The Best Brunch Spots In Philadelphia guide image


The Best Brunch Spots In Philadelphia

Whether you’re looking to face-plant into french toast or host a birthday celebration, these are the best brunches in Philly.

Let’s face it—work weeks seem to be running into each other. We spend our days dodging speed cameras on Roosevelt Boulevard, tracking cheesesteak abominations in other cities, and when we finally look up, 20 days have passed and we forgot to drop our YouTube TV free trial. Just the thought of waking up on another weekend morning with nothing more in your fridge than questionable leftovers can be unbearable. Instead, treat yourself to one of these options for the best brunch in Philadelphia.



Suraya is a good choice for basically any day or time, but there’s something especially nice about coming here in the morning. It could be the smell of chai and cardamom kouign-amann, or it could be the plant-filled boho space. Either way, this is one of our favorite brunch places in Fishtown. Order the shish taouk kebab plate, complete with hummus, spiced french fries, tabbouleh, and pita. And in case you’re a planner, they do take reservations.

Middle Child serves 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 hanging out with friends while sipping on morning cocktails in mugs (and shooting pool). For brunch, go for the pillowy pancakes or 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. 

If breakfast for you means a bagel stacked with smoked fish, you should start your morning at Famous 4th Street Delicatessen. The Jewish deli is one of the best in Philly, and definitely our favorite place for brunch in Queen Village. They don’t take reservations, but there’s no one in town stacking corned beef higher or spreading cream cheese thicker. It can get as loud and busy on weekend mornings as 30th Street Station, but you can always order your enormous pastrami specials, challah french toast, or matzah ball soup to go.

You’ll generally wait at least 30 minutes in line just to order on the weekend at K’Far. That is, unless you can grab a seat at the counter, where you’ll get immediate service. But wait or not, this brunch is worth it—you’re about to have some of the best breakfast not only in Rittenhouse, but in the entire city. From thick, buttery kubaneh toasts topped with whipped brown sugar ricotta and egg sandwiches on crispy Jerusalem bagels to the large selection of delicious pastries, there’s not much here we wouldn’t recommend.

Whether you’re feeling the effects of a big night out, a tailgate, or just want a cheesesteak for breakfast, Bella Vista’s Tabachoy is for you. The cozy BYOB has a brunch menu full of dishes like coconut braised broccoli rabe covered in eggs, sandwiches, and sweet bibingka pancakes—the perfect Filipino-style recovery dish. Bring one of your favorite bottles (or grab one from the community fridge) and bite into something with enough flavor to get you out of bed before noon.  

We love Sally. We go there for incredible pizza, a night with friends and shareable small plates, and anytime we’re near Fitler Square and need a glass of wine. Now, we’re adding brunch to our long-running list of why we keep coming back. Turns out, the mellowness of the space still translates in the daytime. When you’re there, enjoy a menu of pillowy donuts packed with raspberry cream, Turkish eggs in a spiced butter labneh, and a peppery sausage hash (but beware—their signature sourdough pies aren't available at brunch). With one of the better sangrias in the city, there’s not many better places to kick back with friends on a Saturday or Sunday.  

Putting your phone on Do Not Disturb before going to sleep is one of the best things you can do over the weekend. Another is having brunch at this converted Victorian greenhouse. If you’re looking for something sweet to enjoy while admiring the fountain sculpture in the middle of the dining room, this Germantown Ave. bakery and cafe has everything from breakfast biscuits to lemon custard tarts. But the 8 oz brunch burger, with just the right amount of melted cheese and caramelized onions, is really the way to go.

Cafe La Maude kind of looks like a French bistro and has a few tables outside for when it’s nice out. The menu at this Northern Liberties spot leans Lebanese and Mediterranean with everything from a green shakshuka and baklawa pancakes to petit steak and eggs. It’s BYOB and they don’t take reservations, but there’s a plant shop next door that you can explore while you wait and daydream about the brisket huevos rancheros.

It’s not often we recommend a restaurant for date nightexciting dinnersand brunch. But South Street’s Rex at The Royal, serving Lowcountry dishes, hits that trifecta. The restaurant is big enough for large groups, has a stage where you can catch some live music, and works for a Sunday brunch filled with fluffy chicken and waffles, snow crab omelet, banana pudding french toast, and a juicy burger. There’s also a few raw bar options like oysters with a pickled cucumber mignonette that goes great with one of their sparkling brunch cocktails.

If you’re looking for a casual brunch option with some great pastries and enough tables for groups, put Cake and Joe on your list. The sweets, like the Raspberry Wonderland with white chocolate cake and raspberry cream, and Earl Grey Brûlée with caramel banana, are fantastic, and they also have more savory brunch dishes if dessert for breakfast isn't your thing. Those options include fried chicken cornmeal pancakes topped with spicy honey, a buttered shrimp and spinach omelet, and seafood shakshuka.

Talula’s is delicious no matter where you sit, but the real magic lies in the romantic, overflowing garden on Washington Square Park. The seasonal New American restaurant has excellent sweet options, like the shareable French toast sticks with strawberry-rhubarb compote, and savory classics, like the Southern-style shrimp and grits. For the best of both worlds, get the buttermilk fried chicken and waffle, drizzled in Talula’s hot honey. 

We have a hard time choosing between the breakfast birria, chilaquiles, and avocado and crab benedict at LMNO. But almost everything on the Mexican-inspired menu works, so you won’t make any mistakes over weekend brunch. In the summer, their brunches usually turn into a DJ-fueled darty (aka, daytime dance party)  so it’s a fun place to bring a group of friends, and share the tres leches french toast and frozen drinks when you want to keep up the party from the night before. 

For a brunch where you don't have to worry about getting syrup on your Embiid jersey, head to Chinatown’s Nom Wah for dim sum. Every day (except Wednesday) and starting at 11:30am, you can have dumplings like shrimp and deep-fried curry and beef, roast pork buns, and spicy beef wontons—check off all the options you want on their paper menu. They also have a legitimate tea menu, with nine blends like chrysanthemum, oolong, shou mei, and jasmine, that we love when we want to drink something other than coffee. But if you’re in the mood to pair your pan-fried chicken and cabbage dumplings with a midday beer, you can also go with a Tsingtao.

Beyoncé dines at Lacroix. Coldplay dines at Lacroix. Oprah’s dogs dine at Lacroix (or so we hear). This show-stopping French restaurant in The Rittenhouse Hotel has been serving some of the city’s most upscale food for decades, and their epic brunch buffet is incomparable. Start with oysters and caviar from the raw bar before sampling the canapes of foie gras s’mores and steak tartare. They have classic French entrees, but you could skip the larger dishes and head straight for the cheese and charcuterie instead. This is a luxe, white tablecloth situation, but it’s laidback enough for kids to run around after sampling about 100 desserts.

Eleven Eleven is a welcome addition to the Philly brunch scene. It’s a carefree spot where you can have an incredible meal while Saweetie plays in the background. At the small Queen Village BYOB, the gold clocks on the wall are set to 11:11, and the light fixtures are clouds, so you kind of feel like you’re dining in Wonderland—until you hear someone yell “shots!”. From the fluffy Make-A-Wish Funfetti cakes topped with a gold candle to the deep fried brioche cinnamon crunch french toast, everything here is pillowy perfection on the inside, party on the outside. The place can get packed and you may have to wait, but for a solid brunch place that feels more like a birthday celebration, it’s worth it. 

Bring some friends to this Passyunk Square Mexican spot any day of the week for dulce de leche french toast, peppery chilaquiles, omelets big enough for three, and the sounds of Luis Miguel blasting through the speakers. The colorful BYOB gets packed on the weekend and is cash-only on those days. But there’s an ATM on-site, and if you have to wait in line, the scent of sizzling peppers and cinnamon mascarpone cream will get you through. 

Libertee Grounds doesn’t offer the kind of brunch you’d expect from a mini golf place. Probably because you wouldn’t expect any kind of food at all (besides stale popcorn and overpriced candy). But this mashup between a restaurant, bar, and place to take your ultra-competitive date pulls off good food in a super casual setting. Only available on Sundays, the menu includes fluffy chai latte french toast (our favorite), a breakfast hash with marinated peppers and sausage, and a crab benedict on Japanese milk bread. They have plenty of cocktails and lunch-y food too, if you think you’re one lamb cheesesteak away from having a perfect swing. 

Brunch isn’t just about where you go, it’s also about who you’re with. This Baltimore Ave. spot is a great place to take a group of your closest friends and family for some comfort food like 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 shrimp cocktail, a salad, and deviled eggs. And thankfully, they have outdoor seating since there’s not a lot of space inside. So on a nice day, you can watch the trolley go by while drinking a coffee and eating spoonfuls of bread pudding.

Restaurant Aleksandar is a sophisticated, artsy spot in a refurbished townhouse just off Rittenhouse Square. The Eastern European-meets-Southern American menu has something for everyone at dinner time, but it really shines during brunch. If you’re craving something sweet, try the custardy monkey bread French toast with caramelized apples, but the crab cake Benedict with perfectly poached eggs is a savory standout. They also make a mean cocktail, so sit back, admire the artwork, and enjoy one fancy boozy brunch.

The menu at FoodChasers' Kitchen in Elkins Park is long and full of comforting dishes like french toast topped with fried spicy honey shrimp, and cheesesteak and eggs on a long roll. But the one dish that sets them apart is their plate of creamy, buttery grits, which has so many topping options that they take up half the morning menu. The best one is topped with salmon, shrimp, and a creamy cheese sauce. It gives you the same feeling you get when you finally get under a fuzzy blanket on a cold day. Try to come on a weekday—the first-come, first-serve dining room tends to get slammed on Saturdays and Sundays.

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photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO

The Best Brunch Spots In Philadelphia guide image