With so many terrific options in Philly for outdoor brunch, why start your day with anything else than a mound of pancakes, brioche french toast, and bacon on a patio? Here are 14 open-air places that will give your dishwasher a break for many early afternoons to come.
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When Queer Eye came to Philly for its fifth season, one of the highlights was that we got a great Mexican restaurant in Alma Del Mar. They've got colorful patio furniture, white table umbrellas, and some memorable seafood dishes—including the greens and seafood salad, the salmon burger, and fish and grits. One of the best dishes, though, is the lobster benedict. Covered in an Old Bay hollandaise sauce, one bite will make you thankful for exploring life outside your bed’s blankets for a few hours.
There are so many brunch options at Bud & Marylin’s that the menu might give you the same indecision you feel when your ex calls. Do I “hold and answer” or just “send to voicemail”? When you’re here you need to try the amazing braised short rib chilaquiIles. The dish stacks tender beef over cumin black beans, queso, smoked guajillo salsa, over crunchy tortillas, all with an egg on top. The brunch menu also has some cocktails on it like a blood orange margarita and a few French reds if your group of friends are in a celebratory mood.
Normally furnished with European-style sidewalk tables, this Lebanese-French cafe is set up for brunch in the streets. With wicker chairs and big red umbrellas at every table, Cafe La Maude continues to serve one of the best brunches in Philly. For a spicy start to your day, look no further than the green shakshuka. The dish is topped with a tangy carrot tahini sauce over sweet potatoes, fried cauliflower, green fava beans, kale, and spinach.
This popular BYO’s sidewalk setup includes long wooden tables, massive black and white umbrellas, and some wide green street turf that kind of reminds us of Lincoln Financial Field. In an ultimate go-sweet-or-go-home move, try their cannoli french toast. The challah is soaked in a cinnamon vanilla custard before it’s baked, and the ricotta cannoli filling is so generous that you’ll have heaps of it on every bite.
Few things are more satisfying in life than Café y Chocolate’s Huevos Motuleños Especiales. The dish swims in spicy salsa verde with refried black beans and comes topped with a poached egg mixed with ham and mozzarella cheese, roasted poblano rojas, caramelized onions, and tomatoes. This neighborhood Mexican cafe and coffee shop doesn’t have the largest sidewalk setup—outlining the mural-wrapped building are small square tables and folding chairs. But from your seat, you’ll have views of the bright and striking floral art that’s all over the restaurant’s exterior.
Known for their eclairs, croissants, and tarts, this South Philly patisserie has plenty of brunch options. Enjoy some of the best french toast in the city on their picnic table-filled sidewalk patio. Topped with berry coulis and fresh berries, it’s the perfect mix of thick slices that also have crispy edges. For some post-brunch sweetness, don’t forget to grab a giant macaron on the way out.
We know $25 shrimp and grits might seem like a lot for brunch. But the creaminess of the grits and the spicy kick from the shrimp’s sauce work in perfect harmony. Plus, the restaurant’s spacious wooden tables also provide great views of one of the best parks in Center City.
This Mediterranean spot serves brunch daily with a menu spanning from pastries, Norwegian lox, to chocolate chip pancakes. One of our favorites, the shakshuka merguez, fills a bowl with eggs, spicy chorizo, and sweet Moroccan salsa. It's s always cooked perfectly cooked and comes with fluffy pita. Their brick outdoor courtyard is surrounded by a bunch of greenery, and the patio offers a wonderful setting to sip on many of their mason jar drinks—including our favorite, the blueberry lemonade spritz that has real fruit swimming in it.
Royal Boucherie has a peaceful outdoor garden on their second floor, but for those who like the busy jolt of sidewalk seating, you can also enjoy brunch all day long on their new outdoor dining setup. One of the best things on the brunch menu is the Boucherie burger with bone marrow, watercress, and gruyere. You can top it with bacon ($2) to it or a fried egg ($3) but even without it, it's huge, but isn’t so sloppy that your favorite romper will be at risk.
Located across from Independence Hall, the outdoor patio gives you access to two American staples: shrimp and grits and the Liberty Bell. The former has pimento cheese and doubles its creaminess from the citrus aioli. You could also go for their juicy burger with a lemony glaze, pickles, onions, and cheddar. And whether you’re choosing between those fries or a fresh side salad, you can do it under their fully-covered outdoor patio.
People in this city are used to waiting. We waited from 1960 to 2018 for the Eagles to win their fourth Super Bowl. And we constantly wait to get into University City's Sabrina’s Cafe for brunch. The lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes are a favorite of ours and come with a mixed berry compote—which is great if you want a switch up from drowning your pancakes in syrup. Make sure you plan your meetup for the weekend, as outdoor seating in the front yard is only available on Saturdays and Sundays.
When you’re having brunch at Suraya, you need to try the za’atar flatbread with onion and tomato. It’s huge and is topped with a perfectly cooked poached egg. Their outdoor garden is one of the most serene places to eat in the city with an impressive fountain and circular fire pits at the entrance. Plus, you can eat under coverage on futons or gaze from the center of the courtyard at smaller bistro tables.
On Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-3pm, Walnut Street Cafe puts on live music and serves what they call a Jazz Brunch. Small bistro tables with padded seating outline the glassy restaurant, and the comfortable plaza is a great place to try one of our favorites: the steak and eggs. It’s covered with bordelaise sauce and served with seasoned potatoes and eggs. If you’re tired of listening to the typical Spotify coffeehouse playlist at brunch, switch things up by coming here.
Like Wawa during Hoagiefest, Veda’s brunch is something folks in Philly flock to. And for good reason, as their extensive weekend brunch menu has a bunch of great dishes. Our favorite is the masala omelet, which is topped with onion, tomato, chilies, and a mild chili sauce. For dessert, you need to try the gulab jamun that’s sprinkled with rose-flavored syrup. Veda also offers a bottomless brunch each Saturday and Sunday.