WITH A GROUP
If you live or work in Center City, you eat at Marathon. But no matter how many times we’re there during the week, it still hits the spot for weekend brunch. The atmosphere is a little less hustle-and-bustle, but the food still comes out fast, and the menu has something for everyone: eggs on a croissant with bacon, Gouda and apple; whole wheat apple-cinnamon pancakes; and lots and lots of coffee. (Psst … upstairs at the 10th and Walnut spot is our favorite of the lot.) Brunching hours: Brunch served at all locations (except 1818 Market Street) on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9 a.m., and at 40th and Walnut starting at 10 a.m. Multiple locations; marathongrill.com.
We just can’t understand why this adorable BYOB isn’t bursting at the seams for brunch. The menu is filled with dream-worthy, light but sumptuous dishes like fried eggs in brioche with Nueske’s bacon, roasted tomatoes and hollandaise, and a garden-fresh Niçoise salad with pink tuna. No matter; it just means we can show up with a group in tow, grab a table facing the open kitchen, and watch as chefs whip up the best part of our weekend. Brunching hours: Sunday from 11 a.m. 801 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-923-7675, cochonbyob.com.
The Waterwheel Restaurant
The Waterwheel’s Colonial nooks and crannies make it perfect for a gang. And there’s plenty for all at the $25 brunch buffet, with hand-carved meats, bagels and smoked fish, scrapple, fresh fruit, quiche, bread pudding, and host Kenny Hicklin whipping up eggs Benedict and banana-pecan crepes to order. It’s easy to overlook the plain-Jane spinach-artichoke dip. Don’t. Brunching hours: Sunday from 10 a.m. 4424 Old Easton Road, Doylestown, 215-345-9544, thewaterwheelrestaurant.com.
This wood-adorned converted fire station (with outdoor seating) isn’t just spacious; it takes reservations, ensuring your hungry party of brunchers will get seats. But it’s the complimentary buttermilk biscuits to start, the warm chocolate chip cookies to finish — plus the kick-ass, heavy-on-the-horseradish Bloody Marys in the middle — that keep us coming back even when we’re alone. Brunching hours: Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. 2130 Fairmount Avenue, 215-232-9000, jacksfirehouse.com.
This $14.95 brunch buffet may be a little smaller than some, but it’s totally fresh, stocked with house-made goodies like tarts and cakes and the market’s specialties: pulled pork sliders and smoked salmon. Casual long tables make the meal feel like an indoor picnic. Don’t forget to BYOB. Brunching hours: Sunday from 10 a.m. 1805 Unionville-Wawaset Road, West Chester, 610-793-1210, northbrookmarketplace.com.
Azie on Main
Thanks to predecessor Maia, the upstairs level of this Main Line restaurant is spacious, well-appointed and bright, with deep booths, lots of tables, and a circular dining room in the back that’s perfect for large groups. Brunch here means an affordable buffet (only $20 per person) of Asian-leaning dishes like house-glazed tender beef, a nice selection of dim sum, ginger-cured salmon, excellent fried rice, and poached egg with green tea soba noodles. Brunching hours: Sunday from 11 a.m. 789 East Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, 610-527-5700, azieonmain.com.