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Suggestions for Cheap(er) Philly Restaurants

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Hi Chowhounds,

I've got family coming into town in a few weeks and they are not fans of super-expensive dining. I'm trying to think of places we can go to dinner in Center City where the majority of entrees would be under $20. I'm open to any kind of atmosphere-- doesn't matter how formal or casual. BYOB is fine. Thoughts??

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  1. Most places in Chinatown fit that bill.

    1. I second Chinatown. There's an Italian place near the Kimmel Center called Prima Donna--it's a trattoria. Some of the items are over $20, but many are under, especially the pastas. The gnocchi are too die for. They have a full bar, but they are also BYO and do not charge a corking fee, so you could bring a nice inexpensive bottle of wine to go with dinner. You can wear jeans or theater attire; you'll see both there.

        1. re: joluvscards

          I agree with Chinatown. Also, think you would be under $20 at most gastropubs like Standard Tap or Monks. El Vez is also a possibilty, and would be fun.

        2. I suggest La Viola or La Viola West. We prefer West, which is on the west side of 16th St.
          Appetizers are from 4 to 7 dollars, entrees about 13 or 14, and pastas even less.
          The food is good, generous portions and satisfying. Very popular - make a reservation.
          It's byob and may be cash only - I don't remember.
          West is a bit less noisy and crowded.