The Olde BarAddress and Info
While we highly recommend heading to the Olde Bar for the city's best happy hour, you can also get a pretty good brunch at Jose Garces’ seafood-focused bar and restaurant on the weekends. Aside from the always-available -- and always-excellent -- raw bar, you can get fishified versions of brunch classics like a shrimp & crab BLT, poached eggs with soft shell crabs, and our pick, a lobster roll made with half of an entire Maine lobster. Wash down that lobster roll with the Olde Bar’s Signature Fish House Punch, made with several kinds of rum, brandy, peach cordial, and lemon.
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Shrimp & grits with pulled pork
Urban FarmerAddress and Info
Did you know that Pennsylvania was once home to over 800 grain mills and was referred to as the breadbasket of the country? With that piece of bar trivia in hand, head to the Urban Farmer in Logan Square to try the shrimp & popcorn grits. The grits come directly from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown, one of the last old-school mills in operation, and are coveted by local chefs for their pure flavor and great texture. And while we’d probably eat a bowl of just the grits, Urban Farmer tops theirs with a soft poached egg, shrimp, and pulled pork.
Cardamom sausage & eggs
Tredici EnotecaAddress and Info
Since it’s never too early for a glass of wine -- in our opinion, at least -- Tredici Entoteca is the perfect place to grab that midday glass along with some home-run brunch choices. Our favorite at the moment is the Cardamom sausage and eggs, which come with sauteed broccolini, long hots, and slices of grilled toast. It’s a complicated dish: the cardamom sausage, herbal and citrusy, pairs well with the spice of the long hots and tart of the broccolini. If we sound a bit like a sommelier describing the dish, it’s probably because we also are still thinking about all of the options on Tredici’s impressive wine list.
Bar BombónAddress and Info
The perfect brunch food? Toast. Seriously, don’t sleep on toast -- especially if it looks anything like the kind you can get at Bar Bombón. Every weekend, chef Chris Allen walks Rittenhouse Market to select the best produce for that day. If the cherries look good, you might get something like the above: sourdough with smashed avocado, black cherries, cucumber, mezcal, and lovage aquachile.
Stock’s pound cake French toast
Blue DuckAddress and Info
For anyone that hasn’t had Stock Bakery’s pound cake yet, it’s pretty life changing. So in a genius move, the folks at Blue Duck had the idea to use that pound cake to make a breakfast of our dreams: pound cake French toast garnished with whipped cream, chocolate chips, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. It’s sweet, but not overly, and the pound cake actually makes for an amazing French toast base. The new item replaced the Fruity Pebbles French toast -- one of the most popular brunch items -- but the uproar has been surprisingly mute... probably because the pound cake version is just that good.
Melon with poached egg, smoked duck, and Robiola Bosina
Sofitel PhiladelphiaAddress and Info
Normally, we’re not the biggest fans of brunch in hotels, often overpriced, involving soggy eggs, and leaving us with a considerable hangover from overly sugary cocktails. But at the Sofitel, there's actually food worth seeking out. Case in point: this dish. Featuring a variety of melons, it's dressed with dill & mint vinaigrette, along with crispy prosciutto, a mild brie called Robiola Bosina, and smoked duck. It’s light and refreshing for the summer, and won’t give you the heavy post-brunch regrets.
Vindaloo egg skillet
IndeblueAddress and Info
Looking for a spicy start to the day? Indeblue might have the perfect dish: the vindaloo egg skillet is a fiery take on the standard egg & potato skillet. The plate is filled with pork sausage flavored with vindaloo spices, a tongue-numbing blend of herbs & chili peppers, eggs, and spiced home fries. It comes with seared challah bread, which may help to cool that seared tongue, but the perfect accompaniment is really an ice-cold beer.
Prohibition TaproomAddress and Info
In general, most of our brunch choices usually involve some combination of sweet and meat -- pretty evident, if you’ve made it this far -- but that’s not to say we don’t like our veggies. At Prohibition Tavern, one of our new favorites is the veggie Cuban, made with house-smoked mushrooms and avocado. The smoky mushrooms give the dish enough umami that you might not actually notice it’s missing the meat. Plus, it comes with fries, so it’s not completely healthy.
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1. The Olde Bar125 Walnut St, Philadelphia
2. Urban Farmer at the Logan1850 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia
3. Tredici Enoteca114 S 13th St, Philadelphia
4. Bar Bombón133 S 18th St, Philadelphia
5. Blue Duck Sandwich Company2859 Holme Ave, Philadelphia
6. Sofitel Philadelphia120 S 17th St, Philadelphia
7. Indeblue205 S 13th St, Philadelphia
8. Prohibition Tap Room501 N 13th St, Philadelphia
Jose Garces brought some much-needed life into the old stomping grounds of the locally loved Bookbinder’s, which closed during the not-great-economically year of 2009. Garces' reincarnation of the place is a nice polish to the original, and includes an open banquet room complete with dimly lit red booths, candles, and an oyster saloon serving snapper soup and fried belly clams. In addition to the nouveaux riche aperitif menu, the seafood-centric restaurant serves classics like dungeness crab, Maine lobster, and of course, champagne cocktails to pair.
The Philly outpost of this eco-conscious steakhouse and modern bistro features bright farm-to-table fare. The dining space, located just off Logan Square, is full of eclectic tchotchkes of Americana, and the warm, welcoming environment highlights the delicate flavors on the menu. Take the grits, which come directly from Castle Valley Mill in Doylestown and are coveted by local chefs for their pure flavor and great texture. And while we’d probably eat a bowl of just the grits, Urban Farmer tops theirs with a soft poached egg, shrimp, and pulled pork.
With the food team behind Zavino and over 20 different half and full pour wines, it's safe to say Tredici Enoteca in Midtown Village serves up some seriously high quality eats and drinks. The knowledgeable staff is quick to help you find the perfect wine pairing for each order, from small plates to entrees. After devouring several shared plates, find room for meat, fish, and pasta entrees, all enjoyed in a sleek space adorned in white marble and large antique mirrors with white oak herringbone floors.
Latin American dishes gets a vegan twist at Bar Bombon, which is helmed by the same team behind health food havens HipCityVeg and Charlie Was a Sinner. The plant-based dishes are so deliciously disguised here that even a meat eater can happily indulge. Tacos are filled with seitan or buffalo cauliflower, while empanadas are stuffed with a medley of mushrooms, leeks, currants, and pickled plantains. If you're on the go, stop by the take-out window for the same good food and Stumptown Coffee.
This New American 40-seater in Northeast Philadelphia serves up a menu of creative burger and sandwich combos, like the B.B.B.L.T has 10 pieces of 1732 bacon, bacon mayonnaise, and your standard lettuce and tomato on brioche. Designed with counter and table seating -- including a large, 8-person farm table -- the space is bright and airy, yet homey enough to consider bringing your entire crew in for a casual BYOB Sunday brunch.
Because sometimes you just want to crash in a place that surrounds you with French accents, check into Center City's Sofitel Philadelphia, where the restaurant's a brasserie, the cured meat's charcuterie, and the Evian's complimentary. And though we're not normally the biggest fans of brunch in hotels, the Sofitel actually offers food worth seeking out, like the Melon with poached egg, smoked duck, and Robiola Bosina, as well as other egg- and non-egg specialties.
Done up with a central chandelier, sleek mahogany seating, and a posh rose-yellow color palette, Indeblue is dressed the part to serve up modern takes on classic Indian fare. Expect dishes like tikka naan pizza, masala crab cake, and spicy stuffed long hot peppers, as well as a vindaloo egg skillet that is a fiery take on the traditional egg skillet. To freshen up, try a beverage from the craft cocktail bar, which similarly fuses contemporary with traditional in mixtures like the karma chai sutra, made with black masala chai and orchata cream cinnamon rum.
The kitchen stays open 'til 1am on weekends at Prohibition, which makes it the perfect place to go before or after a show at nearby Union Transfer. Or, if you're simply craving a pub burger set to jukebox throwback tunes, this is the spot: the burgers here are 100% grass-fed local beef and topped with Hope Springs cheddar, lettuce, haystack onions, all on a snowflake bun. Oh, and Sundays are BYOV: Bring your own vinyl record and you’ll get 20% off of your bill.