10 Great Under-the-Radar Brunches in Philly

Write-in favorites from our first-ever Brunch Survey
May 20, 2015
by Danya Henninger

Our recent Brunch Survey (the first ever) asked Zagat readers to pick the best brunches in town, and we compiled all the scores and comments to come up with the impressive top 10 list here. However, a lot of you wrote in to let us know about other favorites — places that might not have been well-known or popular enough to score an overall win, but still serve a pretty awesome brunch. Those spots deserve some time in the sun, so here they are: according to Zagat voters, the 10 best under-the-radar brunches in Philly. 


The 13th Street Vetri trattoria run by Brad Spence does Sunday mornings right, with dishes that meld American breakfast favorites with Italian staples — for example, the waffle with semifreddo or San Marzano tomatoes with eggs and basil.

What to Order: Housemade scrapple is an attention-getter, here paired with polenta and sunny-side up eggs ($12).

412 S. 13th St.; 215-732-2647


Good taste and good value are hallmarks of the Latin-inspired brunch at Guy Shapiro and Luli Canuso’s Fairmount BYO, which is conveniently located two doors down from a Fine Wine & Good Spirits shop and near a beer store.

What to Order: Cinnamon French toast comes beneath caramelized bananas and pecans, with plenty of maple syrup ($10).

1921 Fairmount Ave.; 267-519-2911

Devil’s Den

If you’re not up for a pint from the impressive draft list at Erin Wallace’s South Philly tavern (she also owns Barren Hill Brewery), go for one of the killer (and affordable) Bloody Marys to start your weekend morning off right.

What to Order: Beer makes its way into the cheese sauce that coats the much-lauded duck fries, house-cut potatoes topped with duck confit and duck cracklings ($10).

1148 S. 11th St.; 215-339-0855


This family-owned BYO Mediterranean in Fairmount exemplifies the phrase "neighborhood gem" with a cozy atmosphere, friendly service and inexpensive food. 

What to Order: Chef-owner Mustapha Rouissiya channels the flavors of his homeland into the Moroccan eggs, fried and served with ground beef in a spicy tomato sauce ($8).

2501 Meredith St.; 215-978-8440


Choose a breakfast beer from the thousands of options in the coolers that line the walls at this Bella Vista biercafe/bottle shop, recently reborn after a devastating fire. 

What to Order: Fried chicken and waffles ($14) is a standout on the large menu, which also includes the now-hard-to-find SOS (aka creamed chipped beef on toast; $9).

738 S. 11th St.; 215-627-3012

Jose Pistola’s

A definite Mexican bent infuses the menu at this Center City tavern, where the vibe is party-perfect in the most laid-back way. Don't miss the specials and Eagles enthusiasm that make it great for an NFL Sunday. 

What to Order: The breakfast burrito gets a shout for its general tastiness and versatility — roll up your eggs, cheese and salsa with your choice of bacon, chorizo, Fiorella’s sausages or housemade scrapple ($12).

263 S. 15th St.; 215-545-4101

Local 44

Both the draft choices and consistently good food get called out at the West Philly pub and bottle shop from the owners of beer havens Strangelove’s and Memphis Taproom.

What to Order: The breakfast burger sees a thick patty topped with housemade American cheese, bacon, BBQ Thousand Island dressing and — of course — an egg ($14).

4333 Spruce St.; 215-222-2337

National Mechanics

The DIY Bloody Mary bar at this high-ceilinged Old City taphouse is an adventure in itself, and the food holds its own, with an expansive selection of morning and lunch favorites.

What to Order: Even carnivores are head over heels for the famous veggie burger, an egg-topped patty of carrots, zucchini, mushrooms and broccoli, plus cheese ($10).

22 S. Third St.; 215-701-4883


A happy, cheerful vibe is borne out by the amicable service and cozy setting at Joncarl Lachman and Bob Moysan’s adorable Northern European BYO on East Passyunk.

What to Order: Regulars find it hard to choose between the “Kip Kerri” (a chicken curry stew with fried eggs; $16) and the smorrebrod, a Nordic open-faced sandwich board with smoked fish ($29).

1046 Tasker Ave.; 267-909-9704


Mitch and Jennifer Prensky’s combination of upscale comfort food and and elegant but welcoming atmosphere work just as well in the morning as evening — the South Street spot even offers an old-school breakfast-cereal buffet.

What to Order: If you’re going all-sweet, the red-velvet waffles ($14) are a favorite, but if you like a little salt with your sugar, the housemade bacon-studded babka ($12) is the way to go. 

926 South St.; 215-592-8180

mexican food
breakfast burritos
moroccan food