So my best friend Derek and I are both from New York, and we both know that brunch is a staple of the New York weekend. But while he’s quite infatuated with brunch, I personally don’t care either way. That is, until I discovered some seriously scrumptious brunch in Philadelphia! Different spots in the city offer quite a different feel to the meal, but regardless of what you’re looking for, it’s inevitable that you’ll find something perfectly suitable for you palate and wallet.
For something a little more relaxed, I like to bring friends over to Sabrina’s Cafe
. This absolutely delicious BYOB has its original location a few steps down from the Italian Market, with two newer locations — one in the Fairmount/Art Museum area, the other on the Drexel University campus. I’ve been to two out of three, and both locations have had some of the best brunch food, but also some of the longest lines. That said, it behooves guests to eat a bit earlier or a bit later to make sure the wait time isn’t excessive, but honestly, the food is certainly worth it.
With an extensive menu, ranging from egg white frittatas and tofu scrambles to black angus burgers and fish tacos, Sabrina’s caters to all appetites and taste buds. That said, it’s most well-known for its ever-changing menu of brunch specials, most recently named for some of our famous Olympians! Examples include: Gabby’s Flip Side Egg White, Lochte’s Hot Cakes, Federer’s “You’ve Got Served” Special Sandwich, and Missy’s Backstroke Special Breakfast Sandwich. Michael Phelps got the biggest honor of all however, with his name stamped on the Phelps Sticky-Icky Stuffed French Toast — the challah French toast being one of the most popular dishes on the menu.
For a slightly fancier brunch experience, I’m a big fan of Supper
, which offers seasonal and farm-fresh fare. The menu is cute and quirky, but the plates themselves are elevated versions of well-known dishes. For those oriented towards the savory, think Hoboken benny with a side of grits. For those with a sweet tooth, any version of the French toast is a good option. My most recent order was a fancy version of soup and salad — carrot and orange soup (with cardamom marshmallow!) and a greens and herbs salad (with smoked chicken cracklins!)
If you prefer a flash from the past, check out the “old school” cereal buffet, where you can pick out any of your favorite cereals from childhood. Otherwise, the Supper Dog is (in)famous – a pork shoulder dog that’s bacon-wrapped and deep-fried – a pig fantasy to say the least! I even caught a photographer photographing it on my last visit. Let’s just say that this particular hot dog has gotten more than its fair share of press.
Rittenhouse’s Cesar Salad with Arctic CHar
Finally, for something uber luxe, my vote is for the recently opened Rittenhouse Tavern
. Set inside the Philadelphia Art Alliance Building just a few steps from Rittenhouse Square, the restaurant offers an elegant and refined brunch experience. Along with the space, the food is a blend of historic and contemporary, traditional and inventive. On one menu, guests will find buckwheat pancakes and hanger steak alongside heritage turkey schnitzel and roasted scallop salad. Personally, I was in heaven with their version of Caesar salad with Artic char – gorgeous presentation, perfect seasoning, and a lovely combination of textures.
As restaurants continue to pop up all over the city, brunch continues to become a more popular meal option. Needless to say, brunch in Philadelphia will continue to take new and interesting forms. That means that my palate will have a lot more to explore. And that Derek will simply have to visit more often!
Category: Communities, Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Philly Food & Friends (PFF), Travel & Culture