photo credit: GAB BONGHI
The Best Brunch Spots In Philadelphia
Whether you’re looking to face-plant into french toast or host a birthday brunch, these are the best places in Philly for your favorite weekend meal.
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 on Twitter, and when we finally look up, 20 days have passed and we forgot to cancel our free trial of Apple TV+. Just the thought of waking up on another weekend morning with nothing more in your fridge than a bag of spinach can be unbearable. Instead, treat yourself to one of these 17 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 the magical courtyard, but 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.
photo credit: Michael Persico
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 even if you do have to wait and take a number to get your order, you’re about to have some of the best breakfast–not only in Rittenhouse, but in the city as well. From thick, buttery kubaneh toasts topped with whipped brown sugar ricotta, or egg sandwiches on crispy Jerusalem bagels, and a whole lot of delicious pastries, there’s not much here we wouldn’t recommend.
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Head to Callowhill’s Cafe Lift on a Saturday morning and you’ll encounter a lot of people waiting anxiously for a plate of cannoli french toast. 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 that includes things like lemon ricotta pancakes, apple cider chicken salad, and even 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 also BYO and don’t take reservations.
photo credit: GAB BONGHI
Rex At The Royal
It’s not often we recommend a restaurant for date night, exciting dinners, and 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 hear 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.
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 an eight-ounce brunch burger, with just the right amount of melted cheese and caramelized onions, is really the way to go.
Café La Maude
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.
Cake & Joe
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 their raspberry wonderland with white chocolate cake and raspberry cream and earl grey brûlée with caramel banana, are delicious, and they also do more savory brunch options if you don't want to eat dessert for breakfast. Those options include fried chicken cornmeal pancakes topped with spicy honey, a buttered shrimp and spinach omelet, and seafood shakshuka.
LMNO is a Mexican spot in Fishtown where you can have a rowdy brunch outside while listening to a DJ. The menu is full of delicious things like eggs benedict sopes, avocado tostadas topped with pickled red onions, tres leches french toast, and other dishes that are slightly more interesting than the usuals. Come here for a fun weekend morning with friends where you want to sing along to Bob Marley between sips of margaritas.
Primary Plant Based
Primary Plant Based is a great vegan spot in Fishtown with a brunch menu full of creative (and delicious) dishes like a miso glazed sweet potato sandwich, smoked potato hash, and a cheesesteak made with smoky wood ear mushrooms and seitan. A lot of the dishes on the menu are also gluten-free, so this place works well for a variety of dietary needs. Bring a small group of vegetable-loving friends to this BYOB, and enjoy the floor-to-ceiling windows, all the plants in the dining room, and the fact that you won't need to settle for a side of potatoes or salad this time.
Famous 4th Street Delicatessen
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.
Nom Wah Philadelphia
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.
Booker’s Restaurant & Bar
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.
photo credit: RACHEL LERRO
Front Street Cafe
When it’s nice outside, there’s no better place to eat breakfast than on Front Street Cafe’s back patio. And even when it’s not nice out, there still aren’t many better places to have brunch in the city. This Fishtown spot serves everything from chicken and waffle bites to white chocolate cream-stuffed french toast, but if you’re looking for something kind of healthy, they also do solid açaí bowls and quinoa oat porridge topped with apple compote.
Overflowing with trees, overhead string lighting, and a greenhouse in the center, this Broad Street rooftop is one of the most beautiful brunch spots in Philly. After you’re done taking in the view, try the fontina-topped crab melt. It’s an open-faced sandwich that’s overflowing with mounds of mesclun, jalapeños, and pickled onions. It gets crowded here on Saturday and Sunday, so we recommend getting a reservation or you’ll be taking a few City Hall selfies while you wait.
Cantina Los Caballitos
Cantina Los Caballitos is a casual Mexican spot in East Passyunk that has incredible tacos and does brunch daily. And because there’s plenty of seating inside and outside, it’s very easy to walk in with a group of friends who are down for some churro french toast and a few pitchers of margaritas. The rest of the brunch menu has dishes like huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, buttermilk hotcakes, and chilaquiles drenched in tomatillo salsa. The brunch cocktails, like a sparkling margarita and blood orange and strawberry mimosas, are all made from fresh juice, so it’s an easygoing place to spread out with some friends and order basically everything they have.
photo credit: Prince Tea House
Prince Tea House
There aren’t many places in the city where you can live out your Alice in Wonderland tea party fantasies. But at Chinatown’s Prince Tea House, with its velvety pastries, metallic finger sandwich towers, buttery waffles, and china so fancy that it looks like it came from the set of The Crown, that’s exactly what you can do. Open daily at noon, they have everything from smoked salmon salad and scones to egg salad sandwiches–the $55 tea for two includes all of them, plus unlimited tea. Bring a group of friends here, pair your purple yam crêpe cake (our favorite) with teas ranging from oolong or passion fruit to lavender green milk, and dive into a spread that looks more impressive than anything that existed in Alice’s imagination.
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.