The Battle of the Brunches

A couple of weekends ago, I went to brunch with my friend Karen (a theme in my posts here–exploring Philly with Karen) in the Spring Garden area. We were debating whether to go to Honey’s Sit N’Eat, which is a southern style brunch place in the Northern Liberties neighborhood, or to Cafe Lift, a European style cafe tucked away on a quiet side street. I had heard about it from one of the stroke fellows at the hospital, and he sung its praises—especially the fact that you don’t have to wait long for a seat (unlike Honey’s).

So to Cafe Lift we went: (below photos courtesy of

Cafe lift is tucked away on a quiet street next to a very cool Japanese lifestyle store off of Spring Garden. It has a very industrial and funky interior with quirky chandeliers and exposed pipes. They play hip music, you know the drill. But the brunch fare is simple and well made– Frittatas of rotating variety, pancakes, french toast with innovative spins (think pumpkin), eggs benedict–all the ingredients are fresh and quality and it is obvious. They also have bottomless coffee–whether iced or hot.  Being reasonably priced is also a plus here.

Last weekend, I woke up early of my own volition, and my friend Seth convinced me to pick him up for brunch. We decided on Honey’s since I’d never been. It’s in a cute enclave in NoLibs, not too far from the curiosity tearoom (another post all together). Southern-style brunch fused with Jewish staples is offered here. bacon and eggs, biscuits, grits (which I am extremely picky about), challah french toast, and latkes with sour cream and apple/pear sauce; they also have their own homemade blueberry preserves at every table.  Bottomless limemade and lemonade (three cheers for bottomless drinks!) is also on the menu. The space is small, and there is usually at least a 20 minute wait since they don’t take reservations. It is a bit of a Philly institution–with hipsters and yuppies and normal people alike all flocking here for a bit of sustenance.

I must admit, I was not a fan of the biscuits. I don’t believe people up here really know what a biscuit is supposed to be like, and these were not the light and fluffy buttermilk kind I was expecting. But maybe they were going more for a scone, in which case–SUCCESS!

Cafe Lift

428 North 13th Street

Philadelphia, PA


Honey’s Sit N’Eat

800 North 4th street

Philadelphia, PA

*Last two images from the Let the tide pull our dreams ashore blog & gidgeteats respectively.


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