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World Cafe Quick Dinner

Hello all,

Saw lots of recs for the immediate area, but all seem to be geared for a larger wallet and more time.

My wife and I are going to a show at the World Cafe tonight and since we are coming in from a good 2 hours west, won't have much time before the show to eat, an hour tops. She's a veggie (not vegan) and I am not... also we aren't the most accomplished hounds (we're trying though), but not thinking turnpike fare either.

I know my way around fine, but I would love to park, walk to eat, and get to the show in time.

Tall order perhaps, but any ideas?


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  1. The restaurant at the World Cafe is actually not bad, if you're that pressed for time you could do worse. It is a bit overpriced for what it is, but the convenience can't be beat if you're going to a show there. There really isn't much that's close enough that you could park, walk to dinner and back, and still make the show, especially on a Friday when most of the good places will be crowded.

    1. The upstairs café at World Café Live has good, inexpensive, food. I enjoyed their seared ahi tuna sandwich. And i loved their eggplant fries. Also their bread pudding is very good. And there is usually parking on the Chestnut St. bridge one block north.

      1. I also liked the Cafe menu. Those eggplant fries are better than you imagine and perfect for the vegetarians. They also have cheese plates and antipasto plates laden with goodies from diBrunos. It's not high class, but if you are downstairs, the ambiance is great and you get the added advantage of keeping your table through the show!

        1. Bah!!
          That's what I was afraid of. We've eaten there before and it was ok. Living in a small small town and having kids and all that comes along with it, the few times a year we get the chance to slip away for a night, we always try to make the most of it.

          Thanks so much for your replies, I really appreciate it!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: makesense

            Too late for tonight but for future outings...

            My husband and I don't like the food at World Cafe, but we enjoy many concerts there. If you're walkers, there are many ethnic restaurants to choose from around Penn. Now that you have lots of time to research before your next concert, do some searches on here re: your favorite type of ethnic food, and I'm sure you'll find plenty to try in that area.

            We've liked a couple of the Indian ones, but I'm terrible at remembering names unless I've gone often....but I know they're talked about on other threads.

            Hope you enjoyed your concert and night out!

            1. re: lauracohenromano

              OK, so i am in this boat again tonight... going to see a show at world cafe live. personally, i'd rather go hungry than eat there. i've been burned 3X now - it's what i consider to be the worst food in the city! i'm taking the train back into the city from work, so i arrive at 30th st station just before 6pm and i have until 7:30pm to eat (and hopefully drink :)) and get myself to WCL. that probably means sticking to something close to market street, to take the el back. i would LIKE to try something new, but that may be a tall order on top of all my other criteria (places i have already been to include: all the thai joints (didn't like em), abbysinia, dahlak, fu wah, vietnam cafe - like to love all of those.) very interested to hear about said indian places. there's also a possibility i might end up trying saad's halal place. any other thoughts?

              why oh why can't joseph arthur play johnny brendas?! bah! :)

              1. re: rabidog

                If you are coming into 30th St what about Rae? They have free cheese, etc. until 7 and great little pizzas and sandwiches in the bar area.

            2. re: makesense

              I think people were reccomending the food at World Cafe Live because you want to park there, spend very little and only have an hour. I can't think of anything within reasonable walking distance at that price. I really like the tofu hoagies around 47th and Baltimore, or the Ethiopian Restaurant - they are both cheap, but you would need to park twice.

            3. we absolutely love the sound there, but where have we gone wrong with the food? we ate there and absolutely couldn't stand it to the point we just stopped eating, enjoyed the rest of the show, and went out to a second dinner afterwards. we had ordered 3 vegetarian things to share. i wish i could remember what they were but i have blocked this meal out of my memory it seems!

              1. Well Thanks again, but, sadly it was all for naught..

                Babysitter arrived late, slow going through Lancaster, stop and go traffic from Valley Forge all the way down the Schuylkill and to top it off... a car was blocking the Market St. ramp because it wheel fell off...

                The show was at 7:30, we arrived starving at 8:00. We didn't know if the World Cafe served that late during a show (upstairs was a private event). Out of sheer need for something in our bellys so we stopped at a little coffeeshop/cafe/bar , Intermezzo Cafe I think. She had a hummus platter that she described as just fine (which was miraculous since she has a palate that more often than not senses "something off" or detects "an odd flavor" and ditches most of the meal) and I had a turkey bacon sandwich that was huge with real strips of grilled turkey and bacon that was fried just for me. The best part, however, was watching the sole employee hop between seving drinks at the bar, make our food, run the register and make coffee. Oh and the college girl fighting loudly with her boyfriend lol.

                And yes the concert was great (but still love the feel and sound of the Tin Angel better!).

                Anyway, like you say, next time I will plan better (travel time included)! I have had many super meals because of this board, and thank you all!

                1. If your in town looking for a quick easy bite go to "Picnic" just past 31st & Walnut. It's a great little coffee shop and restaurant with some really tasty food. Very reasonably priced as well.