Sunday morning rolls around in University City, and most Penn students flinch at the thought of leaving their beds. But for the ambitious few who do, brunch is popular way to waste away the morning (and maybe the afternoon). Tired of waiting forever to get a seat at Farmacy, a favorite amongst Penn students? Here’s where to go when you’re seeking something a little less mainstream:
4630 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Marketing itself as a Mediterranean Kitchen, Aksum delivers exactly that. Who knew that eggs poached in Moroccan–spiced tomato sauce would pair so well with pita and hummus? Aksum succeeds at taking brunch staples like chicken and waffles or an egg sandwich and making them distinctly Mediterranean by coating their brunch meats in Middle Eastern spices and using ingredients like challah bread, goat cheese, and apricot jam to elevate their dishes. They also offer several vegetarian and vegan friendly dishes as well as tapas for the table, like stuffed grape leaves and several different types of hummus. Be sure to bring a large group—you’ll want to try bites of everything. Open Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
4914 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
In search of a no–frills diner experience? Look no further. Cedar Park Café has been a fixture in West Philly for years, attracting a mix of long–time locals and younger crowds with their heaping platters of homefries, chicken and waffles, and stacks of french toast. In addition to serving brunch staples, often saturated in grease, they also have vegetarian specials, including a tofu scramble. By far the most economical choice on the list, you could easily get your daily calories in for under 10 dollars. Open Sunday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
701 S 50th St, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Two words: brunch pizza. Dock Street Brewery has staked its reputation on the fact that it’s the first craft brewery in Philadelphia, and it’s dinner menu reflects that—lots of burgers, fries, and shareable appetizers. But come Sunday morning, the brewpub shifts their menu’s focus towards its in–house wood–burning pizza oven. The menu features options like smoked salmon lox pizza, topped with cream cheese and capers, or eggs and ham, which screams pasta carbonara but on a pizza. If you’re not nursing a hangover, be sure to wash down your pizza—or churro French toast and vegan skillet—with one of the brewery’s handcrafted beers. Open Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
4800 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
A sleepy cafe spot during the week, perfect for an all–day study session or a late afternoon pick–me–up, Gold Standard springs to life on the weekend, bustling with families and students alike. Gold Standard is known for their generous stacks of pancakes (vegan on request!) and classic egg dishes, including the huevos rancheros. Their menu teems with vegetarian and vegan options—I recommend the TLT (tempeh, lettuce, and tomato), the quinoa tofu hash, or the tofu breakfast burrito. Open for Sunday brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
4533 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Like Aksum, Renata’s is a Mediterranean restaurant that offers brunch on the weekends. However Renata’s really focuses in on what it does best in the morning hours: eggs. Customers can choose from seven different omelets, several egg plates, and Middle Eastern inspired dishes. Unsure of what to get? Go for the Middle Eastern breakfast, which lets you sample some of their best breakfast items all at once. In addition to their made–to–order brunch fare, Renata’s boasts an impressive array of homemade pastries—a perfect walking snack for your trek back to campus. Open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.