The 50 best breakfast sandwiches in the Philly area right now
With options ranging from croissant breakfast sandwiches to spicy sausages on long rolls, it's easy to find a breakfast sandwich you'll love in the Philly area.
In addition to being the most important meal of the day, breakfast gives cooks the opportunity to show off.
Most work their magic with eggs, layering in tasty proteins — bacon, sausage, pork roll, tofu, even bulgogi and alligator. Bread is key. The better breakfast-sandwich destinations bake their own bagels, biscuits, or rolls. We’ve also noticed that many sandwich shops have adopted Cooper sharp American as the cheese of choice; it melts beautifully and has a bit more tang than the white American cheese by Kraft or Land O’Lakes.
Our usual food exploration covers eight counties in two states, and so does this roundup. Nine of our favorites are in South Philadelphia, the birthplaces of both the hoagie and steak sandwich and, thus, the root of the region’s sandwich scene. Seven are in South Jersey. Fifteen are in the Pennsylvania suburbs — Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties. The rest are spread out in the city, from West Philadelphia to the Northeast. We’re also including Rocco’s, with nine locations in the city and suburbs. It happens to be one of the more unlikely sandwich destinations you’ll ever find, as they are set up outside Home Depot stores.
Here are 50 prime examples of breakfast sandwiches in the region.
There’s so much richness going on in the French toast BLT at this cozy, all-day cafe in downtown Media, as well as textures, notably the creamy crunchiness from the toast. The sweet-smoky brown sugar bacon puts this sandwich over the top, even before you apply the syrup.
Black Cat Cafe
We believe in egg sandwiches. We also believe in cats. We therefore believe in the fluffy egg sandwiches at this nonprofit Main Line cafe tucked off Lancaster Avenue, which donates most of its income to cat rescue.
Cafe Ole in the Valley
The full line of espresso drinks is one attraction of this cute coffee shop in a strip center on the Bucks County side of Huntingdon Valley, a sibling of the Cafe Ole in Old City. The Middle Eastern-inspired menu includes shakshuka for those who linger and good, old-fashioned bagels and lox for someone on the go.
Coach’s Steak & Hoagie House
Father-son duo Eddie and Owen Burke run the show at this simple, all-day sandwich shop on bustling State Street near Bucks County Courthouse in downtown Doylestown. You can be torn between the breakfast hoagie (eggs, Cooper sharp, and your choice of meats on a Liscio’s roll) or the pork roll, egg, and cheese quesadilla.
The Deli by LBC
This takeout deli attached to Langhorne Brewing Co. (hence “LBC”) takes creative approaches to its breakfast menu, serving what are essentially full-size omelets on seeded rolls. There’s the Greek, with eggs, spinach, tomato, and feta, as well as the Western, with eggs, peppers, onions, ham, and American cheese.
Fat Boy’s Deli
The Zep, that hoagie-like creation unique to Norristown, becomes a breakfast sandwich in the hands of the masters from this deli in Bridgeport, the next town over. It’s two eggs your way, salami, Provolone, tomato, onions, oil, and oregano on a pan roll from Corropolese Bakery in nearby East Norriton.
Henry Morgan’s mod and modest Main Line cafe always has something new, usually Middle Eastern-influenced, but I keep coming back to the breakfast sandwich — baked egg, Cooper sharp, and herb aioli on a Merzbacher’s potato bun — with a cappuccino from his gleaming La Marzocco espresso machine.
The Landing Kitchen
Chef Nick Elmi put together maple chicken sausage, egg, Cooper sharp, and salsa verde on a Merzbacher’s bun, and added one of the prettiest views of the Schuylkill. His Bala Cynwyd cafe, a partnership with Fia Berisha, is downstairs from Lark, their swankier restaurant.
Langhorne Coffee House
Tim James and crew deliver solid breakfast sandwiches at this chill corner bruncherie in Langhorne, but the real treat is getting yourself out of bed and into the shop between 6 and 7 a.m. The early bird gets sandwiches for $3 and drip coffee for a buck.
Chef-owner Josh Taggart cooked downtown at such places as Lacroix, but during the pandemic sought small-town charm in downtown West Chester with this stylish spot open from breakfast through dinner. He’s a fan of Lebanon bologna, and when he pairs this up-country meat with fluffy eggs on a sandwich, it’s likely you will be, too.
Daniela de Souza’s Brazilian pastry shop, which she opened last spring in Conshohocken near her coffee shop ’feine, dispenses such treats as pastais de nata and pão com chouriço. For something different and completely savory, there’s the queijo waffle-wich, in which she layers egg, cheese, and bacon or sausage between a waffle made of her cheese bread.
Michael’s Sandwich Shop
We hopped off the Blue Route at MacDade Boulevard one day, hung a right at the Dunkin at Fairview Road, and nearly ran smack into the corner store that Michael Cirilli opened in 1977. Delco is dotted with such sandwich shops, where you can sit and chat or get your sandwich and scram. Cirilli’s version of the Italian American staple peppers and eggs on a long roll is packed with flavor, which can be attributed to his house-made peppers simmering in plenty of oil.
Redhouse, which opened in a Bensalem strip mall in 1998, makes a first-rate bagel — not too thick, not too thin, seeded properly, decent chewiness. That’s really the secret for a breakfast sandwich, whether it’s a sausage, egg, and cheese on a French toast bagel, or a veggie omelet on an everything bagel, or the Thursday special, which is scrapple. It’s dine-in, takeout, and delivery.
2nd Street Bagels
The dense, chewy bagels at this Bucks cafe create a great foundation for such novel sandwich fillings as cream cheese and bacon. Just when you thought that was the richest combo out there, note that they also offer one called the Heart Attack, which has egg, cheese, pork roll, sausage, and bacon.
Tank & Libby’s
Alex “Tank” Reid and Joe “Libby” Libertore truly elevated the Drexel Hill dining options when they opened this bruncherie five years ago in Pilgrim Gardens, just off Township Line Road. Lots of kitchens might combine Taylor pork roll, scrambled eggs, and cheese, but these guys tuck in caramelized onions, which makes everything pop.
New Jersey suburbs
Blair Mountain Biscuit Co.
Walk into Ted Miller’s country-chic cafe in Blackwood, eye the wall lined with hot sauces, and order one of the more lavish sandwiches in this roundup. Tell the cashier: “I’d like a Whole Cogan, please.” Then you’ll think, “Why did I just ask for a pro wrestler who has a white horseshoe mustache?” (I mustache myself this all the time.) The Whole Cogan has eggs (either fried or omelet), more than enough cheese, sausage, bacon, and scrapple on a house-made biscuit.
Central Park Bagel
How about a cheesesteak on a bagel? That’s not too much to ask at this modest strip-mall bagel shop in Westmont, where you can sit at the counter facing the Planet Fitness across the street (in the old Westmont Theater that inspired a young Steven Spielberg) and wonder if lifting your arm to eat this steak, egg, and cheese sandwich counts as exercise.
📍 34 Haddon Ave., Haddon Township, 📞 856-869-3390, 🌐 centralparkbagels.com
Jack’s Donuts & Cafe
There’s so much happening here at this doughnut shop/lunch counter in Laurel Springs, and besides the doughnuts, you have breakfast all day. Pay particular attention to the Fat Jack, for which scrambled eggs, pork roll, peppers and onions, cheese, and home fries are packed into a long roll.
📍 503 N. White Horse Pike, Laurel Springs, 📞856-627-0431, 📷 @jacksdonutsnj
Local Links Market Cafe
We took a friend who enjoys bacon to lunch at this bustling bruncherie in downtown Haddon Heights. “Order the Link sandwich with bacon,” we urged. We watched as he opened the sandwich for a peek to see five slices of bacon amid fried eggs and cheese. Delight.
Maria’s Bread Sandwiches
Philly-seasoned chef Scott Schroeder and his wife/cafe namesake, Maria, turn out some of South Jersey’s most creative sandwiches at their Collingswood storefront. His breakfast sandwich is the sum of good parts: fluffy eggs and Cooper sharp on toasted and buttered sourdough wheat from Mighty Bread Co. You can add extras, and many fans suggest adding a hash brown for crunch.
The Pie Lady
The signature breakfast sandwich at this homey spot in an old Victorian in downtown Moorestown is not simple. The Red Eye layers a hash brown, pork sausage, fried egg, and melted Cheddar on a toasted brioche bun spread with chili aioli.
Whole & Grounded
They’re fearless at this adorable cafe across from the Gloucester County courthouse. Take the sweet and fiery bagel sandwich combo called the Aidan — a chocolate chip bagel (one of 15 flavors) with jalapeño cream cheese (among 15 spreads). More traditional? Fine. That’s where the pork roll, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel comes in.
Adelie Coffee House
Honest to goodness toasties! Yes, the crunchy grilled cheese sandwiches are a welcome change of pace at this relaxed Mount Airy cafe named after a penguin. There are four varieties, including the blackberry jam, and Colby Jack shown here, in all its cheese-pull glory.
Artisan Boulanger Patisserie
Amanda Eap carries on at this corner bakery in South Philadelphia, which she founded two decades ago with her husband, Andre Chin, who died in 2022. The shop’s baguettes are its calling cards, though truly every sandwich is divine. Sweet and salty join in the signature ham, jam, and Brie on an outstanding breakfast croissant.
📍 1218 Mifflin St., 📞215-271-4688, 📷 @artisanbakeryphiladelphia
Everything on a bagel can be a “breakfast sandwich,” right? At Brett and Kyle Frankel’s Jewish soul food dream in West Philadelphia, the possibilities are as traditional as the shop’s Uncle Leo (smoked salmon, fried egg, scallion cream cheese, and caramelized onion) or as boldly unconventional as fried chicken with house Buffalo sauce, pickled red onion, and a blue cheese schmear.
Beck’s Cajun Cafe
Bill Beck’s Cajun-style stand at Reading Terminal Market offers three hearty breakfast po’boys on baguettes or as wraps, all made with three eggs — one with Andouille, spicy ham, and sliced turkey sausage, a second with bacon, steak, and salsa, and a third with alligator sausage. Alligator? Tastes a lot like dark-meat chicken. The counter folks will season it to your heat specifications.
The Biscuit Lady
Colleague Jenn Ladd raves about the Uptown Girl from this bakery tucked inside Lucky’s Trading Co. in Wissahickon. It’s a fried egg topped with bacon, American cheese, Jif peanut butter and strawberry jelly, “creating a melty-gooey sauce situation that simply cannot be contained by a fluffy buttermilk biscuit.” Messy but excellent.
📍5154 Ridge Ave., 📞 215-842-5836, 🌐 thatsmyjam3.com
The Breakfast Den
Thai Dinh’s Vietnamese heritage comes into play at her popular spot at 15th and South Streets. Alongside traditionally Western brunch dishes is the banh mi op la, two crispy sunny eggs, bacon, sausage patties, house pickles, herbs, eggplant pate, and aioli on a baguette. (Critic Craig LaBan really grooves on this place.)
Artist/chef Terrence Laragione’s kitschy corner cafe in Kensington is a canvas for his retro artwork and his sandwiches, such as the Popeye baguette, with its spinach, Cheddar, eggs, and splash of sriracha. (What? No Olive Oyl?)
📍1800 N. Howard St., 📞 267-455-0498, 📷 @buzzcafephilly
You step below Walnut Street, across from Washington Square, into the Lee family’s deli for an egg-and-cheese sandwich whose meat is pork bulgogi accented by the tang of sriracha mayo. It’s available on various breads, including a bagel and croissant.
📍703 Walnut St., 📞 215-964-9044, 📷 @cafe.walnut
Alex Malamy riffs on ramen’s seasonings with his breakfast sandwich. Rather than scrambled egg, the Ramen Thing sandwich incorporates a chopped marinated egg. Malamy’s folks mix bamboo, pickled ginger, togarashi mayo, seaweed crisp, sesame, and scallion on your choice of bagel. Ramen Thing. You make my heart sing.
Kyle Cuffie-Scott’s popular cafe in the lobby of the 444 building in Northern Liberties got national exposure last summer on ABC’s Good Morning America. His bacon, egg, and cheese on a biscuit went up against Middle Child’s pastrami and egg sandwich. Although Darnel’s sandwich didn’t capture the judges’ fancy, it’s very much a winner. We prefer ours on one of his brioche buns. Cuffie-Scott, whose forte is baking, created a two-tier strawberry shortcake with cream cheese frosting for Janet Jackson’s birthday last spring.
Fans flock to Daniel Anggrianto’s stylish Old City storefront for American-style brunches with Vietnamese touches, notably the Brekkie Banh Mi and the Eggspanola, which has over-easy eggs, Cheddar, bacon, a hash brown, and spicy aioli on brioche bun.
At this cozy cafe in the Italian Market, coffee appears to be the focus. Looks are deceiving: The cash-only counter also presents creative bagel sandwiches, like the Painkiller, scrambled eggs and Cheddar cheese on a bagel of your choosing, with house-made spicy ketchup. It’s cut in half for easy access — or for taking half to-go as “second breakfast,” if you don’t finish it at the sidewalk tables.
📍917 S. Ninth St., 215-923-3205, 📷 @GleanersCafe
Greg Gillin knocks it out of the park at his cozy breakfast-lunch cafe in Manayunk with the Smokey Sammy, which tucks two fried eggs, mozzarella, a sausage patty, and a squirt of sriracha on a brioche bun with a side of tots.
We should have asked Mike Barone the source of the name “Costmo” that’s on his sandwich at Grindcore House, his vegan cafe in Pennsport. It doesn’t cost mo’ than most breakfast sandwiches. You get baked tofu, house-made “bacon,” jalapeño, avocado, vegan cheese, and garlic aioli on an Everything Philly muffin — a creamy, smoky experience.
High Street Hoagies
High Street’s hoagie offshoot, inside the Franklin’s Table food hall at Penn, serves a breakfast-y sandwich billed as the Fishtown, which puts baked eggs, pickled vegetables, jalapeño, cilantro, sesame, and kewpie mayo on a crusty seeded roll.
Among the signature items served at this groundbreaking West Philadelphia Afro-centric grocery-cafe from chefs Omar Tate and Cybille St.Aude-Tate are sandwiches. There is the overstuffed “dolla hoagie” — more of a lunchtime treat — and then there are the breakfast sandwiches, served on crunchy-crusted house-made BLACKenglish muffins. Choose maple sage sausage or vegan black-eyed pea scrapple.
Karim Muhammad’s breakfast sandwich caught the eye of colleague Hira Qureshi while she reported a guide to Brewerytown last spring. She enjoyed the three slices of crispy halal beef bacon, chunky waffles, and omelet for what she called “a hearty morning pick-me-up.”
Creamy baked eggs and a fresh house-baked croissant or baguette! Add the charming atmosphere at this sunny cafe in Chestnut Hill, owned by the French-born Arthur and Amanda de Bruc, and it’s c’est bon.
Matthew Cahn’s sandwiches have built his business, starting with his brunch spot in Washington Square West, which partly shares a menu with his more expansive Middle Child Clubhouse in Fishtown. Cooper sharp American melts into the almost impossibly fluffy eggs and a surprising layer of arugula adds a peppery bite.
Mighty Bread Co.
Chris DiPiazza’s baking and cooking at his South Philadelphia cafe combine for a tasty sandwich with egg, sharp Cheddar, peperonata, arugula, and bacon or mushroom. Sweet potato brioche is the way to go.
Northeast Sandwich Co.
Serious breakfast sandwiches come off the grill at this modest store on a quiet corner in Burholme. You can get a pork-roll cheesesteak with chopped pork roll, scrambled eggs, Cooper cheese sauce, and caramelized onions, for example. One recent treat at “NESco” was a similar sandwich topped with spinach and labeled as a chopped cheese — a breakfast-y variation of the favorite that started in New York City’s bodegas.
Chad Durkin’s calling card at his South Philly bakery-slash-sandwich shop is roast pork, and he tucks 2 ounces of it, plus 4 ounces of his garlic sage sausage and two over-easy eggs on house-baked ciabatta, croissant, or an everything biscuit.
Hayat Ali’s house-made injera can barely contain the juicy tibs in her Ethiopian breakfast sandwich, a spicy day-starter at this quaint corner halal restaurant in Germantown. You’ll need a bottle of Fruitoria to cool the fires. Ali is part of the family behind the West Philly hit Doro Bet.
Stockyard Sandwich Co.
Will Lindsay and Mike Metzger seem to do everything right (and from scratch) at their Spring Garden walk-up sandwich shop, whether it’s the whole-pig banh mi, braised beef, or the twin-patty burger. Although the day starts at 11 a.m. here, this sandwich on an everything Philly Muffin (scrapple, easy egg, Cheddar and “Stock sauce”) has breakfast written all over it.
The breakfast sandwich at Chad Todd’s casual Fishtown mainstay just oozes “local.” You can get your egg-and-cheese with Czerw’s kielbasa, Habbersett scrapple, Martin & Sons Applewood or Canadian bacon, Hatfield pork roll, pulled pork, corned beef, or Godshall’s turkey bacon. And you can have it on Kaplan’s challah, Merzbacher’s rye or Philly Muffin, or an Aversa long roll.
Bonnie Sarana’s bagels at her East Passyunk shop are the basis of multiple variations of deliciousness. You can get house-made pastrami in your egg-and-cheese, or sujuk, a spicy, fermented sausage reflecting her Turkish heritage.
Vincenzo’s is a true neighborhood spot, with a straightforward setup in South Philly. You enter on 9th Street and immediately see the counter, grill, and a handful of seats. You’re likely to meet Michael Pakradooni, who is the current owner of Vincenzo’s, and has been there for seven years, though the shop has existed for over 30. Recently, he’s had to deal with market changes. “Eggs have basically doubled [in price] since last year. Everything’s gone up.” It’s the only place in town that, in addition to breakfast meats like hot sausage crumbles, regularly offers a chicken cutlet add-on for your egg sandwich. That option isn’t obvious on the printed menu, but it’s an upgrade that’s worth a try. Of the cutlet add-on, Pakradooni warns first-timers, “It’s fun, but you definitely need a nap after you eat all that.”
Your breakfast-sandwich bonus: Rocco’s
Playing off the notion that customers headed into a Home Depot store may have a hearty appetite, Richard “Rocco” Guardino went to the management of the Home Depot in Queens in 2001 and asked to open a sandwich stand outside. In 2006, Guardino’s former manager, Dan Winter, brought the idea to Philadelphia, where it has become a cult favorite. From the start outside the store on Columbus Boulevard and Castor Avenue, Rocco’s has grown to nine locations, serving cheesesteaks and sausage sandwiches.
The Gavone is a belly-busting breakfast sandwich — basically a whole meal on a roll: steak, bacon, eggs, choice of cheese, fried onions, sweet peppers, cubed potatoes, and hot sauce. In fact, gavone is Italian for “pig.” Breakfast outside a Home Depot? You might say they nailed it.
📍 1651 S. Columbus Blvd., 4640 Roosevelt Blvd., 2200 Oregon Ave., 1491 S. Delaware Ave., 2539 Castor Ave., and 11725 Bustleton Ave. in Philadelphia; 400 Commerce Blvd. in Fairless Hills; 782 Route 113 in Souderton; and 310 White Horse Pike in Lawnside.