The 11 Best Breakfast Sandwiches To Eat In Philadelphia Right Now
Breakfast sandwiches are one of those foods you probably don’t think about much – until they become all you can think of. They are ubiquitous, utilitarian, habitual. And yet, Philadelphia establishments put their own spin on it, serving something more interesting and delicious than your standard egg and cheese on pre-sliced sandwich bread.
Breakfast innovations are constant, as various Philadelphia locations offer a range 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 great for grabbing a bite to eat as you zip around town on a busy morning. All showcase the creativity and care for ingredients that local restaurants appreciate.
Here’s where to go for the best breakfast sandwiches in Philadelphia.
Price: $6 for an egg and cheese on a croissant
While full meal options aren’t plentiful here, the baked goods are on point. In fact, everything this Philly, French and South Asian-inspired bakery offers is perfectly executed. Owners Andre Chin and Amanda Eap closed the store at the end of 2021 to focus on their health and recently resumed weekend hours. You better get your sandwich on a croissant: freshly made and flaky, it’s sturdy enough to hold a fried egg and a sausage patty. The proportions are such that each bite is a balanced combination of flavors.
Price: $10 for corned beef, eggs and cheese on a bagel
Brett Frankel runs a West Philly take-out restaurant focused on bagels and bagel sandwiches, including some interesting variations: the week-long special was a torta with homemade chorizo, salsa verde and onions marinated. Frankel learned to make bagels by traveling the country and exploring regional styles. Production-wise, it sticks to “a traditional New York style, kettle boiled and baked” after the dough has spent 48 hours cold fermenting. Unique options available each day include a corned beef sandwich that includes “diced corned beef, eggs, Cooper Sharp cheese and caramelized onions folded into an omelette,” according to Frankel. Uncle Leo is a overt reference to Seinfeld and includes Nova smoked salmon, fried egg, green onion cream cheese and caramelized onions. Frankel’s head chef, Ron Silverberg, smokes all meats in-house.
Price: $5.50 for a smoked sausage, 3 eggs and American cheese on a baguette
This counter in Reading Terminal Market presents a myriad of options for your sandwich needs: take-out or tableside, vegetarian or meat-based, classic or reinvented. The breakfast po’boys are served on an American cheese baguette, except for the vegetarian po’boy, which comes with provolone. The eggs are more than medium by default, and the sausages are grilled and thinly sliced, almost like deli meats. Jenelle, the waitress at Beck’s, recommends “mixing the meats with the veggie po’boy” and adding a splash of pre-packaged homemade hot sauce on top of the “certain level of flavor” that Beck’s is adept at. Jenelle admits that she was a customer before heading behind the counter: “The reason I started working here is because I wanted to eat as often as possible. And it’s going really well!”
Price: $5.50 for an egg and cheese; $1.75 more for meat
You can easily walk past 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 transformed his 2016-era fundraising project into a physical Joe Lope store in May 2020, offering a dizzying array of baked goods and more, like breakfast sandwiches on homemade buttermilk cookies or brioche rolls. The biscuits are solid and the brioche light and refreshing. (Both options are neatly sized, manageable as an office lunch.) Cuffie-Scott baked cookies for her family for years, selling them in her shop when it opened. Cookies became sandwiches, featuring fluffy scrambled eggs and a signature blend of cheeses. (A Thai shallot mayonnaise, 50 cents more, warms up any sandwich.) Bonus: You can order a breakfast sandwich until closing time at 3 p.m.
Price: $6.50 for painkiller
In this cozy cafe in the Italian market, coffee seems to be the main focus. But appearances are deceiving: the cash-only counter also features creative 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 take half to go as a “second breakfast”, if you don’t finish it at their sidewalk tables.
Price: $8.95 for an egg and cheese
In downtown Collingswood, Maria’s Bread Sandwiches presents its breakfasts with Philly’s Mighty Bread products. Order through a digital kiosk, customizing your takeout or dine-in order. In addition to the local breads, the eggs are locally sourced – a pre-formed patty that fits perfectly on toast – while the cheese is regional favorite Cooper Sharp. The most basic version of Maria’s sandwiches are nice, but order chopped long roasted hot peppers on the side to add heat to your liking.
Price: $7.50 for a classic breakfast sandwich (eggs, Cooper Sharp cheese, arugula, on potato bread)
Much has been written about Middle Child’s original downtown location, and the Fishtown Clubhouse branch, which opened in 2021, also gets its due. Their version of the classic breakfast sandwich is delicious and worthy of a few napkins. The eggs are fluffy, whipped beyond a normal scramble and topped with Cooper Sharp cheese. If you fancy another layer, treat yourself to a hash brown hidden inside. It’s definitely a place to share with a friend in the cheerful Clubhouse, or indulge on a lazy morning.
Price: $9 for a sausage, egg and cheese on a roll
Those unfamiliar with Philly may look askance at everything baked in a Home Depot parking lot — they just don’t understand Rocco’s joy. Rocco’s is a local chain institution with reliable, filling sandwiches and sides throughout the day. The egg and cheese sandwiches come on a long roll here, and if you like spice, you’ll also need a big, long link of grilled hot sausage. (Mild 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 to flavor, much like hot sauce and mayonnaise. The latter presents itself as a tangy and creamy note. Unbox your sandwich while you’re still in the parking lot, or better yet, head to a nearby outdoor space for maximum fun vibes.
Price: $7 for an egg, meat and cheese on a Philly muffin
Diners may be a dying institution in Philadelphia, but Sulimay’s is making the case for them to come back strong in every neighborhood. Among Fishtown’s townhouses and retail stores, this is a restaurant where old meets new. You can’t go wrong scrapping your breakfast sandwich, especially when it’s sitting on what amounts to an omelet and cheese of your choice. Sulimay proudly serves Merzbacher’s Square Philly Muffins, the perfect shape and size for a discarded egg sammy.
Price: $9 for Eggs & Cheesy Sammy: 2 scrambled eggs, cheddar on a baguette with homemade fries
You’ve got half a dozen exciting breakfast sandwich paths to follow in this corner of the Graduate Hospital, which celebrates its second anniversary in July 2022. Owner Huyen Dinh calls this style of menu a “happy marriage between flavors Vietnamese and basic American 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 egg version of the traditional Vietnamese sandwich, combining fried eggs and sausage with The Breakfast Den’s own herb and eggplant pâté blends. Alternatively, the Sweet Jam Remix is loaded burger style with scrambled eggs and bacon two ways on a brioche bun topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and a spicy combination of strawberry jam and mayonnaise. Dinh says it’s his new favorite offering: “There’s nothing Vietnamese about it. The sweet jam remix is basically my childhood sandwich. This is what I grew up eating. You would still have strawberry jam and mayonnaise.
Price: $8 for a three egg, meat and cheese sandwich on a hoagie roll
Vincenzo’s is a true neighborhood spot, with a simple setup in South Philadelphia. You walk into 9th Street and immediately see the counter, grill, and a handful of seats. You will probably meet Michael Pakradooni, who is the current owner of Vincenzo’s, and who has been there for seven years, although the shop has been around for over thirty years. Recently, he had to deal with changes in the market. “The eggs have almost doubled [in price] since last year. Everything has increased. It’s the only place in town that, in addition to breakfast meats like hot sausage crumbles, regularly offers a chicken cutlet in your egg sandwich. This option isn’t obvious on the printed menu, but it’s an upgrade worth trying. About adding chops, Pakradooni warns newbies, “It’s fun, but you definitely need a nap after eating all that.”
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