7 Brunch Spots For Special Occasions
Philly restaurants that are fancy enough for a special occasion brunch, complete with breakfast caviar and bottomless mimosas.
Planning brunch on a normal weekend is stressful enough. Throw in a birthday, graduation, or celebration with a group and you’ve got sheer chaos. But fear not—we’ve scoured the city, braving the (often hungover) masses to find brunch spots made for a special occasion. These are the seven best.
Suraya is an all-day Lebanese cafe in Fishtown that feels special whether you’re popping in for coffee on a Monday morning or celebrating an anniversary on a Saturday night, but the best time to go is for their epic weekend brunch. Let the smell of chai and cardamom kouign-amann beckon you through the boho, plant-filled space, and (if you can), get a seat in the dreamy back garden. Order the ful mudammas, complete with two poached eggs and buttery cashew dukkah, and an assortment of housemade pastries for the table.
It doesn’t get much swankier than the 60th floor of the Four Seasons. That’s where you’ll find JG Skyhigh, a chic, slightly more laidback counterpart to Jean Georges (one level down). If you can look away from the stunning view of the entire city, check out the brunch menu which has an entire section dedicated to caviars and crudos. They also have more casual fare, like black truffle and fontina pizza or a cheeseburger topped with gruyere, but we’re partial to the crispy hash browns with smoked salmon and osetra caviar.
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If you ask 100 random Philadelphians to pick their favorite special occasion spot, an overwhelming majority will probably say Fork. That’s because it’s a people pleaser with a straightforward but excellent American menu, and it’s a great place to go with a big group. The space has white tablecloths and definitely feels upscale, but you won’t feel like you’re at a stuffy steakhouse. On Saturdays and Sundays, they serve classics with a twist, like eggs Benedict with smoked trout and steak frites with chimichurri. You can’t go wrong at Fork, but you’ll definitely want an assortment of High Street pastries for the table.
photo credit: Rachel Lerro
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.
photo credit: Craig Fineburg
Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse
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.
photo credit: Dan Heinkel
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.
photo credit: Julian Bovasso
Aqimero sits in the lobby of the Ritz-Carlton in Center City, surrounded by chandeliers, Parthenon-esque stone columns, and marble everything. The upscale Latin grill offers a four-course brunch for $70 that includes an assortment of unlimited champagne cocktails and signature dishes (like huevos infernos and piña colada French toast). Brunch is also available a la carte—the Mexican crab cake Benedict is excellent—but few things are as indulgent as endless mimosas.