Let’s face it, work weeks seem to be running into each other. We spend our days dodging speed cameras on Roosevelt Blvd, tracking cheesesteak abominations on Twitter, and when we finally look up, 20 days have passed and we forgot to cancel our free trial of Apple TV+. And just the thought of waking up on another weekend morning with nothing more in your fridge beside a bag of spinach can be unbearable. Instead, treat yourself to one of these 29 options for the best brunch in Philadelphia.
Head to Callowhill’s Cafe Lift on a Saturday morning and you’ll encounter a lot of people waiting anxiously for a plate of cannoli french toast. But if your office is closed for the day, or you’ve decided to call in “sick,” there’s nowhere better to take advantage of the rare weekday brunch. They have a menu that includes things like lemon ricotta pancakes, apple cider chicken salad, and even an egg cheesesteak that stacks slices of ribeye, caramelized onions, american cheese, and a fried egg, on a warm pretzel bun. They serve breakfast food every day until 3pm—especially important to note since they’re also BYO and don’t take reservations.
You’ll generally wait at least 30 minutes in line just to order on the weekend at K’far. That is, unless you can grab a seat at the counter, where you’ll get immediate service. But even if you do have to wait and take a number to get your order, you’re about to have some of the best breakfast not only in Rittenhouse Square, but in the city as well. With thick, buttery kubaneh toasts topped with whipped brown sugar ricotta, egg sandwiches on crispy Jerusalem bagels, and a whole lot of delicious pastries, there’s not much here we wouldn’t recommend.
Open daily from 8am-8pm, this Mexican spot has more brunch choices than the requests the Eagles get to wear Kelly Green jerseys on game day. Designed by the Queer Eye cast, the dining room is decked out in vibrant colors, fresh flowers, and even some cool neon signage. And because the Bella Vista BYOB spot is always generous with the portions, it’s one of our favorite places in the city to eat a huge plate of huevos rancheros.
If you want to have brunch somewhere with big tables and bottomless pitchers of mimosas, don’t come to Middle Child. However, if you’re looking for the best breakfast sandwich in the city, then you’re in the right place. Middle Child is a small, counter-service deli in Washington Square West (they also have Middle Child Clubhouse in Fishtown as well), and on the weekends there’s usually about a 30-minute wait. But the way the Herschel Waker sandwich blends fluffy eggs, american cheese, and tender strips of corned beef short-rib, it’s worth the line.
Brunch is the only time of day where a group of friends can have a table of dishes that range from french toast covered in vanilla custard, a slice of margherita pizza, pear and date oatmeal, and a roast pork sandwich with long hot relish and smoked mozzarella. At Center City’s Barbuzzo, you can have all of that and more. They have a shakshuka that comes with spicy yogurt and a Spanish steak and eggs dish that's topped with smoked garlic aioli, hazelnut-almond romesco, and manchego. Not to mention you can pair any of those dishes with coffee, four dry ciders, their house sangria, or stick with a nice glass of rosé.
When you’re craving a breakfast that’ll last you until dinner, and don’t want to be the only one at brunch in scrubs, head to Honey’s for latkes and their signature Honey Cristo made with challah French toast and ham. This place is cash-only and doesn’t take reservations, so expect to wait on the weekends. But they are BYOB, so if you’re feeling up for it, you can always bring an extra bottle of something.
Sometimes going to the same brunch place can feel as predictable as traffic on I-76 during rush hour. When that happens, we recommend mixing things up at this fun Locust Street spot that really commits to its retro theme (they even have an old tube TV behind the bar). With 11 different brunch cocktails, including a tasty blood orange margarita that’s good enough to help you forget about the Sixers’ past season, they’ve got plenty of ways to start your day off on an entertaining note. And they don’t just have a basic chicken and waffles—this one comes topped with thick slabs of bacon, a fried egg, and plenty of syrup.
Cafe La Maude kind of looks like a French bistro and has a few tables outside for when it’s nice out. The menu at this Northern Liberties spot leans Lebanese and Mediterranean with everything from a green shakshuka, to baklawa pancakes, to petit steak and eggs. It’s BYOB and they don’t take reservations, but there’s a plant shop next door that you can explore while you wait and daydream about their brisket huevos rancheros.
There are some Sunday brunches that require Ocean’s 8-level tactics to shove your way into a counter space at a busy market. But once you have a serving of warm apple dumplings, bite into a BEC, or have a plate of potatoes drowning in creamed chipped beef, you’ll know this Amish spot in Reading Terminal Market is worth all the maneuvering. They serve breakfast until noon every Tuesday-Friday, but on Saturdays, they keep serving up stacks of blueberry hotcakes and apple cinnamon French toast until 2pm.
Sometimes you wake up on a Sunday morning ready to fill the last day of your weekend with activities. Other times, you want Jerry’s. This Northern Liberties spot is where you come when you’ve got a hangover, or when you want to distract yourself from the Eagles game with a sticky bun and a short rib omelette. They do all the classic breakfast drinks and have a ton of beers on tap as well, just in case you want to keep the party going.
With one of the few truly bottomless brunches in the city, Veda’s masala egg roast and kathi rolls are a nice change of pace from omelets and french toast. They have chicken roti rolls, shrimp amritsari tacos, a masala omelets, and even brunch desserts like tutti frutti ice cream and gulab jamun. They take reservations, so get some friends together and use Veda as your starting point for a day out in Rittenhouse.
Instead of waking up late and watching a Youtube tutorial on how to make the perfect shakshuka, just head over to this University City cafe that's open from 10am-3pm. With a location right near the Schuylkill River, a meal here almost makes us forget about the stack of emails that’ll be waiting for us on Monday morning. The eggs are swimming in a rich tomato sauce that’s up there on the spice meter. But since they serve everything from an orange sweet cream espressotini to an Irish coffee, our mouths have a few cool-down options too.
Renata’s Kitchen is our favorite West Philly brunch spot. The Mediterranean BYOB serves brunch all day, every day with a menu that ranges from a croissant and crumb cake-filled pastry basket to omelets, salads, and falafel wraps. No matter who you’re here with, it’s the kind of place that has something for anyone.
Brunch isn’t just about where you go, it’s also about who you’re with. This Baltimore Ave. spot is a great place to take a group of your closest friends and family for some comfort food like Southern-style grits with fish, shrimp, or sausage, fried chicken and waffles with strawberry butter, and a cheesecake french toast. If you’re looking for items that aren’t fried or maybe just have less butter, you can also get shrimp cocktail, a salad, and deviled eggs. And thankfully, they have outdoor seating since there’s not a lot of space inside. So on a nice day, we can watch the trolley go by while drinking a coffee and eating spoonfuls of bread pudding.
When it’s nice outside, there’s no better place to eat breakfast than on Front Street Cafe’s back patio. And even when it’s not nice out, there still aren’t many better places to have brunch in the city. From 11am-3pm on weekends, this Fishtown spot serves everything from chicken and waffle bites to white chocolate cream-stuffed french toast. If you’re looking for something kind of healthy, they also do solid açaí bowls and quinoa oat porridge topped with apple compote.
There are mornings you feel invincible. You know, meditation at sunrise, early morning yoga, post-class juice. And then there are mornings where the only thing you want is a plate of cheesy eggs and potatoes, served with a side of more fried things. On mornings like this, Sam’s is here for you. This Bella Vista institution has been around for more than two decades, and the service and food are consistently great. Just don’t schedule any plans for after your meal, unless those plans include a nap.
Putting your phone on Do Not Disturb before going to sleep is one of the best things you can do over the weekend. Another is having brunch at this converted Victorian greenhouse. If you’re looking for something sweet to enjoy while admiring the fountain sculpture in the middle of the dining room, this Germantown Ave. bakery and cafe has everything from breakfast biscuits to lemon custard tarts. But an 8-ounce brunch burger is really the way to go after you finally convince yourself to hop out of bed. It’s the right amount of sloppy with a mix of the melted cheese and caramelized onions, and might be the second-best combo (next to some shades and our favorite Kacey Mugraves t-shirt) that a morning can ask for.
For a dim sum brunch where you won’t have to avoid getting syrup on your Embiid jersey, head to Chinatown’s Nom Wah. Every day (except Wednesday) and starting at 11:30am, you can have dumplings like shrimp and deep-fried curry and beef, roast pork buns, and spicy beef wontons—check off all the options you want on their paper menu. They also have a legitimate tea menu, with nine blends like chrysanthemum, oolong, shou mei, and jasmine, that we love when we want to drink something other than coffee. But if you’re in the mood to pair your pan-fried chicken and cabbage dumplings with a midday beer, you can also go with a Tsingtao.
The Dutch is the little neighborhood breakfast spot that everyone wishes they had around the corner from where they live. They serve brunch Tuesday through Sunday until 3pm with everything from a dutch baby and omelets to a very solid reuben. Come by during the week to avoid a long wait, or stop by Grindcore House down the street to get a coffee in the meantime.
Monday through Wednesday, Dutch spot Winkel serves its entire breakfast menu a la carte—with things like shakshuka, fried french toast, and a rabbit frittata. Starting on Thursday, though, the Midtown Village spot does a $25 pre-fixe brunch where you can bring your own champagne (they’ll supply the OJ). You’ll get grilled bread and jam, as much coffee or tea as you’d like, and your choice of entree from their weekday menu.
Overflowing with trees, overhead string lighting, and a greenhouse in the center, this Broad Street rooftop is one of the most beautiful brunch spots in Philly. After you’re done taking in the view, try the fontina-topped crab melt. It’s an open-faced sandwich that’s overflowing with mounds of spring mix, jalapeño, and pickled onions. It gets crowded here on Saturday and Sunday, so we recommend getting a reservation or you’ll be taking a few City Hall selfies while you wait.
Suraya is a good choice for basically any day or time, but there’s something especially nice about coming here in the morning. It could be the smell of chai and cardamom kouign-amann, or the backyard courtyard, but either way, this is one of our favorite brunch places in Fishtown. Order the shish taouk kebab plate, complete with hummus, spiced french fries, tabbouleh, and pita. And in case you’re a planner, they do take reservations.
If you live or work in Fishtown, you’ve probably noticed that there are at least 10 coffee shops, but only a few spots to grab a diner-style breakfast. Over Easy Breakfast Club is here to fix that—at least Thursday through Sunday when they’re open. This bright and airy cafe has a long bar and plenty of tables where you can sit, drink coffee, and be glad you’re not at home trying to figure out how to make a frittata. If you’re looking for something savory, the lox and breakfast sandwich are solid bets, but make sure to get some of the pancakes with walnut honey butter for the table.
Sometimes brunch is really just an excuse to start drinking before noon. And when that’s the case, we like going to The Wayward for their massive gin list and a few French 75s. This Center City brasserie and raw bar opts has multiple versions of this signature cocktail by the glass or in a long carafe, and regardless of which format you go with, the Sweet Dee is one of our favorites. The perfect blend of gin, mint, champagne, and grapefruit is a refreshing mix that goes great with their $3 oysters from 10am-2pm.
If you’re not a mimosa or Bloody Mary fan, sometimes brunch can be a bit lonely. Find your people at Hawthornes, a beer cafe with a laid-back weekend brunch that’s hearty and fast. The spread includes sweet dishes like french toast and fluffy pancakes, but it can also shift to a massive potato skillet dish that they call Potato Mess that's pretty much eggs, potatoes, hot sauce, and everything from the farmer's market in one meal and a pepperoni bucatini pasta that’s has a mound of ricotta on it. The portions are big, and so is the beer menu. If you’d rather have brunch at home, you can get most of the brunch dishes and a six-pack of beer to go.
Northern Liberties’ Heritage has live bluegrass every Saturday and Sunday from 11am-2pm, and the menu is full of Southern classics—our favorites being the biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, and shrimp and grits. They take reservations, so you can introduce your friends to their $5 Bloody Marys and their new favorite Sunday tradition all at once.
For some, it’s not brunch without a side of smoked fish and a bagel topped with a dollop of cream cheese the size of a fist. For the closest thing to New York without any bridges or tunnels required, Queen Village’s Famous 4th Street Deli is your best bet. They don’t take reservations, but there’s no one else in town stacking corned beef higher or smearing cream cheese thicker.
This South Philly wine shop and tapas bar is one of our favorite brunch spots near East Passyunk. If it’s too early in the morning, you might not be in the right headspace to choose from the lineup of 24 charcuterie and tapas options. But thankfully, they’re all pretty good—especially the flaky beef empanadas. The pepper sauce on the beef isn’t too overpowering, but make sure you’re well-stocked on Guns & Roses sangria just in case.
Leave it to a West Philly beer bar to serve up some of the best vegetarian and vegan brunch options in the city. Local 44 has always been one of our favorite places to seek out rare craft IPAs, but when we realized their mushroom scrapple tasted better than the pork version, we never looked back. If you’re looking for something a little heartier, the brunch burger with BBQ 1000 sauce and an egg on top and the pulled pork sandwich are two good choices.