Restaurants with the Best Value in Philadelphia

Restaurants to Get the Best Value for Your Dollar in Philadelphia

Trying to pin down words like frugal, value, and deal can be exasperating because different people have different ideas of what cost savings means to them. For some, it simply means where they're going to get the most food for their dollar. For others, it means where they get a little extra with their meals. Philadelphia dining patrons looking for something a bit out-of-the-ordinary for definitely-ordinary pricing would rank other places at the tops of their lists. For 10Best, the range we stick to is actually quite broad - we include impossibly cheap eateries with amazing menus on our list of best value eateries. In addition, we also share really nice restaurants that have especially nice perks such an impressive wine list with no corkage fee or a terrifically affordable prix fixe menu. Little extras, value-enhanced specials, perks that bring up the value of your dining experience no matter where the venue falls on the pricing scale are places that make it to our lists. If you're looking for Best Value restaurants in Philadelphia, let us introduce you to a few of our city-wide favorites, starting with Banana Leaf and Paloma. They're low in expenditures and high on appeal. Other great values worth mentioning come from staple establishments like San Kee or Nam Phuong. Value has never tasted so good.


Formerly a hotspot known and frequented by mainly Philadelphia dock and construction workers, this venue has seen a recent upturn in clientele and popularity. Now folks from all walks of life stop here to see what the fuss is all about, and may claim it is truly the best sandwich stop in the city. You be the judge, and try a delicious roast pork sandwich, a cheesesteak, or a roast beef sandwich complete with sides and a beverage and see what you think. They're open from 7am to 7pm after years of closing at 3, so now there's more hours to enjoy the food that comes so highly rated.

Recommended for Best Value because: When you want a great signature Philly sandwich at a fair price, John's Roast Pork will not let you down.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't be put off by a venue with the word pork in its name. This spot kicks out some seriously delicious steaks as well.

Read more about John's Roast Pork →

Get a lot for a little at this intimate little gem of a foodery in Logan Square. While it's nothing special as far as looks or ambiance, this place rocks where it counts - in the food department. If you want brisket done like nobody's business, this is the place for you. Sample their hot dogs for a basic dish that's built to satisfy. Great for lunch on the run on a weekday, or a quick tasty meal when you're in the area, this place delivers. It's not open on the weekends, but stop by Monday through Friday for no nonsense choices you'll return for.

Recommended for Best Value because: Not all value eateries are fancy-schmancy. Sometimes the best value is where it counts - -in the food you walk away with.

Sharon's expert tip: While there are any menu choices, be sure to try the brisket at least once.

Read more about Bubby's Brisket & Bugsy's Weiners →

Modest signage announcing "Steaks Beer-Hoagies" and the simple redbrick facade in no way prepare you for what this Roxborough treasure has in store. Indeed, those in the know claim that Dalessandro's may serve up the area's top cheesesteak – there's just something special about the way they cram fried onions, shaved seasoned steak and American cheese into those tasty hoagie rolls. What else sets this place apart from those closer to Center City? Well, at Dalessandro's you can chase your cheesesteak with a cold brew if you'd like. Parking isn't as much of an issue in Roxborough, either. Seating at Dalessandro's isn't very plentiful, but the food is plentiful and filling, which is what matters most.

Recommended for Best Value because: Since Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteak reputation, it's only fitting to have a cheesesteak vendor front and center for representation.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't order like you're in South Philadelphia, as they serve American cheese on their steaks here.

Read more about Dalessandro's Steaks →


Founded by an Italian family that had been operating butcher shops and sandwich stands in South Philly since 1918, Tommy DiNic's is still ran by the same family, serving some of the finest sandwiches in the nation. In fact, the Travel Channel voted Tommy DiNic's roast pork w/broccoli rabe and provolone the best sandwich in the nation not too long ago. The rest of the menu is equally as appealing and worthwhile as well. With most sandwiches in the shop running well under ten bucks, it's easily in the running for the best bang for your buck in all of Philadelphia.

Recommended for Best Value because: It's nice to see an American restaurant deliver on value, taste and affordability, with meatball sub and pork sandwich options that rock.

Sharon's expert tip: Leave yourself some time to come here or get your food to go, because since it's good, it does tend to get crowded.

Read more about Tommy DiNic's →

Wood paneling and painted bamboo shoots give this Malaysian restaurant an authentic feel, one that is fully born out in the menu. Guests are faced with a combination of exotic and familiar dishes. The seafood lo mein is a particularly benign dish when compared to the crispy pork intestines. However, never fear! The helpful servers will steer you towards (or away) from certain dishes if you ask, and they are well-versed in what sits well with first-time patrons, so heed their advice. While many dishes are tasty and will leave you already planning your return trip, some may out you off when first tasting them, so ease in gently. Once indoctrinated, you're ready for anything.

Recommended for Best Value because: This tasty Malasian cuisine eatery is great for groups and offers a plethora of tasty choices to please all palates.

Sharon's expert tip: Make it a point to try the homemade roti canal, as patrons have declared it simply delicious.

Read more about Banana Leaf →

It's no wonder that Ray's Cafe & Tea House is perennially crowded. Authentic and affordable Taiwanese specialties such as beef noodle soup and Taiwanese rice noodles populate the menu, and the plump dumplings are without peer in Philadelphia. Pony up for the affordable and delicious dumpling sampler for the chance to taste a variety of options. The main draw here, though, comes from the exquisite coffee and tea that Ray's produces. Using a siphon coffee maker, the full flavor and aroma of the premium grounds are released. The process itself is a show worth watching – the coffee brews upward before falling back into the pot. Be sure to take a look and try a cup.

Recommended for Best Value because: The service here is top-notch without being snooty, the coffee is outstanding, and the "adorable" factor high.

Sharon's expert tip: Order the dumpling sampler for a treat your taste buds and your stomach won't soon forget. Coffee lovers will love their slow-drip.

Read more about Ray's Cafe & Tea House →

Mama's Vegetarian
Photo courtesy of Mama's Vegetarian

When in the mood for something delicious, convenient and vegetarian, think Mama's Vegetarian. This scrumptious, kosher, Middle Eastern eatery serves up delicious vegetarian fare every weekday. With menu options like soup of the day, platters made up of veggie patties, eggplant slices, grape leaves, hummus and falafel that tastes too good to be true, you know you're in for something up a notch from hum-drum. It's affordable, it's quick and easy, yet it's easy and works with vegetarian and kosher eating plans. That's added value right there, and if you believe what others say about the falafel being stupendous, that's even better. Good food at good prices that's not special-diet-crushing is worth talking about.

Recommended for Best Value because: Quick, tasty vegetarian food that isn't costly or time-consuming is always of value.

Sharon's expert tip: Try the falafel to see what the fuss is all about.

Read more about Mama's Vegetarian →

McGillin's Olde Ale House
Photo courtesy of McGillin's Old Ale House

A Philly staple since 1860, McGillin's has remained true to its heart over the years, serving great eats and cold beer to everybody from Ed Bradley and Ethel Merman to Robin Williams and Will Ferrell. Inside, the place has the timeless look of a neighborhood tavern � dark-stained wood, plaster walls, red floor tiles and tall windows. Adding a certain kitschy sense of tradition to the place is the unique display of Pennsylvania tavern licenses that hang on the wall behind the bar, one for each year the place has served alcohol. Keep your eyes peeled to the calendar and plan to stop in when McGillin's hosts a karaoke night � they're a blast. Occasional live music as well.

Recommended for Best Value because: Need we say more than free soup with lunch? Combine this with their friendly staff and delicious food and it's a true winner.

Sharon's expert tip: Notice the interesting decor, sample the good, filling food and try a brew or two.

Read more about McGillin's Olde Ale House →

South Philadelphia's Vietnamese delicacy, Nam Phuong specializes in delicious food using quality ingredients, combined with exceptional service. The restaurant itself is wide open and feels spacious. There are a variety of menu items to select from, ranging from soups to salads to noodle dishes, rice dishes, pho, stir fry, vegetarian choices and seafood. Order in English or Vietnamese and choose family-style dinners as well for groups ranging in size from 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10. Portions are large, and options are many so that everyone in your group can be easily pleased. You won't go hungry when ordering from this eatery.

Recommended for Best Value because: For larger groups that are interested in eating affordable but quality family-style Vietnamese, this eatery is a sure-fire good choice.

Sharon's expert tip: Don't forget dessert. The fried bananas with ice cream is a fantastic treat.

Read more about Nam Phuong →

This 3-story eatery can easily be missed upon first glance. With fresh produce hanging in the front, you might miss the restaurant that's on the side next to the big windows. Once you know it's there, however, you'll want to point it out to friends and visiting family members. The food here is Hong Kong cuisine, and is served family-style. This offers an advantage to many, as it can be difficult to choose what to have. This way they are free to sample from several dishes. What can you find here? How about delicious won ton soup as well as traditional Chinese specialties like crisp duck and golden scallion pancakes. Whether you select chicken, beef, pork, or seafood, you can't go wrong, so dig in.

Recommended for Best Value because: San Kee's Peking Duck House has been voted the best in the city for years and years. They certainly must be doing something right.

Sharon's expert tip: Be sure to glance at their prix fixe, banquet and catering menus.

Read more about Sang Kee →


Meet Sharon Rigney

Sharon is a native to the Philadelphia area, but loves to wander from its familiar borders. She has traveled to more than 30 countries, trekked five continents, ventured out with family,...  More About Sharon