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May 6, 2009 10:01 AM

Cheap hole-in-the-wall Asian gems in Philly??

I'm searching for one of those "great finds". No atmosphere required but great food at a great price!

..Thai (big fan), Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Burmese, Malaysian (been to Banana Leaf and Penang).. from West Philly to Old City..

Any recs? Much thanks!

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  1. Head down to Washington Avenue between 6th and 11th. Lots of Pho, etc. My fav right now is probably Cafe de Laos on 11th street just south of Washington for Laotian and Thai cuisine. There have been lots of posts on this topic though so search the board a bit. Pretty sure Rangoon is the only Burmese around and it gets raves here

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bigley9

      definitely hit up this end of town. my favorite bowl of pho in the city is actually at nam phuong, though most of the other pho joints are tasty. you have plenty to sample and they are all inexpensive.

      cafe de laos is excellent, but my favorite hole in the wall wil always be shiao lan kung in chinatown. not super cheapo, but definitely inexpensive and awesome!

      japanese - hmmm. we don't have much cheap japanese but green garden has a small japanese menu to go with it's chinese and it is decent for what it is and pretty cheap. i just had excellent but expensive sushi at zento in old city....

      thai singha house is good in west phil but not a stand out. same goes for lemongrass in UC. there are a few indonesian restaurants in south philly that are getting some love, but i have yet to hit them up.

      and of course you should just walk around chinatown and pop in places that look interesting. chances are you'll get a good meal. :)

      1. re: mazza3

        For hand drawn noodles go to Nan Zhou in China town. Very good.

        Also Rangoon, a burmese restaurant, something you don't find as often. I especially like their seven layer bread. Burmese food is a cross between chinese, thai and indian. Some lighter dishes, some heavier dishes. But a very good place, and a good bargain. Ginger salad is very good here.

    2. Thai Singha House in West Philly is great and not pricey, and great for a quick lunch during the work week - 3939 Chestnut Street.

      1. You know about the place next to the bus station on 11th between Market and Arch? Someone help me with the name...soup buns...mmmmmm

        4 Replies
          1. re: Dib

            I don't know why I can't remember that!

            1. re: Bigley9

              That place is good, and now's the time to go.
              Once those doors open, even for a few seconds, the whole restaurant is the same temperature as it is outside!

              1. re: Bob Loblaw

                Just an FYI, but tonight at Dim Sum Garden, they told me that they would sell me un-steamed buns (soup dumplings) for me to take home and steam myself.

                Not a bad idea if you don't have time to eat there, but want to bring some tasty treats home with you.

                Also, I saw one of the waitresses giving a new patron a tutorial in how to eat the dumplings! Very nice. I love that place.

        1. I second Dim Sum Garden. Also, Hardena is a very homey Indonesian cafe in S.Philly. Somewhere near Broad and Passyunk. It gets rave reviews although I have yet to try it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: berbadeerface

            Hardena is right off of 15th and Moore (corner of Hicks St). "Homey" is being generous. It's a hole in the wall for only $5.00 a plate.

          2. also indonesia on snyder is great. and supposedly there's a decent noodle place in center city in the bellevue food court.

            oh and pho xe lua in chinatown is awesome. it's vietnamese and thai, has a neon train sign.

            2 Replies
            1. re: silverbullet69

              Except don't get the Thai food at Pho Xe Lua. It's not what they do well. Stick with the Vietnamese.

              1. re: berbadeerface

                I agree with this, but with one notable Thai exception: I have found the tom ka gai (coconut milk soup) to be EXCELLENT at Pho Xe Lua. Other than that, though, yeah - stick with the vietnamese!