As a brunch town, we’ve arrived. Really, it’s a logical progression for our food-obsessed region, and local restaurants are responding by serving some of their best food before noon. Whether you’re hungry for haute cuisine or just in need of some hair of the dog, here are our 55 favorite places to spend a perfect weekend morning.
The tables are perfectly set, the buffet is meticulously presented, live acoustic guitar fills the room — everything about brunch at this Rittenhouse Square star is perfectly planned, as it should be, given the tariff ($56 per person). But the brunch menu is prepared through the innovative Lacroix filter, so it’s pleasantly unexpected: A stack of cardamom-spiked pancakes is served with smoked strawberry jam, and a grilled cheese sandwich has layers of brie, prosciutto and bright pesto. Brunching hours: Sunday from 11 a.m. 210 West Rittenhouse Square, second floor, 215-790-2533, lacroixrestaurant.com.
As Ryan Moore flips your made-to-order omelet with a deft flick of his wrist (he’s done this before), the rest of your party grazes the elegant $40 buffet spread. (Smoked salmon, or broiled? Waffles or croissants?) Plates heavy, everyone finally settles in on the stately covered veranda to enjoy mimosas and a postcard view of Boathouse Row. Brunching hours: Sunday from 11 a.m. One Boathouse Row, 215-236-9000, thewaterworksrestaurant.com.
Fountain at the Four Seasons
Hands down, incontrovertibly, without a doubt, the most elegant spread in town, with a towering sculptural buffet of caviar, balsamic watermelon, and warm cobbler, not to mention absolutely apropos entrées like ultra-rich crab eggs Benedict and basil-bathed omelets. Yes, it’s $68, but as we digest (really, it’s the only meal you’ll need that day), we prefer to think: Recession? What recession? Brunching hours: Sunday from 11 a.m. One Logan Square, 215-963-1500, fourseasons.com/philadelphia.
As if Bucks County isn’t charming enough, Mark Matyas’s elegant slice-of-France restaurant could be the best way to start a Sunday. Well-priced dishes make it affordable, but the beautiful dining room and little touches like caviar in the smoked salmon scrambled eggs, lump crabmeat in the omelets, and a homemade saffron pasta tossed with shellfish read as pure luxury. Don’t miss the upstairs porch in temperate weather. Brunching hours: Sunday from 11 a.m. 100 South Main Street, Doylestown, 215-348-0222, slatebleu.com.
Sometimes brunch with mismatched mugs, paper placemats and ironic waiters just won’t do, so we’re grateful that Jake’s gives us the white-tablecloth, polished-flatware fine dining that’s appropriate for frittatas and mimosas on Mother’s Day. The prix-fixe menu is heavy on the savory; don’t miss the first-course crème brûlée oatmeal. Brunching hours: Sunday from 10:30 a.m. 4365 Main Street, Manayunk, 215-483-0444, jakesrestaurant.com.