Best brunch in Philly
February 14, 2020 7:43 AM   Subscribe

What are your favorite brunch spots in Philadelphia? That's all!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We like Honey's Sit and Eat, two locations (Northern Liberties and near Rittenhouse Square)

Expect to wait in line anywhere you go!
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:54 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

It's a tie: Green Eggs Cafe and Sabrina's.

Both are amazing, both have multiple locations throughout the city. They both have a comprehensive list of weekly specials. I believe both locations are generally BYOB (and sell carafes of OJ), but individual locations may not be. There is at least one Sabrina's with a full bar. These are the spots I take out of town guests - there's something for everyone, and you will NOT go home hungry.

Runner ups: Cafe Lift and Honey's Sit N Eat - both a great, but not at impressive/comprehensive as the winners.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:55 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

Definitely Sabrinas!

Cafe Lift
posted by jschu at 8:33 AM on February 14

I've had deeply mediocre experiences at Sabrinas not in the Italian Market, but very good ones there. If you show up on a weekday, they still have brunch, but not the line. And I like Bud and Marilyn a lot, but it can be shockingly loud.

The ne plus ultra of brunch in Philly is the brunch buffet at Lacroix, which is "you think you're getting granola on milk chocolate bark, but it turns out to be extra fancy granola on oh wait, it's frozen foie gras mousse bark" fancy. Reservations very much required. Copycat brunch buffets have sprung up around the city, but none of them are as delightfully extravagantly fancy, with the brunch associated with the Ritz hotel being astoundingly bad.

If liquor is important, by the way, you'll want to confirm that the brunch spot has a license if that's important to you. For historical reasons, it's very expensive for a restaurant to get a liquor license in Philly, so Sabrina's in the Italian Market, for example, did not have liquor when I was there last year. And I don't think Honey's Sit n' Eat has one at their main Northern Liberties branch.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:34 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

The phrasing here is a bit confusing to me: "I've had deeply mediocre experiences at Sabrinas not in the Italian Market, but very good ones there."
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 8:42 AM on February 14

There are multiple Sabrina's in Philly now, technically under the same ownership. The original is in the Italian Market, and I've had very good brunches there. Elsewhere, it's been a steady parade of misses and disappointment.

Also! I forgot all about Fishtown! If you're willing to come a little way up, Suraya in Fishtown is the hottest brunch ticket in town. I am so-so on Suraya even though I enjoy Lebanese food, but Mulherin & Sons is very close by and in my top tier, along with Lacroix and Sabrina's. Being a brunch degenerate, I really enjoy brunch pizza and brunch pasta.

Pretty sure both Suraya and Mulherin have liquor.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:47 AM on February 14

had a great (pricey) brunch there about this time last year. would suggest reservation - they asked if we had one when we got there, i think it we werent' like second in line, we would have waited awhile.
posted by domino at 9:03 AM on February 14

I have also been nonplussed by Sabrinas. My favorite spot is Sam's Morning Glory at 10th and Fitzwater. Casual diner feel, delicious food, including beautiful biscuits and homemade ketchup and jam.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 9:04 AM on February 14

I enjoy Magpies, or just going to Federal Doughnuts. I also like the White Dog, but it’s been a while. A friend really likes Farmicia.
posted by ferret branca at 9:14 AM on February 14

Amada in old city has an excellent 3 course brunch for around $30. I left stuffed. You will most likely need reservations.
posted by TheAdamist at 9:42 AM on February 14

+1 for Sabrina's, Green Eggs, and Sam's (so glad it got mentioned!). I've always had to wait at any of these, but the food has been so good that it evens out. No bad experiences to report.
posted by xenization at 10:18 AM on February 14

I had a good brunch at the art museum Sabrina's
posted by brujita at 10:49 AM on February 14

IMHO Sabrina's and Green Eggs have gone downhill recently. I haven't been to Morning Glory since eponymous Sam passed away but it used to be good (despite not being a fan of the homemade ketchup ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

My newest favorite by far is The Dutch. Get "in line" on Yelp before going. If you're into meat and/or wood smoke, Kensington Quarters is awesome (reservations for brunch! a revelation!). The new La Colombe flagship is also great. Honey's is an old standby, as is Ants Pants (mm the sweet potatoes).
posted by supercres at 11:13 AM on February 14

Honey's Sit N Eat
The Dutch
South Philly Barbacoa
posted by entropone at 11:29 AM on February 14 [1 favorite]

Mulherin and Sons had a big scandal recently due to sexual harassment from upper level management. When the management was cleaned out, a lot of them got hired over at Suraya. Please don't support businesses that gloss over or enable sexual harassment.

The Lunar inn is fabulous. Sabrina's is a mainstay. Honey's is fine too. İf you're looking for good bagels, The Kettle Black has the best in town, plus other pastries.
posted by erattacorrige at 12:23 PM on February 14 [1 favorite]

We wound up going to Sabrina's at the Italian Market, which was very good, and Wm. Mullherin's Sons, which was excellent.

For the former, we used their online wait-list, but there was still about a 20-minute wait on Saturday (totally fine). I do not believe they serve alcohol, though they do offer a variety of decadent coffee-type drinks, which we did not try. I had pancakes and eggs; my partner had chicken and waffles. Definitely recommended.

Mulherin's takes reservations and was busy but not full on Sunday. I'd consider Sabrina's more traditional American brunch food and Mulherin's more unusual. (For those not familiar, it's an Italian restaurant, despite the name! It was an old whiskey bottling plant.) They definitely serve liquor there—large bar, with a big selection of amari. We shared one of their pizzas, which was awesome, and their smoked salmon toast, which was delicious and different.

Thanks to all for these great recommendations! I have to give joyceanmachine the best answer, though, because she suggested both of the places we wound up trying. Nicely done!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:28 PM on February 25

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