Maybe you’ve been taking that special someone on dates that cost over $20 (why the eff would you do a thing like that?!), or maybe you’re saving some money so you can keep up with those Comcast bills. Whatever the reason, Philadelphia is the perfect place to be a little parsimonious and still eat like a champ thanks to all the things on our list of 15 great Philly foods you can get for $10 or less, none of which are cheesesteaks. Or pretzels. Or from Wawa.
Noodle bowl, $9.50
Same SameAddress and Info
This traditional dish is filled copiously enough with herbs, veggies, and toasted peanuts that you’ll probably have leftovers the next day. Opt for the $4 spring rolls and $2.75 custard for dessert and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Buena OndaAddress and Info
Casual street food gets a Jose Garces twist at Buena Onda, where tacos start at just $3.50 a pop and shareable appetizers all clock in below $9, whether you opt for the $7 guac or the black bean-, queso-, and tomato-topped nachos.
Brisket sliders, $9.50
Smokey PintAddress and Info
Almost the entire scrumptious barbecue menu at Smokey Pint costs less than $10 despite the fact it’s some of the city’s best BBQ, with portions that look like they’d go for... well, more than $10, presumably, and beer prices that are also fittingly low.
The PA Dutchman, $8
Scratch BiscuitsAddress and Info
Any biscuit concoction you can imagine at Scratch -- whether it’s the brisket brisket for $8.50 or the plain jane for $3 -- is a no-brainer wallet-wise, especially since if you grab one for breakfast at this MV spot, you won’t be hungry until it’s time to come back for something on the lunch/dinner menu.
Nauti waffle, $10
Waffles & WedgesAddress and Info
Channel your inner Leslie Knope and stuff yourself full of one of the dozens of waffle possibilities at W&W. You can opt for a more traditional buttermilk waffle for $4, or one of the 15 more exciting sweet and savory waffle concoctions, ranging from $5 to $10.
Mama’s sandwich falafel large, $7
Mama’s VegetarianAddress and Info
The lunch lines at Mama’s may look intimidating, but don’t give up: the staff knows how to deal and will move quickly to provide you with fries and a soda for $2.50, spicy $6 avocado sandwiches, or this over-stuffed large falafel sandwich. Get a bit of everything and you’re still going to be spending close to the $10 range.
Weekday bargain breakfast, $4.95
Honey’s Sit 'n EatAddress and Info
South Street, Northern Liberties
Head there before work from 7am to 9am Monday through Friday and you can score a bounteous breakfast for less than $5. You get two options: two eggs, potato latke, grits, toast, and coffee, or a short stack of pancakes, side of meat, and coffee, both for just $4.95.
House-made ham, $8.25
Knead BagelsAddress and Info
It’s not too late to hop on the Philly bagel revolution pioneered by spots like Knead that will make you yearn for New York no more, and that will serve you plenty of deluxe bagel sandwiches, all comfortably below $10.
American-Italian hoagie, $6.25
Matt & Marie’sAddress and Info
This is a perfect sandwich shop for the legions of Center City workers looking for a quick-and-easy Philly staple around the corner. The fresh Italian sandwiches at Matt & Marie’s range from $6.25 to $8.50 and the spot is open for breakfast or lunch.
Pizza al taglio, $6
Pizzeria VetriAddress and Info
Regular pizzas at Vetri will cost you upwards of $12, but the always-changing al tagio specials usually clock in around $6 to $8. The cheaper fare at Vetri also includes $4.50 rotolo and fairly priced canned beer.
Unos ricos tacos de pancita, three for $8
Los Jimenez Mexican CocinaAddress and Info
Your choice of three tacos at Los Jimenez will run you on average $6 to $9, but they taste like the place has spared no expense. The fresh, authentic tacos are enough to keep you satisfied, but also light enough on your wallet that you can try something else from the rest of the spot’s inexpensive menu, ranging from the $8 enchilada entree to the $6 chips and guac.
Ta-Korea, two tacos for $8
Dos TacosAddress and Info
This taquera-style newcomer has plenty of discounted taco specials throughout the week, including a limited menu through 3am weekends and guac going for $1.50. The aptly named spot provides you with, of course, two tacos of your choosing, all of which fall below $9.50.
Happy hour buck-a-shuck oysters, $1
Oyster HouseAddress and Info
If you have a few extra dollars in your pocket and you’re looking to get fancy, look no further than $1 oysters and discounted beers at $3 a piece. You can also opt for the coveted weekend happy hour for the same deal from 9pm-11pm on Saturdays.
Soup dumplings, $5.25
Dim Sum GardenAddress and Info
Located almost within sight of the brave travelers of the Chinatown bus, this spot serves up traditional Dim Sum in a flash for eaters on the go and on a budget. You can order soup dumplings and also try the $3.50 sui mai dumplings, making your meal still clock in below $10, and almost any other side you choose won’t cost you more than a Lincoln.
Mac Mart (address and info)
This Philly food truck favorite gives you the option of stuffing yourself to the brim by getting a cup filled to the brim with mac 'n’ cheese. Oh, and even bigger portions with more gourmet toppings aren’t too harsh on your wallet either, like the $10 crabby mac doused in Old Bay.
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1. Same Same614 N 2nd St, Philadelphia
2. Buena Onda1901 Callowhill St, Philadelphia
3. Smokey Pint2549 Orthodox St, Philadelphia
4. Scratch Biscuits1306 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
5. Waffles & Wedges1511 Pine St, Philadelphia
6. Mama's Vegetarian18 S 20th St, Philadelphia
7. Honey’s Sit N' Eat2101 South St, Philadelphia
8. Knead Bagels725 Walnut St, Philadelphia
9. Matt & Marie's100 N 18th St, Philadelphia
10. Pizzeria Vetri1939 Callowhill St, Philadelphia
11. Los Jimenez Mexican Cocina2654 S. Sixth St., Philadelphia
12. Dos Tacos120 S 15th St, Philadelphia
13. Oyster House1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia
14. Dim Sum Garden1020 Race St, Philadelphia
15. Mac Mart, Philadelphia
It may be named Same Same, but the menu definitely is a bit different. This fast casual Vietnamese restaurant serves spring rolls, rice noodles, and Bahn Mi sandwiches with unique toppings (including a sandwich that is almost like the classic cheesesteak).
Taking inspiration from the Baja Peninsula and run by chef Jose Garces' Garces Group , Buena Onda serves tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas. The taqueria operates on a sustainable plan, partnering with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and composting and recycling as much as they can.
This brew and BBQ restaurant is a brick and mortar version of the popular Oink & Moo food trucks, and serves the same quality barbecue alongside craft brews in a casual setting. Most of the beers are local, and the menu includes sliders, tacos, pulled pork, and ribs.
Here you can make biscuits a part of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals.
Here you'll find enough sweet and savory waffles to keep you full all day long.
Don't let the word "vegetarian" in the name fool you -- Mama's is serving up some pretty kick-ass eats. The menu is on the smaller side here, but this kosher Middle Eastern restaurant just off the square means business with its dishes, like its latkes platter and eggplant sandwich. You'd also be smart to try basically anything involving the falafel: sandwiches, platters, soups. Be sure to top it all off with the baklava.
Honey’s Sit N' Eat, a premier breakfast/Southern comfort food spot on Philadelphia's South Street, serves all of your favorite morning specials, and then adds three different kinds of bacon just to make you sweat. Made mostly of locally farmed and fresh ingredients, this eatery encourages sweet, gluttonous indulgence with a conscience. Normally it's one or the other.
If there is such a thing as an avant-garde bagel, Knead Bagels is the place to find it. The non-traditional Philly bagelry is in the business of remastering a timeless classic: the bagel and cream cheese. This means lavender bagels with vanilla honey cream cheese, or fennel seed and sea salt bagels with roasted tomato cream cheese, or Capsicum bagels (Japanese chile) piled with 12-hour brisket, coffee barbecue sauce, and picked onions. And if attempting to decide whether scallion lime cream cheese would pair well with black sesame stumps you, the bakers are like gluten mixologists -- they'll know exactly what you knead (sorry).
This sandwich shop is the perfect spot for your favorite breakfast and lunch dishes.
According to Pizzeria Vetri, authentic pizza-making is something of a lost art. At this popular Philly spot, pizza artists spend three days mixing each batch of pizza dough from rich whole-grain flour, only adding fresh local cheese and house red sauce right before shoveling the pies into their wood-fired oven. In the interest of paying homage to the delicacy of pizza prep, the restaurant has an open kitchen, where guests can watch the chefs toss mozzarella lovingly onto their homemade wheels of dough. In addition to the expertly constructed pies, Pizzeria Vetri serves a full list of craft beers and a selection of wines on tap. Decked with white string lights and cedar wood panels, the place is in the business of making pizza great again. The pizza-making outpost of acclaimed local chef Marc Vetri slings enormous calzones, wood-fired pizzas, and bottled cocktails for two.
These hearty tacos will keep both your wallet and your stomach full.
This taqueria serves Mexican street food, but with unique twists and flavors from Chef Sylva Senat. The inside is small but the eats are worth it, like the yucca fries or the kamikaze taco. Plus, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights they stay open and serving a late night menu until 3 am.
Drop on by the Oyster House for their famous Buck-a-Shuck happy hours and get shuckin'.
Located on an obscure corner in Center City, Dim Sum Garden is a diamond in the rough. Its kitchen is dedicated to handmade food that far exceeds than its humble setting. Dim Sum Garden makes all its own noodles, hand-rolling and cleaver-slicing the dough into chewy, thick strands. Try the skewered shrimp, crisp with seasoning but soft inside.
Philly's only mac and cheese truck serves up unique one-of-a-kind cheesy creations like their heart attack mac with bacon, caramelized onions, and parmesan panko bread crumbs. With over 20 different mac combinations to choose from you will not be disappointed after a visit to this truck.