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Delicious Spots to Pump Up Your Lunch Game in Philly



Whether you're working in Philadelphia, touring in Philadelphia, visiting in Philadelphia or living in Philadelphia, you've got to slow down and have lunch in Philadelphia at some point. With the huge variety of eateries located here, that choice can be intimidating and maddening. 10Best helps you sort out the duds from the gems, and find a place or two that make you truly look forward to your midday meal. Great little hotspots exist all over the city, from Dizengoff near Logan Square to Cafe La Maude in Northern Liberties to Picnic in University City, there's a place for all kinds of tastes. Stop in to your old favorite and grab a tried-and-true entree or introduce yourself to a place you've never been to and see what all of the fuss is about. You may discover a whole new lunchtime experience just out of your comfort zone. Mixing things up adds spice to the humdrum in life. Now may be the time to set aside that usual burger habit and sample something from the hummus family. Or trade the same-old, same-old Italian for some healthy vegetarian options that will change the way you see veggies. No matter what you're craving or the crowd you're with is in the mood for, there's a spot for you in the maze of lunchtime offerings here. We'll help you find your way through.


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Front Street Cafe brings heathy, fun, interesting food to the Fishtown neighborhood, and they do it quite well. Stop into this warm and friendly, farm-to-table eatery for delicious new American food combinations put together from locally-sourced ingredients. The coffee shop and organic juice bar opens early for those looking to grab a morning refresher on the way to work or school. There's also free WiFi should you need to stay and get a few things done. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there are plenty of smaller or larger options to satisfy your hunger. Try food selections such as quinoa oatmeal porridge with berries, the tostada grain bowl, all-natural buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp zucchini cakes or glazed Scottish salmon.

Recommended for Lunch because: Healthier snacks and sandwiches are the name of the game at lunchtime at this delicious eatery that's farm-to-table fresh.

Sharon's expert tip: Be sure to try the cocktails here, which are made with fresh-squeezed juices, toss back a seasonal craft beer or sip something from the organic wine list.

Read more about Front Street Cafe →




This eatery continues to garner great reviews both for its breads as well as its mealtime options. Basically a bakery, it does not offer patrons a huge amount of space to sit and eat (ok, there's basically none), but what it lacks in space inside, it makes up for it options outside. After all, Rittenhouse Square is only across the street. Grab your preferred variety of specialty sandwich and walk to the park to eat and enjoy. The line her tends to be long, but moves quickly, and is testament to the many folks who know the food is just that good. In town during lunchtime? Go here.

Recommended for Lunch because: When it comes to specialty sandwiches to satisfy your lunch cravings, Le Bus is the place to go.

Sharon's expert tip: Try the Capri sandwich for a delicious and crowd-pleasing option most everyone will find appealing.

Read more about Le Bus →


8
Washington Square
Little Nonna's


An open kitchen and a garden add to the homey Italian vibe of this Washington Square West eatery. Chef Marcie Turney churns out pasta dishes and traditional Italian entrees that satisfy and comfort. Treat yourself to a dish such as their swordfish piccata, chicken liver bolognese, shrimp scampi tonnarelli or rigatoni all vodka. Coupled with a delicious salad, beverage of you choice and followed up by a sweet little (or big) something for dessert and you've got a meal you'll be telling people about after you leave. Comfortable and filling with a casual air of refined dining, Little Nonna's is Italian done right.

Recommended for Lunch because: Jose Garces has a history of satisfying hungry Philadelphians, and this venue has no shortage of options to taste just what he does best.

Sharon's expert tip: Enjoy lovely outdoor seating in warmer weather and be sure to try a cannoli to finish off your meal.

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This dining venue features one incredibly delicious advantage over other great city restaurants: the divine breads created by head bake Alex Bois. While chef Eli Kulp is no slouch in the kitchen, designing and creating dishes around pieces that heighten the experience all that much more is not only smart, but scrumptious. Choose from selections such as beet cured salmon on pretzel roll or chocolate croissant or house made bagels for breakfast that will get your morning started on the right note. Move on to tasty lunch and dinner selections that will make you wonder how you hadn't heard of this delicious restaurant long ago.

Recommended for Lunch because: With mouth-watering lunch selections like pastrami on rye, smoked duck cubano, and a variety of salads, burgers and soups, you'll eat like a king.

Sharon's expert tip: Leave yourself a bit of time or make a reservation, as this lunch spot can get a tad crowded.

Read more about High Street on Market →


Barbuzzo Restaurant


The decor here at Barbuzzo may be refreshingly spare at this modern Mediterranean restaurant but the menu is anything but. Pastas, pizzas, charcuterie boards, small plates, big plates all compete for attention alongside an equally long list of updated classic cocktails, craft beers and wines by the bottle and glass. Dishes like grilled branzino and noodle paella crafted by the expert hands of Chef Marcie Turney (who, with her partner, owns a large handful of other restaurants and shops on the block) make this both a neighborhood cafe for regulars and a special occasion spot for foodies from the burbs.

Recommended for Lunch because: Satisfying lunches are not all American and Italian venues. This great Mediterranean spot serves up options to awaken your tastebuds.

Sharon's expert tip: For dessert, try the Marcie Blaine Chocolate Tasting â€" a treat of eight varied chocolate pieces handcrafted by Chef Turney in the back of one of her gift shops.

Read more about Barbuzzo Restaurant →


HipCityVeg
Photo courtesy of Pat Furey Photography


Vegetarian fans rejoice: Philadelphia has great options for those who do veg only, and this eatery is high on the list of delicious venues. Swing in for lunch and sample an old favorite, or be daring and try something new and tasty. HipCityVeg offers choices like smoked tempeh spinach salad, udon noodle salad, curry tofu wrap and the classic veggie burger as well as a variety of drinks and desserts to satisfy your midday cravings and keep you coming back for more whether you're a tried-and-true veggie lover to just a lunchtime patron looking to shake things up a bit.

Recommended for Lunch because: Vegetarian options are not only necessary for some, they're also great for shaking things up every once in a while.

Sharon's expert tip: This restaurant is designed to be primarily take-out, so don;t be afraid to grab yours to go and enjoy it in the park or somewhere else of you choice.

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Cafe La Maude offers Northern Liberties the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast, lunch, brunch or just beverages and pastries. During warmer months, sit outside and enjoy the nice weather. All year, feel free to dine and savor the French-Lebanese cuisine served with superior service from the staff here. Bring early morning and mid afternoon slumps here for instant pick-me-ups and delicious food options that'll have you coming back for more. Chicken and waffles? Yes, please. Steak frite sandwich? Bring it on. Whether you crave more of a breakfasty experience or a lunchy experience, the food here can be tailored to meet your cuisine need deliciously.

Recommended for Lunch because: Cafe La Monde brings morning and early afternoon eating up a notch with combinations to satiate all kinds of appetites.

Sharon's expert tip: Not sure what to try? Sample the Parisian Za with La Colombe coffee both of which get rave reviews.

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Before James Beard chef Michael Solomonov opened the only upscale Israeli restaurant in Philadelphia, he took his entire staff to Israel to give them a taste of the land, the spirit and the food. The result is a very modern experience that draws from recipes cooked since ancient times. Innovative drinks, a small-plates approach and one of the largest Israeli wine lists outside of the Middle East make Zahav an ideal place to go to learn about an unfamiliar cuisine or return again and again for old favorites. The restaurant Esquire rated a Top 20 Best New Restaurant in 2008 is romantic, intimate and lively enough to be provide a welcoming setting for couples, families and friends.

Recommended for Lunch because: When it comes to doing things a bit differently, a visit to Zahav is perfect, allowing your tastebuds to experience delicious new options.

Sharon's expert tip: Plates are sized to be shared; order several and let the tasting begin.

Read more about Zahav →


The Little Lion
Photo courtesy of Sharon Rigney


Lunchtime can leave you wanting something more, and something a step above the same old choices. This recent addition to the restaurant scene in Old City delivers on taste, ambiance and atmosphere. Patrons like the attractive decor that although keeps things simple, still pleases with bright colors and clean lines. A bright location, this eatery is close to many historic attractions and satisfies with delicious choices for breakfast, brunch and lunch. From Red Velvet French Toast to Fried Green Tomato Grilled Cheese, there's sure to be a dish that satisfies.

Recommended for Lunch because: Great for consistently delicious lunch options in a pretty setting in beautiful Old City.

Sharon's expert tip: Try the fried green tomatoes or country fried chicken.

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This wonderful Israeli hummusiya in Center City will have you rethinking what you thought chickpeas were capable of. Situated next to Abe Fisher, this cozy eatery has seating inside as well as some tables outside in warmer weather. Lunchtime will find folks lining up to order some of the best hummus in the city, alongside fresh made pitas that you can watch rise in the oven while you wait with mouth watering. The menu periodically rotates, so interesting varieties are always available, keeping your meal experience from becoming stale. Never tried hummus for lunch? Get here, and get here quick.

Recommended for Lunch because: While many people don't think of hummus as a lunchtime option, Dizengoff makes hummus you'll wonder if you can have all day long.

Sharon's expert tip: Order an extra pita if you're hungry and make your meal last longer. They're affordable, fresh and incredibly soft.

Read more about Dizengoff →


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