Irish Breakfast at Fishtown’s Ida Mae’s

Ida Mae's BruncherieToday, I awakened with a strong urge for breakfast, so I headed down to Fishtown’s newest brunch spot, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie. Situated on the corner of E. Norris and Tulip Streets, the restaurant is attractive and welcoming with a brick exterior, classic awnings and open doors.

Entering Ida Mae’s, I found the open kitchen in the front of the restaurant full of activity. The front dining room features a counter seating approximately eight, the kitchen and 4 – 5 small tables ; the back features two smaller connected rooms . Taking a seat at the bar (sorry, “counter” and “Irish” don’t seem to go together :) ) it was clear that the staff was  preparing for a busy day.

Over my morning ”caffeine injection” I took a quick look at the menu which features a variety of brunch standards.  Among the notables were:

  •  Full Irish Breakfast (“2 Eggs, Irish bacon & sausage, roasted tomato, baked beans, white pudding, sauteed mushrooms, potato bread & soda bread”)
  • Tofu Scramble (“Tofu mixed with spices and all the fresh veggies you could want with homefries and toast”)
  • Huevos Rancheros (“Black beans, corn torilllas, salsa avocado, cheddar cheese, two sunny side up eggs and topped with sour cream”)

While mulling over my choices, I had the opportunity to chat with one of Ida Mae’s owners Mary Kate as she prepared some of the day’s menu items. The opening has gone well and The City Paper expanded coverage of the restaurant from a brief mention to a full restaurant review, which was a big source of excitement in the kitchen. Weekdays have been inconsistent, but weekends bring lines. Finally, reflecting on the lengthy 2 1/2 year planning period, we agreed “better late than never.”

I quickly decided on the Full Irish Breakfast and I wasn’t disappointed. The meal was hearty and satisfying without being overly elaborate. The Irish bacon and sausage were a real treat, but I must admit that I wasn’t too keen on the potato and soda bread – maybe it’s an acquired taste.

The Full Irish BreakfastAlthough I enjoyed my meal, the intimate atmosphere is what really makes this neighborhood brunch spot special. The open kitchen invites everyone in the front dining room to participate, just like being at home; this is not the type of place where you’d bury your nose in the morning paper… I thought the limited menu offered variety, especially for breakfast, but I was hoping for a few more interesting lunch choices.  Regardless, with a number of vegetarian items and a willingness  to accommodate “vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free lifestyles,” Ida Mae’s seems to have something for just about everyone. If you want a good meal in a restaurant with “Philly Neighborhood Flava,” I’d say Ida Mae’s is a good choice.

 Ida Mae’s Bruncherie is located at 2302 E. Norris St. in Fishtown. (215) 426-4209. Hours: Tues. – Sun. 7am – 3pm.

[Tags]Philadelphia, Philly, Fishtown, Irish Food, Ida Mae’s Bruncherie[/Tags]


  1. I almost had breakfast here this morning! I’ve been digesting the buzz about the place for a little while now, but ultimately decided today was too beautiful a day not to sit outside and eat breakfast, so Ida Mae’s will have to wait for another day. Thanks for the review.

  2. We went there on our Episode 3 date on Cheap Dates Video Podcast! Sweet spot!

  3. Hey there,

    Great blog– sounds like we’re on the same team! Adding you to my blogroll. Bon appetit! :)


  1. Foobooz » Blog Archive » Philly Food Blog Round Up - May 9, 2007

    [...] Ida Mae’s passes muster as a breakfast place with “Philly Neighborhood Flava.” [PhillyFoodGuys] [...]

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