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Minneapolis Chowhound needs Recs

My husband and I will be visiting Philadelphia for the first time over Labor Day. We will have one night directly in the city, the Sunday before Labor Day. I would like some recommendations for what "not to miss." We will have one dinner and a couple of lunches. My husband and I are big foodies and will eat anything, as long as it's good. However, I will have my father, his girlfriend and possibly a child around 9 years old with us. I would like to stay in the cheap-moderate range (think under $20 an entree).
Also, any areas of the city that stand out above others for eating/staying would be appreciated.

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  1. Even though the Amish vendors won't be there, a trip to Reading Terminal Market is a Philly "must". Downtown Philly is pretty compact, so almost any downtown hotel will work. For dinner, consider Modo Mio (will need a cab) for their $35 Sunday supper (full course meal) or Kanella for their Mezze, entire meal for less than $35. Zahav would fit your price range (entire meal for $39 or can do a la cart).

    2 Replies
    1. re: rsgdmd

      There's little chance of even a very small adult leaving Zahav satisfied for less than $40 plus drinks. It's not at all "cheap-moderate"

      The Alexander Inn is a nice independent hotel in the middle of town - across the street from a good wine/beer/cheese bar and walking distance to Kanella(sunday prix fixe is a good as in lunch - not too kid friendly), Farm & Fisherman, Reading Terminal Market, Barbuzzo, Jamonera...(and it's pretty inexpensive as city hotels go)

      There are several bars with really good food that fit your budget (I think Philly's bar food is better than most cities').

      Great sandwhiches - Paesano's, Sarcones, DiNics and more

      It's easy to get around town on foot and cabs are cheap so chances are good that any place you see while perusing this board will be easy to reach. I'd do some searching for gastropubs, tacos and sandwiches if you really want to stick to the budget (maybe the latter two will facilitate a pricier dinner?)

      1. re: rsgdmd

        I am pretty sure Reading Terminal market is closed on Labor Day but do try to get there on Sunday even though part of it will be closed.

        There are a lot of good places to stay and eat in the Rittenhouse section of town. And yes, Zahav is really good. Get the Mesibah if you like lamb.

      2. If you're on a budget, you might want to consider a BYOB, there are a lot of good ones. Entrees will be more like $25 but you're saving a bundle by bringing your own wine or beer.

        1. Your post caught my attention - I'm a recent transplant from Minneapolis.

          I would second Zahav and say to just order the salad selection and then a few small plates to share. That will keep you around your price point. We got the lamb dinner recently and by far the best part was the appetizers.

          I'd also recommend Dandelion and Osteria for brunch/lunch - their lunch dishes are just as good as dinner and more reasonably priced.

          1. Reading Market is a good stop since there are many food joints in there. On top of that, the local Chinatown is within 2-3 blocks. There are many interesting things in that area. I am not recommending anything specific, but rather a region within walking distance.

            https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Ar...

            1. In the city your under $20 an entree is a challenge. Perhaps in a small plates oriented restaurant and using some restraint one might be able to do the "under $20 an entree"perhaps Amada or Tria. IF the Reading Terminal Market is open that is an interesting venue, lively, with various food options. Zahav is an excellent choice for food that I would guess is very different than Minneapolis but as noted it would be difficult to say under $20 per person. As noted there are some very good bar food places and sandwich shops which will meet your budget. Some one more familiar with the bar food scene might list some for your consideration. Don't let the term Bar food turn you off as noted Philly has some very good places that fit under that heading.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bacchus101

                Ah, got it. That makes sense. What is a "reasonable" restaurant? In Minneapolis, the $20 an entree range is a casual restaurant that still has the flexibility to turn out quality food.
                It's not necessarily budget that is stopping me...my husband and I frequent fine dining establishments...so much as my company may not be as appreciative :)