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Philly's Best Under-the-Radar Breakfast Spots

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Philly is chock-full of big-dog breakfast spots, but there's more to a good morning in Philadelphia than the perennially-packed Green Eggs, Sabrina's, and Honey's. And waiting in those Disney World-long lines ought to be considered a crime when there's such a diverse bounty of delicious options waiting for you across this city's great breakfast landscape.

The little guys, the ones your neighborhood can't function without — the real lifeblood of the breakfast game — they're the ones that make the first meal of the day such a celebrated convenience. So, here now, nine places to check out that do breakfast better than most, in no particular order.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Brunic's Luncheonette

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2000 S 17th St, Philadelphia
PA, 19145
(215) 755-7645
South Philly at its best, Brunics is a greasy spoon without any of the grease. The food is simple — typical to that of any neighborhood luncheonette, but at Brunics, it just tastes better. There's an effortlessness about the cooking, as if they're trying to prove something, though surely they aren't. But maybe, just maybe, it doesn't have to take fancy chef to make a great omelette; maybe a neighborhood guy who's been doing it for 25 years can do it just the same.

2. Café y Chocolate

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2100 S Norwood St
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(267) 639-4506
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This brightly mural'd Mexican café in deep South Philly has made quite the name for itself, in spite of its rather lonesome location. The brightly painted (inside and out) restaurant might have the friendliest service in town to complement a vast menu of Mexican brunchy favorites, from stellar chorizo scrambles to the epic Huevos Motuleños Especiales — think huevos rancheros on steroids. The Oaxacan hot chocolate is to die for, so make sure to order it, and kick back and enjoy the warmth that transcends the food into the soul of the restaurant.

3. Vincenzo's Deli

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1626 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 463-6811
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Two words: meatball omelette. The kitchen prides itself on scratch-cooking, so those meatballs inside your omelette are just like the meatballs your grandma made on Sundays. It's familiar cooking, with old-school Italian roots, and there's no pretense about it.

4. Milkcrate Cafe

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400 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 909-8348
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Want to spin vinyls and eat breakfast at the same time? Go to Milkcrate Cafe. There's no real need for a great kitchen when the place has pretty much cornered the record shop/cafe market in Philly, but Milkcrate has one nonetheless. And while nothing is particularly mind-blowing, it's the care they take to go above and beyond that makes it such a great visit. The menu is full of music-inspired options, from the Notorious E.G.G., a pretty standard egg and cheese sandwich, to Smoke on the Water, a well-executed smoked salmon, caper cream cheesed bagel.

5. Pete's Clown House

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3878 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19124
(215) 744-1350
Pete's Clown House is one of those neighborhood spots that you take your friends to, to show them what Philly is all about. There's not a single frill about the place, a greasy spoon at its best. With a menu that doesn't exceed $6, all items prepared fast and flawless, the Clown House, which has been rocking since the 60s, is one of the best neighborhood breakfast joints this city has to offer. Get here before 9 a.m., and you can get the breakfast special: two eggs, hash browns, toast, juice and coffee, all for $1.99.

6. T&N Sandwich Shoppe

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1820 W Moyamensing Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145
(215) 462-1095
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Go here for "Da Bomb" and stay for the tots. The restaurant specialty "sandwich", a bacon, egg, and cheese omelette stuffed into a pancake, served, of course, with maple syrup, is a mammoth of a breakfast, but is it good? You bet it is, in the way that any breakfast stuffed into a breakfast is usually good. The tots, though, might be a bigger draw. Go for the "Better Than Pete's", a mountain of homemade tots topped with "creole seasoning", crab, and cheese sauce. And if you don't know which "Pete's" they're referring to, you might be in the wrong neighborhood.

7. Jezabel's

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2536 Pine St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 519-2494
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Tucked away in the corner of 26th and Pine Streets sits a little Argentine café called Jezabel's, where owner Jezabel Careaga serves up homemade empanadas and Argentine pastries. The Argentine Breakfast will run you just over $8 and includes coffee, pastries, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. There's something very heart-felt about the experience at Jezabel's — you feel at home, relaxed, like you'll be taken care of for as long as you wish to stay.

8. Tamalex

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1163 S 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 465-1665
The Mexican/Honduran restaurant on 7th and Federal serves two items worth the trip alone: First, fantastic pupusas stuffed with pork, beans, and cheese. Second, tamales, available on weekends — fluffy and sweet on the outside, stuffed with all kinds of goodies on the inside. Get both, and you've got a breakfast of champions.

9. Vineyards Cafe

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847 N 16th St
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 232-3000
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Delicate crepes, gorgeous coffee drinks, cozy digs, and friendly service near North Broad Street — that's what Vineyards is all about. Maybe Francisville isn't the first place you think of when you're in the mood for a good breakfast, but with Vineyards now in the mix, maybe it's time to reconsider.

1. Brunic's Luncheonette

2000 S 17th St, Philadelphia, PA, 19145
South Philly at its best, Brunics is a greasy spoon without any of the grease. The food is simple — typical to that of any neighborhood luncheonette, but at Brunics, it just tastes better. There's an effortlessness about the cooking, as if they're trying to prove something, though surely they aren't. But maybe, just maybe, it doesn't have to take fancy chef to make a great omelette; maybe a neighborhood guy who's been doing it for 25 years can do it just the same.
2000 S 17th St, Philadelphia
PA, 19145

2. Café y Chocolate

2100 S Norwood St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
This brightly mural'd Mexican café in deep South Philly has made quite the name for itself, in spite of its rather lonesome location. The brightly painted (inside and out) restaurant might have the friendliest service in town to complement a vast menu of Mexican brunchy favorites, from stellar chorizo scrambles to the epic Huevos Motuleños Especiales — think huevos rancheros on steroids. The Oaxacan hot chocolate is to die for, so make sure to order it, and kick back and enjoy the warmth that transcends the food into the soul of the restaurant.
2100 S Norwood St
Philadelphia, PA 19145

3. Vincenzo's Deli

1626 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Two words: meatball omelette. The kitchen prides itself on scratch-cooking, so those meatballs inside your omelette are just like the meatballs your grandma made on Sundays. It's familiar cooking, with old-school Italian roots, and there's no pretense about it.
1626 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

4. Milkcrate Cafe

400 E Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
Want to spin vinyls and eat breakfast at the same time? Go to Milkcrate Cafe. There's no real need for a great kitchen when the place has pretty much cornered the record shop/cafe market in Philly, but Milkcrate has one nonetheless. And while nothing is particularly mind-blowing, it's the care they take to go above and beyond that makes it such a great visit. The menu is full of music-inspired options, from the Notorious E.G.G., a pretty standard egg and cheese sandwich, to Smoke on the Water, a well-executed smoked salmon, caper cream cheesed bagel.
400 E Girard Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

5. Pete's Clown House

3878 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19124
Pete's Clown House is one of those neighborhood spots that you take your friends to, to show them what Philly is all about. There's not a single frill about the place, a greasy spoon at its best. With a menu that doesn't exceed $6, all items prepared fast and flawless, the Clown House, which has been rocking since the 60s, is one of the best neighborhood breakfast joints this city has to offer. Get here before 9 a.m., and you can get the breakfast special: two eggs, hash browns, toast, juice and coffee, all for $1.99.
3878 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19124

6. T&N Sandwich Shoppe

1820 W Moyamensing Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19145
Go here for "Da Bomb" and stay for the tots. The restaurant specialty "sandwich", a bacon, egg, and cheese omelette stuffed into a pancake, served, of course, with maple syrup, is a mammoth of a breakfast, but is it good? You bet it is, in the way that any breakfast stuffed into a breakfast is usually good. The tots, though, might be a bigger draw. Go for the "Better Than Pete's", a mountain of homemade tots topped with "creole seasoning", crab, and cheese sauce. And if you don't know which "Pete's" they're referring to, you might be in the wrong neighborhood.
1820 W Moyamensing Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19145

7. Jezabel's

2536 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Tucked away in the corner of 26th and Pine Streets sits a little Argentine café called Jezabel's, where owner Jezabel Careaga serves up homemade empanadas and Argentine pastries. The Argentine Breakfast will run you just over $8 and includes coffee, pastries, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. There's something very heart-felt about the experience at Jezabel's — you feel at home, relaxed, like you'll be taken care of for as long as you wish to stay.
2536 Pine St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

8. Tamalex

1163 S 7th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
The Mexican/Honduran restaurant on 7th and Federal serves two items worth the trip alone: First, fantastic pupusas stuffed with pork, beans, and cheese. Second, tamales, available on weekends — fluffy and sweet on the outside, stuffed with all kinds of goodies on the inside. Get both, and you've got a breakfast of champions.
1163 S 7th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

9. Vineyards Cafe

847 N 16th St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Delicate crepes, gorgeous coffee drinks, cozy digs, and friendly service near North Broad Street — that's what Vineyards is all about. Maybe Francisville isn't the first place you think of when you're in the mood for a good breakfast, but with Vineyards now in the mix, maybe it's time to reconsider.
847 N 16th St
Philadelphia, PA 19130

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