After living in Philadelphia for the past four years, I have learned that the brunch scene in this city is unbelievably impressive. To me, brunch is an ideal meal to experience with a friend, family member, or significant other. Brunching with a buddy provides you with the opportunity to dodge long waiting times, try one another's foods, save money with half portions, and enjoy a long conversation in a fun and friendly environment. Sharing not only a meal but also a bottle creates an even more memorable experience. Regardless of who you are brunching with, BYOB brunch is the optimal way to make the most of your one-on-one dining experience in Philadelphia. Get a taste of the Philadelphia BYOB brunch scene at these top locations. 

Café La Maude

Breanne Mastromarino

My boyfriend selected this restaurant for us to celebrate the end of final exams. I was especially excited because I had not heard of this restaurant before, and am always down to experiment with new food. Café La Maude is a BYOB brunch restaurant in Northern Liberties serving tasteful dishes inspired by French and Lebanese cuisines. My first experience there was incredible, and the spring weather was absolutely perfect for dining outside under an umbrella. I found the menu options so unique that I had trouble deciding what to try. I chose to order shakshuka because I had never tried it due to the fact that I had never been to a restaurant that served it for brunch. While sipping sweet rosé champagne under an umbrella and watching people with cute dogs pass by, I felt as if I was on a European vacation. If you are looking for a getaway without leaving Philadelphia, do not miss out on brunch at Café La Maude.

Green Eggs Café

Breanne Mastromarino

Staring at photos of red velvet pancakes and cookie dough French toast on Instagram led me to list Green Eggs Café on my food bucket list soon after I moved to Philadelphia. My first visit to Green Eggs Café was not until my third year in the city right after my first half-marathon, and boy, was it worth the wait. Green Eggs Café emphasizes serving fresh, local ingredients for brunch and includes a wide selection of savory and sweet options on the menu.  The Midtown Village location that I visited was not BYOB, but the South Philadelphia, Northern Liberties, and Brewerytown locations are. If you happen to be in Miami, Florida, you can even venture to the Aventura location. My first visit compelled me to order the cookie dough French toast that I had been drooling over for years, as well as indulge in and share a half portion of red velvet pancakes. I could not wait to return to Green Eggs Café for a brunch date in the future and enjoyed my next two visits to the BYOB South Philadelphia location. When you visit Green Eggs Café for a brunch date, be sure to share a half portion of red velvet pancakes and a bottle of champagne. 

Honey's Sit and Eat

Breanne Mastromarino

If I could, I would rename Honey's Sit and Eat to "Homey Sit and Eat." I had heard of this restaurant through friends and food websites, and knew that I had to try it. This American BYOB brunch restaurant is a relaxing space to enjoy simple, yet tasty food that carries feelings of nostalgia with each bite. I visited the Center City location and have yet to try the Northern Liberties location. On a late summer Sunday morning, there was plenty of seating available for two people. Although Honey's served an impressive selection of specials, I selected an item from the regular menu. I ordered The Bomb, a giant pancake stuffed with scrambled eggs, meat, and potatoes. I was pleased with the large portion size and the side of grits it came with. Eating a dish that brought back various flavors of my childhood all at once while drinking champagne made me feel like a big kid who was proud to be sitting at the adult table. If you are looking for a brunch date that eases your adult stress and makes you feel at home, go to Honey's Sit and Eat.

Café Lift

Breanne Mastromarino

Learning that such a dish as cannoli French toast exists compelled me to visit Café Lift in the Callowhill neighborhood for my boyfriend's birthday. Once a factory, Café Lift is now a popular destination for BYOB brunch that focuses on serving seasonal and local foods as well as quality coffee. I entered the restaurant absolutely certain that I would order the cannoli French toast, a decision I do not regret to this day. For anyone curious, the cannoli French toast is challah soaked in cinnamon vanilla custard with bananas, chocolate, pistachios, and ricotta cannoli filling. Although the French toast was delicious, the most memorable part of dining here was actually the popping sound of the cork of our champagne bottle. The cork made a gunshot sound as it flew up into the air towards the ceiling and nearly hit the man next to us. Everyone in the restaurant turned around to look at my boyfriend and I. That moment was so hilarious yet so embarrassing, as it was our very first brunch date. Nevertheless, dining at Café Lift was an incredible and memorable brunch experience that everyone should get the chance to enjoy. 

Ants Pants Café

Breanne Mastromarino

Having never been to an Australian-influenced restaurant before, I had been looking to visit Ants Pants Café for a few years. I had become fascinated by the menu items, some of which I had never seen or tasted before. Located in Graduate Hospital and now Queen Village, Ants Pants Café features a menu of simple, yet delicious "brekkie" dishes inspired by the Sydney café environment allowing for an exquisite BYOB brunch. Although I did not bring a bottle along to this  brunch date, I still had a fantastic time. Embracing the adventurous eater that I am, I decided to order the French toast stuffed with brie cheese to satisfy both my sweet and savory cravings. My boyfriend and I especially loved the sweet potato fries that accompanied his dish. They were round and crispy like no sweet potato fries I had ever seen before. Visit Ants Pants Café if you are searching for a fun BYOB brunch date with the best sweet potato fries you could imagine.

Sabrina's Café

Breanne Mastromarino

Famous for its stuffed challah French toast, Sabrina's Café is a popular brunch and dinner restaurant that strives to create affordable dishes with fresh ingredients. Sabrina's has three Philadelphia locations: Italian Market, Art Museum and University City, as well as other locations in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania and Collingswood, New Jersey. The University City location is the only location that is not BYOB and the only one that I have visited so far. The restaurant is so popular that it even has a phone line and webpage to be placed on a seating waitlist. The themed specials menu is innovative and always seems to reflect a widely-known element of each month. Every experience of mine at Sabrina's Café has been a worthwhile indulgence full of excitement. I have tasted the famous French toast that some of my brunch buddies have ordered in the past, but am most fond of the impressive omelet and pancake dishes. The large portions have a fantastic value, leaving plenty of opportunities for sharing and taking home leftovers. When you dine at Sabrina's, bring a buddy, a bottle, and an enormous appetite. 

These are just a few of the many extraordinary brunch restaurants I have been fortunate to try in Philadelphia. There are endless places in the city to explore, whether or not you have a bottle in hand. Keep in mind that many BYOB brunch destinations in Philadelphia do not take reservations and only accept cash. Calling the restaurant with questions about seating and peak times before you go can prevent long waiting times for a table. Strategic coordination with your brunch buddy ahead of time can help avoid payment issues. Listening to one another's suggestions about when and where to have brunch can go a long way. Communication is a crucial part of a relationship and certainly the most important aspect of memorable BYOB brunch date, aside from food, of course.