The 10 Best Brunch Dishes and Drinks in Philly

A guide to the best of daytime dining
April 25, 2016
by Caroline Russock

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.

Runners Up: Famous 4th Street Delicatessen; Philly Style Bagels

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.

Runners Up: High Street on MarketKnead

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).

Runners Up: Carbonara at Capofitto; Palladino’s

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.

Runners Up: Breakfast burger at South Philly TaproomDay By Day's sweet potato and chorizo hash

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.

Runners Up: The bacon Bloody Mary at Continental MidtownLoco Pez Bloody "Maria" with chipotle tequila

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).

Runners Up: Tom’s; Bing Bing Dim Sum

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.

Runners Up: Sunday shakshouka at Dizengoff; pho at Nam Phuong

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.

Runners Up: Fitler Dining Room's ginger-mango mule; Lo Speido’s Garden Sgroppino (pictured)

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.

Runners Up:; The Good King Tavern

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.

Runners Up: Cafe Lift’s cannoli French toast; Rex 1516's bananas foster French toast

243 Chestnut St.; 267-273-0688

brunch cocktails
bloody marys
brunch pizza
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