Breakfast sandwiches are one of those foods you probably don’t think about too much — until they become all you can think about. They are ubiquitous, utilitarian, and usual. And yet, establishments across Philadelphia take their own twists, serving something more interesting and delicious than your standard egg and cheese on pre-sliced sandwich bread.
Breakfast innovations are constant, as various spots across Philadelphia offer a variety of global cultural influences. Some breakfast sandwiches are best eaten sitting down, some are ideal for sharing with a friend, and of course, many are perfect for eating on the go as you traverse the city on a busy morning. All show the creativity and care with ingredients that local restaurants value.
Here’s where to go for the best breakfast sandwiches in Philadelphia.
Price: $6 for an egg and cheese on a croissant
While the full meal options aren’t extensive here, the baked goods are on point. In fact, everything this South Philadelphia, France and Southeast Asian inspired bakery offers is perfectly executed. Owners Andre Chin and Amanda Eap closed shop in late 2021 to focus on their health and recently resumed their weekend hours. You’d do well to put your sandwich on a croissant: freshly made and flaky, it’s robust enough to withstand a fried egg and sausage patty. The proportions work in such a way that each bite is a balanced combination of flavors.
📍1218 Mifflin St., 📞 215-271-4688, 📷 @ArtisanBakeryPhiladelphia
Price: $10 for corned beef, egg, and cheese on a bagel
Brett Frankel runs a takeout spot in West Philadelphia focused on bagels and bagel sandwiches, including some interesting variations: the week-long special was a pie with homemade chorizo, salsa verde, and pickled onions. Frankel learned to make bagels by traveling the country and exploring regional styles. Production-wise, it sticks to “traditional New York style, kettle-cooked and oven-roasted” after the dough sits for 48 hours of cold fermentation. Unique options available every day include a corned beef sandwich that comes with “diced corned beef, eggs, Cooper Sharp cheese, and caramelized onions folded into an omelet,” according to Frankel. Uncle Leo is an open Seinfeld reference and features Nova smoked salmon, fried egg, scallion cream cheese and caramelized onions. Frankel’s head chef, Ron Silverberg, smokes all meat in the house.
📍3945 Lancaster Ave., 📞 215-596-5157, 🌐 bartsbagels.com, 📷 @BartsBagels
Price: $5.50 for a smoked andouille sausage, 3 eggs, and American cheese on a baguette
This desk at Reading Terminal Market features numerous options for your sandwich needs: takeout or sit-down, vegetarian or meaty, classic or reimagined. The breakfast po’boys come on a baguette with American cheese, with the exception of the vegetarian po’boy, which comes with provolone. Eggs are medium by default, and sausage is grilled and thinly sliced, almost like cold meat. Beck’s waitress Jenelle recommends “mixing the meats with the veggie po’boy” and adding a splash of pre-packaged homemade hot sauce, in addition to the “certain level of flavor” that Beck’s is adept at. Jenelle admits that she was a customer before going behind the counter: “The reason I started working here is because I wanted to eat the food as quickly as possible. And this is going really well!”
📍 51 N. 12th St., 📞 215-592-0505, 🌐 beckscajuncafe.com, 📷 @beckscajuncafe
Price: $5.50 for an egg and cheese; $1.75 extra for one meat
You could easily pass Darnel’s Cakes, tucked away in the lobby of an Old Town office, but do yourself a favor and stop by. Co-owner Kyle Cuffie-Scott turned his 2016-era fundraiser project into a physical storefront with Joe Lope in May 2020, offering a dizzying array of baked goods and more, like breakfast sandwiches. in homemade buttermilk biscuits or brioche buns. The biscuits are sturdy and the brioche refreshingly light. (Both options are neatly sized, manageable like an office meal.) Cuffie-Scott has baked cookies for her family for years, selling them at her store when she opened. The biscuits became sandwiches, featuring fluffy scrambled eggs and their own cheese blend. (One Thai shallot mayonnaise, 50 cents extra, warms up any sandwich.) Bonus: You can order a breakfast sandwich until closing time at 3:00.
📍44 N. Third St., 📞 215-608-8471, 🌐 darnelscakes.com, 📷 @DarnelsCakes
Price: $6.50 for the pain reliever
In this cozy café in the Mercado Italiano, coffee seems to be the focus. But looks can be deceiving: The cash-only counter also features inventive bagel sandwiches like the Painkiller, scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese on a bagel of your choice, with homemade spicy ketchup. The staff cuts the sandwich in half for easy access – or easily takes half to go as a “second breakfast” if you don’t finish at your sidewalk tables.
📍917 S. Ninth St., 📞 215-923-3205, 📷 @GleanersCafe
Price: $8.95 for an egg and cheese
In downtown Collingswood, Maria’s Bread Sandwiches features breakfasts featuring Philadelphia’s Mighty Bread products. Order through a digital kiosk, personalizing your take-out or dinner order. In addition to the local breads, the eggs are locally sourced – a pre-formed burger that fits perfectly on toast – while the cheese is a Cooper Sharp regional favorite. The more basic version of Maria’s sandwiches are nice, but order chopped roasted long peppers on the side to add heat to your taste.
📍685 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, 📞 856-240-7787, 🌐 mariasbreadsandwiches.com, 📷 @mariasbreadsandwiches
Price: $7.50 for Classic Breakfast Sandwich (eggs, cooper sharp cheese, arugula, on potato bread)
Much has been written about Middle Child’s original Center City location, and the Fishtown Clubhouse branch, which opened in 2021, is getting what it deserves, too. Their version of the classic breakfast sandwich is delicious and worthy of a few napkins. The eggs are fluffy, beaten in addition to a regular mix and topped with Cooper Sharp cheese. If you’re feeling like you want another layer, treat yourself to a hash brown inside. This is definitely one to share with a friend at the cheerful Clubhouse, or to enjoy a lazy morning.
📍1232 N. Front St., 📞 267-858-4325, 🌐 middlechildphilly.com, 📷 @middlechildclubhouse
Price: $9 for a sausage, egg and cheese on a roll
Those unfamiliar with Philadelphia might squint at anything cooked in a Home Depot parking lot – they just don’t understand the joy of Rocco’s. Rocco’s is a local chain institution with reliable and robust all-day sandwiches and side dishes. Egg and cheese sandwiches come on a long roll here, and if you like spice, you’ll want a long fat grilled hot sausage link too. (Sweet sausage is the alternative; the menu also offers the option of a spicy link and a sweet link, for a contrasting combo.) Peppers and onions, also grilled in front of you, add depth of flavor, as do hot sauce and mayonnaise. The latter comes as a flavor and creaminess note. Unwrap your sandwich while you’re still in the parking lot, or better yet, head to a nearby outdoor space for maximum vibes.
📍2200 W. Oregon Ave., 1491 S. Delaware Ave., 2539 Castor Ave., 📷 @roccos_italian_sausage_steak_
Price: $7 for an egg, meat, and cheese on a Philly muffin
Diners may be a dying institution in Philadelphia, but Sulimay’s makes a strong case for bringing them back in full force in every neighborhood. Among Fishtown’s row houses and retail stores is a restaurant where old meets new. You can’t go wrong with scrapple on your breakfast sandwich, especially when it’s on top of what amounts to an omelet and your choice of cheese. Sulimay’s proudly serves Merzbacher’s Philly square muffins, which are ideal in shape and size for a scrapple egg sammy.
📍632 E. Girard Ave, 📞 215-423-1773, 🌐 breakfastatsulimays.com, 📷 @Breakfast.at.Sulimays
Price: $9 for Eggs and Sammy Cheese: 2 scrambled eggs, cheddar on baguette with fries
You’ve got half a dozen exciting breakfast sandwich paths to follow at this corner location in the Graduate Hospital, which celebrates its second anniversary in July 2022. Owner Huyen Dinh calls this style of menu a “happy marriage of Vietnamese and American staple sandwiches.” She explains that “Vietnamese food is a lot of fun, especially when you pair it with American food. There are so many different combinations.” For example, the banh mi op la is an eggy version of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, combining fried eggs and sausage with The Breakfast Den’s own blends of herbs and eggplant pâté. Alternatively, the sweet jelly remix comes hamburger-style loaded with scrambled eggs and two-way bacon on a brioche bun topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, and a tangy combination of strawberry jam and mayonnaise. Dinh says it’s her new favorite offering: “There’s nothing Vietnamese about it. The jelly candy remix is basically my childhood sandwich. It’s what I grew up eating. You would always have strawberry jam and mayonnaise.”
📍 1500 South St., 📞 267-758-6008, 🌐 beckscajuncafe.com, 📷 @TBD.TheBreakfastDen
Price: $8 for a three-egg, meat, and cheese sandwich on a roll
Vincenzo’s is a true neighborhood spot, with a simple setting in South Philadelphia. You enter 9th Street and immediately see the bar, grill, and a handful of seats. You’ll likely meet Michael Pakradooni, who is the current owner of Vincenzo’s, and has been there for seven years, even though the store has been around for over thirty. Recently, he has had to deal with market changes. “The eggs basically doubled [in price] since last year. Everything went up.” It’s the only place in town that, in addition to breakfast meats like hot sausage, regularly offers a chicken cutlet in their egg sandwich. This option isn’t obvious from the printed menu, but it’s an upgrade worth trying. About the chop supplement, Pakradooni warns newbies, “It’s fun, but you definitely need a nap after you’ve eaten all that.”
📍1626 S. Ninth St., 📞 215-463-6811, 🌐vincenzosphilly.com
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