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

erinvp Feb 9, 2012 07:48 AM

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)


  1. p
    percyn Apr 23, 2012 09:34 AM

    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.

    1. k
      Kshell Feb 28, 2012 07:59 AM

      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. c
        cwdonald Feb 28, 2012 07:34 AM

        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
          bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 09:21 AM

          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
            bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 09:23 AM

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

            1. re: bluehensfan
              barryg Feb 28, 2012 09:58 AM

              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
                cwdonald Feb 28, 2012 10:29 AM

                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
                  barryg Feb 28, 2012 10:41 AM

                  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
                    barryg Feb 29, 2012 06:27 AM

                    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
                      AdinaA May 7, 2012 04:55 PM

                      The Imam bayildi at hamifgash is wonderful.

                    2. re: cwdonald
                      Philly Ray Feb 28, 2012 10:41 AM

                      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
                        bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 12:26 PM

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

                        1. re: bluehensfan
                          Philly Ray Feb 28, 2012 01:22 PM

                          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
                            bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 02:43 PM

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

                    3. re: barryg
                      bluehensfan Feb 28, 2012 10:32 AM

                      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. c
                  chowinpa Feb 19, 2012 04:18 PM

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

                  1. c
                    cook262 Feb 10, 2012 02:32 PM

                    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. sockii Feb 10, 2012 05:46 AM

                      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
                        erinvp Feb 10, 2012 05:54 AM

                        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
                          cwdonald Feb 10, 2012 06:09 AM

                          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
                            barryg Feb 10, 2012 06:35 AM

                            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
                              cwdonald Feb 10, 2012 06:59 AM

                              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
                                barryg Feb 10, 2012 07:21 AM

                                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
                            barryg Feb 10, 2012 06:33 AM

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

                            1. re: barryg
                              sockii Feb 10, 2012 08:11 AM

                              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
                                BelgianBeerMistress Feb 10, 2012 05:01 PM

                                + 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. p
                              Philly Ray Feb 9, 2012 10:46 AM

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

                              1. i
                                InSearchOfTacos Feb 9, 2012 09:17 AM

                                therea also matyson (byob), dandelion and meritage

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

                                1. b
                                  barryg Feb 9, 2012 08:39 AM

                                  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. c
                                    Cheesesteak Feb 9, 2012 08:22 AM

                                    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
                                      InSearchOfTacos Feb 9, 2012 09:18 AM

                                      +1 tria and oyster house

                                      1. re: Cheesesteak
                                        njfoodies Feb 28, 2012 07:29 AM

                                        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

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