In Philly on business... need suggestions
I'll be in Philly for 5 days over the Labor Day weekend for a conference at the Convention Center, staying at the Marriott. I'm looking for suggestions of restaurants within short walking distance for lunches/dinners. Willing to try all kinds, hoping to keep it fairly inexpensive. Anything I just can't miss?
Diagonally across the street from the back of the hotel (not the Market St. side but across Filbert St.) is the Reading Terminal Market. They have a great selection of good, cheap food and are close by. Best bets are the roast pork sandwiches at DiNics, soft pretzels at Fishers, and pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place. One caveat, the Amish merchants are only there Weds through Sat. and the market will be likely be closed on Labor Day. Also, most merchants stop serving food around 3 PM so it's not a dinner place. http://www.readingterminalmarket.com
I second the Reading Terminal. However, I wasn't a fan of the Dutch Eating Place. I am a fan of the seafood bar that serves the best oyster/clam/combo soup or stew I ever had. It's better than Grand Central Oyster Bar's in my opinon. If you're willing to walk 1 1/2-2 miles to the Italian Market area you should check out Claudio's cheese shop on 8th Street by Christian. They have excellent cheese and meats. Something you might want to bring back to your hotel room or go on a picnic/eat outside with your family. My favorite is their homemade mozzerella which has a ice cream kind of aftertatse. There's also a restaurant called Antonio's/Anthony's (I forget the exact name). I haven't tried it but I have heard good things about it from the vendors in the Market. Tehn a few more blocks up is Gino's cheesesteak.
Chinatown is very close, with a lot of great places. For Chinese, Xiao Lan Kung on Race St. is excellent. For Vietnamese, Vietnam Restaurant on 11th is very good. There are a couple of good Szechuan Places (like Szechuan Tasty House on Arch St.). For something a little different, Rangoon serves excellent Burmese food, and Penang makes pretty good Malaysian.
You're 2 blocks from Chinatown, with lots of good eats: Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian. And of course almost none of those will break the bank.
Some names to start your search going:
Lee How Fook
Szechwan Tasty House
Sang Kee Peking Duck House
Banana Leaf (Malaysian)
Reading Terminal is a good rec., try the hot dog wrapped in a pretzel at Fisher's and have them slather some melted butter on it for you. Lakeside Chinese Deli and Shiao Lan Kung should definitely be added to the Chinatown recs. Both inexpensive and two of the best in Philly. Also, Italian Market is worth a short cab ride or a great way to walk the city. It runs along 9th St. from around Federal to Fizwater. Claudio's is actually on 9th St. and is a great cheese shop. Opposite of Claudio's and up the street a bit is a great roast pork spot called George's (the best in the city in my opinion) only complaint is they don't fry thier onions, they are basically raw so I get mine with sharp provolone and without onions. Not to be confused with the George's on the same side of Cluadio's next to Lorenzo's. Italian Market is mostly closed on Mondays. Other can't miss spots down by Italian Market in Shank's and Evelyn's for great roast beef and other sandwiches, Isgro's for pastries, and La Taquiera Veracruzana for great, cheap, Mexican and for the best hoagies around is Sarcone's on 9th and Fitzwater. Also, Kibitz in the City on 7th and Chestnut(about 6 blocks from Marriott)is also a good spot for sandwiches. For cheap beer and good wings, good specials check thier website, try McGillin's on 13th between Chestnut and Sansom (4 block from Marriott), somewhat younger of a crowd but a good little spot. One last word of advice would be to check the websites of places you may want to check out as some have weird hours, ex: Lakeside Chinese Deli is closed on Thursday. Enjoy
If you don't mind a short walk, there are some very good Italian restaurants in the area.
LaViola, on 16th St. north of Spruce, has very good food and is very reasonable. Cash only, BYOB.
Another excellent BYOB that would run a little more money is Branzino, on 17th St. north of Spruce.
Closer to where you are is Valanni, on Spruce between 12th and 13th. Mediterranean/Continental, with tapas and a good menu. That would be about four blocks away. They have a bar.
You've had very good recommendations for Chinatown. Lakeside Deli - and it's not a deli - is a little nothing-looking place with fabulous dim sum, for very low prices. Very casual.
Enjoy your visit!