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Aug 3, 2006 02:48 PM

West Philadelphia Restaurant Picks

My good friend just moved to Philly and she's a complete novice to the city (as am I). Looking for good food (restaurants and food shops), that's not too pricey. She's homesick and really needs someplace with comfort and charm, so if that could be kept in mind...

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  1. Food shopping in West Philly is a bit limited. There is a pricey Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut. There is a produce stand on 40th around Locust. There is a fun huge Indian grocery store at 42nd and Walnut. If she's near a green line stop, taking the green line to Trader Joe's at 22nd and Market may be the best choice for reasonable quality and prices.

    Thank you.

    1. There is a food co-op in West Philadelphia at 47th and Baltimore -- mariposa, although this may be a little deeper into w. philly than you had in mind.

      1. restaurant-wise you'll be fine, there are a ton of good places to eat. there's an excellent soul food/west indian place (if you are looking for that kind of comfort food) at 40th and chestnut, fatou and fama's.

        where are you two from and what are your food preferences?

        5 Replies
        1. re: mazza3

          I'm just a good friend in NYC trying to help her out--she's overwhelmed, having just moved into town from Seattle. She eats mostly vegetarian, but loves anthing, from sushi to mac and cheese and everything in between. Actually, come to think of it, a cute place to get coffee/muffins/cupcakes might be nice. Know of any good bakeries?

          1. re: lalagirl

            i live in south philly, so all of my good baking recommendations come from there. in west phil the restaurant school sells excedllent baked goods, 42nd and walnut. the metropolotan bakery has a few locations, one in the reading terminal (trust me, she'll end up there eventually) and one on walnut near 40th. there are a ton of veggie and veggie friendly places around west philly, including indian buffets, thai restaurants, sushi, the white dog (an all organic restaurant), marigold, the beloved byob, and so many more. this site is good for alot of recommendations, but is also a good place to start and then come here for opinions (people are always ready to give them)....

            1. re: lalagirl

              I'm only in Philly intermittently these days, but last I knew there was a great coffeeshop with tasty baked goods (including some vegan options) called The Green Line Cafe at 43rd and Baltimore, catty corner to Clark Park. It was like my second home the summer I lived in West Philly, and their iced peppermint tea is the perfect hot weather beverage. They also occasionally have live music, and the people watching is excellent.

              There's also a good farmer's market in Clark Park. Last I knew it was on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. It's good for fresh local produce.

              1. re: foureyes

                For savory baked goods, Metropolitan is right next to Fresh grocer and is my favorite bakery in Philly.

                1. re: foureyes

                  The Clark Park Farmer's Market is on Thursday from 3-7 and Saturday from 10-2 (although many vendors often set up by 9:30). In addition to a wide variety of freshly picked produce you can find jams and jellies, pickles and relishes, meat (various cuts of pork and beef, but no chicken), bread, cookies, eggs (although they often run out early on Saturdays), cottage cheese, etc.

                  Nearly all of the products are very reasonably priced, and my family is usually able to do at least half of our weekly shopping there.

            2. I'm curretly living in West Philly but from NYC so I should be able to help.

              Your friend will be a limited compared to what she's used to in NYC. Philly definitely is not a great eating city like NYC or other East Coast cities, and West Philly is even worst. However, here are some places that I ate at this past year that your friend might like...

              -Greek Lady
              -Marathon Grill
              -Izzy & Zoe's (the food is ok but the staff tends to be SO rude)
              -Fresh Grocer (it's a grocery store but they have prepared food and hot and cold take-out, which I have to admit is pretty damn good for a market)
              -Mad Mex
              -Food Carts all over UPenn's campus

              1. Hey, I live in West Philly now myself, for only a few more weeks, and will definitely miss some of the food around here (despite what some others have said, transplanted NYers can find much great food in this city). First, there's ethiopian food - there are many places, but the best is abyssinia, on 45th and Locust - a great option for vegetarians, too (and cheap!). Also very good is Cafe Vientien, a pan-asian place (BYOB) also with much good vegetarian food on Baltimore and 47th. A tad more expensive but usually good is Rx on Spruce and 45th, a BYO that uses organic local ingredients - it's a nice place for brunch with outside seating in nice weather. There is also a 2nd Greenline Cafe on 44th and Locust. I hope that some of this helps!