cheap eats in philadelphia

Philadelphia: the U.S. city that is home to the Declaration of Independence, the 76ers basketball team, and, of course, Philly cheesesteaks. With summer just around the corner, all of those beach trips, vacations, and day-drinking barbecues are bound to put a dent in your wallet. If you want to save up before the summer splurge, you can trim the fat from your budget (and maybe your waistline!) by eating out less and choosing more affordable restaurant options.

From burgers to veggies, here are some great places to eat on a budget in the City of Brotherly Love:


127 S. 18th Street

This hipster, fast-food, vegan restaurant serves hearty and healthy meals in its Rittenhouse Square location. If it’s a nice day out, grab one of their vegan Philly Steaks and a carrot ginger lemonade and take it across the street to eat it under a tree in the square. This place is always busy with people, so get here early if you’re on the go!

McCrossen’s Tavern

529 N. 20th Street

One restaurant staple that just can’t be given up is the Sunday brunch ritual – it’s a day for recapping long work weeks and wild weekends with friends. McCrossen’s offers a great deal on Saturdays and Sundays: $5 Bloody Marys and mimosas from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You’ll also get classics like Belgian waffles covered in whipped cream and fruit.


105 S. 13th Street

If you’re feeling continental, take a little trip to Spain at this fabulous bistro in Washington Square West. The seafood paella is incredible; it’s filled with scallops, calamari, and clams and is large enough for sharing. The papas fritas are delicious, and if you have money left over in the budget, try one of their amazing cocktails – they give creative drinking a whole new meaning.

Han Dynasty

123 Chestnut Street

If you’re looking for authentic Chinese food, Han Dynasty is a place that will never disappoint. If you’re going out in a group, the restaurant’s large portion sizes make for great sharing platters. The beef lo mein is fabulous, and their Kung Pao chicken is consistently good. With dishes around $7-8, you can eat well without sacrificing flavour.


15 S. 3rd Street

This reliable American restaurant in Old City nails the restaurant game with delicious food. Their farm-to-table fare is fresh and local with a really cool ambiance to boot. The goat cheese gnocchi is a revelation, and you can get hacienda eggs for $11, along with salads and Mexican hot pots.

Reading Terminal Market

12th and Arch

The Reading Terminal Market is a covered farmer’s market that has run since the late 1800s. You’ll feel overwhelmed with the number of options you have here, and any of the stalls are sure to rock your taste buds. Bypass the crepes, meat, and seafood and get in line at Hunger Burger for a juicy Angus beef burger or lobster mac ‘n cheese and a milkshake.

Now that you know the best cheap eats in Philadelphia, you can book a nearby hotel in Philadelphia too! Check out Hipmunk for a selection of places to stay at the best rates.

Photo by Matthew Widmire via Trover

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