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Looking for Philly BYOB Where 2 Can Eat for $70 or less

I know there are lots of threads on here rating BYOBS, but not many of them mention cost. Since many of the highly-rated BYOBs don't have their own websites with menu postings (or the online menus don't list prices), I'm in the dark about how expensive they are.

I'm looking for a spot where we can celebrate our anniversary. We don't want to spend more than $70, including tax and tip. We're open to any neighborhood and any kind of cuisine, as long as the food is high quality. One of us only eats fish and veggie options - no beef, chicken or pork. We're particularly fond of places that feature local, seasonal ingredients.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Porcini and LaViola come to mind. Both are noisy at full capacity and the tables are packed closely together (Porcini less than LaViola); by choosing carefully, you can eat well at $70 for two before tip. Italian is always a good option for non-meat eaters. Come to think of it, Raddichio might be another good option.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Elaine

      If you choose the new La Viola (which is directly across the street from the old place), you'll find that the tables are nicely spaced. Part of Porcini's charm is that it is very tight.

      Turning to the query, you can do dinner for about $70 at the vast majority of the BYOBs in the city if you order carefully. I can think of only a handful where you have to go much over that. Typically, entrees are in the high teens to low twenties. If you share an appetizer and a dessert for another $10 or so, you're probably not going to go much over $70, including tax and tip.

    2. Chloe, for sure. I don't eat meat/chicken, either, and there are quite a few delicious options for me. (But they don't take reservations. If you get there early or late-ish you should be fine. We often go around 8:30/9:00 on a week night and never have a problem.)

      1. Dimitri's seems like it would be right up your alley. It's inexpensive, BYO, and they focus on seafood. It's at 3rd and Catherine.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Buckethead

          I second the recommendaton for Dmitri's on 3rd and Catherine Sts. for amazingly fresh and superbly good food at low prices... My fiance and I are on a tight budget but go their at least once a week and pay no more than $60 (including tip) and we order PLENTY of food! An added bonus is that it is a BYO so bring a bottle of your favorite wine and enjoy! You will find it hard to resist not to go back every week!! Fresh fish, great veggie options, and pasta, too! Try it and I assure you, it will become addicting... Enjoy!

          1. re: jandrewmanne

            Dmitri's is a great choice.

            Another BYOB we recently stumbled upon was Effie's...it's at 12th and Pine, and when we went had very tasty Greek food. Very reasonably priced, and the staff was extremely welcoming and kind. The mousaka was delicious.

            1. re: cussbucket

              To add onto the above comment -- In the summer, when Effie's courtyard and carriage house are open, the atmosphere back there is very romantic. I think it's a lovely spot for a not-too-expensive anniversary dinner.

        2. We ate at Salento on the south side of Walnut in the 2200 block on Tuesday. Three of us had appetizer and pasta courses with a $50 bill. The chef's focus is on the dishes of his native Puglia so there is fish, shrimp and vegetables. We loved it, particularly since it is a BYOB. Highly recommend the antipasta pugliase.

          1. I just posted elsewhere about the Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille in Southampton, PA (off Street Rd near NE Philly) which is excellent. I'd recommend checking it out.

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            Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille
            772 2nd Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966

            1. Mediterranean Grill in Bryn Mawr is a BYO that has really good food and will fill your pocketbook need.
              I also agree with others' choice of Dmitri's.

              1. Radicchio - most entrees are in low 20's with pastas in the teens. BYO but no reservations. They have a few tables outside.

                Figs in the art museum area. http://www.figsrestaurant.com/dinner.... They do take reservations.

                2 Replies
                1. re: joluvscards

                  How about Melagrano on Lombard (?) and 22nd- def below $70 though no reservations can be a pain.

                2. GeeChee Girl Cafe in Mt. Airy is fabulous and you can easily have an amazing meal within your price range.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: AmblerGirl

                    Speaking of Mt. Airy, the last time I was there, we couldn't get into what looked like a wonderful Mexican place on the main drag. It definitely looked a cut above -- the crowd certainly reflects that sense of quality -- and I'll bet it would be in your price range. Entrees were in the teens. Mexican might not be what you were thinking of, but I can't wait 'til my next visit to Phila. It's at the top of my list of places to eat.

                    1. re: Jay F

                      Note to Jay: I haven't tried Mi Puebla yet, but no one I know in Mt.
                      Airy has had much good to say about it. We're desperate for Mexican here, but this doesn't seem to be the place that people were hoping for...

                      1. re: PhillyStyle

                        Oh, that's a shame. It looked like such a nice place. We ended up eating sushi that night, which was just okay, a bit farther up on Germantown.

                  2. Dmitris is great, but i don't remember them taking reservations. Not far from there is meze. it has been a while since i ate there, but it was byob then
                    Mercato is great, but it might get expensive

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: idreamoffood

                      Meze closed a while ago. Too bad, too, I always had excellent meals there.

                    2. Porcini, La Viola and Cafe Radiccio for Italian. Lolita (Mexican) can be done under $70 if you forego their fresh margarita mix.

                      If you're willing to make a short trip over the bridge, Collingswood NJ packs many BYOs that are delicious and wallet-friendly. For local produce, try Tortilla Press (Mexican). They are another BYOT establishment. Casona (Cuban) can be done under $70 again depending on your selections. And Bistro DiMarino is my favorite for inexpensive and delicious Italian. All have great atmospheres.

                      http://www.thetortillapress.com
                      http://www.mycasona.com
                      http://www.bistrodimarino.com

                      1. If you can drive across the river to Haddonfield, Matt Ito's new Fuji might delight you with its inovative use of seasonal ingredients combined with pristine fish. You could place yourself in Matt's capable hands, giving him your $70 price limit, and he would probably wow you.

                        1. I would suggest Sovalo (2nd & Fairmount), if your anniversary is on a Monday. They're BYO on Mondays. You can definitely eat for under $70 for two, they take reservations and is pretty romantic.