Philly brunch places never disappoint. There’s always a new one to try near campus, and Fitler Dining Room is no exception. Although the restaurant typically serves dinner, Sunday brunch is a must-try. FDR is an adorable yet clean-cut restaurant just across the river that serves local foods for bunch and dinner. It even has an amazing dessert and cheese menu as well as a great selection of wines and craft beers. Here’s how it held up across a bunch of categories:

1. Location

While the sign out front bearing the initials FDR could at first be mistaken for an homage to the well regarded president, it is instead an homage to the well regarded city square. FDR is a few short blocks from Fitler Square, a mini and offbeat version of Rittenhouse. This basically means that it’s an accessible 15 minute walk from campus and will provide you with a beautiful neighborhood to walk around after eating.

2. Atmosphere

The restaurant is calm yet classy with a cute, relaxed feel. The big windows looking out onto Spruce and 22nd Streets allow for lots of natural lighting and people watching (an essential during brunch).

3. Food

Filter Dining Room

Photo by Dina Zaret

I went to FDR for a family brunch and began the meal with this unorthodox roasted Marolda Farms beet salad. It looked like fish at first, but ended up being as delicious and beautifully arranged as the other starters (and definitely 100% beet, not fish). If you want some seafood in the morning, however, definitely order the oysters. While it might seem strange, it’s the way to go.

The heirloom tomato and eggplant ragout was a risky breakfast choice that payed off. It reminded me a bit of shakshouka, but the sheep’s milk ricotta toned down the spice and made it almost lasagna-y.

Although I tried FDR’s more adventurous brunch options, the traditional ones were highly received by my fam. Their only complaints: no toast with the omelets (just ask) and no bacon (only sausages). The buttermilk biscuit side was especially delicious–the perfect combination of fluffy, flakey and buttery. The only excuse not to order it is a serious allergy, and if that applies to you then I’m actually really sorry.

4. Service

Unfortunately the service at FDR took away from the experience. While the waitresses themselves were very helpful, the restaurant as a whole seemed very understaffed for a Sunday brunch.

CONCLUSION: Delicious and well presented food in an incredible location with a relaxing atmosphere but a little slow.


Location: 2201 Spruce Street Philadelphia, PA 19103
Hours of Operation: Daily: 5 pm- 10 pm. Brunch Sun: 11am-3pm.