Work Hard, Brunch Harder

Want to make this weekend one to remember? Clear your calendar and locate your fellow brunch enthusiasts.
Instead of meeting at your usual downtown or suburban spot, gather the crew and head over to University City. Map out your month for any given Sunday — you’d be surprised what you can find just west of Center City when it comes to shopping, dining, and so much more.
1
dine
Dine
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Address

3611 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

You know what’s good, rain or shine? A leisurely Sunday spent with friends. If brunch sounds like an ideal way to ease in, follow your nose into Louie Louie, a new-to-the-scene American bistro with a French flair. Located on the first floor of the Inn at Penn, Louie Louie offers the ambiance of a European café and the warmth of a family owned and operated restaurant. Slide into a buttery leather banquette, order a round of the Signature Bloody Mary, and tuck into the Seafood Benedict with shrimp, crab, and lobster tarragon cream. Equally worthy of your attention (and favorite Instagram filter)? The Bananas Foster Belgian Waffles and Strawberry Cheesecake French Toast.

2
shop
Apparel
Books
Address

3601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Should you have a little time to wander before your reservation — or to stretch your legs post-pastry — take a walk up Walnut Street to explore a bevy of interesting shops. With its vast selection of books, gifts, accessories, electronics, and specialty supplies, the Penn Bookstore isn’t just for college students. Pick up a postcard for your on-again, off-again pen pal (don’t worry; the best people don’t keep score) and cast a vote for coffee at the new Starbucks on the second floor. When you’re sufficiently caffeinated, head around the corner to LOFT (Ann Taylor’s more affordable but equally adorable spin-off), Urban Outfitters (yes; there’s a vinyl section), and Hello World (a local lifestyle store worth seeking).

3
shop
Apparel
Breakfast
Address

3421 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

What else can be found along Walnut? Philly favorite United by Blue. Part coffee shop, part retail store, and part (scratch that total) champion for ocean and waterway cleanup, UBB also stands behind a bang-up breakfast and brunch. Meeting one other person? Have a casual, cozy environment in mind? Up for exchanging a smile with your neighbors? There’s a reason this recently expanded space is always bustling. The scrambled eggs, avocado egg sandwich, and seasonal salads are all excellent, as is the dazzling display of homemade treats at the counter. The most difficult decision you’ll need to make? Sweet or savory.

4
shop
Beauty
Address

138 South 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

So you’re not really in the mood to shop — but you could go for a quick trim, manicure, or brow wax. Hang a left and then another as you exit United by Blue, and keep your eyes peeled for Adolf Biecker Studio just a short walk away on South 34th Street. Adolf sets the stage for a spa-like experience from the word go, with soft lighting, soothing music, friendly receptionists, and a professional staff trained in all things beautiful, peaceful, and restful. Even if adopting a new style isn’t on your agenda today, it’s still worth popping in to see the latest miracle worker on the market from Aveda. Performance and scent aside, Aveda’s line of natural haircare products is cruelty-free, manufactured with 100% wind power, and uses 100% post-consumer recycled packaging. (Sign. Us. Up.)

5
dine
Lunch
Dinner
Address

3432 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

For a third brunch option (you’ll be making multiple trips, after all), look no further than Bernie’s U. City. From 10am to 3pm every Saturday and Sunday, Bernie’s offers a $25 buffet so generous it’s guaranteed to carry you through another week of cold cereal, green smoothies, overnight oats, and whatever else you’ve been scrounging up on the fly. Price includes bottomless mimosas and creative takes on all the classics. This is the place to brunch to your heart’s content, whether you’ve had a banner week or you’re battling a few blues. Hang out; unwind; play a game of pool; people watch; catch a sports game; enjoy a slow Sunday.

6
shop
Shop
Apparel
Address

3661 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

If your idea of a weekend well spent includes a little bit of movement, stick a yoga mat and a pair of sneakers into your backseat. Every Sunday, the University City lululemon location offers complimentary in-store classes from 11am to 12pm. Yes; you read that correctly — classes are free and open to the public. As a bonus, they’re also suitable for all skill levels, whether you’re able to flow right into chaturanga from cobra pose or, you know, not (yet). Yoga isn’t the only type of class on offer, either. Teachers borrowed from local boutique fitness studios are known to lead meditation workshops, full body workouts, sculpt classes, and more. Be prepared to sweat!     

7
dine
Dine
Breakfast
Lunch
Snacks
Address

3428 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Agree or disagree: a brunch of champions — especially post-workout, but just generally, too — would be incomplete without a hint of something sweet. Pull up a chair at Federal Donuts on Sansom Street and order a hot fresh cinnamon sugar for any naysayers in your group, then take your pick of any flavors currently gracing the “fancy” menu. For something with some more staying power, give Federal’s infamous fried chicken a try, but do save room for the honey donut that automatically comes with. It’s the weekend, after all. And you’re making memories!

Needless to say, it’s a good time to eat (and explore) University City.  

39.953459, -75.196005
39.953355899962, -75.194946135997
39.9530897, -75.1931865
39.9532025, -75.1921494
39.9535726, -75.1932774
39.9535614, -75.1965008
39.9535536, -75.1931768