16 Excellent Spots For Weekday Breakfasts
It’s the most important meal of the day—do it right at these 16 spots.
Whether you have the day off or want to catch up with friends before heading to the office, a good weekday breakfast can set the bar for your day so high that dinner plans don’t even matter. Here are 16 places perfect for the most important meal of the day.
photo credit: EMILY SCHINDLER
Càphê Roasters is the weekday breakfast MVP. The Kensington cafe has everything from Vietnamese coffee (made from beans that they roast on-site) to breakfast sandwiches so good that you'll want to make this your official work-from-home location. Grab a frothy egg coffee, spicy potatoes, or crispy fried chicken bánh mì covered in a syrupy gochu glaze, and hang out at any of their long tables in the bright space. It’s an easygoing place to bring a big group of friends, but also works if you just want to have a solo meal and do some light reading.
photo credit: Nicole Guglielmo
Honeysuckle Provisions has serious range—we’re talking Jordan 1-level versatility. The Afrocentric cafe and grocery is ideal for everything from a quick plantain cake for breakfast to a casual lunch of turkey hoagies on seeded housemade rolls. We prefer a mid-morning visit, when we can grab a ginger espresso and the decadent sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich on a fluffy sweet potato english muffin. Other reasons to get here before noon are the soft cornmeal hot pocket packed with stewed collards, yamz bread, and other pastries that you’ll still be thinking about at bedtime.
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photo credit: GAB BONGHI
Yes, we’re mildly obsessed with Eeva’s white pizza, but we’re equally passionate about their bagels and pastries (like the flaky apple galette). Everything here is made with sourdough, so even the sweetest of cakes and breads have a hint of acidity to them. We love their specialty bagel sandwiches, like The Evergreen, which layers herb cream cheese, sliced cucumber, dressed greens, and capers. It tastes like a garden exploded in your mouth (in a good way). Between the all-day cafe menu, freshly squeezed juices, and long tables ideal for groups, there are quite a few reasons to swing by this Kensington shop before sunset.
Famous 4th Street Delicatessen
If breakfast for you means smoked fish and a bagel topped with a scoop of cream cheese the size of your fist, you should start your morning at Queen Village’s Famous 4th Street. The classic Jewish deli is typically packed, but you always have the option to take your challah french toast or pastrami special to go (all while making your deskmates jealous).
Middle Child Clubhouse
Middle Child serves some of the best breakfast sandwiches in the city. You’ll need both hands to hold the mega-sized sandwiches, and the casual layout at their Fishtown location is perfect for getting work done or hanging out with friends while sipping on morning beet cocktails (and shooting pool). The best thing for breakfast here is the corned beef egg and cheese, packed with tender housemade corned beef and gooey cooper sharp. Add in a Fruity Pebbles latte, which basically tastes like the melted ice cream version of the cereal, and your day will be off to a great start.
Head to Callowhill’s Cafe Lift any morning and you’ll find a lot of people waiting for cannoli french toast in the art-filled industrial space. But if your office is closed for the day, or you’ve decided to call in “sick,” there’s nowhere better to take advantage of the rare weekday brunch. They have a menu of decadent dishes like lemon ricotta pancakes, apple cider chicken salad, and an egg cheesesteak that stacks slices of ribeye, caramelized onions, American cheese, and a fried egg on a warm pretzel bun. They serve breakfast food every day until 3pm—especially important to note since they’re a BYO and don’t take reservations.
photo credit: Cafe La Maude
Café La Maude
Café La Maude in Northern Liberties is one of the best places to spend a morning in Philly. This French-Lebanese BYOB serves everything from lemon ricotta pancakes topped with poached apples and caramel sauce to brisket huevos rancheros, and they do it seven days a week. On the weekend, you’ll likely spend at least 45 minutes waiting for a table, so come on a random Wednesday when you’re supposed to be at a “doctor's appointment” to avoid the lines.
I Heart Cambodia
You can grab breakfast at South Philly’s I Heart Cambodia every day of the week (except for Monday). And since it’s one of the best Cambodian spots in the city, you should stop by the casual mom-and-pop shop for a creamy avocado or durian shake and a bowl of noodle soup. The Phnom Penh rice noodle soup, which is packed with beef, shrimp, and green onions, is the best brothy option on the menu.
The Dutch is a little breakfast spot in Pennsport that we wish was around the corner from where we live. They serve breakfast every day until 3pm, and have a Dutch/European menu with everything from a dutch baby and omelets to a solid corned beef reuben. Come by during the week to avoid the long wait that plagues pretty much every brunch place within city limits on Sundays.
photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO
Café y Chocolate
There are plenty of good breakfast spots in the city, but Café y Chocolate is a standout (especially for their amazing tortas and Mexican hot chocolate sprinkled with cinnamon). It’s the perfect place if you're craving sweets like churros, tres leches, or plantains and cream, all of which are socially acceptable to eat in the morning when there’s a cup of coffee nearby. The cozy Passyunk spot also has things like huevos rancheros, enchiladas, and chilaquiles down to an absolute science–they come drenched in tangy house-made salsas but never get soggy.
Booker’s Restaurant & Bar
This Baltimore Avenue spot is a great place to take a group of your closest friends and family for decadent comfort food—think fried chicken and waffles with strawberry butter or cheesecake french toast. If you’re looking for dishes that aren’t fried or maybe just have less butter, you can also get a shrimp cocktail, deviled eggs, or a bistro salad, topped with candied walnuts, goat cheese, and craisins. There’s not a lot of space inside the plant-filled dining room, but they have generous outdoor seating. On a nice day, you can watch the trolley go by while sipping coffee and eating spoonfuls of bread pudding.
Walnut Street Cafe
Commuting on Amtrak is, at the very least, better than sitting between an arguing couple who keep exchanging passive-aggressive glances on the Megabus. So if you’re forced to take an early morning Acela back from NYC and want something better than a day-old sandwich from Pret in 30th Street Station, Walnut Street Cafe is your best bet. It’s an upscale all-day cafe at the Cira Center (less than five minutes from the station), and their breakfast options range from yogurt and granola to shakshuka and super thick brioche french toast.
The menu at FoodChasers' in Elkins Park is long and full of comfort dishes like french toast topped with fried honey shrimp and sausage and gravy. But the one dish that sets them apart is their plate of buttery and creamy grits, which has so many topping options that they take up half the morning menu. The best one is the salmon and shrimp, which gets topped with pools of creamy cheese sauce and a fillet and jumbo shrimp. Each bite is a gooey, savory delight. Plus, it’s a lot easier to grab a seat in the first-come, first-serve dining room on weekdays than on the weekends when it gets slammed.
photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO
You can’t go wrong by starting your day with any glazed or sugar-topped donut (which is why this shop cracked our best donut guide). But when we want to switch it up from the handheld, cakey rounds, we go for the breakfast sandwich—a fried egg that’s oozing with Cooper Sharp, topped with bacon and cherry pepper relish on a warm potato roll. This counter-service spot (that has several locations) has lots of seating so you can pair your order with a coffee or cider, people watch, and wait until the scent of some of our favorite wings in town inspires your lunch for the day.
Jane’s Grill is a classic spot in Olney with basic counter seating, diner-style tables, and a straightforward menu that’s perfect for a low-key breakfast. From the pancakes with grits and scrapple to the three-egg omelets, they have better versions of all the dishes that we try to throw together at home. Plus, there’s nothing on the menu over $5. It can get crowded in the morning, but it’s a great place to get a big breakfast that will have you full until dinner.
A trip to the Northeast’s Ritz Diner will result in some top-tier home fries and plenty of all-day breakfast options. If you can drag yourself past the cake displays, one of our favorite dishes here is the eggs benedict. The eggs are always firm with a perfectly gooey center, and come served over crispy Canadian bacon and home fries. Whether you order the fluffy pancakes or steak and eggs, once you’re tucked into a leather booth you’ll be glad you took the trip up the boulevard to eat here.