Never been to Philly...
Hi, I'm from the DC area and believe it or not I have never been to Philly. I am in the area next Saturday and I'm looking for reasonable (cheap) eats. I'm fully aware of the cheesesteak situation and I don't want to delve into that. But what other options are cheap, good and close to Logan Square? Thanks
Logan Square is the museum district and borders the business district and an upscale residential neighborhood so it's not exactly prime area for cheap eats. There are a couple good options though:
1) Mama's Vegetarian, a falafel shop, S. 20th St. between Market and Chestnut. Great Israeli-style falafel. The burekas are good, too. The salads aren't as good in the winter time, but what are you going to do. A large sandwich is $6 and is filling.
2) Christos, aka the "Falafel Nazi" food cart, NE corner 20th & Market. A bit of a misnomer; his falafel is only part of a platter he assembles with grilled chicken and daily/weekly changing salads, pastas, and bread. Order the platter instead of the sandwich. $10, a bit pricy for street food, but worth it and could feed two. Luchtime only.
3) Sabrina's Cafe, 18th & Callowhill. Best known for brunch. Large portions of comfort food.
4) Primo Hoagies, 21st & Chestnut. Very good South Philly style hoagies. There might be a couple seats but you don't want to eat in there. Lunchtime only.
5) Cherry Street Tavern, 22nd & Cherry. Neighborhood bar with a limited but delicious menu of hot roast beef and pork sandwiches. These are not cheesesteaks or the Italian-style roast pork sandwiches you may have heard about, but they are good. That's all they have, except for cold cuts and potato chips.
There's other food carts and a couple neighborhood pubs in walking distance, I'm not sure what's worth eating, someone else will chime in.
If you can venture farther out a lot of great options open up, like Chinatown, South Philly for sandwiches, Mexican taqueria, cheap Vietnamese, some great neighborhood gastropubs.
Reading Terminal Market is certainly a plethora of cheap eats without having to get into cheesesteaks. However, I will plug Tommy D'Nics. They make a wonderful pork sandwich. There's also Herschel's Deli and The Dutch Eating Place. I would advise against going to Pearl's Oyster, IMO, it's all bland.
Near the RTM is a place called Dim Sum Garden, 59 N11th. Ironically, they don't serve dim sum, but they have excellent dumplings and noodle dishes.
The Italian Market has Sarcone's Deli and Antonio's Italian, both on S9th. There are also great hole-in-the-wall places as well on that stretch of S9th.
There's also a stretch of main road going towards Temple which has good soul food places dotting the concrete. Maybe someone knows the street I'm talking about, along with some names of some spots?
I'd also suggest, if possible, to venture out of Logan Square some. Philly is a great foodie city and there's a ton of great, cheap-eats places outside of the Logan Square area.
I did mention Antonio's in the Italian Market, plus there are other good Italian eatries scattered on the side streets. I believe there's a Vietnamese and a Chinese restaurant on Washington Ave. Literally around the corner. Plus! They're right near Chinatown, the Waterfront, which has some oyster and seafood houses (which I haven't tried yet) There is something bugging me. I went to this Moroccan place near City Centre, it had some of the best Kibbi I've tried. I can't think of the name. Brick walls, huge plate glass windows, typical wooden faux-ethnic wooden chairs. Anyone?
Paesano's is absolutely the best sandwich joint in the UNIVERSE! Chickie's and Campo's are great too. This article on Philly sandwiches is a good resource (although it wasn't until our second visit to Paesano's that we did it right and got the arista and gustaio sandwiches... The best!
I agree that Reading Terminal would be a great place to go and nosh on this or that. Just about everything in the market is inexpensive and it would be hard to spend more than $10 on a meal. As previously mentioned, best bets are the roast pork sandwiches with provolone and greens or broccoli rabe at DiNic's (well worth the wait) or if you get into town early enough the pancakes at the Dutch Eating Place in the market are out of this world. Also worth trying are the soft pretzels at Miller's Twist.
Should you decide to make the mistake and not go to the market, Argan, a small Moroccan place, is a bit closer on 17th St and has really good slow cooked lamb sandwiches.