Food & Drink

The Best Lunch Spot in Every Philly Neighborhood

Published On 10/01/2015 Published On 10/01/2015

Chances are you’ve spent more than one weekend chasing the best brunches in Philly, but what about the rest of the week? What about the best lunches in Philly? Seriously, the weekday grind shouldn’t keep you from feasting like it’s Sunday -- whether you need a quick bite on the go or want to sit down and stay awhile -- and it won’t, as long as you’ve got our list of the best midday eats in 14 Philadelphia ‘hoods. 

Plenty Cafe

East Passyunk

Plenty (address and info)

What you’re getting: Texas brisket sandwich

One of 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 locations too), Plenty slings sandwich options inspired by countries around the world, but takes pride in only using organic and locally sourced ingredients -- right down to the Rival Bros. coffee served there.

Sabrina's

Fairmount

Sabrina's Cafe (address and info)

What you’re getting: Spencer’s Slammin’ Grilled Pork Sammie

Turns out Sabrina’s doesn’t just peak at that mile-long brunch line you see every weekend. Besides its signature challah-stuffed French toast, Sabrina’s offers up a balanced variety of sandwiches, burgers, salads, and even a fairly generous vegetarian lunch menu.

Cedar Point

Fishtown

Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen (address and info)

What you’re getting: Catfish po-boy

Cedar Point offers Fishtowners tons of American fare (with a twist!) to satisfy whatever craving you’ve got come noontime. Comfort foods in the form of classic burgers and sandwiches, or vegan and vegetarian salad and side options, make it a suitable fit for any diet.

Seonil Kim/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 sweet lunch-size Italian options it’ll be hard to choose. That’s when you opt for the $20 three-course tasting menu.

The Quick Fixx

Graduate Hospital

The Quick Fixx (address and info)

What you’re getting: Steak & cheese flatbread

Quick Fixx is perfect for when you find yourself insatiably famished but don’t have the time or money for a long, lazy lunch. Try a pasta or flatbread here and you’ll feel re-energized, especially if you opt for the elevated cheesesteak that is the steak and cheese flatbread.

Chima Philadelphia

Logan Circle

Chima (address and info)

What you’re getting: Filet mignon & 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.

The Couch Tomato

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 there’s a solid buffet, cheese boards, artisan pizzas, and fresh pasta awaiting you.
 

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 authentic Indian food) it’s somehow easy to find the balance between being satisfied and painfully overstuffed.

Cafe Square One

Old City

Cafe Square One (address and info)

What you’re getting: Spicy sushi combo with miso soup

Somehow Cafe Square One created a place where you can get either a seriously sweet sandwich, or opt for authentic sushi and Japanese food, and any place that offers both a Buffalo ranch panini and a dragon roll is essentially a modern marvel.

Breezy's Cafe

Point Breeze

Breezy’s Cafe (address and info)

What you’re getting: Pork roll and cheese

Breezy’s gets bonus points for offering breakfast items until 2pm every weekday, which means you can live like it’s still weekend brunch time even when you haven’t made it to hump day. Breezy’s can also accommodate most diets, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or even just looking to eat a cheesesteak but without all the carbs.

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. You can also splurge a bit and opt for the guacamole sampler or day-long breakfast burrito.
 

Society Hill

Nora’s Taqueria and Grill (address and info)

What you’re getting: Carne asada burrito

Nora’s offers authentic burritos, tacos, and other Mexican eats so good they'll please any Cali transplant, all at a price so good (burritos clock in around  $7), they'll please... well, anyone.

Garces Trading Company

Washington Square West

Garces Trading Company (address and info)

What you’re getting: Croque-madame with French onion soup

Opt for the Santa Maria Express lunch special at Jose Garces’ namesake eatery and you’ll score your choice of sandwich or pizza with a salad or soup for under $15, just like the typical soup-and-salad combos you’ve had a million times, except this one’s prepared at one of the best restaurants in Philly.

The Fat Ham

University City

The Fat Ham (address and info)

What you’re getting: Shrimp & grits with baked mac & cheese

Lunch at Kevin Sbraga’s Fat Ham is a welcome reprise from the day-to-day grind, offering all the best that southern comfort food has to offer with generous helpings of staples like fried chicken and shrimp & grits. For an extra kick choose something from the midday libations menu like the Memphis mule or the on-tap, rum-heavy low country punch.

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Marielle Mondon (follow her @MarielleMondon on Twitter) is a Philly-based freelance writer who thinks that lunch is the most important meal of the day… when everyone knows it’s actually bacon.

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1. Plenty 1602 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

A popular lunch spot in the area perfect for midday coffee and a snack. The brisket sandwich is a favorite on the menu in this cozy little restaurant.

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2. Sabrina's Cafe & Spencer's Too 1804 Callowhill St, Philadelphia, PA 19130 (Fairmountart Museum)

This spot is raved about for it's breakfast and brunch items. This New American restaurant offers delicious dishes like stuffed French toast and eggs Benedict in huge portions.

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3. Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen 2370 E Norris St, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Fishtown)

NoLibs southern bruncherie A Full Plate's reopened in Fishtown as Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen (don't worry, their plates are still full), where the ladies behind the soul-cooking Piazza BYO are serving an expanded menu of meaty comforts like brisket-stuffed johnnycakes and pimento cheeseburgers you can finally pair with full glasses of craft ales and 'tails.

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4. Little Nonna's 1234 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Midtown Village)

Little Nonna's is a totally non-BYOB Italian eatery by the folks behind Lolita and Barbuzzo, and serves up hearty family-style fare in a rustic setting. And did we mention they have booze?!

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5. The QUICK FIXX 1511 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (South Street)

Proving your girlfriend wrong in the whole "it's not good if it's fast" argument -- what is her deal with Cliffs Notes, anyway?! -- is QUICK FIXX, doling out grilled veggie orzos and a shrimp diavolo along w/ flatbreads like the bacon/gruyere/white sauce, plus "late night quickies" like goat cheese-stuffed Panzarotti Poppers and grilled artichoke with lemon aioli sauce.

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6. Chima Brazilian Steakhouse 1901 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19103

This Brazilian steakhouse serves up meaty entrees like Picanha top sirloin, filet wrapped in bacon, and leg of lamb.

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7. The Couch Tomato Café 102 Rector St, Philadelphia, PA 19127 (Manayunk)

This restaurant serves gourmet pizza and salads paired with your choice of a great craft beer or wine.

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8. Tiffin 710 W Girard Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Nolibs)

NoLibs' Tiffin is an Indian eatery whose fare is available for dine-in, takeout, or delivery -- and they're BYOB, too!

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9. Cafe Square One 50 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106 (Old City)

This quaint cafe with exposed brick walls serves traditional breakfast and sandwiches & sushi that is raved about by their customers.

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10. Breezy's Cafe 2011 Reed Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146 (South Philadelphia)

Sometimes you find something great in an unexpected place. Other times you wonder if you're really old enough to be growing ear-hair already. But don't worry, this is one of the former times, because Breezy's Cafe is serving up next-level sandwiches, micro-roast coffee, and more in Point Breeze, of all places.

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11. El Rey 2013 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Rittenhouse)

With El Rey, Stephen Starr continues to expand his Philadelphia restaurant empire -- he's already got Buddakan, El Vez, and Morimoto, among many others. Safe to say, this is another success. It's a Mexican restaurant with an interior that's modeled after the cantina in From Dusk Till Dawn, so it's got vintage movie posters, old instruments, and some prison art. Oh, and the food's not bad either, with a menu that offers meatballs in a spicy salsa, queso fundido, roasted red snapper, and more.

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12. Nora's Taqueria & Grill 244 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Society Hillqueen Village)

The Mexican fare here is fresh with good portions offered. Their tacos are loved amongst their diners and the price for their menu items are loved even more.

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13. Garces Trading Company 1111 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Market East)

GTC's Iron Chef Jose Garces' first foray into culinary curation: an indoor cafe and marketplace modeled after outdoor European affairs stocked with goods and ingredients featured on his menus, from hand-selected coffee roasts and pastries to imported cheeses and prepared foods, with full-service high-top butcher's block tables plus the option to uncork 200+ bottles of vino (purchased from the PLCB's first wine boutique).

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14. The Fat Ham 3131 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (Old City)

Southern-inspired eatery Fat Ham serves up pork pretty much any way you can imagine it: from ham and eggs to their charcuterie platter, you're bound to get your down-home, Southern fix here.

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