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Feb 25, 2009 02:32 PM

Lunch near Convention Center?

Hi everyone. I'll be attending the Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Arch Street, and we're looking for a place nearby (within walking distance) for a nice lunch. I'm not that familiar with the area so any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. cant recommend Reading Terminal Market enough, and you will be very close by - it's at 12th & Arch . Lot's of options, and an authentic philly place for sure. Otherwise, you're also very close to our Chinatown, where you could try my favorite Burmese joint, Rangoon the address: 112 North 9th Street . Both great inexpensive options, try the thousand layer breads at Rangoon!

    5 Replies
    1. re: w.phillyeater

      Reading Terminal Market is the place to go. It will be crowded on the weekend but the food is unbeatable. What kind of foof were you looking for and I can suggest what's best...

      1. re: bluehensfan

        Yeah, probably not looking for ethnic food (don't blame me, I've got a couple of picky eaters in the bunch) and we've got a couple of older ones in the group too. So other than no Chinese/Indian, etc. we're pretty wide open.

        1. re: pjvent

          Essentially the market is filled with different stalls serving different food. Some have counters or there is a diner with sit-down service (but the food there is not recommended). There are plenty of tables in the center and back of the market or scattered here and there, so if you get things from different vendors it is not a problem. My favorite are the roast pork sandwiches (with provolone and rabe or greens) from DiNic's. Also the Dutch Eating Place (with a counter or take-out) has very good pancakes, dumplings, etc. if you can stand a late breakfast and serves a few decent sandwiches. There are very good deli offerings at Hershel's (especially the pastrami) that are hand carved. A lot of people also like the turkey sandwiches next door at the Original Turkey. Dienner's has decent rotisserie chicken and Olympic gyro has good gyros and soulvaki. Mezze has decent bruschettas and Salumeria has some pretty good offerings. As far as desserts, warm chocolate chip cookies from Fourth St., soft pretzels from Millers (if they are open), hot cinnamon buns from Beiler's, cannoli from termini's or Bassett's ice cream make great endings.

          1. re: bluehensfan

            Took your advice and ate a Roast Pork at DiNic's.....Fabulous....many thanks for the recommendation.

    2. Just to expand on that lovely clarification of the market, the RTM has food to meet all needs. I've often taken my out of town relatives there, even my aging parents for whom salsa is exotic - always find much to like here.

      2 Replies
      1. re: w.phillyeater

        RTM is MOBBED during the flower show. It's very overwhelming and potentially intimidating. I recommended walking down 13th and stopping at Lolita, El Vez, Vintage or Time (on Sansom) for safe eats.

        1. re: malbec

          RTM is a mob scene during the Flower Show, particularly on the weekends. Beware, though because a lot of better places (well not Tria, El Vez, or Estia) are not open for lunch on Saturdays.

      2. How about Capital Grille?

        1. RTM is always pretty mobbed on weekends, conventions regardless, I'd still recommend it nonetheless as very conveniently close and an authentic philly lunch experience.
          However, if you are truly crowd averse, I would second estia. The food is foreign, but not too "exotic" and it's run by a local family. Try the mousaka (ground beef and eggplant delight) or pretty much any fish dish. also relevant, I know they have an under 20$ prix fix lunch.

          3 Replies
          1. re: w.phillyeater

            Unless I know EXACTLY what I want, or have time/energy to burn, RTM is pretty overwhelming. If you are with a group (more than 2?), or with youngsters, it's tough to keep everyone on the same page in RTM. Especially during the FS. My preference would be to find a sit-down place where I could put my bags down, get off my FS weary feet and be waited on. There is a Maggiano's close by, and a number of other "safe" chain restaurants within a block or two.

            Whatever you do, stay the heck out of the food court(s) in the Gallery.

            1. re: PattiCakes

              haha, but have you had the villa pizza garlic sticks? i swear they'll make a gallery convert out of you!! agree, everything else there is pretty scary.

              chinatown will probably be pretty mobbed, too, so i might purposefully go a few blocks out... there are all the places around 7th and chestnut, anyone know what's open for lunch? or on the north end there's prohibition taproom and cafe lift. i'm actually heading to the latter in a couple minutes for brunch; i'll report back!

              1. re: rabidog

                OK - while it's still fresh in my mind - cafe lift on 13th just north of callowhill (under the train tracks) is AWESOME. i had a plum tomato / fresh moz / pesto / asparagus fritatta done perfectly. i snatched a few bites of the salmon fritatta and the huevos rancheros as well. really good-looking menu, delicious-smelling place, and the food was all really well-executed. i think the huevos rancheros were my highlight. crispy shells and a fresh pico de gallo made them really stand out. i was so happy with my brunch!

          2. - closed mondays

            Cafe Lift
            428 N 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123