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Cheap, out of the way, etc. in Philly?

Looking for interesting, wallet-friendly places in Philly that are tasty. Some examples, so you can see what we know about (and what appeals):
Lakeside Deli
Taco Riendo
Plaza Garibaldi
Full Plate Cafe
Sweet Lucy's
Ants Pants

I'm not interested in "well, the burger there is under $15, though nothing else is," or tapas.

Any ideas?

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  1. Bitar's (10th and Federal), although they aren't a typical "restaurant" they have a few tables for eat in or you can take out.

    But Hardena (see link) wins the prize for out of the way and cheap. Even though I only live a few blocks away, I haven't been there in a while so I can't verify that they are still open or that the prices have changed. But heck, even at double the price it is still a bargain and the food is definitely "interesting".


    1 Reply
    1. re: Philly Ray

      I was at Hardena this past Saturday, and it was surprisingly crowded with people getting orders to go. I hadn't been in over a year, but it's still as tasty as ever. I even initiated a non-Hound :) We had the typical plate of 3 choices plus rice, an order of chicken satay and 2 Yeo's drinks for $17.

      I felt very "in the know" since you have to ask for the satay; it's not displayed. They have 2 types, the second which I don't remember. The satay has a lot of grill flavor and my dinner companion wanted to put the peanut sauce on everything. It may be available on the weekends only.

      The Beef Rendang is very tender, with just the right amount of coconut and chili.

      I also tried a snack of theirs, a rice cake that comes 2 per plastic bag. it looks almost like a funnel cake, except that it's pure white. It's fairly non-descript in it's taste (think rice cake), with a hint of cooking oil and maybe fish.

      Hardena's owner is very nice, and she will make suggestions if you don't know what you want to order.

    2. For brunch or lunch, Mercer Cafe in Port Richmond. Their crabmeat, asparagus and mozzerella omelet is quite rich. They serve Le Bus bread and La Colombe coffee. It's definitely a local spot; you may be surrounded by families and police officers. The longest I've had to wait for seating at 10am is about 5 minutes.

      Their menu is listed on their webpage. They also have blackboard specials.


      1. Sazon at 10th and Spring Garden is one of our fav wallet friendly places. Large portions well prepared and the price is right. http://www.sazonrestaurant.com/

        1. Ten Stone
          New Wave Cafe
          South Philly Taproom

          2 Replies
          1. re: sailbadthesinner

            Ten Stone is garbage when it comes to food. The atmosphere is cool, beer selection is cool, but the food is terrible. Why do they insist on serving burgers and pork sanwiches on bread(sorry bread at that) which is double the size of the meat? I want to like this place as it is in my hood, but I've given them a lot of tries and no longer will order food there...On the Middle Eastern tip, I was at Aylan's the other day, I think they are related to Bitar's but could be wrong, anyway, we had some delicious food there and it's a place that will be competing for my dollars with Bitar's when I get the itch for something Middle Eastern.

            1. re: Tonyjlive

              Try the Grace Tavern instead, their food is great, so is the beer selection.

          2. Here are some thoughts: Kabobeesh in West Philly, Nha Phuong and other Vietnamese places in South Philly, sweet buns in Chinatown (search on this board for rec's, I like KC's), Mama's Vegetarian falafel, Bitar's. Thank you.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bride of the Juggler

              Porky's on 5th & Rising Sun. Its totally out of the way with horrible parking and local character. Puerto Rican cuisine. I've never spent more than $10 on my meal and its great. Its the kind of food that you don't eat everyday but treat yourself to when you feel like indulging. Acapullas, Rellenos de Papa, Pernil, etc.

              1. re: dream_of_giusti

                what Puerto Rican places do you recommend?

                1. re: coolgeek

                  Freddy and Tony's at 2nd and Alleghany has pernil (roasted pork shoulder slathered in garlic and spices, roasted whole, sliced to order.) Great to take out for a party at a whopping $5.00 a lb.or you can eat in their upbeat,tropical themed restaurant, it's really fun. Be sure to make fried ripe plantains to go along with pernil, for your fiesta.

            2. Cafe de Laos, on 11th a few doors south of Washington.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Buckethead

                Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys and gals!!!!!!

                1. re: tuxedo

                  Ants Pants has my favorite cheap breakfast/brunch...love their eggs benedict...

                  1. re: cussbucket

                    where is ants pants located?
                    I will be in philly on monday - may want to try it!

                      1. re: tuxedo

                        Tasty breakfast and great coffee...try the bacon stack or eggs benedict. I've never had a bad breakfast there (though they can get really busy...I doubt a Monday will be a problem, though). Let us know how it goes!

                        1. re: cussbucket

                          one of the better bacon egg and cheeses in the city. nice crusty roll, fried egg and cheddar cheese.

                  2. Try Cafe Laos on 11th on Wash and there is another Pho place there that is great.
                    For more of a bar flavor try yello'bar on 24th and Grays Ferry- great beers, good food and nightly specials.
                    I also like For Petes Sake on Front strret- consistently good food.