We’re far enough into 2016 that you’ve probably (definitely) abandoned your New Year’s resolutions, so here’s a simple commitment to try and stick to: stop skipping breakfast. It's not great for you, and nobody at work wants to deal with your pre-lunch sass. Thanks to some of the city’s best morning sandwich creators, you can pass on boring cereal and underwhelming fruit parfaits in favor of one of these protein-packed belly fillers. We have a feeling you’ll be trading these sandwiches in for every meal.
Pancetta Hash Sandwich
Plenty CaféAddress and Info
Plenty Café’s airy Passyunk and Rittenhouse locations may attract a fair share of loitering coffee-hungry students glued to their laptops, but don’t doubt the cafe’s food menu for one second. Served on ciabatta, the Pancetta Hash is packed with two over-easy eggs, potatoes, onions, peppers, fontina, and house pancetta hash.
The Farm Burger
Urban Farmer PhiladelphiaAddress and Info
One of the newest restaurants on the Parkway is the Philly outlet of Urban Farmer, where some of the city’s most authentic butchers toil away making in-house charcuterie to supply you with perfectly-cured and locally-sourced meat. Stop by for weekend brunch and wake up with the Farm Burger’s cheddar and aioli (and bacon or avocado if you want it, which you do), all in a toasty biscuit.
B, E & C on Philly Muffin
The Bakeshop on 20thAddress and Info
You’ll be hard-pressed to find seating in this cozy bakery thanks to the out-the-door line every Saturday and Sunday. While the fantastical pastries and brownies may catch your eye at first, trust that some of the best menu items aren’t behind the display case. Build your own breakfast sandwich -- the bacon, egg, and cheese is a classic, but you can also opt for avocado and Sriracha as toppings. Whatever you do, put it on the Philly English muffin. Not only are you eating city pride, but it's just as substantial as an everything bagel, only in muffin form.
Coffee cured pork belly
Knead BagelsAddress and Info
We were all joyful when Knead came along to move our bagel game out from under the dark, dark shadow of NYC’s. And it doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to its non-traditional house breakfast sandwiches. The coffee cured pork belly comes with a fried egg, mozzarella, and pickled onion, and the suggested bagel of choice -- the Togarashi (that mix of Japanese spices usually intended for sprinkling on your udon soup or ramen) -- offers an extra flavorful punch.
The Hickory Town
High Street on MarketAddress and Info
We already know High Street on Market is one of Philly’s most in-demand restaurants right now, and the brunch menu may have something to do with it. Not only can you get the breakfast menu seven days a week (with extended hours Saturday and Sunday), but chances are, if you try one of the spot’s three breakfast sandwiches, you’ll be satiated for most of the day. The Hickory Town has Lancaster-sourced bologna, eggs, Amish horseradish cheddar, mayo, and fried red onions. With a glass of OJ, you’ll be ready for a full day of work. Or a mid-morning nap.
Schmear It (address and info)
Be on the lookout for the nomadic bagels of Schmear It -- from wherever it anchors for the day, order any variety of sweet or savory (or both?) bagel sandwich concoctions, from French toast bagels with Nutella to a sesame bagel with cream cheese and soy sauce. For the perfect sweet-and-crunchy bagel balance, the Monster Miler has you set: peanut butter, bananas, and granola (plus whatever other fruit you’d like to add) on a blueberry bagel. It's the best excuse to eat dessert for breakfast.
Gleaner’s CafeAddress and Info
This Italian Market staple is known for its titular sandwich: the tomato, artichoke, onion, mozzarella, pesto-stacked Gleaner sandwich. It’s not for the faint of heart, and the sight of the massive cheese portion adorning your everything bagel may be intimidating, but just remember you can try to spend the rest of the day walking it off in the neighborhood.
The Philly Farmhand
Scratch BiscuitsAddress and Info
It’s hard to choose only one thing from the menu of biscuit concoctions at Scratch, especially when you realize you can also build your own. For a classic when you’re feeling particularly indecisive, opt for the savory Philly Farmhand: house-made scrapple piled on top of baked eggs and drizzled in sage gravy. Will it get messy? Yes. Is it worth it? Um, duh.
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Marielle Mondon is a freelance writer from Philly who survived grad school on bacon, egg, cheese, and everything bagels. That’s also how she’s surviving adulthood. See her Internet life on Twitter and Instagram @MarielleMondon.
1. Plenty1602 Spruce St, Philadelphia
2. Urban Farmer at the Logan1850 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia
3. The Bakeshop on 20th269 S 20th St, Philadelphia
4. Knead Bagels725 Walnut St, Philadelphia
5. High Street on Market308 Market St, Philadelphia
6. Gleaners Cafe917 S 9th St, Philadelphia
7. Scratch Biscuits1306 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
This bright, minimalist cafe in lively Rittenhouse is the perfect place to get some studying done whilst breaking for delicious coffee, globally inspired lunch fare, and people watching. After 4pm, the cafe starts serving tapas and booze, so you have no excuse not to camp out all day.
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.
This totally cozy bakeshop off Rittenhouse Square specializes in all things sweet. Boasting an impressive selection of goodies, all made in house, the shop is a great spot to camp out with your computer, a coffee, and a cookie-- the Uh-Oh Oreo is our fave. If you've a knackering for something savory, you won't go wrong with a BEC breakfast sandwich or an eggy avocado toast.
If there is such a thing as an avant-garde bagel, Knead Bagels is the place to find it. The non-traditional Philly bagelry is in the business of remastering a timeless classic: the bagel and cream cheese. This means lavender bagels with vanilla honey cream cheese, or fennel seed and sea salt bagels with roasted tomato cream cheese, or Capsicum bagels (Japanese chile) piled with 12-hour brisket, coffee barbecue sauce, and picked onions. And if attempting to decide whether scallion lime cream cheese would pair well with black sesame stumps you, the bakers are like gluten mixologists -- they'll know exactly what you knead (sorry).
You’ve never had bread quite like the ancient grains, roasted potato, or anadama on grill at High Street on Market. The New American haunt in Old City centers its menu on local grains, which High Street refines and finesses at the crack of dawn each day into the stuff of sandwiches, pastries, and pastas that bedeck the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. For lunch, it is sinful to miss out on the smoky and briny pastrami on rye, dressed with cabbage slaw, Russian dressing, and Gulden’s mustard. Opt for the pastas at dinner; they’re decidedly un-Italian and, therefore, entirely unforgettable.
This colorful cafe in Bella Vista specializes in breakfast sandwiches of all stripes. They've got meat, veggie, egg, and cheese, not to mention bagels upon bagels to put them on. Take a seat at this chill spot and munch away.