PHLGuide

The Best Brunch Spots In Philadelphia

From waffles to dim sum and all the eggs in between.
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Let’s face it, work weeks are blending together. 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 a streaming free trial. Just the thought of waking up on another morning with nothing more in your fridge than questionable leftovers can be unbearable. Go to these great Philly restaurants instead.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Italian

Bella Vista

$$$$Perfect For:PastriesBYOBCoffee & A Light BiteWalk-InsTakeawayLunch
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This new Italian cafe in Bella Vista specializes in crispy, fried panzerotti—including a very good breakfast version with scrambled egg and melty cooper sharp and pastries. But, on weekends, there are also juicy smash burgers served with Fishtown Pickle Project pickles, as well as cream-filled maritozzi that will inspire you to wake up earlier.

We get riled up just thinking about the quality of China Gourmet's ripping hot pork siu mai, crispy spring rolls, and bouncy sesame-coated buns. It’s the first place we recommend for dim sum in Philly, even if there’s usually a line on weekends. Their massive space in the Northeast opens at 9:30am every day and could fit several family reunions. Bring a group on a Sunday and you’ll see kids pretending to be DJs while spinning lazy susans, overhear neighborhood gossip over lunch, and pop shrimp balls covered in golden strips of wontons that make each one look like a mound of hay. 

The menu at FoodChasers' Kitchen in Elkins Park has comforting dishes like french toast topped with fried spicy honey shrimp, and cheesesteaks. But the one dish that sets them apart is their creamy, buttery grits, which has so many topping options that they take up half the morning menu. The first-come, first-serve dining room tends to get slammed on Saturdays and Sundays. You could always come on a weekday.

If you come to this Fishtown all-day spot on a weekend during brunch, you're going to be just one of a sea of 30-year-olds in search of breakfast sandwiches and coffee. So come on the early or late side if you want to avoid playing defense just to get a table. We always get the breakfast burrito with pastrami as well as the fluffy pancakes, which are made with whole-grain flour milled by Lost Bread and then drenched in sweet citrus syrup with a pat of smiley-face-shaped butter on top.

Bring some friends to this South Philly 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 BYOB gets busy on the weekends and is cash-only. (There’s an ATM inside). And, if you have to wait in line, the smell of sizzling peppers and cinnamon mascarpone cream will get you through. 

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.

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 our favorite place for brunch in Queen Village. They don’t take reservations, but the line to sit down typically moves quickly. There’s no place in town stacking corned beef higher or spreading cream cheese thicker.

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 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 fortunately, 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.


From thick, buttery kubaneh topped with whipped brown sugar ricotta and egg sandwiches on pressed, crispy Jerusalem bagels to the selection of delicious pastries, there’s not much here we wouldn’t recommend at this Rittenhouse cafe. At prime time on weekends, you're going to have to wait in line just to order your pisachio sticky bun and coffee. That is, unless you can grab a seat at the counter, where you’ll get table service.


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.


Although its name sounds bad food podcast, Northern Liberties’ Brunchaholics is pretty great. They do sweet potato pancakes and french toast apple cobbler well, and everyone sings along to Lauryn Hill between sips of lemonade. Plus, the place is open every day except for Monday. So you don't have to wait until the weekend to make the hard choice between crab, shrimp, and fried fish gumbo over grits or a cheesy short rib omelet large enough for three.


If you’re looking for great pastries and enough tables for groups, prioritize Cake and Joe. The sweets, like the Raspberry Wonderland with white chocolate cake and raspberry cream, and earl grey brûlée with caramel banana, are fantastic. They also make savory brunch dishes if dessert for breakfast isn't your thing. Try the fried chicken cornmeal pancakes topped with spicy honey, a buttered shrimp and spinach omelet, and seafood shakshuka.

Every day (except Wednesday) starting at 11:30am, you can go to this Chinatown dim sum spot for shrimp dumplings, roast pork buns, and spicy beef wontons. They also have a lengthy tea menu, with nine blends like chrysanthemum, oolong, shou mei, and jasmine. But if you’re in the mood to pair your pan-fried chicken and cabbage dumplings with a midday beer, there's always Tsingtao.

Eleven Eleven is a welcome addition to the Philly brunch scene. 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.

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 has enough space for large groups, as well as a stage where you can catch some live music. Come for a Sunday brunch filled with fluffy chicken and waffles, crab omelet, banana pudding french toast, and a juicy burger.

photo credit: Rachel Lerro

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Talula’s is consistently good no matter where you sit, but try to get a spot in the garden on Washington Square Park. The seasonal American restaurant has sweet options, like 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. 

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8.7

Head to Fishtown's all-day hangout for everything from breakfast sandwiches and stacked hoagies to cocktails and steak frites.

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