More than any other meal, brunch has many distinct factions. There’s sweet versus savory, arguing the value of stuffed French toast over omelets. Then Bloody Mary diehards battling mimosa mavens. Those who would rather opt for a sandwich or a salad than resign themselves to anything eggy. For that reason, we’ve assembled this best-of list that’s sure to satisfy each and every member of your weekend brunching crew.
Best Bagel Board: Fork
The shareable, house-smoked fish and bagels plate at this Old City staple (pictured) is the stuff new wave deli dreams are made of: bluefish rillettes, cod brandade, arctic char and smoked mussels served with a selection of house-baked bagels to share.
306 Market St.; 215-625-9425
Best Breakfast Sandwiches: The Hungry Pigeon
Even before opening on Fabric Row, an upscale take on the McMuffin (pictured) already had a permanent place on the menu. English muffins are baked in-house daily and topped with locally made jack cheese, a crisp fried egg and an optional, but always welcome, addition of bacon, ham or scrapple.
743 S. Fourth St.; 215-278-2736
Best Reason to Eat Pasta Before Noon: Carbonara at Amis
The brunch at here is a sleeper hit with a well rounded menu — one that includes a couple of Roman-inspired pastas made for daytime enjoyment. Thick-cut tonnarelli is a particularly good match for an an eggy carbonara sauce (pictured).
412 S. 13th St.; 215-732-2647
Best Place to Put an Egg on It: Truffle-Pecorino Pizza at Nomad Pizza
The airy upstairs dining room of this South Street pizzeria is a lovely place to spend a couple of brunch time hours. And it’s even better when splitting their truffle-pecorino pie with shiitake mushrooms, buffalo mozzarella, boschetto al tartufo cheese and a farm fresh egg.
611 S. Seventh St.; 215-238-0900
Most Over-the-Top Bloody Mary: Bud & Marilyn’s
This retro supper club takes brunch seriously, and that goes doubly for their Bloody Mary (pictured). By infusing tomato juice with fresh horseradish and herbs — then evening out the blend with sea salt and lemon juice — their take on the drink is bright and savory. Hot and sour heat is added thanks to a generous guindilla pepper garnish.
1234 Locust St.; 215-546-2220
Best Daytime Dumplings: Nom Wah Tea Parlor
This old-school New York import does dim sum right. Paper menus come with golf pencils and check boxes for diners to order delicate dumplings like shrimp shui mai and har gow (pictured).
218 N. 13th St.; 267-519-2889
Best Basic Brunch Alternative: Kanella
The Mediterranean brunch has been a fan favorite for years with bright, Mediterranean breakfasts that always come with plenty of fresh baked pita, fresh veggies, tomato-braised eggs (pictured) and the kind of light fare that leaves you feeling a billion times better than a basic Bloody and Benedict combo.
757 S. Front St.; 215-644-8949
Best Fruit-Forward Brunch Cocktails: Farmer #4 at The Urban Farmer
This citrusy day drinker takes the classic greyhound into the 21st century by pouring a balanced blend of vodka, St. Germain and grapefruit juice over a square cube of hopped grapefruit ice.
1850 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy.; 215-963-2788
Best Daytime Sparkling Wine Selection: Lacroix
The walk-around brunch buffet at the Rittenhouse Hotel is about as luxe as it gets, but adding a couple of coupes or a bottle from sommelier Justin Timsit’s intriguing list of bubblies adds sparkle to this special occasion brunch.
210 W. Rittenhouse Square; 215-790-2533
Best Dessert Disguised as a Brunch Dish: Red Velvet French Toast at The Little Lion
A Southern dessert classic gets a brunch-time revamp with their red velvet French toast. Taking a cue from its cakey roots, the toast is filled with a layer of cream cheese icing.
243 Chestnut St.; 267-273-0688