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Possible to find good, reasonably-priced eats near Rittenhouse?

Hello hounds--
I'm tasked with making sure we eat well during a quick girls weekend in Philly next month. A job I thoroughly enjoy, btw! ; )

We'll be staying at the Rittenhouse hotel and I'd like to keep it all within walking distance so we don't have to deal with driving/parking since it's a pretty quick trip--I suppose a bus to get us somewhere truly great wouldn't be a problem, though.

The Rittenhouse is reasonable because we're splitting the room between us, but other than that, we can't afford very expensive meals. On the other hand, I'm a self-admitted 'food snob' and I can't bear to pay for bad food in a crappy atmosphere! No one is particularly picky, we like a drink if we can get it or we can bring a bottle of wine (also appreciated---where to pick up a bottle of wine in the city? Last time I was there it was harder to find than we thought and ended up in a strange little deli-type place)


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  1. Good bars all within walking distance and relatively inexpensive eats = Tria, Oyster House, Nodding Head, Good Dog, and Black Sheep for starters. A place like Twenty Manning seems like it would be exactly what you're looking for. There's a wine and spirits store on 19th and Chestnut I believe as well. Have fun!

    2 Replies
      1. re: Cheesesteak

        I'm surprised Twenty Manning doesn't get more traffic on this board. Absolutely LOVE the place! From the food, to the drinks....it's my go to in Rittenhouse... -mJ

      2. BTW cabs are easy to hail all over Center City and other popular neighborhoods so getting around to other neighborhoods is pretty easy and not expensive, especially if you're splitting the fare.

        1. therea also matyson (byob), dandelion and meritage

          barry's right, everything is easily cabbable- just carry cash

          1. I had lunch at a.kitchen (18th and Walnut Sts) yesterday and it was very good.

            1. There are quite a few excellent, and affordable BYOBs in walking distance of the Rittenhouse Hotel. Branzino, Matyson, Caffe Casta Diva, Salento just off the top of my head. What exactly is your price point that you're looking for?

              8 Replies
              1. re: sockii

                Thanks to all so far for the suggestions! I'm really looking forward to the weekend.

                I would say for dinner, we're looking for entrees between $20 and $30. A BYOB is fine--I know there's lots of them around. How about one that you all would say has very interesting, creative food?

                1. re: erinvp

                  Matyson and Pumpkin would be the two byos that jump to mind with creative food. Matyson will be closer to your hotel. If you are there Monday- Thursday they have a four course tasting menu with prices ranging around 45 dollars.

                  For future reference there is a state store to buy wine and spirits at 19th and chestnut right off Rittenhouse.

                  1. re: erinvp

                    Modo Mio is one of the best deals in town, a $35 4 course menu (you pick each course off the menu) and BYOB. Creative and well executed Italian food. It's not walking distance but worth the cab ride.

                    1. re: barryg

                      Bary is that the turista menu? If so is that only available Sundays or is that all the time. Unfortunately the modo mio website is still down, and the menupages menu doesnt list the prix fixe options

                      1. re: cwdonald

                        It is the turista, it's available every day except for Sunday, you pick off their menu (which changes, I would't trust Menupages to be up to date). Sundays are "Sugo Sunday" where it's the same price, but the menu is fixed and served family style. The regular menu is not available at all on Sundays. I only did Sugo Sunday once, the food is different than the typical menu, less refined--charcuterie, robust meat sauces (cooked 24 hours IIRC), pasta. The food was great though.

                  2. re: sockii

                    I'd add Melograno, very good Italian BYOB, as well.

                    1. re: barryg

                      Yep, absolutely, with the price point given. Honestly at all the BYOBs named so far, I think you'd be very well within that range.

                      1. re: barryg

                        + 1. This is my favorite Italian resto in the whole city, very fairly priced and delicious, and there is a wine store nearby. Look up "PA Wine and Spirit Shop" for locations on the Google....

                    2. agree with the other postings and suggestions....one more to consider is a bit of a walk, about a mile, so depending on weather and your interest in taking a bit of a walk, you might consider Kanella's....I'm a local who somehow never made it to Kanella until this past december and it was love. Our group really enjoyed every dish they served. We had 6 people and shared all the dishes...wonderful...

                      1. Sansom Kebab House at 1526 Sansom Street. Delicious and very reasonably priced!

                        1. And beginning tomorrow you can go to the new Underdogs at 17th and Sansom for locally sourced sausages, wursts, and hot dogs with creative toppings.

                          12 Replies
                          1. re: cwdonald

                            cwdonald, it's a leap year....I think you mean they open on Thursday.

                            As an aside, man I miss the convenience and food at Argan. Too bad there's nothing like that in the area.

                            1. re: bluehensfan

                              Eh...we're both wrong. The inky said Underdogs opened today.

                              1. re: bluehensfan

                                It is a shame. If they have kept it a fast order-at-the-counter operation for lunch I think they would have done better. I know I would have gone a lot more often.

                                1. re: barryg

                                  We are losing too many of our Middle East North African and Turkish restaurants. I don't know if its the food, the clientele, or the rents........ Argan, Divan.. others. Where is a guy supposed to get a good cheap kebab in center city?

                                  1. re: cwdonald

                                    Aromatic House of Kabob closed too. We are short on North African/Turkish for sure but there's still kabob in Center City. Sansom Kabob House, Hamifgash, and Sahara Grill. Burger.org does some kabobs too. There are also places in the Liberty Place and Bellevue food courts. I can't vouch for any of them though. And there is plenty of falafel around.

                                    1. re: barryg

                                      Just saw last night that Aromatic House of Kabob (100 block of Chestnut) has been replaced with a very casual Turkish place called Leyla. Open til 3am, doner, kabobs, fries, etc. We could use some good late night Turkish fast food around here.

                                      1. re: barryg

                                        The Imam bayildi at hamifgash is wonderful.

                                      2. re: cwdonald

                                        I haven't been there in a few years, but when I worked near 16th and Chestnut, I really liked Sansom Kabob House on Sansom between 15th and 16th.

                                        1. re: Philly Ray

                                          So the kebab house is pretty decent? I may have to try that one.

                                          1. re: bluehensfan

                                            I remember things being grilled to order and I also watched someone making the flatbread fresh while I was waiting for an order.

                                            1. re: Philly Ray

                                              Huh...I will have to give it a try. Thanks for mentioning it.

                                      3. re: barryg

                                        I agree that if Argan streamlined things it may would have attracted more customers as would ditching the brunch idea and sticking to the sandwiches. Unfotunately from what I have heard the problems there were much bigger than that. It's a shame...I miss the slow cooked lamb. It was kind of like a poor-mans Zahav lamb shoulder.

                                  2. La Croix in the Rittenhouse Itself offers a very reasonable three course lunch for $24.00 every day but Sunday. You could splurge a little at lunch and do an inexpensive dinner.

                                    1. Unless additional guidance is provided on what constitutes "reasonable prices" (since that is subjective), I am afraid you will get a very diverse list of restaurants.

                                      If you are looking for $30-$50/head, try Matyson, a.kitchen, Parc and specials at Lacroix.