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Recommendations for good cheap eats- Center City

macook May 31, 2011 09:59 AM

I'm coming into town later this week for a conference and will be staying in Center City, minus a car. Looking for some good places to eat while I'm in town for a few days, any suggestions?

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  1. bluehensfan RE: macook May 31, 2011 10:16 AM

    Get breakfast and lunch at Reading Terminal Market http://www.readingterminalmarket.org There are aready a number of threads here as to what to get.

    Also there are a lot of inexpensive places in Chinatown just to the north of the Market.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bluehensfan
      barryg RE: bluehensfan May 31, 2011 10:34 AM

      Good suggestions, you can eat cheap and very well at Reading Terminal every day and not eat the same thing twice (though dinner can be rough because it closes early).

      Can you elaborate on what you mean by cheap eats? Looking for takeout, sit down, sandwiches, bars, etc?

    2. h
      Hungryin theBurbs RE: macook May 31, 2011 11:09 AM

      In addition to more specifics about types of places, more about location might be helpful, as Center City covers a lot of territory. There are several good falafel places around the city. Lately, I've been partial to Philadelphia Chutney Company in the Rittenhouse neighborhood. Huge, filling dosas for a very reasonable cost. If you want to head a little south of Center City, there are some great cheap taquerias in the 9th St. Italian Market area.

      1. m
        macook RE: macook May 31, 2011 11:19 AM

        Thanks for the help everyone. I'll be stationed at the convention center and my hotel is a few blocks away. Price-wise would probably like to keep it under 15 when possible. Sit down places for dinner would be fine but otherwise probably more grab and go.
        Thanks again for the help!

        3 Replies
        1. re: macook
          waking1 RE: macook May 31, 2011 06:47 PM

          Rangoon for Burmese food. Kind of a medley of Asian flavors. A couple of blocks east of the terminal on 9th street. One of the more interesting choices in Chinatown.

          1. re: macook
            joluvscards RE: macook May 31, 2011 07:36 PM

            Sazon has great Venezuelan cheap eats at 10th and Spring Garden.

            1. re: macook
              PhillyHorn RE: macook Jun 8, 2011 09:26 AM

              I love Sahara Grill just east of Broad on Walnut Street. Excellent hummus, great falafel. You can definitely be quite full for under $15. The service isn't always the fastest, but they are open for lunch and dinner, and its a BYO.


            2. i
              InSearchOfTacos RE: macook Jun 8, 2011 09:55 AM

              hasnt gotten a lot of love on this board, but im a fan of argan moroccan at 17th between sansom and walnut. they make semolina bread, which is fluffy and grainy (in a good way) at the same time. and there are tables if you feel like sitting down

              2 Replies
              1. re: InSearchOfTacos
                bluehensfan RE: InSearchOfTacos Jun 8, 2011 11:25 AM

                Argan is great....especially the slow cooked lamb sandwiches.

                1. re: bluehensfan
                  Bob Loblaw RE: bluehensfan Jun 11, 2011 11:01 AM

                  i'm not a huge fan of Argan, despite being a huge fan of Moroccan food (and liking the guy who runs it, and used to work at El Fuego). Had a few lunches there and one dinner. Like it but don't love it, and dinner's kinda spendy.

                  My most basic philly cheap eats?
                  Soft pretzels. Teh ones you get from the hot dog carts. With mustard (no cheese).
                  not lunch, but they're great and they're cheap (usually 50c) and somewhat filling.

                  and get some water ice, too. Get lemon or cherry. If it's summer and it's hot.

                  Both of these are local specialties, but they're not the kind of thing you cross town to get.

              2. t
                tzanghi RE: macook Jun 8, 2011 12:18 PM

                RTM is by far the best of all of these, but I will mention a few others. Just had lunch at DiBruno's. Not immensely cheap, but a good lunch can be had for under $15 in terms of soups, salads, great sandwiches and small pizzas.

                Also, stopped by capogiro today to try it for the first time. The gelato was everything people said it was: phenomenal, but their sandwiches were very cheap(starting at around $4.50) and looked delicious, though I didn't have one.

                1. d
                  dining with doc RE: macook Jun 11, 2011 05:26 AM

                  Mio: Rustic Italian cooking 4 course meal for $27.00 and it is bulb which is a bonus. Very talented chef and the food is authentic and delicious. Modomiorestaurant.com to check out the menu which changes every few months to reflect the seasons.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dining with doc
                    JanR RE: dining with doc Jun 12, 2011 12:19 PM

                    Modo Mio's price has gone up a little. I think it's now $34. But still a terrific bargain for great food. Got to book in advance though.

                  2. x
                    xoxo_ticho RE: macook Jun 11, 2011 08:29 PM

                    Its out of the way in Old City, but Han Dynasty is fabulous chinese food. Delicious and affordable. Near Rittenhouse, I like Village Whiskey and Dandelion.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: xoxo_ticho
                      cwdonald RE: xoxo_ticho Jun 12, 2011 08:57 AM

                      I do not disagree that both Village Whiskey and Dandelion serve very good food.. but they are not in the ballpark of what I would call "cheap eats." Fish and Chips is 21 dollars at Dandelion, and an imperial pint of ale is 9 dollars. At Village Whiskey a burger ranges from 11-26 dollars and a cocktail is on average 12 dollars. Great food .. not light on the pocketbook.

                      1. re: cwdonald
                        barryg RE: cwdonald Jun 12, 2011 01:06 PM

                        good lucking actually getting a burger for $11 at VW... once you add cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, that burger is already over $15--and no fries.

                        1. re: barryg
                          cwdonald RE: barryg Jun 12, 2011 02:20 PM

                          To be fair the range could actually be 8-26. They have a home made veggie burger for eight bucks... not exactly a blue light special... but cheaper than their meat burger. But as barryg appropriately mentioned, that does not include any toppings or sides. Great food... not exactly a bargain. But then again quality these days is not cheap.

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