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Layover Lunch Spot

I've got a long layover in Philly coming up, and want to find a nice spot to treat myself to a lovely lunch. I'm envisioning an upscale but casual spot where I can cozy up to the bar with a book & glass of wine. Any recommendations that aren't a huge hike from the airport?

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  1. The Marriott right in the airport has a fairly decent restaurant/lounge.

    1. Define 'long' layover.. the city is very close to the airport but it kind of depends on how long you have.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Buckethead

        I arrive at 7am and leave at 4pm.

        1. re: kristing

          Your best bet for leaving and returning to the airport is SEPTA's R1 Airport Line. You can catch it right at the airport and it will drop you in Center City in about 20 minutes. Quick and much cheaper than a cab. Schedule here...


          As for lunch recommendations, I think Amada fits your description. It's a Spanish tapas place so you can order a few plates at the bar as well as your glass of wine. The chef, Jose Garces, recently won a James Beard award for best Mid-Atlantic chef.


          1. re: Philly Ray

            If you take the train there are plenty of places by Suburban Station (walk south) or by Market East (walk East). If you take a cab you can get more specific.
            Good recs here so far. I'd add Tinto to the list, as well as Table 31 if it's nice outside (right next to Suburban station).

      2. Take cab to Johns Roast Pork. it will change your life

        1. With such a long layover, you might consider taking the R1 train to 11th Street and eating breakfast at the Reading Terminal Market (12th Street just north of Market). If you're coming on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, I suggest the Dutch Eating Place for a unique Philadelphia experience. On other days, you can go to the Down Home Diner or whatever strikes your fancy.

          You could then mozy over to Amada for lunch later with your book and glass of wine.

          The trains to the airport run every half hour.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Seeker19104

            There's always Tria, a few blocks from Suburban Station (probably the third stop from the airport on SEPTA's R-1 http://www.triacafe.com

            I'd second the recommendation to visit Reading Terminal (connected to the Market East Station). You can get some good snacks for the trip home http://www.readingterminalmarket.org

          2. Parc. Ideal for wine, food, people watching and the type of atmos where you can be as involved or detatched as you please. It's a French Bistro on Rittenhouse Square (just a block or so from the afforementioned Tria), owned by Stephen Starr but not like his typical place. Very authentic.

            1. Since you have most of the day, you should also consider the Art Museum. They have an excellent restaurant & of course, great exhibits to keep you entertained the rest of the time.

              1. Or try Cafe L'Aube at 15th and South. Slightly off the beaten path but they have wonderful crepes and coffee. Also free WiFi which may or may not be useful to you. No alcohol but there are plenty of cool bars on the surrounding block. You could just head down 15th from Suburban Station - it's about a 15 min walk.

                1. Caribou Cafe. It's a little French-style bistro on Walnut, between 11th and 12th. They do a great lunch and brunch, have a bar (make a nice mimosa!), and outdoor seating that is great when the weather is nice. It's close to the Market East station, so you can just hop on the R1 from the airport and use the R1 to get back.

                  1. Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll be there next week & will let you know where I landed!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: kristing

                      LOVED the Reading Terminal -- enjoyed a light breakfast at the Dutch Eating Place. Great experience. I walked over to Rittenhouse Square and spent some time at the Barnes & Noble, and then hit Tria for some delicious dishes and lovely glasses of wine. Perfect kick-off to my vacation. Thanks again for your help!

                      1. re: kristing

                        Glad you liked it! I had no idea you it was possible to eat light at the Dutch Eating Place though. Must be me!

                        1. re: bluehensfan

                          Those pancakes are light as air! lol

                          1. re: Bigley9

                            If they were as light as air I'd be in the stratosphere with the number of them I eat. I go there once a week and always get a full stack. That's a lotta pancakes!

                    2. I work at the University of Pennsylvania and think that you might enjoy browsing the campus and dining at one of the restaurants on campus. "Pod" has good (admittedly not spectacular) cuisine. There's also the White Dog Cafe which admittedly is not fantastic, but it's an interesting experience (and next door to The Black Cat eclectic gift shop. These spots are all in the vicinity of 36th-37th and Walnut Streets and there are many interesting architectural sights and shops close by. 36th and Walnut is a 15-20 minute cab ride from the airport. The cab will cost about $20-$25 each way but I'm assuming that won't be a financial burden.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Enjoy Good Food

                        She was already here and gone...read the posts.