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Monday Breakfast in Philly (and what to do?)

Taking my husband to Philly as a surprise for his b-day coming up. We've both wanted to try Morimoto for awhile (never done Omakase before!), and have a reservation for Sunday night, October 8th. We'll be staying at the Marriott Downtown.

Can anyone suggest a good place for breakfast on Monday morning, before we trek back to DC?

Also, if we get up early on Sunday,suggestions of stuff to do would be great.....


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  1. The Sofitel has a lovely breakfast buffet. MTO omlets, eggs benedict, fruit, breads, smoked salmon, etc. Not sure if it is weekdays.....

    1. The Cafe at Nineteen at the Park Hyatt (in the Bellevue, 19th Floor) is great. I believe they start serving breakfast around 6 am and you are looking out over the city.

      If you are a coffee lover, make sure to order the "one cup brew" -- fantastic!

      1. You may want to walk through the Reading Terminal Market Monday morning depending what time you are leaving. The Dutch won't be there but it's still fun to see and shop, it picks up around 9ish. As for Sunday, the Phillies are home against the Marlins at 1:05pm and you could easily hop on the subway which only runs north and south and is like $3 for a round trip to the stadiums(follow the crowd to get into the stadium).

        1. I'd go to the Down Home Diner in the Reading Terminal Market across the street from your hotel. The restaurant run by Jack McDavid has American specialty breakfasts and lunches using all fresh and where possible local ingredients. Also very good, great atmosphere and you get to see the market. For dessert browse and stop at the Famous 4th St deli cookie stand.

          As for Sunday in Philly. The Constitution Center is a great new museum, the Eastern State Penitentiary is open for tour and exploration and is VERY unique. Or walk south to Pine, east to 2nd South to Bainbridge and wander around. Great neighborhoods and Philly street life. Architecture, stores and food. Enjoy

          1. I heard "Sabrina's" is excellent. Long wait on weekends. I don't know if they are open on Mondays. Definitely worth the research to find out and try it.

            1. if you go to Morimoto, order Toro. pay for it. enjoy. i've eaten raw fish all over Asia and it's just as good as any i've had. i'm not big on their omakasa. i'd rather order a bunch of great things from the menu.

              keep your hotel. you want Philyl FLAVA? then enjoy the Reading Terminal. it is so amazing. go there and eat, eat, eat.

              also, you can try Zeke's Jewish Deli on 5th between Spruce and Pine. great latkes, bacon, ham, eggs, coffee, etc.

              or...Honey's Sit n' Eat at 4th and Brown.

              1. I would stay away from Down Home Diner. Last few times I was there the food was mediocre. More hype than quality.
                How about Chinatown bakeries for breakfast? KC's on 9th has this cool setup where you get a tray and tongs and pick your own baked items. Coffee is 60 cents, as are most buns. You can get full for under 2 dollars.
                Also, for an offbeat breakfast choice, try one of the Mexican places in South Philly, like La Lupe at 9th and Federal.
                Or there is always Frank and Evelyn's Shank's Roast Beef. Not for the prissy. But the best breakfast ever. 10th and Montrose, one block west of the Italian Market. I don't know if they are closed Monday.
                A high end choice is the Ritz Carlton. The most beautiful space in Center City. Also LaCroix at the Rittenhouse is very glam with breakfast overlooking the trees of the park.

                1. I think I'd second Sabrina's not only for the food (which I think I'd put above Down Home Diner, though not necessarily above Dutch Eating Place, which won't be open so it doesn't matter), but also you can walk around the Italian market a bit, maybe buy some good cheese, olives or cured meats, or walk over to Isgro's and get a dessert for the ride home (the Bobo-whatzits are really, really good, boozy, creamy deliciousness). It'd be a good Philadelphia experience.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: joypirate

                    I'll third Sabrina's + Italian market. Don't miss the jalapeno polenta fries.

                    1. re: Adrienne

                      Where is Sabrina's?

                      Thanks for all the great suggestions, by the way.....

                      1. re: stacylyn

                        One door to the west of the intersection of 9th and Christian, on the south side of Christian. If you go on the weekend, it pays to get there early, it tends to get crowded after 10 am.

                        1. re: stacylyn


                          Thought you could use that :
                          )They are open on Mondays although the Italian market not being open then is a good point, I hadn't thought of it.
                          General info about the market, organized by vendor, is here:


                          I checked and a couple of fun stores are open Mondays:

                          Anthony's is right across the street from Sabrina's and has great coffee if you feel like perking up before breakfast:

                          DiBruno's has great cheese, olives and random imported items, plus a lot of character if you engage the workers.

                          I can't find anything about Claudio's (they make mozzarella) and Fante's (kitchenwares) is definitely closed. In my opinion Sabrina's is worth it on its own :)

                    2. The Italian Market is closed on Monday. I don't know about Sabrina's.

                      1. Honey's Sit and Eat also has great breakfast and you shouldn't have to wait on a weekday. It's something new(er) to try...

                        1. Carman's Country Kitchen at 11th and Wharton (about 3 blocks sounth of Washington Ave.- near Italian Market, which is not completely closed down on Mondays) Absolutely a treasure. This is absolutely the place I take special out of town guests.

                          Carman travels abroad at least twice a year and comes back with inspirations for her ecclectic menu offerings. The service is always great, and Carman is just a total trip. Open Friday-Monday 8-2pm. She will let you make a same day reservation, but fair warning, don't be late....she'll get you!

                          Check out pictures, review on www.Hollyeasts.com, Eating Philadelphia section.


                          Come on fans of Sabrinas, etc. got to admit, they second place compared to the incomprable Carman!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Chasdet

                            I'll admit that Carman charges way too much for slightly above-average food, and that her personality (or schtick, as some refer to it) is something that some people like, and other people don't.

                            You also forgot to mention that Carman's menu consists of four dishes, and if you don't want (or can't eat) any of them, then you won't be eating breakfast, because Carman won't scramble an egg for you. The one and only time I was there, I paid $14 for a plate of pancakes that were almost as good as ones I make at home for a couple bucks worth of ingredients.

                            Don't get me wrong, it's Carman's place and she's free to operate it however she wants. I certainly appreciate the sign outside that says 'If you've got the money, Carman speaks your language'. But if you're only going to be in town for one breakfast, I wouldn't recommend going there. The potential for a bad experience is too high, either not being able to find something on the menu that you want, or feeling like you spent way too much on a breakfast that was just OK.

                            1. re: Chasdet

                              I do like Carman's too, and sometimes she's fantastic, but I think other days its more shtick than true deliciousness. It's also kindof annoying to get to, especially if you don't know where you're going.

                              On the other hand, the original poster said they're having Omakase, so maybe they'd be up for more adventurous breakfast, which Carman's certainly is.

                            2. Carmen is a talker. Some people like that. Others want their meal in peace. Depends on your personality. I fall into the latter category. One visit was enough for me.
                              The thing is, even though some businesses are open on Monday at the Italian Market, the fact that most are closed lends a desolate air to the place and I would not recommend it as a first impression. Best to go when it's hopping and full of colorful life.

                              1. WOW....you Philly people are really great AND helpful! Ok, so my next obvious question is which place should we venture to for a Cheesesteak (and how do we order it so we don't get the eyes rollin'?). FYI...not a big Cheese Wiz fan. I know, it's a Philly thing, right?


                                1. Cheesesteak no whiz huh?...No problemo, My personal recomendation if you are driving is John's Roast Pork. It's a bit of a drive as it's in S. Philly, but well worth the drive. Haven't been there since the spinach scare, but they have an Italian version of there famous pork sandwich and the cheesesteak. It comes with Sharp Provolone and spinach, they are both excellent. I usually order the steak Italian with gravy(red sauce) and fried onions. I would get a small pork to try it and a steak. The location is off of Columbus Blvd. in the back of a Lowe's parking lot. It's a shack basically, but thier food is the truth. If that is too far or you aren't driving, two of the best steaks in CC are Jim's on 4th and South St. and Campo's on Market St. and 3rd I believe. They are about 8 blocks apart. At both they have other cheese than whiz.