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convention center teen dinners for less

I have a volleyball team of girls ages 14-17 who will be very hungry following their tournament at the convention center in april.
We are staying at the Hilton near the convention center and need inexpensive(maybe italian, family food) restaurants that we can walk to.Other suggestions of food types are welcome- budget is low but we don't want fast food!

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  1. The convention center is in adjacent to Chinatown so lots of options there. Also within walking distance is HardRock Cafe - always a favorite with teens.
    As long as the tournement is not on a Sunday - next to the convention center is Reading Terminal Market with a multitude of food vendors.

    1. Maggiano's. It's across Filbert Street from the Hilton.

      1. Maggiono's would be perfect, but be sure to make a reservation. They get booked up way in advance.

        1. Maggiano's is close but its not inexpensive and although I've been there only once, I thought the quality was not worth the price. I'm not sure how they burn red gravy, but everything that night tasted burnt. You could go for the Hard Rock, the kids will like it, the music is loud, so don't expect to have a conversation, and its fairly reasonable. I would go for Chinese order several entrees, some egg rolls, and everyone shares.

          1. The reading terminal market http://www.readingterminalmarket.org is next to the convention center, cheap, and is open on Sundays now.

            1. Maggiano's would be good call with teens, and very close. Hard Rock is horrible food and I would not recommed it to my worst enemy.

              If you're feeling like a short cab ride/walk, take the team to El Vez for mexican food and a hip scene, of sorts. You'll be able to get a much-needed adult beverage (read: great margaritas!) after the tourney there.

              It's not cheap, but the prices are reasonable. Plus, it's mexican food, so there's always some crowd-pleasing appetizers that are sure to feed a crowd.

              Also, as as added bonus, El Vez features an old school photo booth that will be a nice way to have the girls document their trip to Philly.

              1. to each his own, nothing better than a good cocktail at the end of the day, but while dining with the Volleyball team? Save the margarita for when there are no minors at the table, please...besides,the kids will get a kick out of the atmosphere at the Hard Rock, and it is close to the Hilton Garden Inn. The goal is low budget, walking distance....

                1. I'd say hit Chinatowen and give them some culture, good food, and fair prices. Reservations would be best.

                  1. I agree with TonyJive about Chinatown. Sang Kee has a separate room that they will reserve for groups, and it is inexpensive.

                    1. Why do the Hard Rock in Philly when you can do that in just about every big city in the U.S.A. and then some? At least hit the Reading Terminal Market and scout out a few tables and have a cheesesteak, roast pork, or something else unique to the town while you are here!

                      1. The Reading Terminal is great, but only open til 6, with most places closing at 5. Yeshana, what kind of budget are you working with? I work at a hotel in that area and know the kind of dinner budgets that most groups like yours have. Maggianos and El Vez would probably be over that.

                        Hard Rock might not be a chowhounds dream, but they can usually do groups inexpensively. So can most Chinatown restaurants, if you think the girls would like that. You can also check with your hotel- a lot of times they'll be willing to work with a budget when you've got a group arranged with them.

                        1. Is anyone else wondering when we started talking about national chain restaurants (i.e. Maggiano's, Hard Rock) on Chowhound? This is where you come for recommendations that are not one of those soulless places.

                          That said, Chinatown is right nearby, and there are plenty of places that I'd imagine could handle a larger party. A few that come to mind: Chung King (they have seven pages of interesting menu items, followed by one page entitled "American Chinese Food," lots of spicy options), Sang Kee (great roast duck!), Vietnam, Joy Tsin Lao (only been for dim sum, though), Ocean Harbor (ditto), Ocean City (I know it's sizeable, but I haven't been in there in years, and only then for take-out). Whether any of these places actually take reservations I'm not sure.

                          If you really want Italian, I'd recommend Villa di Roma on 9th St in the Italian Market. It's probably at least a 20-minute walk, but I don't know of anything closer that's in the casual, inexpensive style. There's a place called Sal's on 12th that's on 12th St between Walnut and Locust (a 5-minute walk), but I haven't been there, so I can't vouch for it.

                          1. I was just about to recommend Maggiano's for your volleyball team dinner -- it's close to the CC and their family-style menu makes it more affordable than ordering a la carte when you've got a crow. However, FoieGrasFranc's comment about national chains has me re-thinking my recommendation...and I agree that Chinatown would be a better option.

                            My vote is for Vietnam Restaurant (www.eatatvietnam.com). Although it's listed as an appetizer, we always order the BBQ platter for Two as our dinner: springrolls, meatballs, chicken, stuffed grape leaves, vermicelli noodles, vegetables and fresh mint that you wrap up in rice paper or lettuce leaves, and dunk in some dipping sauce. It's fun, different, and delicious! Add to that some bowls of pho (spicy beef noodle soup) and you'll have yourselves a feast. Not to mention, it's ridiculously inexpensive.

                            Enjoy your trip to Philly!

                            1. thanks everyone. these are great suggestions- can't wait to get there !