With the wild popularity of brunch, and the satisfying, filling nature of breakfast, lunch is often backburnered for other meals. Not so in Philly, where sandwiches, cheesesteaks, pho, banh mi, bao buns, and other filling lunch options are all available and made-to-order during the middle-of-the-day rush. In fact, Philly’s own Reading Terminal Market is host to a plethora of great lunch options, all under one roof. Looking for something besides eggs and bottomless mimosas? Here are 15 Philly restaurants with lunch options that will satisfy any mid-day craving.Read More
The Best Philly Restaurants for Lunch
Lunch is often sidelined for brunch and dinner, but at these Philly establishments, lunch gets to shine
In Germantown, Salam Cafe is open all day every day except Sunday for lunch highlights like chicken kebabs, Ethiopian platters with injera and beef stew marinated in berbere, and a handful of appetizers to hold you over. The atmosphere is lovely and the staff are friendly, a great combination for an afternoon lunch stopover.
Also featured in:
Down North Pizza
Down North has not been around for that long and it’s already a Philly institution, with amazingly crispy and cheesy Detroit-style pizzas and delicious wings, all in shareable sizes. Stop by to pick up an Uptown Vibes pie with kale, mushrooms, red peppers, red onions, with Down North’s signature Norf sauce. Split it among friends or save some for dinner later.
New Delhi Indian Restaurant
A University City classic, this popular Indian restaurant features an affordable and tasty lunch buffet (full spread is under $20 per person). Enjoy unlimited chicken tikka masala, butter chicken, goat curry, naan, a bountiful salad bar, and more.
Vernick Coffee Bar
This is the ultimate corporate lunch spot in the heart of Center City. Chef/Owner Greg Vernick reinvents the modern day coffee spot into something simultaneously modern, elegant, and cool. For those who desire lite fare, the chilled shrimp yakisoba noodles with sweet corn, miso, and thai basil is the perfect choice.
The new and reloaded Pod returns back to lunch with a robust menu that includes a delicious “krab” salad (that includes kani, cucumber, carrot, and creamy Yuzu Kosho dressing), a crispy chicken katsu sandwich, and tuna nachos (that includes wonton Chips, tuna tartare, avocado, and spicy mayo). If you’re feeling more daring, try their impressive “JFC” (Japanese Fried Chicken) bucket.
Reading Terminal Market
For decades, Reading Terminal Market has been the place where downtown workers go for breakfast, lunch, and early dinner during breaks — it’s also a great place to go for a bite when you have jury duty. The options are endless, from oysters to ice cream to sushi to samosas, so you’ll have access to all the world’s best foods in a bustling, energetic food hall.
Franklin's Table Food Hall
In University City, lunch options for the college crowd are endless, but if you’re looking for a few options all in one place, the Franklin’s Table Food Hall features a KQ Burger, Pitruco, Goldie, and a few more choices to satisfy lunch cravings.
The most imaginative sandwich spot in West Philly continues to get better with a diverse selection of lunch options that satisfies all cravings. If you’re vegan, try the “Dolla” hoagie with their flavorful cabbage as a substitute to their juicy turkey breast beloved by diners everywhere.
The sandwiches at Huda are amazing: Fluffy, soft milk bread buns are filled with grilled swordfish and kimchi tartar sauce, spicy chicken with pickled chilis, and burger patties with special Huda sauce. The salads and sides are wonderful complements to the flavorful sandwiches, and even if you think you’re too full, it’s essential to get a cinnamon milk bun to savor after lunch.
Hard Rock Cafe
There’s a lot of chain restaurants to choose from for lunch in Center City, but this unique Hard Rock Cafe takes the cake with their consistently delicious menu that has something for everyone. Their new Messi chicken sandwich (named after soccer superstar Lionel Messi) is perfectly seasoned, properly portioned, and makes for a great quick bite when everything else feels too stuffy or heavy to eat.
This tasty new addition to Rittenhouse has been a hot spot for lunch for those who love a creative twist on comfort food (juicy burgers, large pizzas, bountiful salads). Former owners Judy Ni and Andy Tessier of bao-logy are now here, so you know it’s worth the trip.
a.kitchen + bar
A gem of Rittenhouse, a.kitchen + bar has an impeccable lunch menu that appeals to the land and sea, fine dining and comfort, lite and expansive cuisine. From their big juicy burgers to their steelhead trout, everything is taken seriously at this award-winning restaurant — and that’s a diner’s dream come true.
Bud & Marilyn's
Come here for some of the best comfort food for lunch in the city. Perfectly seasoned fried chicken, succulent shrimp, crispy cheese curds, and tender fontina stuffed meatloaf are just a few of the exceptional things to devour at this cozy restaurant.
It goes without saying that a Middle Child sandwich, from the original location in Washington Square West, will hit the spot in the middle of the day. (Breakfast, it also goes without saying, will do the same.) Preorder online, pickup your sandwich, and go sit in the park. Just bring extra napkins — the sandwiches are so full, you have to be prepared to make a mess.
Large platters of excellent Indonesian food are on the lunch menu at Sky Cafe, with homemade egg noodles and coconut rice, as well as smaller appetizers like beef padang satay and fried fish cake. After a lunch at Sky Cafe, you’ll always leave full and happy.