Few meals are as perfect as brunch, where you’re allowed to drink Bloody Marys and eat doughnuts or cheese-covered egg sandwiches in the same meal.
While Philly’s brunch game has long been on point with places like Sam’s Morning Glory Diner, Honey’s Sit-n-Eat, Silk City, Sabrina’s Cafe, and the epic brunch buffet at Lacroix at The Rittenhouse, there is a fresh new crop of brunch offerings in town.
New brunch options are popping up at not only new restaurants but tried-and-true spots that only recently started serving the mid-morning meal. For our spring brunch guide, we’ve also emphasized brunch that can be enjoyed via sidewalk seating, backyard patios and at completely-outdoor restaurants — think Morgan’s Pier, Parc and El Poquito.
All of the brunch options mentioned below offer the meal on both Saturday and Sunday, and a number of the restaurants even serve brunch on weekdays, too.
Below you’ll find some of our favorites for daytime dining for days when breakfast starts whenever you roll out of bed. Where are your favorite springtime brunch spots?
Paris in Philadelphia, Parc is midday dining perfection. The restaurants windows open wide, spilling bistro tables out onto 18th Street along Rittenhouse Square which makes for excellent people watching. Grab a table on the street and sip a cafe au lait while nibbling on an excellent house-baked baguette or pastry, or settle into the dining room for more elaborate brunch. Dishes like a classic Croque Madame with ham, sauce mornay, and a fried egg; or poached eggs with asparagus and mushroom velouté are elegant and distinctive without needing to try too hard. Plus? Their impressive selection of chilled seafood “fruits de mer” is part of their brunch menu, so you could easily make a meal out of oysters and king crab legs washed down with a bottle of bubbles.
Morgan’s Pier is Philadelphia’s go-to for dockside dining and dancing as the sun sets, but on nice days it’s also a brunch hotspot with an extensive menu. Look for sunshine snack appropriate plates like minted watermelon with feta and red onion; or fried cheese curds with spiced tomato sauce; in addition to omelettes, waffles, and, egg sandwiches. Even so, the dish to beat is the Maine lobster roll with tarragon aioli.
Cute, colorful, and quirky, Talula’s Garden is the prettiest place for brunch on Washington Square. The entire menu is made up of smart twists on brunch favorites, all using locally sourced ingredients. There are lighter plates like the farm egg frittata with asparagus, peas, feta, and watercress; or sweeter ones like the hot lavender doughnuts with lemon curd. One particular favorite is the Breakfast Burger, Pennsylvania-raised grass-fed beef with buttermilk blue cheese, bacon jam, and a fried egg on one of their homemade potato buns. Prefer a picnic? Stop into Talula’s Dialy next door to pick up provisions like cheese and bread for a stroll through the park.
Chilequiles, huevos rancheros, and margaritas? Chestnut Hill’s El Poquito, inspired by the beachside taco stands of Baja, would be a brunch favorite even if they didn’t have such a pretty terrace full of outdoor seating. The brunch menu is brief—only five items—but flavors like these eaten outside make for an especially relaxing brunch, whether for small groups or large. Don’t forget your sunglasses!
If you like a little bluegrass with your brunch, stop into Heritage in Northern Liberties. The airy restaurant itself is beautiful, beaming with natural light and adorned with plants. This atmosphere, coupled with the music, makes Chef Sean Magee’s menu of thoughtful daytime fare even more appealing. While not as adventurous as his evening menu, Magee’s brunch offerings are confident and elegant in their simplicity. Tuck into plates like pheasant scrapple with egg and broccolini; flapjacks with raspberry and brown sugar; or smoked trout on toast with radishes.
Front Street Cafe
Looking for a brunch experience on a weekday? Especially one that’s on the healthy side? At Fishtown’s Front Street Cafe the breakfast menu is available every day until 4:00. What’s even better about this airy spot is that while many bunch menus rely entirely on meat, eggs, and carb-heavy foundations, at Front Street there are just as many options for diners who eschew one or more of those foods. The big vegan breakfast—tofu scramble, smoked black beans, vegetable hash, porridge bread and mushroom bacon—goes toe to toe with a more traditional eggs benedict or biscuits and gravy. Plus, inventive options like their hotcakes with vanilla cashew cream, breakfast nachos, and breakfast tacos make this a craveable, contemporary menu.
Front Street Cafe
Weekend brunch at the Northern Liberties pub, Jerry’s Bar, is an all day affair. Naturally, there are eggs, pastries, waffles, and big, brunch salads, but where Jerry’s really rules is with their menu of brunch cocktails. There’s a proper Irish coffee with Bailey’s Irish Cream, Jameson, and La Colombe coffee. Bellinis, mimosas, and a Beer-mosa, too, if you fancy a shandy. Round it out with four different bloody marys and you can’t go wrong, especially if you make it in on Sunday when the bar hosts local musicians Ian Brick and Nick Salcido for live jazz.
It’s all brunch, all the time at The Dutch, Joncarl Lachman and Lee Styer’s new addition to Pennsport. One menu unifies a few salads, sandwiches, and breakfast plates like omelettes, Dutch baby pancakes, and a handful of specials that all seem to sell out. Though the menu is concise, everything on it, from the vanilla-scented waffles to the a creamed chipped beef sauced eggs benedict, is a home run.
The Hungry Pigeon
Scott Schroeder and Pat O’Malley’s effortlessly cool new addition to Queen Village is turning into a much beloved new dinner destination, but it may be at its best early in the day. O’Malley’s staggeringly good selection of breakfast breads and pastries will make choosing between a chocolate croissant, a blueberry-cheese danish, and a slice of molasses-dark gingerbread very difficult. And Schroeder’s breakfast selections, which include a kimchi and poached egg rice porridge, a bacon-studded “Breakfast Salad” and a tender Dutch baby pancake served in its skillet, are very easy to love.
The Hungry Pigeon
The Little Lion
Bring a tiger’s appetite to Old City because brunch at The Little Lion is serious. Short rib hash with wild mushrooms and an IPA cheese sauce; a low country benedict with poached crawfish; and red velvet french toast with cheesecake stuffing and raspberry maple syrup. Though the brunch menu itself is only available on weekends, a few breakfast-friendly dishes from their brunch offerings, including stone-ground grits with cheddar, vinegar mustard, greens, and bacon, are available daily.
The Little Lion
Since opening last year, Tredici has been a popular spot. Now, they’re opening up even earlier in the day on weekends and rounding out their regular menu with a few brunch offerings. Most of the menu is the same as in the evenings but for brunch they’re also adding cardamom sausage and eggs with long hot peppers and toast; avocado toast with poached egg; a seasonal vegetable frittata; and apple-ricotta pancakes with Nutella. Your day drinking just got a little easier and a little classier.
Since Malaysian restaurant Saté Kampar opened on East Passyunk Avenue, locals have been clamoring for them to open during the day. Now, on weekends at least, their wishes have been granted. While sticks of beef, chicken, or goat saté and plates of fragrant Malay dishes like nasi lemak are great anytime of day, one particular draw at Saté Kampar is their menu of traditional tea and coffee beverages. The best seats in the restaurant might be at the center bar, for though the place is BYOB, it’s an amazing to watch as their staff build these beverages—pouring them back and forth from a height—to mix and froth rich black tea with sweetened or evaporated milk.
La Peg at FringeArts
You can take in views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge while enjoying classic brunch dishes at La Peg at FringeArts. The brunch menu consists of everything from blueberry muffin beignets and French toast to Eggs benedict and fried cheese curds. Drinks from the full bar — bloody mary's, mimosas and more — round out the offerings.
La Peg at FringeArts
Sometimes brunch is a roll out of bed and go endeavor, and other times it requires finesse. If you’re in the mood for the latter—a little midday drinking and beef tartare for brunch—definitely put Urban Farmer on your radar. There’s a platter of seasonal smoked fish, a blue crab omelette, and a duck confit hash with potato spinach and a sunny side up duck egg. With nothing on the brunch menu over $20, brunch is one of the most affordable ways to give Urban Farmer a try. Besides that, you’re not likely to find a better plate of steak and eggs in town.
Clarkville is making dreams come true and serving pizza for breakfast! There’s a dedicated brunch pizza—with potato, bacon, mozzarella, arugula, and hollandaise—and you can also add an egg to any of their regular pies for just a buck. A big omelette for two, a brunch salad, and shakshuka join items from their regular menu to round out midday dining. What with their new outdoor dining and Clark Park’s robust calendar of social events this summer, we imagine that brunch at Clarksville is going to be quite the neighborhood favorite.
Chaat & Chai
South Philly’s colorful Indian restaurant, Chaat & Chai doesn’t have a full-blown brunch menu, but their existing menu of snacks and beverages is perfect for midday munching. The traditional samosa chaat, a samosa served with an array of garnishes warm, cool, crunchy and fresh is a diverse meal all by itself and warming bowls of curry and mango-ginger lassi are natural fits for the first meal of the day. Plus, on weekend mornings, there are typically specials that strike a more definitive “brunch” note. Think egg-potato curry and ginger cardamom waffles with orange jaggery syrup.