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
15 Philly Restaurants With Really Excellent Lunch Menus
Lunch is often sidelined for brunch and dinner, but at these Philly establishments, lunch gets to shine
1. Salam Cafe
Philadelphia, PA 19144
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.
2. Max's Steaks
A cheesesteak is a perfect lunch to eat on the roof your car in the parking lot, which is sometimes the best and only option for a busy weekday. At Max’s, you can get a cheesesteak at basically any time of the day, all the way up until 1 a.m., so the national sandwich of Philadelphia is never far from reach.
3. 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.
4. Zorba's Tavern
All the large lunch platters at Zorba’s Tavern are served with rice, potatoes, mixed veggies or french fries, and tzatziki sauce, meaning they’re pleasantly large and filling for a sit-down meal. Everything from gyros to roasted lamb to charcoaled chicken are on the menu, as well as stuffed pita sandwiches, all at affordable prices.
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5. Honey's Sit 'n Eat
Traditionally a breakfast spot, Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat’s lunch options should not be dismissed. The turkey club is the platonic ideal of the diner classic and buttermilk chicken fingers also do the trick. There can be a wait outside on weekends, so be prepared if you’re hankering for a pastrami Reuben.
6. Jezabel’s Argentine Café & Catering
Empanadas for lunch are never a bad idea, and there is no shortage of both meat and vegetarian options at Jezabel’s cafe in West Philly. The spicy lentil vegan option is delicious — and don’t forget to pick up some alfajores and medialunas for a post-lunch sweet treat.
7. bāo • logy
In the heart of Center City, Judy Ni’s Baology is the destination for Taiwanese dishes on the go. From gwa baos — known colloquially as Taiwanese sliders — filled with slow-cooked beef, tempura fish, and oyster mushrooms, and bian dang platter boxes with forbidden rice, veggies, and a protein option, Baology has something for every taste and hunger level. Don’t forget an order of potsticker dumplings as an appetizer.
8. 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.
9. Franklin's Table Food Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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 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.
11. Middle Child
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.
12. The Breakfast Den
Despite it’s name, The Breakfast Den is not just for the a.m. crowd. The menu of Vietnamese sandwiches and salads are all worthy of the lunch hour, from a banh mi served four different ways to a cabbage salad with fried shallots and fresh herbs.
13. Sky Cafe
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.
14. Pho Ha
There are more than enough pho options in Philly to hit the spot for a brothy lunch, and Pho Ha on Washington Avenue is just one of the highlights. Open all day, it’s a local go-to for an array of pho options, as well as spring rolls, vermicelli dishes, and broken rice.
15. Café y Chocolate
The favorite order at Cafe Y Chocolate on Snyder Avenue is the cheesesteak a la Mexicana, layered with chipotle mustard, Serrano peppers, and pico de gallo, a feat of magic so inspiring that it has to be eaten to be believed. The huaraches, flautas, and enchiladas are also solid choices.