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Oct 17, 2008 06:33 AM

NYers looking for dinner near 30th St. Station (tonight!)

My boyfriend and I are headed to central PA this weekend, but will be transferring from bus to Zipcar in Philly tonight around 8pm at the 30th Street station. It seems like we are spoiled in NYC with fabulous and affordable options where entrees are $12-20 (Kefi is our favorite). Looking for something in that range for this evening, that won't be too stressful to locate and get at table at, at that hour. Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern are our favorites. Would like something comfortable and yummy, trendiness optional.


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  1. There is really nothing decent within walking distance from 30th Street station. I would drive to West Philadelphia and look into Dahlak, Vietnam Restaurant or Marigold Kitchen if you don't mind spending a bit more. If INCREDIBLE food is the top priority, you may need to drive to Center City,

    3 Replies
    1. re: saturninus

      Thanks for the suggestions. We don't mind driving as long as its not going to be exceedingly complicated for two hungry out of towners navigate. Ideally would love great food for a good value. (Which is why we love Kefi in NY--amazing food at amazing prices with warm and friendly neighborhood vibe.)

      1. re: JiSLi

        Marigold Kitchen might be to your liking if that neighbourhood vibe is your thing - it's actually situated inside a residential area.

        It's at 45th & Larchwood. From 30th St Station, drive south (that, toward Market) until you hit Chestnut. Then, head west (away from the river) until either 44th or 46th (45th is one-way heading north), which you can turn down to hit Larchwood. There's 2hr street parking or a municipal lot at 47th & Baltimore.

        On the other hand, if that menu doesn't appeal, just park the car at 47th & Baltimore (the municipal lot) and there are a few food options nearby - Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, and Ethiopian. (Or, just 3 blocks north of Marigold, there's Abyssinia, another Ethipian restaurant, low on ambiance but quality food.)

        1. re: JiSLi

          I wouldn't drive, it's much easier to cab to and from dinner (anywhere in Center City, Old City, South Philly, West Philly is cab-able) than to drive and try to park. Then just cab back and pick up the car. One driving option would be Kabobeesh, a pakistani restaurant at 42nd and Chestnut that has parking. They have great cheap food and one option for a dream kitchen - just a big flame grill and a tandoor oven. Thanks.

      2. If the food is more important than the atmosphere, Sitar India currently has the most tasty Indian buffet in the area The restaurant is clean, but not really "decorated."

        It's easily accessible by driving west on Market Street and turning right on 38th. The restaurant is on the opposite side of the street at 60 N. 38th Street.. If memory serves me, the dinner buffet is less than $12.00. You can also order a la carte.

        They serve an interesting assortment of beers.

        1. Rae is fabulous and NEXT to thirtieth street station in the Cira center. They have a nice menu of more casual 'bar' food and a beautiful dining room. It is not 'ethnic' but the food is superb. It may be a bit more expensive but you wouldn't need to pay for a cab or gas anywhere. I've never felt ripped off, or like I wasn't getting what I paid for eating there.

          Abyssinia's food is superior to Dhalak and much more reasonable in my opinion, however the service is very laid back and the decor is lacking. Another super quick option within walking distance is Picnic, closer to Penn's campus they have a wonderful seasonal assortment of pre-made dinner options that they can heat/make for you to eat in their cute sitting area. It is much more like a market/cafe than a sit-down dinner.

          Also suggested Rx, vietnam cafe, Nan, viettienne. All of these are a significant walk (30-40 min) or drive into west philly. My most snobbish side is also heartily offended at the person who insinuated that there is not seriously good food to be found in west philly.

          4 Replies
          1. re: readme

            Rae is a sensible choice It is trendy, though maybe more than you want to spend.  The convenience of not having to wander around West Philly on foot a long distance and/or drive around a strange city in your car having to look for parking, would be worth it IMO.


            1. re: readme

              I believe I said there was good food but nothing INCREDIBLE in West Philadelphia and I stand by it.

              1. re: saturninus

                We haven't eaten there in a long time, but Bistro San Tropez is within walking distance of 30th St Station and always served a good mea. We've been disappointed in Rae every time (about 3) that we've eaten there.

                1. re: Beulah

                  Very belated, but thank you for all the replies. I was amazed how many suggestions we received on such short notice and appreciated having so many options when we arrived. Ultimately, after a misplaced cell phone incident that left us frazzled, we opted for the convenience of Rae. It was more pricey than I would have liked (entrees $20+, and a la carte) and the menu was rather limited. I had roasted chicken which was cooked perfectly, but was not particularly exciting. My boyfriend had a more exciting vegetarian dish which they called pierogis but seemed very ravioli-like. Couldn't have been more convenient though. I look forward to trying the other suggestions one day.