desayuno menu (served all day) is anchored by a two-egg platter that comes with a choice of two sides (fried plantains, crispy pork belly and black beans and rice, among other options). Daily | To-Go

Porto: East Passyunk. As the former home of Carmen’s Country Kitchen, it seems that this address is destined for brunch greatness. South Philly’s diminutive bruncher Porto executes big flavors, loosely drawn from Portuguese cuisine. Patrons can pick from the shrimp omelet with spicy piri-piri sauce, the bacalhau cakes over linguica and black olive hash, among many other options. Saturday & Sunday

Vegan Commissary: East Passyunk. Start a meatless morning at Vegan Commissary with spicy miso soup, breakfast wrap, tempeh hash with poached avocado, quinoa porridge, or veggie biscuits and gravy. This casual wholly vegan, cash-only eatery switches up options via its chalkboard menu regularly, so call ahead to check what’s cooking. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | BYO

Bank & Bourbon: Market East. After a complete renovation of the ground-floor dining room, Bank & Bourbon debuted adjacent to the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Helmed by chef Thomas Harkins, the kitchen serves a host of daily breakfast dishes featuring modern updates on American staples — think smoked salmon plates, biscuits with ham and eggs, and lemon-ricotta pancakes. Plus, Saturday and Sunday brunch means a gorgeous spread of decadent eats — don’t miss the ham tasting, pastrami short rib hash and eggs or the cinnamon swirl French toast. Daily

The Avenue Delicatessen: Landsdowne. Until 3 p.m. daily, The Avenue Delicatessen in historic Lansdowne — minutes from Center City — and its creative chef Laura Frangiosa serves up eggs to order, challah French toast, corned beef hash and the classic Jewish plate of whitefish salad, chive cream cheese, tomato, cucumber, red onion on a bagel. Daily

Cafe Ynez: Point Breeze.The latest outpost from Jill Weber and Evan Malone, the husband and wife duo behind Jet Wine Bar and Rex 1516, Cafe Ynez promises brunchers Mexico City-inspired fare from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. The menu appeals to many a palate with items like breakfast burritos, veggie enchiladas and chicken chilaquiles. Bring a bottle of your favorite booze to pair with the restaurant’s house-made mixers and call it a morning. Saturday & Sunday | BYO
 

When the weather is fine, Philadelphians don't miss an opportunity to hit up sidewalk tables — like those at Parc — and secret patios to enjoy a weekend brunch. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Rittenhouse Square

 
Parc: Oui, monsieur, we will take another of those delicious bread baskets. Parc’s brunch menu just gets better after the freshly baked bread, with a perfect quiche Lorraine, chicken paillard, pommes frites and other French plates that pair perfectly with prime Rittenhouse Square people-watching from the abundant and much-coveted alfresco tables. Breakfast at Parc is served weekdays, and brunch is reserved for the weekends. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Lacroix: Housed in the tony Rittenhouse hotel, Lacroix serves a superb Sunday brunch prix-fixe menu ($69 per person) featuring a sumptuous spread of appetizers, raw-bar specialties, a chef’s table hot buffet and more. An always-decadent dessert service rounds out the offerings. This is a special-occasion brunch that surely will not disappoint. Sunday Only | Special Occasion

Fitler Dining Room: Chef Robert Marzinsky’s Fitler Dining Room Sunday brunch service is an excellent incentive roll out of bed earlier on Sunday mornings. Look for sophisticated raw bar selections like New Jersey fluke crudo, composed salads of spiced carrots and refined morning standards including omelets, French toast and house-made sausage and porkroll. Sunday Only | Brunch Cocktails

Village Whiskey: Iron Chef Jose Garces’ American comfort food tastes just as good for brunch as it does for dinner. The impressive whiskey menu at Village Whiskey plays second string to the hearty plates of biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, French toast and — of course — the always satisfying, massive burgers. But, remember what this speakeasy-style restaurant is known for (yup, cocktails) and don’t skip the bay-infused vodka Bloody Mary. Alfresco Seating | Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Spread Bagelry: The Montreal-style wood-oven fired bagels at Spread Bagelry pair perfectly with a BYO vodka-spiked $2 shaker of spicy Bloody Mary mix during brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Rounded out with live tunes on the weekends, breakfast sandwiches like the Nova Scramble and homemade spreads like sweet berry cream cheese, it’s easy to understand the mass appeal of this casual bagel shop. Saturday & Sunday | BYO | To-Go | Live Music

El Rey: Stephen Starr’s bustling Mexican diner, El Rey, dishes specialties from south of the border like huevos rancheros and chilaquiles. Wash the chiles down with a tart margarita or a spicy Bloody Maria, made with tequila instead of vodka. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Nineteen: The prix-fixe three-course brunch at chic Nineteen (XIX) at the Park Hyatt Philadelphia at the Bellevue begins with continental pastries, continues with egg and waffle entrees, and wraps with a full dessert table for $35 per person. The sweeping bird’s-eye city views elevate the whole experience. Sunday Only | Special Occasion

Metropolitan Cafe: 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. Daily | BYO | To-Go

Continental Midtown: Nighttime revelers keep the party going into the a.m. at The Continental Restaurant and Martini Bar and its sibling The Continental Mid-town, with brioche French toast, bananas foster belgian waffles or a turkey club with caramelized apple mayo, all of which can be accompanied by a bacon-infused Bloody Mary. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

The Dandelion: Stephen Starr’s British-inspired pub in Rittenhouse Square is known for its awesome burger and fish and chips, but the brunch menu is its hidden gem. Scotch pancakes with glazed apples and cinnamon-tinged cream or a full English breakfast with blood sausage and baked beans are a spot-on start to a weekend day. But once you get one of the The Dandelion’s signature cocktails in hand — like the Beer Flip or Pimm’s Cup — you may not want to do anything at all except linger. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Cafe L’Aube: Crepe craving? Located in Fairmount and Rittenhouse Square, the cozy French Cafe L’Aube offers breakfast and lunch (i.e. 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? Daily | To-Go

Square 1682: Brunch at Hotel Palomar’s recently renovated Square 1682 means locally sourced, sophisticated American fare with excellent cocktails to boot. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

Day By Day: A Philadelphia catering institution since 1981, Day by Day at 21st and Sansom streets also serves a mean brunch to a dedicated local following. 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. Saturday & Sunday

Farm To City Farmers’ Markets: In 2014, Farm to City rolls out 16 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. To-Go | Saturday Only

Oyster House: Massive crowds may turn out at Oyster House for the daily buck-a-shuck happy hour, but the ever-changing Saturday brunch at this East Coast seafood-staple deserves recognition, too. From an always-excellent array of bivalves to fishcake hash, a lobster Benedict and tip-top Bloody Marys, Oyster House’s fruits of the sea give way to a satisfying start to the weekend. Saturday Only | Brunch Cocktails
 

During peak harvest season, take brunch off of the table and into one of the city's many farmers' markets for a perfect picnic. (Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia)

Midtown Village and Washington Square West

 
Talula’s Daily: Mere steps from Talula’s Garden, the first joint venture from restaurateurs Aimee Olexy and Stephen Starr, Talula’s Daily brings the same high quality of fare diners have come to associate with the moniker “Talula,” but in a far more accessible way. For brunch, sip La Colombe coffee, munch frittatas, quiche, freshly baked quick breads, scones and croissants or grab a yogurt parfait or house granola. Daily | Alfresco Seating | To-Go

Talula’s Garden: Stephen Starr and Aimee Olexy’s Washington Square spot offers elegant plates starring local ingredients during its Sunday brunch, like the sweet ricotta crepes with house-made ricotta or the omelet with Green Meadow ham and Lancaster pepper jack cheese. 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. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating | Special Occasion

Strangelove’s: Midtown Village gets another spot to quaff morning and night in Strangelove’s, a microbrew lover’s fantasy, where 18 tap lines and two cask-conditioned ales complement chef Paul Martin’s Southern-touched menu. For brunch, go for shrimp and grits, poached eggs with chaurice sausage or duck and sausage gumbo. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

El Vez: Stephen Starr’s Mexican spot in Midtown Village has a Mexi-style Sunday brunch. Pair your crab and corn omelet, breakfast burrito or steak and egg chilaquiles with a blood orange mimosa — the a.m. take on the super-popular blood orange margarita. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

Garces Trading Co.: If you haven’t tried Jose Garces’ GTC for brunch, it’s time for a return visit. The Saturday and Sunday brunch menu is a bite right out of the Mediterranean with a frittata, croque-madame sandwiches, a Lyonnaise duck salad and so much more. The $22 prix-fixe menu option includes your choice of one start, one main and one dessert plus unlimited Garces Trading Company Coffee. Done and done. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Varga Bar: 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. And with a knowledgeable bar staff to guide you through the more than a dozen beers on tap, there’s no way you’ll go thirsty during a meal here. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

Jones: 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 omelet with tater tots, smoked salmon Benedict). And don’t forget the brunch cocktails. Saturday & Sunday | Family Friendly | Brunch Cocktails

Kanella: Take a mini vacation to the Greek isle of Cyprus 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 pistachios. Kanella serves brunch Friday through Sunday. Friday, Saturday & Sunday | BYO | Alfresco Seating

Mixto: 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 tostadas rancheras. Bonus: sunny outdoor seating in the warm months. Daily | Alfresco Seating

Amis: Brunch at Amis is a little under the radar, but that’s actually a good thing. The Sunday brunch menu transports diners to Italy with perfect pastas and other fare: baked pecorino with almond honey, salumi misti and house-made polenta scrapple. Also, don’t sleep on the Cannonball. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating

Valanni: Valanni has Saturday and Sunday brunch, and the offerings are unbeatable. Think caramelized apple and strawberry cream french toast; and the “Valanni Hangover,” two eggs any style, pancakes, chorizo or bacon and roasted potatoes accompanied by a virgin Bloody Mary. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Reading Terminal Market: The Reading Terminal Market, established in 1892 at 12th and Arch streets, is the nation’s oldest continuously operating farmers’ market and has emerged in the 21st century as one of the greatest public markets in the country. Enjoy eating virtually every type of cuisine, from sublime soul food and exquisite Asian and Middle Eastern dishes to authentic Philly Cheesesteaks and traditional Pennsylvania Dutch fare — all available from largely family-run stands. Daily | Family Friendly

Many, many more brunch picks, below.

 

Philadelphia's neighborhoods offer up opportunities for alfresco brunching on many a sunny sidewalk, including at Pub & Kitchen in Graduate Hospital. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Graduate Hospital

 
Magpie: Former Philly ad exec Holly Ricciardi slices up sweet and savory pies created with seasonal ingredients at her 20-seat vintage-modern bistro, Magpie. Brunch is on the menu, too, with a selection of savory quiche, a sausage bread pudding pie and a sweet crumb cake pie, too. Saturday & Sunday | To-Go

Honey’s Sit ’n’ Eat on South: The long-awaited second location of Honey’s opened on South Street last year, 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. Plus, there’s outdoor seating to score, too. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Pub & Kitchen: 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’s brunch menu offers a lot of awesome-sounding sweet and savory choices. Also be sure to try one of the award-winning Bloody Marys. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails | Alfresco Seating

Rex 1516: 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 — chicken and waffle eggs Benedict. Beverages are plentiful as well, with a menu of Southern-inspired cocktails like the Deep South and the Mint Julep. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Ants Pants Cafe: Australian-style coffees (flat white or long black, anyone?) accompany “brekkie platters” of eggs, bacon-stacked sandwiches and French toast with sour cream sauce every day at this South Street favorite in Graduate Hospital. Saturday & Sunday | To-Go | Family Friendly

The Cambridge: 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. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Miles Table: 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. Daily | To-Go

Sidecar Bar & Grille: 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 Benedicts. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Resurrection Ale House: On both Saturday and Sunday, this craft beer bar and restaurant just across from Naval Square serves up a just-right brunch menu. At Resurrection Ale House, morning-making staples get lovely little upgrades — think creme fraiche and fruit preserves on a homemade scone and chorizo and manchego cheese tucked in an omelet. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

 American Sardine Bar: At chef Scott Schroeder’s Graduate Hospital outpost, American Sardine Bar, brunch probably means spicy ham-and-cheese sandwiches and a can of craft beer — ideally, in the beer garden out back. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

 

C'mon and raise a glass to brunch at pubs and bars with excellent eye-opening cocktails and craft brews, like those at Standard Tap. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Northern Liberties and Fishtown

 
Jerry’s Bar: Northern Liberties’ Jerry’s Bar brings a touch of sophistication to all of its new American plates. Serving brunch on both Saturday and Sunday, our pick is definitely for the Sunday jazz brunch. Sunday Only | Live Music | Alfresco Seating

Kraftwork: Fishtown beer bar Kraftwork cranks out a mean brunch with a dedicated following on both Saturdays and Sundays. Build your own omelet, enjoy brioche French toast or go for one of the tempting brunch specials. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating

Cedar Point Kitchen: Fishtown Southern comfort foodery Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen welcomes the neighborhood to Saturday and Sunday brunch that aims to please crowds and fill bellies. Food scene alums Shannon Dougherty and Liz Petersen came up with the relaxed brunch-through-late-night concept, where beet ravioli, red flannel hash, okra fritters and fried chicken and waffles star. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Standard Tap: 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 and awesome Bloody Marys won’t hurt, either. Take it outside, too, on the second-floor patio. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Bar Ferdinand: This popular Northern Liberties spot has brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays, with a good deal of outdoor seating for sunny days. The menu offers decadent Spanish dishes like an open-faced grilled chorizo sandwich paired with a fried egg, spinach and pine nuts and churros loaded with chocolate. You can also get in on the awesome brunch special, $3 a glass for mimosas or Bloody Marys. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Silk City: It may look like a typical diner on the outside, but inside Silk City serves up anything but standard brunch fare. And what better to go with smothered chicken and waffles, cider-braised pork belly hash or shrimp and grits than one of the specialty cocktails (the options change weekly) or a beer from the 35+ option suds list? Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails | Alfresco Seating

Frankford Hall: During Sunday brunch at Fishtown beer garden Frankford Hall, adult beverages pair well with a handful of breakfast items — including 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. Oh, and don’t mind the contingent of neighborhood families that make this beer garden a regular stop with their strollers on Sunday afternoons. Sunday Only | Brunch Cocktails | Alfresco Seating

Johnny Brenda’s: 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. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails | Alfresco Seating

Memphis Taproom: An epic bottled beer list is just one highlight of the vegan-friendly Memphis Taproom, which also boasts 10 craft beers on tap and extensive brunch, lunch and dinner menus. Those looking for something different should try Memphis Taproom’s Creole jackfruit cake po’ boy or the “Alt-ster Fry Up,” a mix of white pudding, smoked coconut, baked beans, tofu scramble, potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms. In the warmer months, the beer garden and its accompanying can-beer-and-dog truck draw outdoor (drinking) lovers. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails | Veg Friendly | Alfresco Seating

• Ida Mae’s Bruncherie: Diners of all backgrounds savor one of the city’s only traditional Irish breakfast with rashers, beans, pudding and potato bread, served all day Tuesday through Sunday in the sunny rooms of Ida Mae’s Bruncherie. Daily | Deal
 

Springtime means many restaurants open windows and pack sidewalk tables, especially on sunny Saturday and Sunday mornings. (Photo by R. Kennedy)

Old City

 
High Street on Market: What was once Fork:etc is now High Street on Market, an early-to-late concept from chef Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin, of fine-dining eatery Fork next door. Go for the piled-high breakfast sandwiches stacked with house-smoked meats and drizzled with house-made hot sauce. Daily | To-Go

• Fork: The seasonal New American Sunday brunch menu from chef Eli Kulp at Old City’s Fork features house-baked pastries and buns, house-cured char over an everything bialy and heartier fare such as smoked pastrami over cheddar biscuit. Sunday Only | Special Occasion

Khyber Pass Pub: The South rises again during brunch hours at Khyber Pass Pub. The Southern-inspired fare entices with smoky praline bacon, gravy-bathed biscuits, boudin and eggs, and spicy Bloody Marys. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | Brunch Cocktails

Amada: Jose Garces original Philadelphia restaurant, Amada, welcomes guests for a Spanish desayuno on Saturday and Sunday, spotlighting chorizo and eggs, Serrano ham and manchego cheese omelets and fluffy lemon-ricotta pancakes. Plus, the excellent sangria and many of the traditional tapas available in the evening are served at brunch as well. Saturday & Sunday | Special Occasion

Red Owl Tavern: Adjacent to the gorgeous Hotel Monaco and overlooking Independence Mall, Red Owl Tavern offers a perfect perch for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Snag a seat on the sidewalk patio or in the airy dining room to choose from feel-good dishes like build-your-own oatmeal or cinnamon bread french toast and indulgent eats like Denver-cut steak and eggs or huevos rancheros.Saturday & Sunday | Special Occasion

Cuba Libre: Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar’s fresh juice mimosas, pastries featuring fruity spreads and ropa vieja hash creates a tropical brunch paradise in Old City. An unlimited small plate menu is also available for those who prefer to draw out the brunch experience. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Farmacia: With fine farm-to-table fare and farm-to-bar cocktails, Farmacia draws diners for fresh, flavorful brunches. Snag one of the few sidewalk tables to enjoy the lively flavors outdoors. Saturday & Sunday | Special Occasion

National Mechanics: Bloody Mary fan? Go no further. This Old City spot has one of the most impressive Bloody Mary bars in town, a perfect quaff to match the veggie-friendly brunch offerings. There are more than 11 egg dishes, French baguette toast and both plain and blueberry pancakes on offer, all great. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

 

Daytime dining and drinking at an outdoor table might just be the perfect way to pass a weekend afternoon. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

Bella Vista and Queen Village

 
Sabrina’s Café: At all three of its locations (in Bella Vista, Fairmount and University City), Sabrina’s redefines brunch all day, every day, with creative dazzlers like the blue cheese and bacon frittata, polenta fries and, of course, its famous thick slices of French toast stuffed with all manner of sweets. Saturday & Sunday | BYO | Veg Friendly | Alfresco Seating

Ela: 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 golden beet Bloody Mary. Sunday Only | Brunch Cocktails

Morning Glory Diner: The lines out the door never lie: Sam’s Morning Glory Diner is a favorite spot for its homemade ketchup and creative pancake specials served with a side of hot biscuits (really, try the biscuits) and greasy-spoon attitude. Brunch happens on weekends, but the daily breakfast menu features many of the favorites. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | Family Friendly

Cochon: French fare typically dominates the kitchen at Cochon, a cozy BYOB spot in Queen Village, but the Sunday 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, french fries and bacon mayonnaise. Do not fear; vegetarian and gluten-free options can also be made available here. Sunday Only | BYO

The Twisted Tail: Just off of Headhouse Square, The Twisted Tail serves a Sunday brunch befitting its bourbon-and-juke-joint motif. Dig in to sausage in puff pastry, shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles alongside Southern wine coolers. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

The Mildred: House-made and local are the mantras at this Bella Vista neighborhood spot. On Saturdays and Sundays, The Mildred dishes an accessible-yet-sophisticated brunch, serving plates like ricotta pancakes dressed up with lemon curd; baked eggs garnished with preserved tomato and bottarga; and a eggs Benedict layered with duck neck, kale and Béarnaise. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Kennett: This cozy Queen Village restaurant and bar specializes in locally sourced fare and offers an awesome brunch on weekends. Try the Italian Breakfast, with to-die-for house-made gnocchi 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. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Supper: Never mind the name. Supper serves a superb brunch with chilaquiles navidad replete with homemade chorizo; red velvet waffles with cream cheese mousse (oh, those red velvet waffles); a cereal bar; and six-ounce dry-aged custom La Frieda Blend burger on a house baked Pullman loaf served with duck-fat fries (an egg can be added for extra brunch effect). Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Royal Tavern: Holding court in a former South Philly Italian restaurant, the Royal Tavern is a jukebox- and food-fueled establishment that’s grown to become a neighborhood favorite. When you dine at Royal Tavern, expect menu options straight from Mom’s kitchen, but recreated with imaginative touches. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | Brunch Cocktails

• Creperie Beau Monde: Chic yet cozy, this corner bistro serves up crepes in endless savory or sweet combinations. At Creperie Beau Monde, goat cheese salads, French onion soup and traditional ciders round out the menu. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

 Fitzwater Cafe: Transformed from a vintage gas station, this quaint satellite to the Saloon (see below) is a Bella Vista go-to for breakfast and lunch, and, on Friday and Saturdays, casual Italian dinners. Patrons fill cafe tables and a bar at Fitzwater Cafe for airy French toast, crunchy-topped banana muffins and roast pork sandwiches. Saturday & Sunday
 

Take outdoor brunching to another level by dining on the waterfront at spots like Waterworks Restaurant overlooking the Schuylkill River. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Fairmount and Logan Square

 
The Lounge: One of the city’s most elegant places to enjoy Sunday brunch is the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia’s The Lounge. The sumptuous $73 buffet — stacked with seafood, smoked meat and endless desserts — includes plated entrees. In all, a relative bargain for an unforgettable experience. Sunday Only | Special Occasion | Family Friendly

Water Works Restaurant: You can’t ask for a better view for Sunday brunch than the gorgeous waterfront vistas visible from 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 per person, kids 12 and under $17.50. Sunday Only | Special Occasion

London Grill: A neighborhood staple since 1991, London Grill is one part pub, with local microbrews on tap and a classic cocktail menu, and one part white tablecloth restaurant. On Saturday and Sunday, a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar gets brunch off to a super start. Follow up the beverages with steak and eggs, eggs Benedict or shakshouka, a spicy tomato stew. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

Lemon Hill: Lemon Hill is a neighborhood favorite, located right by the Philadelphia Museum of Art offering a delicious brunch with one of the most serious bespoke cocktail programs around. The Fairmount neighborhood spot is sure to soothe any rough edges with platters of warm banana bread with bacon maple syrup and peanut-butter mousse, pork belly and eggs over polenta and cheeseburger with vinegar-shallot aioli. Plus, brunch goes all day on Sunday until 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Alla Spina: Marc Vetri’s Alla Spina on North Broad Street has an Italian Sunday brunch that’s a must-try. Marc Vetri has revolutionized Philly’s Italian food scene, and Alla Spina’s brunch menu serves as a perfect example of his genius: There are squash pancakes with walnut butter, beer cheese toast with a crispy fried egg and sage biscuits with black pepper sausage gravy, served alongside cocktails like Peroni beer with mango juice and cold shaken espresso with grappa. When the weather is fine outdoor tables fill quickly and floor-to-ceiling garage doors open widely. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating | Brunch Cocktails

Prohibition Tap Room: The kitchen at Prohibition Tap Room on North 13th Street turns out a really solid brunch with standards like biscuits and gravy, egg sandwiches, steak and eggs. Plus, diners can order up a side of pork roll with anything. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Café Lift: The Callowhill neighborhood’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. Look to the chalkboards in the cozy brunch spot for ever-tasty seasonal specials. Daily | Family Friendly
 

In South Philly, diners spill out to tables on breezy sidewalks and plates overflow with hearty renditions of brunch classics. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

East Passyunk Avenue and South Philly

 
Stateside: As the name suggests, Stateside on East Passyunk Avenue serves up only American-made eats and drinks, with a brunch menu featuring all-American plates like chicken and waffles, a Monte Cristo sandwich, root-veggie hash and house-made sausage. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating

Cantina Los Caballitos: This East Passyunk staple offers an extensive fiesta of a brunch every weekend. 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. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails | Alfresco Seating

Pub On Passyunk East (P.O.P.E.): This cavern-like tavern is a hipster haven, thanks to the long draft list, inclusive bar menu and rockin’ juke box. The menu ranges from a soild breakfast burrito to the P.O.P.E.’s namesake burger (topped with a juicy fried tomato) to vegetarian and vegan specialties like the vegan French toast and tofu scramble. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | Brunch Cocktails

Green Eggs Cafe: 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 French toast with blackberry coulis; scrambled eggs over homemade biscuits with sausage gravy; and quinoa porridge with fresh berries. Saturday & Sunday | BYO | Family Friendly

South Philadelphia Taproom: Weekend brunch at SPTR in South Philly is a great deal. You can get in and out for a cool 12 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. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | Brunch Cocktails

Chhaya: 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. Saturday & Sunday | Family Friendly

The Industry: On Saturdays and Sundays, this Pennsport bar from the folks behind Good Dog aimed at restaurant industry members dishes up brunch to the masses. There is a whole section of the menu devoted just to Hangover Cures, and bottomless coffee for three bucks. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

University City

 
• City Tap House: Reclaimed wood, slate and tile create a handsome space for this beer lovers’ haven, boasting 60 taps and 120 seats, plus outside seating. Classic American brunch fare at City Tap House includes brick-oven pizzas, free-range chicken, mussels and plenty of vegetarian-friendly options. Saturday & Sunday | Veg Friendly | Alfresco Seating

• Rx The Farmacy: Serving brunch and dinner five days a week, Rx the Farmacy’s brunch menu includes house-made bread, Amaretto french toast, sweet potato pancakes, Philly Benny (poached egg, sliced teres major, English muffin, hollandaise, home fries) and a quiche of the day. Saturday & Sunday | BYO

Dock Street Brewery: Dock Street Brewery does brunch on Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. Expect wood-fired breakfast pizzas and calzones, frittatas and more. In addition to pizzas designed to get your day started, Dock Street’s menu also offers salads, beer-based breakfast cocktails like the Firehouse Maria and Brewdriver. Sunday Only | Brunch Cocktails

The Gold Standard Cafe: 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. Saturday & Sunday | Family Friendly

Distrito: 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 a draft beer and one of three egg dishes; or for $21, get the prix-fixe brunch, which includes a selection of two courses (with tons of options for each) along with Garces Trading Company coffee. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

Green Line Cafe: Owned by an artist and her brother-in-law, all the Green Line locations serve only organic, free trade-certified coffee and locally sourced sodas and food. Plus, the artwork on the walls changes frequently and is always for sale. For brunching, the cafe dishes homestyle plates of eggs, pancakes and more. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating | Family Friendly

Local 44: West Philly beer bar Local 44 serves brunch on weekends that includes a fried-egg-topped burger and tons of veggie options. No matter what you order, you can wash it down with any of the 500+ bottles in the Local 44 beer bottle shop. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

The Food Trust Farmers’ Markets: 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 delivers grab-and-go foodstuffs from vendors and food trucks. Saturday Only | Family Friendly
 

Brunch doesn't have to mean straight bacon and eggs. Start the day with breakfast burritos or a cheesy breakfast pizza, like the ones served at Earth Bread & Brewery. (Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia)

Manayunk, Mt. Airy & Chestnut Hill

 
Trolley Car Diner: 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. Daily | Family Friendly

Avenida: Housed in a historic Mt. Airy home that was built in the 1700s, Avenida offers a fabulous Sunday brunch. Mexican specialties rule the menu here, so go for the chilaquiles or the huevos rancheros tostadas. Sunday Only | Alfresco Seating

Earth Bread & Brewery: On the eminently walkable Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy, Earth Bread & Brewery welcomes the neighborhood to a weekend brunch fit for feasting. In addition to its entire menu of house-made flatbreads — all made with local, natural spelt flour from Small Valley Milling — the casual eatery tops brunch-time tables with quiche, yogurt parfaits and a nice trio of breakfast flatbreads. Saturday & Sunday | Family Friendly

Cake: Set in the Robertson’s Flowers’ beautiful solarium, Cake offers a Sunday brunch that’s unrivaled for its sunny, family-friendly atmosphere, smoked salmon and gold dill potato latke plates, brunch pizza and to-die-for baked goods. Sunday Only | Family Friendly

• Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar: Fine dining tastes even better in the daylight hours with Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar’s expansive brunch menu. A fan favorite, the eggs Benedict features what is arguably the city’s best crab cake topped with brioche and leek cream. Other options include a lobster omelet, honey- almond French toast and small plates like butternut squash mac and cheese. Saturday & Sunday | Alfresco Seating

Heirloom: The farm-centric eats at Chestnut Hill’s plush Heirloom make for a delicious locavore start to the morning. Among the selections are a beet, endive and fennel salad with cider pomegranate vinaigrette; mushroom and taleggio frittata; and warm apple-pie donuts. Saturday & Sunday | Special Occasion

• Lucky’s Last Chance: In Manayunk, arrive at Lucky’s Last Chance hungry for serious brunch servings of bananas foster French toast, bourbon bacon pancakes and a breakfast burger topped with a fried egg and country sausage with a side of maple syrup. Saturday & Sunday | Brunch Cocktails

• Mica: At chic Chestnut Hill dining room Mica, a lovely weekend brunch graces tables. Start with a rosemary-yuzu fizz before tasting the house-cured Scottish salmon, short ribs with polenta and thyme-roasted potatoes, and brioche French toast with ricotta and locally sourced maple syrup. Saturday & Sunday | Special Occasion
 

Cheers to brunch! Don't forget to pair those pancakes with a pint at local watering holes like The Cambridge. (Photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia)

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Molly says:

Can’t forget Fado Irish Pub – always open early for European sports with great food and pints.