When I was fielding recommendations for where to eat in Philadelphia, the name Stephen Starr came up over and over. Washingtonians will know Starr as the man behind our much-beloved Le Diplomate, but he has an entire empire in Philly. After much debate (it’s hard to just pick one!), we settled on Parc as our must-try while in town.
This was my first ever trip to Philly so I was immediately enamored by Rittenhouse Square. This lovely city park was bustling on a Saturday, with dog-walkers, a farmer’s market, and even a bridal party taking wedding photos. We had a wonderful time wandering through and enjoying the beautiful weather before brunch. As if it wasn’t perfect enough, I was charmed by the Parisian feel of an artist painting the scenery just across the street.
Parc is an expansive, on-air restaurant with prime sidewalk real estate. The most coveted seats were those outside; we couldn’t snag one, but we were seated in the open window which was perfect for people-watching. The interior is decorated with an Old-World French flair that just added to the ambiance.
My blood sugar was low, so I immediately ordered for a pastry basket and yogurt parfait to start. The parfait was beautiful, with bright raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries on top of a granola and vanilla yogurt. The flavors were nothing to write home about but it was a nice start to the meal. The pastry basket had an assortment of carbs, including a lovely chocolate croissant, brown butter madeleine, pistachio cherry financier, apricot and orange blossom pastry, and a strawberry jam beignet.
We washed all that down with a mimosa, grapefruit juice, and a Hummingbird, which is made St-Germain, sparkling wine, and club soda. Each was light and effervescent—perfect for the hot summer day.
The spinach and goat cheese omelet was massive. The eggs and soft cheese combo was rich and creamy. The roasted potatoes were lightly flavored with herbs and delicious. This was a hearty dish that really set us up for a day full of sightseeing and exploring Philly.
Like the basic Millennials we are, we had to try the avocado toast. Two perfectly poached eggs sat atop a fan of perfectly ripe avocado and a thick slice of multigrain sourdough. The eggs weren’t quite as runny as I had expected, as the yolk was a bit hard, which made the dish a little dry overall. The flavors were on point, however, and the frisee salad on the side was fresh and light.
We took our time with sipping bubbles as we watched the activity across the street in the park. The lovely service and wonderful atmosphere makes Parc you will want to stay all day. The food is very much akin to that of Le Diplomat, but now that we’ve had both—it’s clear the original reigns king for a reason.
The Bitches say: A. Come to Parc for a very Parisian experience, with fantastic ambiance, and predictably delicious French food. You’ll want to stay all day sipping cocktails in the window of this open-air bistro and cafe.
Parc Restaurant, Bistro & Cafe
227 S 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Parc serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m.-3 p.m. and breakfast Monday through Friday 7:30-11 a.m.
Thanks to Visit Philly for partnering on this post.