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The Philly Restaurants Offering Free Food and Discounts to Federal Workers

A running list of food deals for government employees affected by the shutdown

Federal Donuts is offering a free doughnut and cup of coffee to furloughed government workers during the shutdown
Michael Persico

Several Philly bars, restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores are helping out federal government employees going without paychecks during this absurdly long government shutdown by offering food discounts and freebies. Know of a deal not on this list? Drop us a line at or find us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Note that most deals are for dining-in, not delivery, and federal workers need to show a valid government ID.

At Brickwall Tavern (1213 Sansom Street), any federal employee with a valid ID/proof of employment gets a discount: For every day the government remains closed, Brickwall will offer that amount off — so on the 30th day, the discount is 30-percent off.

Nick’s Bar & Grille in Old City (16 S. 2nd Street) is offering 20-percent off lunch or dinner to diners with a government employee ID. The discount is applicable to everything except lunch specials or happy hour pricing.

Michael Strauss has two deals going on at Mike’s BBQ (1703 S. 11th Street.) He set up a pay-it-forward system where customers can purchase gift cards for government employees to redeem. Any federal worker with ID can grab one of the gift cards and use it at the restaurant. He’s also giving away free smoked chicken salad sandwiches to federal workers.

In Old City, Ardiente (33 S. 2nd Street) is giving away a free bowl of lobster pho (usually $22) to any federal employee affected by the shutdown.

At all Federal Donuts locations, government workers can get a “hot fresh” doughnut and a cup of coffee for free. The limit is one per day.

Pineville Fishtown (2448 E. Huntingdon Street) and Pineville Tavern in Bucks County (1089 Durham Road, Pineville) are serving free fried chicken to federal employees and their immediate families.

Sister spots Jane G’s in Center City (1930 Chestnut Street) and Dim Sum House in University City (3939 Chestnut Street) are doing 20-percent off for government workers with ID. In addition, government workers’ kids eat free.

Dim Sum House [official photo]

East Passyunk Avenue’s P’unk Burger (1823 Passyunk Avenue) is offering a buy one, get one deal on burgers for federal workers.

At Trolley Car Diner (7619 Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy), Trolley Car Cafe (3269 S Ferry Road in East Falls), and Trolley Car Station (3940 Baltimore Avenue in West Philly), federal government employees can dine on credit. In an Instagram post, the restaurant group says: “We’ll take down your information and look for payment when this crisis is over and you receive back pay.”

Just off Washington square, Sedition Bar & Restaurant (727 Walnut Street) is offering a free house burger — with blue cheese, caramelized onion, and bacon on brioche — and a beer (draft, bottle, or can) to any furloughed federal worker.

Sedition [official photo]

Weavers Way Co-op members who are government employees can get zero-interest credit on purchases made at any of the three locations: Mt. Airy, Ambler and Chestnut Hill.

At Bru Craft & Wurst (1316 Chestnut Street), diners with a government employee ID get 15 percent off their bill.

In South Philly, Benna’s Cafe (1236 S. 8th Street) is giving away a free bagel with cream cheese and 12-ounce coffee on Friday, January 25.

Ten of Stephen Starr’s restaurants in Philly are offering free meals to furloughed workers with ID starting Monday, January 28. Here’s the full list, with what’s being served and days and times the freebie is on offer:

  • El Vez, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, tortilla soup and chicken/cheese quesadilla
  • El Rey, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, tortilla soup and pork pastor quesadilla
  • Jones, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Frankford Hall, 5-6:30 p.m. weekdays, frankfurter and sauerkraut
  • The Dandelion, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, seasonal soup and grilled chicken sandwich
  • Continental Midtown and Continental Old City, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, soup of the day and grilled cheese
  • Parc, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, mushroom soup and roast beef sandwich
  • Pizzeria Stella, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, large soup of the day
  • Pod, 2-5 p.m. weekdays, miso soup and bahn mi