While breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, it’s also the meal that’s most often skipped or eaten on the run. In fact, a large number of restaurants don’t even open until lunch or dinner unless it’s for brunch on the weekends. That’s where this list comes in. Breakfast is served just about every day of the week and sometimes all day long at these Philadelphia favorites, so you’ll always get to enjoy the morning meal classics. These are the spots offering breakfast food that’s worth getting up for.
428 N. 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19108
Cafe Lift is owned by husband and wife Michael and Jeniphur Pasquarello, the same team behind Bufad, Prohibition Taproom and Kensington Quarters. The Callowhill-area spot is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, serving all brunch, all day. Ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, so dishes often change seasonally. The $10 cannoli French toast is a standout favorite here. It’s made with challah bread that’s coated with a cinnamon-vanilla custard, baked, and then topped with a housemade ricotta cannoli filling, bananas, pistachios and chocolate shavings. Other menu highlights include breakfast tacos, huevos rancheros and the fried egg panino. Cafe Lift is cash-only and proudly serves coffee drinks made with beans from Philadelphia’s own Rival Bros.
2025 Washington Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19146
This casual South Philly spot in the Graduate Hospital area opens for breakfast Monday through Friday at 8 a.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. Inspired by Mexico City, the restaurant serves favorites such as huevos rancheros and carnitas semitas. The huevos rancheros include two pork tacos, fried egg, refried beans, breakfast potatoes and two kinds of salsa. The carnitas semitas feature refried beans, pulled pork, avocado, Oaxaca cheese and Mexican herbs on sesame bread. Both dishes are $11. You’ll also find more traditional breakfast fare like granola de miel, with honey granola, yogurt and fresh berries for $5.
The Dining Car
8826 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19136
Open 24 hours, every day of the year except Christmas, The Dining Car is a Northeast Philly staple. It’s the type of family-owned and operated spot where the staff gets to know you. If you’re not a regular, your server is almost guaranteed to tell you about how The Dining Car was featured on an episode of Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Enjoy comfort food classics like omelets, pancakes, Belgian waffles and breakfast sandwiches, along with local favorites such as scrapple, pork roll and old-fashioned creamed chip beef. The creamed chip beef is a house specialty served on toast with a side of home fries for $7.45, and you’ll also want to try the housemade potato pancakes. With an in-house bakery, there are plenty of baked treats to choose from too, with the Jewish apple cake being the most popular choice. The Dining Car is a cash-only restaurant.
High Street On Market
308 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
In 2014, High Street on Market was named “Restaurant of the Year” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, “one of the best new restaurants in the world” by Travel and Leisure, and claimed the number two spot in Bon Appetit’s annual “America’s Best New Restaurants” issue. Clearly, owners Chef Eli Kulp and Ellen Yin are impressing guests at their Old City casual cafe, which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. With an on-site bakery preparing fresh pastries, bagels and artisanal breads daily, you just know the breakfast will be good. “The Hickory Town” breakfast sandwich has become a fast favorite. A fresh poppy seed Kaiser roll is piled high with Amish horseradish cheddar, Lancaster bologna, fried red onion, Gherkin mayo and your pick of a fried or scrambled egg for $10. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
227 S. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Located on Rittenhouse Square with views of the park, Parc is an excellent option for a relaxing breakfast. Enjoy coffee and one of the brasserie-style dishes such as the poached eggs and asparagus for $13. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, try the brioche French toast. Priced at $13.50, it’s served with buttered almonds and macerated strawberries. Or simply sip a mimosa or bloody Mary with a croissant or yogurt parfait. Breakfast is served Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with brunch available on weekends.
Michelle Hein is the social media editor for a women’s fashion company in Bucks County by day and a self-proclaimed food and drink fanatic by night and weekend. She enjoys attending wine classes, trying new recipes in the kitchen and going to old favorites and new restaurants alike in the Bucks County and Philadelphia area. If the writing gig doesn’t pan out, she constantly dreams of owning her own bakery…perhaps connected to the restaurant/bar that her lawyer husband would love to open.
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