Food & Drink

The Best Lunch Spot in 18 Philly Neighborhoods

Updated On 04/25/2017 at 05:06PM EST Updated On 04/25/2017 at 05:06PM EST
Plenty Cafe

Passyunk

Plenty

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Cusco brisket sandwich
One of the few restaurants on the Ave that stays open for lunch (you can also score the gourmet fast-casual eats in the Rittenhouse and Queen Village location), Plenty makes globally inspired sandwiches, like the Barcelona with Serrano ham, chorizo, and Mahón cheese, or the Cusco with smoked brisket, peppers, and onions. The menu is balanced out with simpler options like Gruyère and fontina grilled cheese and avocado toast, and it only uses organic and locally sourced ingredients, right down to the Rival Bros. coffee.

Little Nonna's

Gayborhood

Little Nonna's

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Pan-seared potato gnocchi
Just because you’re in the middle of your workday doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself: Head to Little Nonna’s instead of opting for a quick sandwich, and you’ll be greeted with so many lunch-sized Italian options it’ll be hard to choose. That’s when you opt for the $20 three-course tasting menu, and clear your schedule for the rest of the afternoon.

The Quick Fixx

Graduate Hospital

The Quick Fixx

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Steak and cheese flatbread
As you might expect based off the name, Quick Fixx is perfect for when you find yourself insatiably famished but don’t have the time (or money) for a long and lazy lunch. Try a pasta or flatbread here and you’ll feel re-energized, especially if you opt for the elevated cheesesteak, aka steak and cheese flatbread.

Chima Philadelphia

Logan Circle

Chima

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Filet mignon and salad bar
This Brazilian steakhouse can be pricey when you go for dinner, but try it out for lunch and you can get the same food for a fraction of the cost: choose the “express lunch” option and get your pick at the salad bar, plus a prepared meat of your choice, typically for under $20.

Manayunk

Couch Tomato

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Godfather pizza
You can opt for a quick bite on the go at CT’s first-floor cafe, or head upstairs to the bistro where you'll find grilled sandwiches, cheese boards, artisanal pizzas, and fresh pasta waiting for you.

Tiffin Indian Cuisine

Northern Liberties

Tiffin

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Chicken vindaloo
When confronted with the possibilities of an Indian buffet, it can be hard to turn away without a seriously full stomach, but at Tiffin (which has several locations around the Philly area, all offering up legit Indian food) it’s somehow easy to find the balance between being satisfied and overstuffed. Maybe. Daily deals are offered every week, like $10 chicken dishes on Mondays and $8 veggie entrees on Tuesdays.

El Rey

Rittenhouse

El Rey

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Comida Corrida lunch special
Stephen Starr’s Mexican spot serves one of the best lunch deals in the city, offering chips with salsa, an appetizer, and an entree for just $10 a person -- yes, seriously. You can also splurge a bit and opt for the guacamole sampler or available-all-day breakfast burrito.

Cedar Park

Dock Street Brewery

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Panko-crusted fresh mozzarella
Dock Street has the perfect selection of pizzas, wraps, and small bites to pair with the six original beer taps rotating at the brewpub. Besides having what might be one of the best iterations of mozzarella sticks in Philadelphia, Dock Street offers a decent assortment of vegetarian-friendly options and lighter lunches, in case one of the 18 pizza options (which come in small or large) look too filling.

Spruce Hill

Clarkville

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Danger pie
Just a few blocks away and a neighborhood over, Clarkville is best for pizza (which is available by the slice for $2 from 11am-3pm daily). Pies come in with innovative flavor combos, like the meat-free eggplant with black kale and walnut pesto, or the pork roll à la the Trenton-born breakfast sandwich. The Danger pie keeps it simple with house-made mozzarella and tomato sauce, and you can also opt for a lighter salad or shared plate, and if you’re up for a midday buzz, there’s also wine on tap.

Front Street Cafe Philadelphia

Fishtown

Front Street Cafe

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Buttermilk fried chicken sandwich
Day-to-night, farm-to-table dishes are the name of the game at Front Street, and the daily lunch menu ranges from healthier salads and plates (tostada grain bowl or Buffalo cauliflower) to heartier sandwiches, like pimento and Mahon grilled cheese or buttermilk fried chicken on toasted brioche with bacon and sliced avocado.

Fairmount

The Belgian Cafe

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Monk’s mussels
The sister location of Monk’s Cafe may be known for its expansive beer menu, but it’s also home to addictive pomme frites you can eat on their own or alongside savory salads, burgers, and mussels that just might trick you into thinking you’re in Belgium -- and not, y'know, on your lunch break.

Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar Philadelphia

Old City

Cuba Libre

Address and Info

What you're getting: Del Mar trio
Every weekday stop by Cuba Libre for lunch and enjoy one of the restaurant's "Rapido" lunch trios, with three dishes -- typically a soup, salad, and entree -- served together to get you moving. You can choose from seafood, veggie, or chicken trios, or opt for the Cuban bento box ($16.50) where you'll get three lunch favorites, plus dessert, also served simultaneously for maximum lunch efficiency.

Memphis Taproom

Kensington

Memphis Taproom

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Kielbasy grinder
Southern-inspired dishes come to Kenzo with local favorite Memphis Taproom, serving hearty burgers, sandwiches, and a surprising amount of vegan and vegetarian options (like a quinoa chickpea burger and broccoli rabe mac & cheese).

Chinatown

Chinatown Square

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Poke bowl
The food hall finally came to Philly earlier this year with an array of cuisine to peruse and pick at your fingertips, from Korean tacos to poke to curry. The food center hasn’t quite lived up to its official promise of staying open 24 hours (at least not yet), but we can guarantee a happy visit during lunch hours, where you might wind up spending your entire break sampling from store to store.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Chestnut Hill

Iron Hill Brewery

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Salmon burger banh mi
The local chain has several outposts outside downtown Philly, and the Chestnut Hill location offers its own food specials and events. At lunch you can dine in or take out one of the lighter fare, burger, or sandwich options, and if you opt for two take-out pizzas you’ll get a growler for a total of $25.

Hai Street Kitchen & Co. US

University City

Hai Street Kitchen

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Flamin’ tuna sushi burrito with avocado salsa
The made-to-order sushi burritos from Hai Street are among the best fast-casual options you can find that use fresh, daily ingredients and offer a unique alternative to your typical chain lunch stops. With a similar build-you-own setup like Chipotle, Hai Street lets you create your ideal giant sushi roll (or poke bowl or salad) with ingredients like like chicken katsu, spicy tuna, pickled jicama, green papaya salad, and tempura crunch. Say “dynamite” to have your burrito deep-fried like a chimichanga.

East Falls

Trolley Car Cafe

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Trolley Car panini
This quaint family spot with a welcoming outdoor deck offers soups, salads, sandwiches, and even fish tacos and portobello quesadillas on its daily lunch menu. Bonus: If you’re hoping to bring a furry friend along for a meal, you’ll find a menu for doggies too.

bufad pizza

Callowhill

Bufad

Address and Info

What you’re getting: Braised pork Neapolitan pizza
Bufad serves lunch Tuesday through Sunday, including daily specials of Roman-style square pizza, antipasti, small plates, and signature Neapolitan-style pies. A lunchtime pizza is perfect to split with your co-worker -- or if you’re sadly not in the mood for carbs and cheese, you can opt for a freshly prepared salad. We won't tell anyone.

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