August 30, 2018

Eat Better, Spend Less In Philadelphia

16 Standout Philly Spots For Great $10-And-Under Lunches And $20-And-Under Dinners

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Cheu Fishtown, the much bigger sibling to Center City’s noodle bar, offers a menu is full of similarly playful takes on pan-Asian dishes. Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia
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Goldie—a vegan restaurant by chef Michael Solomonov in the heart of Center City—serves falafel, pita pockets, fries, iced tea and tahini shakes. Photo by M. Persico for Goldie
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Puyero in Society Hill offers a menu of authentic Venezuelan cuisine featuring arepas, corn pancakes and plantain sandwiches. Photo courtesy Puyero
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At Hardena—Diana Widjojo’s humble BYOB restaurant in South Philadelphia—diners can expect Indonesian cuisine and a bargain priced menu. Photo by Neal Santos for Hardena
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Puyero in Society Hill offers a menu of authentic Venezuelan cuisine featuring arepas, corn pancakes and plantain sandwiches. Photo courtesy Puyero
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Manakeesh in West Philadelphia serves up Lebanese fare. Pictured here: Baklava. Photo by trycaviar.com for Manakeesh
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Goldie—a vegan restaurant by chef Michael Solomonov in the heart of Center City—serves falafel, pita pockets, fries, iced tea and tahini shakes. Photo by M. Persico for Goldie
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Fried chicken, cornbread and sweet potato pie are some of the many highlights on the menu at Love and Honey Fried Chicken in Northern Liberties. Photo by Laura Lyons for Love and Honey
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Puyero in Society Hill offers a menu of authentic Venezuelan cuisine featuring arepas, corn pancakes and plantain sandwiches. Photo courtesy Puyero
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Goldie—a vegan restaurant by chef Michael Solomonov in the heart of Center City—serves falafel, pita pockets, fries, iced tea and tahini shakes. Photo courtesy A. Hawkins
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In a top-notch eating city like Philadelphia, there’s no need to spend big money to dine well. Philly’s restaurant scene makes excellent eats available at all price points, including pretty darn cheap. Whether the occasion is a power lunch, a romantic supper or a late-night nosh, true Philadelphia deliciousness can be enjoyed at low cost. Here are just a few options for under $10 lunches and under $20 dinners (drinks excluded)—meals that are both inexpensive and impressive:

Lunch Under $10:

1. Dim Sum Garden Chinatown’s popular destination for soup buns remains one of the best values in the city. Snacks here, such as dumplings and curry chicken cakes, cost well below $10, as do the steaming hand-pulled noodle bowls. 1020 Race Street, (215) 873-0258, dimsumgardenphilly.com

2. Goldie When an award-winning chef turns to street food, everyone wins. In the heart of Center City, chef Michael Solomonov’s vegan falafel joint draws lines for pita pockets ($7.50), salads ($9), fries ($3)—and legendary tahini shakes ($5). (Stair access ) 1526 Sansom Street, (267) 239-0777, goldiefalafel.com

3. Kilimandjaro – Lunch specials top out at $9 at this Spruce Hill stalwart—the city’s first Senegalese specialist—known for savory Thieboudienne fish stew, garlicky Yassa chicken, peanut lamb and classic roast chicken. 4317 Chestnut Street, (215) 387-1970

4. Manakeesh West Philly’s Lebanese bakery, cafe and grill specializes in spiced flatbreads, a filling snack that, even when topped with meat, offers a good bargain. Most of the wraps, salads and platters on Manakeesh’s menu are equally affordable. 4420 Walnut Street, (215) 921-2135, manakeeshcafe.com

5. Philly Style Bagels – Bon Appétit declared the Classic Lox at this Fishtown spot America’s best sandwich. House-cured salmon, cucumber, tomato, red onion and a schmear of cream cheese on a Yards beer-boiled small-batch-made bagel is hard to beat, although, at $6 apiece, the BLT, whitefish salad or veggie combo rate highly. 1451 E. Columbia Avenue, phillystylebagels.com

6. Puyero This Society Hill shop turns out fast, tasty food for big appetites and small budgets. Venezuelan arepas, corn pancakes, or plantain sandwiches stuffed with shredded beef, chicken and avocado salad or cheese can be had for less than a Hamilton. 524 S. 4th Street,
(267) 928-4584, puyeroflavor.com

7. Rangoon – On weekdays, classic Burmese dishes—chicken mint kebabs, pork with pickled mango chutney, beef with basil, coconut tofu—cost $7 to $7.25. For $3.50 more, diners can share the thousand-layer bread. 112 N. 9th Street, (215) 829-8939, rangoonrestaurant.com

8. Stargazy Perfect for a snack on the run, Sam Jacobson’s popular British pie shop draws big crowds on Passyunk Avenue. Six-dollar sausage rolls and $10 meat pasties go the distance, until they sell out. 1838 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 309-2761, facebook.com/StargazyPhilly

Manakeesh in West Philadelphia serves up Lebanese fare. Pictured here: an assortment of traditional Lebanese appetizers including a falafel plate, fresh pita, hummus, kibbe, grape leaves and salad.   — Photo by trycaviar.com for Manakeesh

Dinner Under $20:

9. Bar Bombon The vegan Latin food at this chic Rittenhouse Square hangout appeals equally to eaters’ ethics and savings accounts. Standouts include nopales and rice enchiladas, fried yucca and tres leches cake. 133 S. 18th Street, (267) 606-6612, barbombon.com

10. Cheu Fishtown – Regulars come early and often to the River Wards outpost of the popular Center City ramen spot of the same name. Daily happy hours mean apps such as chicken wontons and fried dumplings for $4-$5; every hour, shareable entrees—bibimbap, lamb ho fun and ramen—tend to top out at $15. 1416 Frankford Avenue, (267) 758-2269, cheufishtown.com

11. Fountain Porter Sometimes after a night on the town, only a burger will do. The spare menu at this East Passyunk spot focuses squarely on that offering, and for $5, leaves enough cash for a beer (or three) to wash it down. 1601 S. 10th Street, (267) 324-3910, fountainporter.com

12. Hardena/Waroeng Surabaya The beloved Indonesian enclave in South Philly tempts with authentic flavors and generous pricing. Gado gado salad, curried rendang and vegan collard greens in coconut milk each clock in at 12 bucks and under. 1754 S. Hicks Street,
(215) 271-9442, hardenaphilly.com

13. Kanella Grill The menu at this casual, date-appropriate Washington Square West bring-your-own-bottle (BYOB) spot keeps it simple and affordable. Cypriot and Greek dishes such as kebab platters served with bread, rice, fresh salads and homemade condiments, taste like a million bucks. 1001 Spruce Street, (267) 928-2085, kanellarestaurant.com

14. Love and Honey A three-piece with cornbread for $9.25 means there’s no good reason not to take out fried chicken from this Northern Liberties fave. The CIA-trained chefs also make some mean sides and pies. 1100 N. Front Street, (215) 789-7878, loveandhoneyfriedchicken.com

15. Ngon Ngon Truth be told, countless Vietnamese restaurants in Philly sell inexpensive pho, banh mi and noodle bowls. This small South Street-area eatery leads with a charming, laid-back atmosphere—a good backdrop for low-key romance. 615 S. 3rd Street, (215) 457-5553, ngonngonrestaurant.com

16. Taqueria La Prima Formerly known as Prima Pizza Taqueria, this Italian Market staple has given up on the pizza to focus on what it does best: tasty, inexpensive tacos, tamales and tortas—all served until 3 a.m. 1104 S. 9th Street, (215) 339-5000

Goldie—a vegan restaurant by chef Michael Solomonov in the heart of Center City—serves falafel, pita pockets, salads, fries, sour cherry iced tea, turmeric lime soda and legendary tahini shakes.   — Photo by M. Persico for Visit Philadelphia

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On Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.

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