Brunch in Philadelphia: The Ultimate Guide

For some of us, brunch is the most important meal of the week. Here's a neighborhood-by-neighborhood list of where to find the best.

kfar philadelphia bagels

Bagels at K’Far / Photograph by Michael Persico

Brunch in Philly has always been serious business.

This city has an almost Southern attitude toward that liminal, late-morning repast. It’s not just an extra service tacked onto the day or the weekend — not just some pancakes and eggs slopped out for the hungover masses with little concern for quality — but a measure of our character.

Brunch is a meal meant for lingering over. An excuse to gather with friends and family in places where we’ve been gathering for years or generations. An extra opportunity for joy in the form of waffles and bacon and egg sandwiches (and occasionally dim sum), or a mercy to those who need an excuse to drink before noon on a Sunday.

We wait in line for brunch. We plan in advance. Brunch menus in Philly can be works of art, filled with clever and creative international flavors. Or they can just be comforting soft landings after whatever it was we got up to on Saturday night. Whatever it is that you need out of a brunch, Philly has a place that’ll make it happen.

So let’s take a look at the best of them.

The Brunches You Must Try First

Middle Child Clubhouse’s Olivia Pancake with a smiley face slab of chef Edwin De La Rosa’s signature citrus honey butter. / Photograph by Matthew Cahn

Middle Child ClubhouseFishtown
Edwin De La Rosa, the executive chef of A.M. service at Middle Child Clubhouse, has turned this restaurant into one of the city’s best breakfast and lunch destinations. Yes, they still do the beloved breakfast sandwich, but he’s also added a burrito stuffed with pastrami, a blueberry-chai yogurt bowl, and what might just be the single best pancake in Philadelphia. 1232 North Front Street

K’Far Cafe, Center City
K’Far’s lunches are packed with office workers, but their mornings are the move: stretched-out Jerusalem-style bagels, rugelach, babkas and borekas are amazing. 110 South 19th Street

High StreetWashington Square West
In its new location at 9th and Chestnut, High Street has toasts, egg sandwiches, and elevated takes on brunch classics, like the einkorn sourdough waffle served with an orange-blossom butter and malted maple syrup. 101 South 9th Street

Fiore has everything you need for a lovely brunch: excellent egg sandwiches on house-made focaccia and English muffins, plus an ever-changing and incredibly tempting selection of pastries. Don’t forget to finish it all off with a gelato. 2413 Frankford Avenue

Suraya, Fishtown
A grown-up, upscale brunch perfect for celebrations or special occasions, or just regular ol’ get-togethers around plates of Turkish eggs, Lebanese omelettes and some of the city’s best pastries. 1528 Frankford Avenue

The Dutch, East Passyunk
Brunch doesn’t have to be a weekend-only affair. The Dutch offers their full brunch menu on weekdays, making this a great place to go if your brunch days are not Saturday and Sunday. Plus, they do regional delicacies (ring bologna, Dutch babies, Lebanon bologna) that don’t get much play on other menus around town. 1537 South 11th Street

Malvern Buttery, Malvern
This place has a cult following that’s kinda scary. We know people who go there every weekend, and we know others who’ve been once and just can’t stop talking about it. The food is uncomplicated. The menu is short. There are egg bowls, croissant tarts, scratch-made pastries, and a toast bar with homemade jams and butters. And while the toast bar in particular would fuel our obsession, everyone seems to fall in love with with their own little corner of this place. 233 East King Street

The Best Brunch in Center City

Dutch Eating Place
The Pennsylvania Dutch know more about brunch than perhaps any other culture, and all of it is on display at this ridiculously busy stand inside Reading Terminal Market. 51 North 12th Street

You know what’s rare in Center City? Indian restaurants. Know what’s even rarer? Indian brunch. But that’s exactly what Veda is offering now — a mix of chaat, kathi rolls, grilled breads, pickled vegetables. Plus, they’ve got shrimp amritsari soft tacos which sound just awesome: spiced shrimp, Indian wheat tortillas (actually phulka), kachumber (which is kinda like Indian salsa, only served like a salad), and a sweet chile aioli to top them. 1920 Chestnut Street

Winkel’s Dutch-inspired menu is remarkably comprehensive, with fresh, grilled bread with homemade seasonal jam, three-cheese omelettes, savory pancakes with smoked sausage, apples and mustard butter or waffles topped with vinegar-braised beef and vegetables. Or, you know, just some bacon and eggs. 1119 Locust Street

The Best Brunch in Fairmount, Spring Garden and Callowhill

Jersey Blueberry Pie French Toast from Cafe Lift / Photograph by Mike Prince

Cafe Lift
Cafe Lift is a brunch specialist. It’s what they do, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., seven days a week. For more than 10 years now, they’ve been a worthy neighborhood favorite (and now there’s a second location in Haddonfield, too). 1124 Spring Garden Street

Tela’s Market
Yes, Tela’s is a market where you can pick up locally-sourced supplies for cooking your own meals (or ready-made dishes for takeout). But there’s also a cafe inside, and that cafe serves buttermilk pancakes with Pennsylvania maple syrup — a fine way to jump-start any morning. 1833 Fairmount Avenue

Bar Hygge
“Hygge” is a Danish word that basically means taking pleasure in making the ordinary special. The eggs Benny with pork belly and hot sauce hollandaise and the cinnamon bun monkey bread with Nutella frosting served during their weekend brunch is basically that concept, translated into edible form. 1720 Fairmount Avenue

The Best Brunch in West Philly and University City

Photograph courtesy of Sabrina’s Cafe

Renata’s Kitchen
Brunch all day, every day, and with a little something for everyone — whether you like Lebanese omelettes, Norwegian smoked salmon, shakshuka, Cuban roast pork, or just some plain old chocolate-chip pancakes. 3940 Baltimore Avenue

Clarkville is remarkable because it is both one of the best neighborhood joints in the city and one of the most family-friendly places around. That goes double during brunch hours. Just be patient, though, because when the weather gets nice, Clarkville can get very busy. 4301 Baltimore Avenue

It’s cool that there’s one place in Philly where we can go to get both Moroccan scrambled eggs (made with spicy ground beef, tomato sauce, and paprika-spiced potatoes) and shrimp and grits made with pepper shrimp and served with a pita. Aksum has always represented one of Philly’s most interesting experiments in fusion cuisine, and the brunch menu is no exception. 4630 Baltimore Avenue

White Dog Cafe
Yes, there are other locations elsewhere, but we still like the University City outpost for chicken liver mousse for the table, oysters with champagne mignonette, thick-cut Green Meadow bacon, and a churro waffle. 3420 Sansom Street

Sabrina’s Cafe
Sabrina’s has five locations now, each offering brunch. So whether you’re in Wynnewood, Collingswood, South Street, near the Art Museum or right here in University City, there’s a place for you. Plus, it’s easy to find Sabrina’s on any Saturday or Sunday morning. Just look for the line. 227 North 34th Street

Booker’s Restaurant and Bar
Booker’s is a many-mimosas, chicken-and-waffles, breakfast burrito, steak-and-eggs kind of place for brunch, which they serve Monday through Sunday. 5021 Baltimore Avenue

The Best Brunch in Point Breeze and Graduate Hospital

Ants Pants Cafe
What’s that? You’re looking for an Australian brunch place opened in a former psychic’s shop? Cool, because that’s exactly what Ants Pants is. It has one of the strangest names of any restaurant in the city and a solid selection of brunch options. 2212 South Street

The Breakfast Den
The Breakfast Den is a good reminder that Vietnam has some of the best breakfast foods in the world. Their menu includes banh mi breakfast sandwiches, lots of porridge, plus banana pancakes, French toast sticks and vegetarian bowls. 1500 South Street

Rex at the Royal
Rex is where you go when you’re looking to experience brunch the Southern way — with shrimp and grits, buttermilk biscuits in gravy, crab cake Benedict dripping in hollandaise, and cocktails from the bar. 1516 South Street

Cafe y Chocolate
If huevos rancheros, burritos stuffed with eggs and chorizo, or chilaquiles sound more your speed when it comes to brunch, then this is your spot. Also, don’t miss the molletes, which is basically a Mexican open-faced grilled cheese sandwich with black beans. 1532 Snyder Avenue

The Best Brunch in Rittenhouse and Fitler Square

The Love
There may be no more lovely or comforting brunch menu anywhere in the city. Everything — from the potato skins stuffed with smoked whitefish salad to the bananas Foster waffles and ricotta ravioli with lump crab and carrot sauce — is better than you’d expect it to be and prepared with as much care as their fanciest dinner plates. 130 South 18th Street

If there’s any place in Philly where people go to see and be seen, it’s Parc. In warmer weather, the patio seating is the prime viewing area. But no matter the weather (and no matter where you sit), it’s always been the classic French-American brunch menu that has drawn the biggest crowds. 227 South 18th Street

Trattoria Carina
You gotta trust any place that has a roast pork sandwich on their brunch menu. Seriously, sharp broccoli rabe and provolone, all on a crispy baguette? That’s perfect. Plus, there’s mushroom toast with hazelnut, a classic BEC, and cocktails at the bar. But really, it’s the roast pork sandwich that sells it. 2201 Spruce Street

The Best Brunch in East Passyunk

This Southern-inspired all-day cafe does breakfast all the time. So that means you can score some malted waffles with Nutella, a pork-roll-and-pimento-cheese benny or bourbon-glazed french toast all day long. Which is basically like being able to have brunch all the time. 1819 East Passyunk Avenue

The Tasty
It looks like a classic American diner, all blue Formica and chrome. But the menu is very much of the moment — completely vegan, but done in the style of simple American comfort food. 1401 South 12th Street

Casa Mexico
If the idea of waiting in line for South Philly Barbacoa isn’t really the brunch vibe you’re looking for, check out their other restaurant, Casa Mexico, where you can sit down at one of their cozy tables and eat from the set menu of seasonally inspired Mexican comida corridas like quesadillas, guisados, arroz con leche, and more. 1134 South 9th Street

Alma Del Mar
Alma Del Mar is most known for being the star of a Queer Eye episode during their Philadelphia season, but it’s also notable for having perhaps the largest portions of any brunch spot in the city, whether you opt for their Mexican classics or Americans comfort foods. 1007 South 9th Street

Comfort & Floyd
This cozy spot is a dedicated brunch joint offering eggs, pancakes, sandwiches, kielbasa omelets, and kale salads in a bright, welcoming space. 1301 South 11th Street

The Best Brunch in Old City

Khyber Pass Pub
This is nice, because you can spend the night at the Khyber pickling your liver, then come right back in the morning (if dignity allows) for beignets, biscuits and gravy, and a little hair of the dog. 56 South 2nd Street

Royal Boucherie
This neighborhood French spot serves a delightfully French brunch with crème brûlée French toast, a classic breakfast, and a lobster Benedict for the hungriest member of the brunch bunch. 52 South 2nd Street

Eggcelent Cafe
This everyday brunch spot does all the basics — pancakes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches and burritos — but gets bonus points for the Brekkie Banh Mi: an over easy egg, maple pork sausage, pickled carrot and daikon, jalapeños, cilantro and a spicy aioli cheese on a toasted bagel. For those of you looking for something more on the lunch-y side of brunch, The Eggsplosion burger is pretty good, too. 113 Chestnut Street

The Best Brunch in Fishtown and Northern Liberties

Honey’s Sit ‘N Eat
Honey’s proves to everyone that slow cooked brisket on biscuits and gravy and challah French toast are the final word when it comes to Jewish-Southern fusion. 800 North 4th Street

Cafe La Maude
Cafe La Maude is a brunch institution — offering it all day, every day, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Even better? They serve a French-Lebanese mix of foul moudamas, eggs Benedict, salmon fume, and shakshuka. 816 North 4th Street

Sulimay’s Restaurant
If some classic diner food is what you’re after, then Sulimay’s is perfect. Omelettes, egg sandwiches, pancakes, waffles covered in fruit — they’ve got all the basics and serve them every day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 632 East Girard Avenue

The Best Brunch in Queen Village, Society Hill, and Bella Vista

The corned beef sandwich at Famous 4th Street / Photograph by Theresa Regan

Famous 4th Street Delicatessen
This corner deli has been in operation for almost 100 years. Seriously, it’s been knocking out corned beef and pastrami since 1923. It’s as much of an institution in Philly as almost any other place you can name and offers a true deli brunch experience. 700 South 4th Street

Sam’s Morning Glory Diner
Sam’s Morning Glory has been up and running in Bella Vista since 1997. That’s a lot of time to practice making frittata and get in good with their regulars, and it shows. 735 South 10th Street

Bloomsday Cafe
There’s a lot to like about brunch at Bloomsday, but one of the best things is that they lavish as much attention on their brunch pastries as they do their savory offerings. That means you can have a pear galette alongside your breakfast sandwich, which we think is a real advantage to any brunch experience. 414 South 2nd Street

The Best Brunch in the Philly Suburbs

The Landing Kitchen
Nick Elmi’s all-day cafe in Bala Cynwyd has done the unthinkable: It’s made us crave salad for brunch. (Though the breakfast platters and loaded toasts are also excellent.) 617 Righters Ferry Road

Stove & Tap
A beautiful space, outdoor tables, a full bar, and a big menu of American brunch classics like banana pancakes, biscuits and gravy, deviled eggs, and a fried chicken sandwich. What more do you need? 329 West Main Street, Lansdale

Hymie’s Deli
No matter where you live, the four sweetest words any deli (but especially a Jewish one) can ever say is “Breakfast served all day.” The menu here is enormous, so it’s pretty much guaranteed that no matter what you’re looking for, Hymie’s will have it. 342 Montgomery Avenue, Merion Station

Cheese, charcuterie, oysters, and a sandwich of prosciutto, triple creme, tomato confit and olive oil on a crusty baguette? I’m not sure what your idea of a perfect brunch is, but that’s pretty damn close to mine. 1 West Avenue, Wayne