Philadelphia is a great city for enjoying weekend brunch. Whether you are looking for an elegant, 4-star restaurant to celebrate a special event or just a neighborhood bar to nurse that Sunday morning hangover, you can find something for your tastes and budget in the city. Here are five picks in various neighborhoods of Philly, each of which serves a unique and delicious brunch menu on the weekend.
Lacroix at the Rittenhouse
210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia PA 19103
(215) 790-2533 / http://www.lacroixrestaurant.com/
For those looking to splurge on a very special meal, nothing beats Sunday morning brunch at Lacroix. Located in the Rittenhouse Hotel with amazing views of Rittenhouse Square Park, Lacroix elevates the idea of a brunch “buffet” to a world-class gourmet experience. Start with a mix-your-own Bloody Mary or signature cocktail before exploring the various hot-and-cold food stations, with seemingly endless selections that change seasonally. The raw bar features oysters, shrimp, caviar, house smoked salmon and an assortment of sushi maki rolls. The hors d’oeuvres station may feature special one-bite delights such as Foie Gras Mousse, Buffalo Chicken Croissants, Espresso Marshmallows with Passion Fruit Gel, and Butternut Beignets with Sage Icing. Salad offerings, of which a half-dozen are offered, include unique specials such as a Heirloom Apple Salad with chanterelle mushrooms, artichokes, and a caramel vinaigrette. Along with cheese and charcuterie stations, hand-carved meat, fish and other hot entrees are offered in the kitchen, such as Diver Scallop Sausage, Black Garlic Stuffed Pork Loin, Bread Pudding with goat cheese and bacon, Crispy Duck Confit with rye grits and gruyere cheese, White Chocolate Pancakes and much more. And though it may be difficult, you must save room for dessert, which along with pastries and mini cakes includes a chocolate fountain and a liquid nitrogen station, offering cold treats such as Peanut Butter Foam with Chocolate Fondant. Plan to spend several hours savoring this all-you-can-eat feast, which is well worth the $59 price tag. This meal at the Lacroix may not just be the best brunch you’ve ever experienced, but perhaps the meal of a lifetime. Brunch is served Sundays only, 11:00am – 2:30pm, and reservations are a must.
Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant
247 South 17th Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
(215) 545-9473 / http://www.theblacksheeppub.com/
If you indulged a little too heavily Saturday night, the Black Sheep Pub is one of the best places in Philadelphia to nurse that hangover, or treat it with a little hair of the dog. This traditional Irish pub features a warm and inviting atmosphere, with antique bars and and a fireplace in its a three-story colonial townhouse. Mimosas and Bloody Marys are only $3.50 for Sunday Brunch, and the menu features soothing, comforting choices like Potato and Leek Soup ($6.50), Wild Mushroom Salad ($11), Hamburgers with a choice of toppings ($11), and Grilled Pork Roll Egg & Cheese Sandwiches ($9.00). For a real hangover cure, nothing beats the Traditional Irish Breakfast ($12.00) – an overflowing plate featuring two eggs with rashers, bangers, baked beans, black and white pudding, grilled tomato, mushrooms and an English muffin. Brunch is served from 11:00am on Sundays, and it’s good to go early before the afternoon sports crowd starts to wander in to watch the day’s games on their six television screens.
2310 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19130
(215) 232-9000 / http://www.jacksfirehouse.com/
If you happen to find yourself in the Fairmount area of Philadelphia on a weekend morning, Jack’s Firehouse is a great place to enjoy brunch before visiting nearby attractions such as Eastern State Penitentiary or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Located in a 19th century firehouse, the atmosphere at Jack’s is truly unique, with a long mahogany bar and great outdoor dining, weather permitting. Brunch is served both Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am – 3:00pm. Classic American dishes on the menu include a selection of soups such as New England Clam Chowder ($6.95) and Black Eye Peas and Ham ($4.95). For salads, try Jack’s BLT Ceasar Salad ($6.95) or a Pear Salad with Feta Cheese and Champagne Vinaigrette ($6.95). Brunch sandwiches include Southern Style Pulled Pork ($7.95) or Pecan Crusted Catfish with Pecan Pesto ($8.95). For more breakfast-style treats, try the Filet Mignon Benedict with Spicy Hollandaise over Biscuits ($15.95) or a Philadelphia Cheesesteak Omelet with American Cheese and Fried Onions ($12.95). Chef Jack McDavid emphasizes using local ingredients in his cooking, which helps make Jack’s Firehouse a real neighborhood favorite.
200 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-1813 / http://www.bridgetfoys.com/
South Street is one of Philadelphia’s best places for people-watching and fun shopping. Located at the corner of 2nd and South Street, Bridget Foy’s is a perfect place to enjoy outdoor brunch on their covered front patio, or in their cozy two-story interior. It’s been a neighborhood favorite since 1978. Bridget Foy’s is open from 9am on Saturday and Sunday mornings, serving old favorites such as Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes ($9), Stuffed French Toast ($11), and Short Rib Hash ($12). Try the Crab Burrito ($14) for something different – scrambled eggs, jack cheese, black beans and avocado. Burgers are half-pounders of angus sirloin and start at $11, or share some ever-popular favorites such as Crispy Calamari ($9) or Hummus and Toasted Pita ($8).
The Sidecar Bar & Grille
2201 Christian Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 732-3429 / http://www.thesidecarbar.com/
Southwest Center City is an area of Philadelphia with a rapidly growing restaurant and bar scene. One of the hottest neighborhood hangouts is the Sidecar Bar & Grille, which specializes in American Craft Beer and “pub grub” a step beyond your average bar food. Brunch is served 10:30am – 3:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays, and it’s advisable to get there early as seating space is limited. Several egg burritos are offered, such as the “Holy Chorizo!” ($9) including Mexican chorizo sausage, red onion and cheddar. The “Crabby Benny” ($11) features crab cakes topped with poached eggs and lemon hollandaise. Sandwiches such as the Fried Oyster Club ($11) and Black Bean Burger ($9) also exemplify the unique choices available at the Sidecar, along with traditional French Toast, Flapjacks and Waffles ($8 each).
* Lacroix at the Rittenhouse – Official website.
* The Black Sheep Irish Pub – Official website.
* Jack’s Firehouse – Official website.
* Bridget Foy’s – Official website.
* The Sidecar Bar & Grille – Official website.
* Personal experience.