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Michael Persico

Philly’s Best-Value Restaurants, Mapped

Great deals on tacos, pho, falafel, fried chicken, roast pork sandwiches, tomato pie, and more

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With one of the strongest sandwich games around and a diverse array of casual neighborhood spots, Philly is an eating destination even — and sometimes especially — for diners on a budget. It would be impossible to name all of the most affordable dishes that keep this city running, but to start, here are 20 of the best bets for tacos, falafel, burgers, banh mi, jerk chicken, and much, much more.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jamaican D's Caribbean & American Restaurant

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1265 E Chelten Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19138
(215) 927-7415
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If you love leftovers, future you will thank past you for ordering a platter of jerk or curry chicken from Jamaican D’s on Chelten Ave for lunch or dinner. There, a large platter comes with two sides — the plantains and the collards are a must — and for under $20, you’ll have enough food to last you through at least two meals. Preorder on Grubhub for pickup.

2. Dalessandro's Steaks

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600 Wendover St
Philadelphia, PA 19128
(215) 482-5407
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One of the best things about Philly is that you can a cheesesteak pretty much anywhere and it’ll never break the bank. One of the worst? Spending $10 on a cheesesteak that doesn’t hit the spot. At Dalessandro’s, you’ll never have that problem. Enormous, juicy steak sandwiches with onions, mushrooms, and Wiz go for under $12. Call to place a preorder.

3. Love & Honey Fried Chicken

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1100 N Front St #103
Philadelphia, PA 19123
(215) 789-7878
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After getting Questlove’s seal of approval, Love & Honey was an instant Philly hit. For $9, enjoy 7 buttermilk fried chicken tenders, or for $12, you can get a crispy Nashville hot chicken sandwich with slaw and sweet pickles. Sides include Nashville tater tots and Southern-style potato salad. Online preorders are recommended.

4. Johnny's Hots

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1234 N Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(215) 423-2280

Open only for breakfast and lunch, Johnny's is a quintessential staple for breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, and even cheesesteaks. A basic breakfast or dog will cost less than $5, and only a truly hefty meal here will break the $10 mark. The hot sausage is always a good move, and for a Philly original, grab a combo — that's a hot dog and a fish cake on the same bun — and make sure to add some pepper hash.

5. Siddiq's Real Fruit Water Ice

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264 S 60th St
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(215) 410-6513
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No Philly map would be truly complete without a water ice mention, and while it may not fill you up like a falafel or a banh mi, Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice will make you forget you had lunch plans. Flavors like mango lemonade, white grape, and cantaloupe are all made with real fruit and a large goes for only $5. Add on a funnel cake for an additional six bucks because why not?

6. Kilimandjaro

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4317 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 387-1970
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West Philly is a treasure trove of worldly eats, including flavorful fare from Ethiopia and parts of West Africa. This Senegalese favorite in University City serves whole grilled fish, rotisserie chicken, lamb chops, and more in portions that are much bigger than you’d expect for the cost.

7. Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

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1022 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 923-1550
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Go for the hand-drawn and shaved noodles, served in soups or stir-fried dishes, in a number of combinations that should satisfy almost any taste — and then keep coming back to eat through the rest of the menu. Portions are bountiful and prices are affordable across the board, making Nan Zhou one of Chinatown's many must-tries.

8. Saad's Halal Restaurant

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4500 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(215) 222-7223
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With its Middle Eastern dishes and student-friendly prices, it’s easy to see why Saad’s is a West Philly favorite. Sandwiches (shawarma, kebabs, falafel, and more) are hearty and almost all around $10, and the vegetarian side of the menu trends towards $7. Beyond falafel and kebabs, Saad's also makes a good cheesesteak. The food here is halal.

9. Manakeesh Cafe Bakery & Grill

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4420 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 921-2135
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Manakeesh is a Lebanese bakery and cafe specializing in, of course, manakeesh. The filling flatbread (which has a few spellings in English) comes with a choice of toppings at this halal eatery, like za’atar and labneh or spiced ground beef, with prices hovering around $10. Hummus, falafel, kebabs, sweet and savory crepes, pastries, and fruit smoothies are also served here.

array of plates with middle eastern food Manakeesh [official photo]

10. Jezabel’s Argentine Café & Catering

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206-208 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(215) 554-7380
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At Jezabel’s Cafe, diners can enjoy empanadas, alfajores, and more of Jezabel Careaga’s Argentine delights, and a variety pack of four empanadas will fill you up for a few hours at only $16. Are you the enterprising type? Jezabel’s sells pasta dough and bolognese sauce for a make-at-home adventure — at only $12 for a two-person meal, you’ll get all the glory for half the work and cost of dining out.

11. Reading Terminal Market

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51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-2317
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From Bassett’s Ice Cream to Beiler’s Donuts to El Merkury’s pupusas and Hershel’s pastrami sandwiches, Reading Terminal Market is a giant destination for many of the affordable eats this city has to offer. Whether the mood strikes for a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s or an Amish-style soft pretzel from Miller’s Twist, the only mistake one can make at Reading Terminal is going there already full. The market is open daily from 8 .a.m to 6 p.m. Check the website regularly for an updated list of vendors.

12. Goldie (multiple locations)

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1526 Sansom Street
Phiadelphia, PA 19102
(267) 239-0777
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Goldie, the falafel spot from the team behind the award-winning Zahav, has a tight menu of sandwiches, fries, and one of the city’s coolest drinks: tehina (tahini) shakes. They’re delicious, dairy-free, come in a few flavors, and can be had for just $5. Walk out feeling full for under $15 total. Another good option is Dizengoff from the same owners, where hummus is a full-on meal with meats and seasonal vegetables, plus fresh-out-of-the-oven pita, Israeli pickles, and chopped salad, for under $15.

Michael Persico

13. Sarcone's Bakery

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758 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 922-0445
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Tomato pie is a perfect food: It can be eaten at any time of the day, taken on any excursion near or far, and will almost always fill you up. It’s pizza, simplified. At Sarcone’s Bakery, you can get a $3 slice of tomato pie, alongside seeded Italian rolls and $5 pepperoni bread. It’s cash only.

14. Sky Cafe

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1122 Washington Ave B
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 271-1983
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On Washington Avenue in South Philly, this popular Indonesian restaurant serves up Sumatra-style hand-made egg noodles, satay, pork and rice platters, and seafood soups, each for under $8.

15. Nam Phuong

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1100 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 468-0410
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There’s no shortage of excellent pho and other Vietnamese specialties in Philly, but for a full-service, all-around option, Nam Phuong is a local’s go-to. The huge menu includes all kinds of soups, broken rice platters, noodle dishes, and much more, with the choices below $10 far outnumbering those above that mark.

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16. South Philly Barbacoa

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1140 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 360-5282
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Cristina Martinez’s counter-service Italian Market restaurant has grown famous for its excellent lamb tacos and consommé, with everything on the menu well-priced for food this good. Don’t skip the fresh juices.

17. Fountain Porter

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1601 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 324-3910
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A great neighborhood bar is important. A great neighborhood bar that serves an outstanding $6 burger is indispensable. And the price tag is really just icing: For fans of classic, backyard-style burgers, this might well be the best in the city.

18. Stargazy

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1838 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 309-2761
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Among the bounty of restaurants on East Passyunk Avenue sits this little British pie shop serving traditional savory pies. Keep it classic with beef and onion or try whatever filling chef-owner Sam Jacobson is making special for the day, and always opt for a side of mashed potatoes in a parsley liquor. Sausage rolls and sweets are also on the menu.

19. Artisan Boulanger Patissier

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1218 Mifflin St
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 271-4688

No matter if you’re a sweets or a savory person, you’ll have your needs met at this South Philly stalwart. For under $10, crispy tofu banh mi, croissant breakfast sandwiches, and flaky pastries are all delicious and affordable for daytime meals to-go.

20. John's Roast Pork

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14 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(215) 463-1951
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Whether it's the eponymous roast pork with sharp provolone or a great cheesesteak, John's remains the go-to rec for Philly's signature sandwiches. It's out of the way if you’re not already in South Philly, but worth the trip. It’s also a fantastic option for breakfast sandwiches.

1. Jamaican D's Caribbean & American Restaurant

1265 E Chelten Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19138

If you love leftovers, future you will thank past you for ordering a platter of jerk or curry chicken from Jamaican D’s on Chelten Ave for lunch or dinner. There, a large platter comes with two sides — the plantains and the collards are a must — and for under $20, you’ll have enough food to last you through at least two meals. Preorder on Grubhub for pickup.

1265 E Chelten Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19138

2. Dalessandro's Steaks

600 Wendover St, Philadelphia, PA 19128

One of the best things about Philly is that you can a cheesesteak pretty much anywhere and it’ll never break the bank. One of the worst? Spending $10 on a cheesesteak that doesn’t hit the spot. At Dalessandro’s, you’ll never have that problem. Enormous, juicy steak sandwiches with onions, mushrooms, and Wiz go for under $12. Call to place a preorder.

600 Wendover St
Philadelphia, PA 19128

3. Love & Honey Fried Chicken

1100 N Front St #103, Philadelphia, PA 19123

After getting Questlove’s seal of approval, Love & Honey was an instant Philly hit. For $9, enjoy 7 buttermilk fried chicken tenders, or for $12, you can get a crispy Nashville hot chicken sandwich with slaw and sweet pickles. Sides include Nashville tater tots and Southern-style potato salad. Online preorders are recommended.

1100 N Front St #103
Philadelphia, PA 19123

4. Johnny's Hots

1234 N Delaware Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Open only for breakfast and lunch, Johnny's is a quintessential staple for breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, and even cheesesteaks. A basic breakfast or dog will cost less than $5, and only a truly hefty meal here will break the $10 mark. The hot sausage is always a good move, and for a Philly original, grab a combo — that's a hot dog and a fish cake on the same bun — and make sure to add some pepper hash.

1234 N Delaware Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

5. Siddiq's Real Fruit Water Ice

264 S 60th St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

No Philly map would be truly complete without a water ice mention, and while it may not fill you up like a falafel or a banh mi, Siddiq’s Real Fruit Water Ice will make you forget you had lunch plans. Flavors like mango lemonade, white grape, and cantaloupe are all made with real fruit and a large goes for only $5. Add on a funnel cake for an additional six bucks because why not?

264 S 60th St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

6. Kilimandjaro

4317 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

West Philly is a treasure trove of worldly eats, including flavorful fare from Ethiopia and parts of West Africa. This Senegalese favorite in University City serves whole grilled fish, rotisserie chicken, lamb chops, and more in portions that are much bigger than you’d expect for the cost.

4317 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

7. Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

1022 Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Go for the hand-drawn and shaved noodles, served in soups or stir-fried dishes, in a number of combinations that should satisfy almost any taste — and then keep coming back to eat through the rest of the menu. Portions are bountiful and prices are affordable across the board, making Nan Zhou one of Chinatown's many must-tries.

1022 Race St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

8. Saad's Halal Restaurant

4500 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19139

With its Middle Eastern dishes and student-friendly prices, it’s easy to see why Saad’s is a West Philly favorite. Sandwiches (shawarma, kebabs, falafel, and more) are hearty and almost all around $10, and the vegetarian side of the menu trends towards $7. Beyond falafel and kebabs, Saad's also makes a good cheesesteak. The food here is halal.

4500 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19139

9. Manakeesh Cafe Bakery & Grill

4420 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
array of plates with middle eastern food Manakeesh [official photo]

Manakeesh is a Lebanese bakery and cafe specializing in, of course, manakeesh. The filling flatbread (which has a few spellings in English) comes with a choice of toppings at this halal eatery, like za’atar and labneh or spiced ground beef, with prices hovering around $10. Hummus, falafel, kebabs, sweet and savory crepes, pastries, and fruit smoothies are also served here.

4420 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

10. Jezabel’s Argentine Café & Catering

206-208 S 45th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

At Jezabel’s Cafe, diners can enjoy empanadas, alfajores, and more of Jezabel Careaga’s Argentine delights, and a variety pack of four empanadas will fill you up for a few hours at only $16. Are you the enterprising type? Jezabel’s sells pasta dough and bolognese sauce for a make-at-home adventure — at only $12 for a two-person meal, you’ll get all the glory for half the work and cost of dining out.

206-208 S 45th St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

11. Reading Terminal Market

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

From Bassett’s Ice Cream to Beiler’s Donuts to El Merkury’s pupusas and Hershel’s pastrami sandwiches, Reading Terminal Market is a giant destination for many of the affordable eats this city has to offer. Whether the mood strikes for a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s or an Amish-style soft pretzel from Miller’s Twist, the only mistake one can make at Reading Terminal is going there already full. The market is open daily from 8 .a.m to 6 p.m. Check the website regularly for an updated list of vendors.

51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

12. Goldie (multiple locations)

1526 Sansom Street, Phiadelphia, PA 19102
Michael Persico

Goldie, the falafel spot from the team behind the award-winning Zahav, has a tight menu of sandwiches, fries, and one of the city’s coolest drinks: tehina (tahini) shakes. They’re delicious, dairy-free, come in a few flavors, and can be had for just $5. Walk out feeling full for under $15 total. Another good option is Dizengoff from the same owners, where hummus is a full-on meal with meats and seasonal vegetables, plus fresh-out-of-the-oven pita, Israeli pickles, and chopped salad, for under $15.

1526 Sansom Street
Phiadelphia, PA 19102

13. Sarcone's Bakery

758 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Tomato pie is a perfect food: It can be eaten at any time of the day, taken on any excursion near or far, and will almost always fill you up. It’s pizza, simplified. At Sarcone’s Bakery, you can get a $3 slice of tomato pie, alongside seeded Italian rolls and $5 pepperoni bread. It’s cash only.

758 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

14. Sky Cafe

1122 Washington Ave B, Philadelphia, PA 19147

On Washington Avenue in South Philly, this popular Indonesian restaurant serves up Sumatra-style hand-made egg noodles, satay, pork and rice platters, and seafood soups, each for under $8.

1122 Washington Ave B
Philadelphia, PA 19147

15. Nam Phuong

1100 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Eater

There’s no shortage of excellent pho and other Vietnamese specialties in Philly, but for a full-service, all-around option, Nam Phuong is a local’s go-to. The huge menu includes all kinds of soups, broken rice platters, noodle dishes, and much more, with the choices below $10 far outnumbering those above that mark.

1100 Washington Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19147

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16. South Philly Barbacoa

1140 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Cristina Martinez’s counter-service Italian Market restaurant has grown famous for its excellent lamb tacos and consommé, with everything on the menu well-priced for food this good. Don’t skip the fresh juices.

1140 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

17. Fountain Porter

1601 S 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

A great neighborhood bar is important. A great neighborhood bar that serves an outstanding $6 burger is indispensable. And the price tag is really just icing: For fans of classic, backyard-style burgers, this might well be the best in the city.

1601 S 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

18. Stargazy

1838 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Among the bounty of restaurants on East Passyunk Avenue sits this little British pie shop serving traditional savory pies. Keep it classic with beef and onion or try whatever filling chef-owner Sam Jacobson is making special for the day, and always opt for a side of mashed potatoes in a parsley liquor. Sausage rolls and sweets are also on the menu.

1838 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

19. Artisan Boulanger Patissier

1218 Mifflin St, Philadelphia, PA 19148

No matter if you’re a sweets or a savory person, you’ll have your needs met at this South Philly stalwart. For under $10, crispy tofu banh mi, croissant breakfast sandwiches, and flaky pastries are all delicious and affordable for daytime meals to-go.

1218 Mifflin St
Philadelphia, PA 19148

20. John's Roast Pork

14 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148

Whether it's the eponymous roast pork with sharp provolone or a great cheesesteak, John's remains the go-to rec for Philly's signature sandwiches. It's out of the way if you’re not already in South Philly, but worth the trip. It’s also a fantastic option for breakfast sandwiches.

14 Snyder Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Related Maps