Brunch has been a weekend indulgence that diners have enjoyed for decades, but over the past several years, an interest in dining out between the hours of 10 a.m. and, 2p.m. has really exploded in this city. Not only does brunch itself provide diners with the opportunity to enjoy a blend of both breakfast and lunch favorites as well the occasional mid-morning cocktail, but Philadelphia is blessed with a dining industry that lends a great deal of attention to the food served during the hours between breakfast and lunch. The city houses a vast number of go-to spots with brunch menus to satiate a wide variety of taste buds and lifestyles, making brunch a weekend tradition for many Philly foodies and a major selling point for some of the hottest restaurants. Long lines on Saturday and Sunday mornings and a necessity to make reservations at some of the top spots have proven the fact that when we’re talking brunch, Philadelphians, quite literally, eat it up. So, if the hardest part about your weekend is where to chow down come mid-morning, here are some of your best bets for brunch in this city.
By night, Cuba Libre is one of Old City’s hottest restaurants and bars. Lines that crawl around the block at 10 S. 2nd St., demonstrate the eagerness for glimpsing the days when Havana was one of America’s hottest weekend getaways. The décor is meant to intrigue visitors with images of an exotic time and place that is now forbidden while also highlighting the arts, flavors and music of Cuban culture. The tropical ambiance certainly sets the pace for the festivities that occur inside for both diners and bar-hoppers each weekend, but come Saturday and Sunday morning, the light that pours in through the ceiling skylight in the main dining room introduces diners to a whole new setting. Brunch clearly showcases the restaurant’s vast, two story dining room, featuring palm-fringed décor and wrought iron balconies. The décor introduces diners to a place reminiscent of an outdoor Cuban café, an evocative setting for the Weekend Tropical Brunch menu offered each weekend. The brunch menu varies weekly, but staples such as the Torta de Cangrejo Benedict, jumbo lump crabmeat and potato cakes, poached eggs, and avocado mash with tomato hollandaise sauce, is a spicy Cuban spin on eggs Benedict that keeps regulars coming back. Brunch here also features a wide selection of fresh squeezed, pure tropical juices and nectars used in a variety of aguas frescas, cocktails, and frozen drinks that you won’t find anywhere else on a weekend morning in the city. Try a classic with a tropical twist like the Mimosa Rojo-- Champagne, cranberry juice, and a dash of pressed sugar cane juice as you take in an easy Sunday morning. Make sure you keep your weekends open to treat your taste buds to this tropical, gastronomic adventure, because brunch is only served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Ask any Manayunk regular where to go for brunch and they will most likely point you toward Winnie’s Le Bus, located at 4266 Main Street. With an eclectic menu that features dishes with a home-cooked meal appeal, Le Bus has something for everyone. Warm colors, walls that boast a collection of one-of-a kind oil paintings by local artists, and friendly servicegive Le Bus a warm and cozy feel. Step in to enjoy the weekend brunch menu and you will feel right at home as you enjoy cuisine and prices that are never too over the top. Each meal starts with baskets of warm and delicious breads, including cornbread, and sweet homemade jams. A house favorite is the pancakes –try a stack of the 6-Grain Blueberry Pancakes, whose taste of oats, wheat, corn, barley, buckwheat and sesame contrast with the sweet Pennsylvania Dutch maple syrup and fresh fruit they are served with. Take your pick from any one of the cocktails on the specialty mimosa cocktail menu, as you enjoy good food in a laid back setting. The best part is that the brunch menu here is offered longer than most—both early raisers and late bloomers can snag a taste of brunch at Le Bus on Saturdays and Sundays 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Perhaps one of the better-known go-to spots for brunch in this city is Sabrina’s Cafe located at 910 Christian St. in South Philly’s Italian Market and also at 1804 Callowhill St. in the Fairmount district. Sabrina’s menu offers a creative take on comfort food in a setting that is very neighborhood-friendly. Brunch-lovers score extra with all-day breakfast menus that feature favorites such as Sabrina's Huevos Rancheros, featuring fried blue corn tortillas topped with a smoky chipotle chorizo-red bean tomato sauce, fried eggs, lime-cilantro, sour cream, and spicy red pepper guacamole, and more traditional staples such as pancakes, served warm and moist, with chocolate chips, strawberries, bananas or blueberries. Brunch-specific specials vary from week to week but can include dishes like the Egg White Omelette with roasted corn, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, red onions and a black bean, cilantro goat cheese. They don’t have a cocktail menu, but feel free to bring your own to accompany your favorite dishes. Prices here are more than reasonable, about $8 to $10 per entree, and you can get it all week long. They don’t accept reservations and it can get pretty packed on the weekends, but if you’re willing to wait you will find out that it is well worth it.
Located at 306 Market St., Fork is one of Old City’s more popular American style bistros, offering inventive dishes in a setting that exudes contemporary elegance. The cuisine is the picture of freshness, with dishes that feature high-quality ingredients supplied by local farmers. The setting is friendly, featuring hand-painted chandeliers that hang down from vast ceilings and graceful, velvet curtains that decorate the windows. Fork offers an inviting setting to take in a leisurely Sunday brunch. The brunch menu, served Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., offers impressive dishes that fuse together breakfast and lunch favorites such as the Burrito featuring scrambled eggs, braised ancho chicken, peppers, onions, black beans, Monterey jack, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream. Other breakfast and lunch specific dishes include the Three Egg Omelette and Home Fries Combo and the Wild Mushroom Risotto with chanterelles, shiitakes, oyster mushrooms, acorn squash, escarole, pumpkin seeds, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Spice up your mid-morning meal with a glass of hot apple cider made with a smooth splash of with Laird’s applejack, or go for a more traditional Fork Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Since brunch here is in high-demand but is only offered during a limited time frame on Sundays, reservations are highly recommended.
© Restaurant Agent Inc.