Sam's Morning Glory Diner marries the aura of a small '50s eatery with the relatively modern trend of sourcing food from local purveyors. Chefs troll the Italian Market and Reading Terminal for the fruits, meats, and cheeses that go into gargantuan frittatas and berry biscuits. The time-tested breakfast sandwich is revamped on fresh focaccia bread, and seitan, a tender wheat-based protein, sneaks its way into faux-chicken cheesesteaks without anyone being the wiser. Flowers overflow from outside windowsills, and stainless-steel mugs keep coffee warm alongside sandwiches packed with prosciutto, roasted peppers, and pesto, like an incompetent lawyer’s briefcase.
Featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and celebrated by both ravenous residents and voracious visitors, The Dining Car & Market has earned its place in the annals of enthusiastic eats. Within its art-deco interior, the venerable neighborhood eatery sates early-morning munchers and late-night noshers alike with its 24-hour welcoming mat and its gargantuan menu. Belly up to a hearty breakfast with the special farmer's omelette, cultivated from plowed fields of peppers, onions, home fries, and your choice of meat ($6.95). Or, quell midday hungerings with a hot roast-beef-sandwich platter ($8.45) or french onion soup, which places its dapper, cheesy tam over a cluster of croutons ($5.20).
Take your more-than-just-a-pretty-face sister and more-than-just-a-peg-leg pirate to discover what happens when the cream hits the grill. Today's Groupon gets you $20 worth of sandwiches, salads, and sweets at More Than Just Ice Cream. Grab your creamery-craving cronies and hungry pals and head out to this 34-year-old local institution for a fun night of bistro eats and creamy treats. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Operating out of a rehabbed warehouse space in the Spring Garden neighborhood, Café Lift’s motto is “Brunch. All Day. Every Day.” Outside, the beautiful old stone façade is now punctuated by sleek, tall windows, while inside, patrons will find exposed pipes overhead, a dark wood floor and original artwork hanging on white walls. Café Lift is serious about its brunch theme, as it’s open only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day except Monday. Eggs come in many forms: scrambled inside a breakfast burrito, baked into a vegetarian or sausage frittata, fried and served along with sautéed broccoli rabe, asiago cheese and tomato pesto. Varieties of pancakes and french toast round out the breakfast-leaning fare, and those looking more for the lunch side of brunch can opt for a panini (Cubano, sausage, veggie) or a salad.
Yes, there actually is a trolley car at Philadelphia’s Trolley Car Diner. It’s a 1948 model, and it now sits in the parking lot and serves as a takeout stand for ice cream and water ice. The structure of this classic diner was actually relocated from a small Pennsylvania city 100 miles away, and now the myriad throwback touches make the Trolley Car a treasured Mount Airy establishment. Booths line the large L-shaped space with its black-and-white tile floor, and the menu is a page-turner, literally: numerous options each of salads, burgers, hoagies and larger entrées line the hefty book of options, including dishes like homemade chicken croquettes, pan-seared calves liver, meatloaf and Cajun catfish. Before you leave, pick up some meat or cheese from the onsite deli to take home and enjoy.
Around the corner from the stately Central Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library, this outpost of Sabrina’s Café brings its bright décor, large portions and hugely popular weekend brunch to the Spring Garden neighborhood. Fritattas and the signature challah french toast are popular breakfast choices, and vegetarians will find myriad possibilities on the lunch and dinner menus, including a seitan “cheesesteak” and crispy tofu over soba noodles, served with a peanut-sesame sauce, mango salsa and avocado. It’s the hearty and creative dishes like an oatmeal-cranberry-basil cornbread topped with applewood bacon, arugula, caramelized onions, broccoli and over-easy eggs that draw the weekend brunch crowds, who pile into four person tables and colorful booths, complete with funky string lights.