Best Philly Spots for Kid-Friendly Brunch
Rise, shine, dine! Beat the crowds and indulge at our top family-friendly brunch picks!
When you have kids, your weekends start to look a lot different—and involve much less sleeping in. But let’s look on the sunny side, and gobble up some sunny side eggs while we’re at it. Waking up early means you beat the crowds at all hot brunch spots, and can snag a table before all the child-free patrons roll out of bed and line up outside, squinting at the sun behind their hangover shades. And if it’s not getting first dibs on a no-reservations spot, there’s the opportunity to reserve a spot (and a highchair) and try something a little more upscale and special before it gets too crowded and intimidating. So go ahead and order that mimosa—here are our top picks for brunch with kids.
The Early Bird Gets the Pancakes
This first section features a lot of the usual Philly brunch suspects—you may have even lined up on the sidewalk at some of these, since they don’t take reservations. But since your day started at 6 am with a small human jumping on you, you’re the one getting a table! #sorrynotsorry
910 Christian St.; 1804 Callowhill St.; 227 N. 34th St.
This popular spot opens at 8 am, so get in there! All locations have kids’ menus and plenty of variety on the regular menu, both sweet and savory. You can also just go all in on the sweet, and share some signature Stuffed Challah French Toast—a breakfast confection of epic proportions. There are locations in the Italian Market, Art Museum, and University City neighborhoods.
212 S. 13th St.; 1306 Dickinson St.; 719 N. Second St.; 2327 Gaul St.; 2800 W. Girard Ave.
This place also opens at 8 am, and that’s your best time to go. The Center City location shares a building with Nest, so you can go play afterwards, just when the sidewalk is filling up with hopeful diners. There are plenty of kid-friendly options, as well as indulgent choices like red velvet pancakes!
735 S. 10th St.
This classic diner is sure to please, and it’s right across from Palumbo Playground, so you can go burn off the sugar you just ingested from that Monkey French Toast.
1521 Locust St.
Come to this Jewish deli for great omelettes, challah French toast, matzo brei, bagels and lox platters, and more. Stay for the giant sandwiches and free pickle bar, if you’re on the lunch side of brunch. They also have a very reasonable kids’ menu, and our little girl always angles for a window booth so she can wave to Locust Street pedestrians (and also a homemade cookie sandwich—she has high hopes).
2212 South St.; 526 Fourth St.
This small Australian café recently expanded to a second location, so brunch seekers on either side of Broad can indulge in their brekkie platter, hash, or even their rich brie stuffed French toast! For kids, you can actually order a single pancake or grilled cheese, so they’ll be thrilled, especially if you throw in a smoothie. If you visit the Graduate Hospital location with your baby, time it with a storyplay at nearby Baby Wordplay.
2101 South St.; 800 N. Fourth St.
This comfort food spot opens at 7 am, so even though it gets crowded, you can beat the rush and get out of there with your bellies full of latkes and scrambled eggs. Honey’s has options ranging from tofu scramble to challah French toast, and everything in between. Bonus: if you’re looking for a cheap, filling breakfast during the week, they have $4.95 weekday morning specials that can’t be beat.
428 N. 13th St.
Café Lift is all about brunch—they serve it every day, from 8 am to 3 pm! You can go as simple as two eggs with traditional breakfast sides, or go nuts with Nutty Monkey Crespelle (an Italian-style crepe with Nutella and bananas). You get free refills of Rival Bros. Coffee, which—let’s be honest—you probably need more than anything.
1401 S. 12th St.
At first glance, The Tasty looks like a charming little traditional diner, serving up waffles, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, and more. What’s the twist? It’s all vegan! You won’t miss a thing at this plant-based haven—you can even get some tater tots alongside your tofu scramble, if your kids don’t gobble them up first!
Make a Reservation
If you prefer certainty to beating the crowds, go somewhere that takes reservations, and go for one early enough to make it home for naptime! These places run the gamut from American comfort food to Moroccan-accented cuisine, yet all welcome kids for brunchtime!
227 S. 18th St.
Parc was named a Family Fave in our LOVE Awards, which is no surprise, since it serves up French sophistication and prime people watching on Rittenhouse Square while still being kid-friendly. They have the fanciest changing table in town, a bread basket that puts all others to shame, and are very attentive and accommodating to little ones—they had no problem making off-menu scrambled eggs for our picky toddler and brought her meal with a side of frites in place of the potatoes Lyonnaise.
2501 Meredith St.
This Moroccan restaurant in Fairmount has plenty of flavor and ambiance while still being highly kid-friendly. For kids, we recommend pancakes with fruit or raisin challah French toast; and don’t leave without their amazing lemonade made with lemon sorbet!
743 S. Fourth St.
Sorry, Hungry Pigeon, but despite your #neversaybrunch hashtag, we’re putting you on this list! We love you and your whimsy, and also your biscuits and gravy. Bites like grilled cheese and hashbrowns will make sure you leave with happy and full kids.
1253 N. Front St.
When you make your reservation, ask for patio seating. It’s highly coveted, but will make your family dining more enjoyable—plus you’re getting there right at 8 am, aren’t you? This Fishtown farm-to-table has fresh, varied options ranging from chicken and waffles to acai bowls, and everything in between. You’re right by PlayArts, so head on over there after brunch!
1528 Frankford Ave.
Another Fishtown pick, but worlds different than our previous entry, this Lebanese café and market is one of our favorites. The space is ornate, and the flavors are authentic, yet they are welcoming to even their littlest habibis, and will even bring them a little activity book to keep them busy. With fresh flatbreads, yogurts, and pastries, your kids will have plenty of treats to choose from. Get the mezze plate for the table while you’re at it, and treat yourself to a spicy Bloody Mary or a unique café selection like Lebanese chai made with pistachio and flower petals.
1525 Sansom St.
A create-your-own donut station with all the fixings? Yes, please! Harp & Crown’s prix fixe brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, and includes the donut bar, made-to-order omelettes, fresh juices, meat and cheese boards, sandwiches, and much more! It is a wonderland of brunch, basically.
1850 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
You’ll have just as much fun as the kids, because brunch at Urban Farmer features a DIY mimosa kit with seasonal fresh fruit juices and fruits tableside, and a Bloody Mary Cart! Oh, right, back to the kids. They’re already coloring because the staff at this Logan Hotel spot is on it and brought diversions before we even noticed. They even asked us if we wanted our daughter’s meal to come earlier, because they just get it. They also have a kids’ menu, along with an inventive and varied adult brunch menu. Plus you’re next door to Academy of Natural Sciences, and steps away from all the other Parkway attractions, so the transition to your next stop will be seamless.
1500 Walnut St.
You know what, fine, eat chocolate for breakfast. We’re ordering some of their fruity mimosas (or maybe some frosé) and looking the other way on the whole “healthy” thing. Real life is for Monday. Max Brenner’s literally has a kids’ menu item called “Chocolate Pancakes with lots of Chocolate and more Chocolate,” so our work here is done.
Lead photograph by Laura Swartz.