The 10 Best Brunches In University City, Philadelphia

Robert Indianss Love Sculpture, University of Pennsylvania, University City area, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Robert Indians's Love Sculpture, University of Pennsylvania, University City area, Philadelphia, PA, USA | © Jon Lovette / Alamy Stock Photo
Lauren Gruber

West Philadelphia’s University City is a large neighborhood filled with families and college students. From on-the-go restaurants to sit down New American bistros, read ahead for our guide to the best brunches in University City, Philadelphia.

1. Dock Street Brewery

Cafe, Craft Ale Bar, Beer

If you’re looking for a boozy brunch, the beer at Dock Street Brewery’s Sunday brunch is a perfect choice with their selection of pizzas and brunch fare. Choose from a selection of two salads, burgers and sandwiches for a classic, but classy New American brunch. They also serve a large variety of pizzas.

2. Local 44

Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Pub Grub, American

This West Philadelphia bar serves brunch at weekends, with options including a fried-egg topped burger and many options for vegetarians. The goat cheese gnocchi is also a real crowd pleaser. Wash it down with one of their 500+ bottles in their bottle shop next door or their 18 local and international drafts, but also browse their list of brunch cocktails like their ‘beermosas.’

3. Gold Standard Cafe

Cafe, American, Fast Food, Vegetarian, Coffee, Tea

Gold Standard Bar Restaurant
© Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo
The Gold Standard Cafe is a quaint cafe with fresh, home style food. The food may look simple, but the flavors in their salads, sandwiches and soups are stunning. Their brunch menu hosts a mix of sweets, like cinnamon cream cheese French toast with brown sugar sauce, to savory choices the chopped lamb steak and eggs with apple chutney. You can also order something from their house menu of fresh salads, extensive list of sandwiches, wraps and burgers.

4. Aksum

Restaurant, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Vegan, Vegetarian

Serving Mediterranean-style food from multiple regions, Aksum delights its patrons with a mix of flavor and spices. Dishes such as tender lamb shanks and seasonal French toast make it great for both savory and sweet plates, and the mix compliments the BYOB option. There are also different egg options, like the Turkish and Moroccan, each of which offer a nice alternative to the typical American brunch. Also, order the Mediterranean East sampler which includes hummus, pita, stuffed grape leaves and lentils. However, if you are in the mood for comfort food, there are plenty of options—and for vegans and vegetarians too!

5. Clark Park Farmers’ Market

Bakery, Farmers' Market, Farm Shop, American, Vegetarian, Healthy

Operating year-round, Clark Park Farmers’ Market is a great spot to grab produce, baked goods and other treats for an outdoor brunch in the park. On Saturday mornings, the park is lined with vendors, so try the sweet Amish pastries of Forest View Bakery Amish or the produce of Eden Garden Farm from Dillsburg. You can also find jams, honeys and other canned goods, and all produce and is mostly produced in a nearly 100 mile radius of Philadelphia.

6. Cedar Park Cafe

Cafe, American, Coffee, Tea , Fast Food, Vegetarian

Serving classic American breakfast and brunch food, Cedar Park Cafe has a tasty, budget menu that offers simple charm. For around $8, you can get generous portions of eggs Benedict or the chicken and waffles. The latter gets rave reviews from locals, with its tender and spicy chicken and sweet waffle. This place serves great quick and cheap food, so it’s perfect for families and college students.

7. White Dog Cafe

Restaurant, Cafe, American, Contemporary, Vegetarian, Vegan, Coffee, Tea , Fast Food, Street Food

White Dog Cafe on Sansom street University City Philadelphia PA
© Randy Duchaine / Alamy Stock Photo
White Dog Cafe, serving seasonal fare, is a perfect brunch spot. With outdoor seating and a cozy, country-style interior, White Dog is upscale without the pretentious dress code or overpriced food. On their entrees section, you can find the likes of vegan Johnny cakes and huevos rancheros, or their spicy lamb bolognese with rigatoni.

8. Sabrina’s Cafe @ Powelton Village

Restaurant, American, Vegan, Vegetarian

Having brunch at the popular Sabrinas Cafe, South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
© Philip Scalia / Alamy Stock Photo
Massive French toast and filling egg frittatas are just the tip of the iceberg of tasty brunch options at one of Philadelphia’s best brunch staples. Sabrina’s Cafe in University City offers a plethora of brunch dishes, from classic American omelettes to Mediterranean hummus plates to comfort foods like unique pumpkin pancakes. Choose from their brunch menu, and get their raved about burger specials with a milkshake and their sweet potato fries or their humongous stuffed challah French toast.

9. Green Line Cafe—Powelton Village

Cafe, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian, American, Pastries, Vegan

Green Line Cafe is a great place to eat on a budget and cozy up or study. Their menu includes bagels baked daily and Le Bus muffins and scones. Alternatively choose from their list of Mediterranean-style sandwiches or sweet potato burritos. Occasionally, they might just make vegan cupcakes as well. Eat on their back patio that feels like a secret garden with its plants and small fountain.

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