Food & Drink

Philly-philling Lunch: 13 Restaurants You Can’t Miss!

Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, has a thriving food scene that is known for its iconic Philly cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, and hoagies. But the city has much more to offer than these classic dishes.

Whether you are a local or a tourist, finding a great lunch spot in Philadelphia can be overwhelming, given the numerous options available.

From cozy cafes to fine-dining restaurants, Philadelphia has something for everyone. If you are in the mood for a sandwich, you can find a variety of options, from classic hoagies to vegan and gluten-free sandwiches.

But if you prefer a more substantial meal, you can indulge in a hearty bowl of soup, a salad, or even a burger.

One of the best things about lunch in Philadelphia is the diversity of cuisine available. You can sample everything from authentic Italian dishes to Asian-inspired cuisine, and more.

The city is also home to many farm-to-table restaurants that offer fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

Whether you are looking for a quick bite or a leisurely lunch with friends, Philadelphia has plenty of options to choose from.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best lunch restaurants in the city, taking a closer look at their menus, atmosphere, and overall experience. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to discover some of the best lunch spots in Philadelphia!

1. Cilantro Mediterranean Cuisine

Cilantro Mediterranean Cuisine
613 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Google Maps)

Cilantro Mediterranean Cuisine offers a dynamic menu that will appeal to all. The mixed grill is a good starter meal, generously plated and flavorful.

The warm hospitality is unparalleled, making guests feel like they are in another country. The family-owned restaurant offers excellent service and authentic Egyptian food.

The dishes are always cooked fresh and the portions are great for the price. The chicken shawarma is a must-try, and the kunafa and custard-filled baklava are the best desserts.

With vegan options and a laid-back atmosphere, this casual Mediterranean restaurant is a great spot for lunch.

2. Suraya Restaurant

Suraya Restaurant
1528 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125 (Google Maps)

Suraya Restaurant is a chic and spacious Lebanese cafe, market and restaurant. The food is exceptional and the attention to detail is impeccable.

The staff treats customers like family and the service is fast. The back patio garden is a nice touch.

Reservations are a must for larger groups. While it may be a bit pricey, the tasting menu is the perfect way to experience mouth-watering flavors.

Suraya Restaurant is definitely worth a visit for those seeking an exotic and delicious dining experience.

3. Cafe La Maude

Cafe La Maude
816 N 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (Google Maps)

Cafe La Maude is a lively French-Lebanese brunch locale that offers hearty breakfast and lunch fare.

Their menu is unique and everything is fresh and delicious.

The staff is attentive and friendly, making the atmosphere family-friendly. They have a heated patio for outdoor seating.

Highly recommended dishes include Open-Face Mediterranean Burrito and Shakshuka.

4. South Philly Barbacoa

South Philly Barbacoa
1140 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147 (Google Maps)

South Philly Barbacoa is a no-frills Mexican restaurant that serves up authentic, slow-cooked barbacoa-style tacos and toppings.

The homemade tortillas are made fresh on the flat top and the meat is cut in front of you. The service is quick and the staff is friendly.

The menu is simple, with just a handful of items, but everything is delicious and satisfying. The consomme soup is a must-try, as it is rich and hearty with rice and chickpeas.

The restaurant is cash-only, but Venmo is an option. Be sure to arrive early, as they tend to sell out quickly.

5. The Dandelion

The Dandelion
124 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Google Maps)

The Dandelion is a British-themed gastropub that serves modern takes on British cuisine in a pubby setting.

The holiday decorations in the restaurant add to the cozy vibe of the place. The service is friendly and professional, and the food is excellent.

The menu offers a variety of options, including vegetarian dishes, although more vegetarian options would be appreciated.

The outdoor seating is a bit cramped, but the ambiance of the restaurant more than makes up for it. The Dandelion is a great spot for friends, family outings, and date nights.

6. Vetri Cucina

Vetri Cucina
1312 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Google Maps)

Vetri Cucina is an upscale Italian restaurant that serves a gourmet prix fixe lunch menu.

The restaurant offers an intimate townhouse setting, perfect for a fine dining experience.

The menu is inspired by different regions of Italy, offering a variety of dishes that are both creative and delicious.

The wine list is 100% Italian, and the staff is knowledgeable and professional. Vetri Cucina is a must-visit for foodies who are looking for an exceptional Italian dining experience.

7. Goldie

1911 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Google Maps)

Goldie is a small vegan restaurant that specializes in falafel. They offer a variety of options which are made with quality ingredients.

The falafel sandwiches are large and a great value for the money.

The fries are also amazing and the mint chocolate tahini shake is a must-try.

The service is quick and friendly, and the atmosphere is welcoming. Goldie is definitely worth checking out for a delicious vegan lunch.

8. Paprica Grill

Paprica Grill
811 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (Google Maps)

Paprica Grill is a must-visit for those in search of authentic Mediterranean cuisine. The food is cooked to perfection, bursting with flavor and freshness.

The restaurant's interior is chic and welcoming, transporting diners to the streets of Istanbul.

The staff is friendly and attentive, making for a delightful dining experience. The menu offers a range of options, including kebabs, falafels, and wraps, all of which are reasonably priced.

Whether you're a seasoned fan of Mediterranean cuisine or a first-timer, Paprica Grill is sure to impress.

9. Bao Nine

Bao Nine
38 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Google Maps)

Bao Nine is a colorful Taiwanese gua bao restaurant that serves a variety of Asian fusion dishes. The extensive menu offers a great selection of bao buns, noodle bowls, and sides.

The fluffy bao buns are a must-try and come with a range of delicious fillings such as prime time Angus beef and hot mother clucker chicken.

The restaurant has a spacious dining area and friendly staff who provide fast service. The packaging is cute and the curbside tables with QR code menus make for a safe and efficient dining experience.

The prices are reasonable, although some items such as sodas may seem a bit pricey. All in all, Bao Nine is a great lunch spot and a must-visit for lovers of Taiwanese cuisine.

10. Dizengoff

1625 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Google Maps)

Dizengoff is a must-try lunch spot for hummus lovers.

Their menu is simple, with a few options to choose from, but the hummus is delicious and comes with fluffy bread, pickles, and salad.

The restaurant is well-designed and trendy, but seating is limited, so it's best to avoid peak lunch hours.

They also offer take-out options. If you're looking for a healthy and flavorful lunch, Dizengoff is definitely worth a visit.

11. Oyster House

Oyster House
1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (Google Maps)

Oyster House is a seafood restaurant that offers a variety of East Coast-style seafood dishes.

Their seafood tower is a must-try, with fresh and tasty oysters from different locations. The lobster roll is also highly recommended and memorable.

The staff is professional and friendly, providing excellent customer service. The atmosphere is clean and enjoyable, with a fun bar area.

Although the menu offerings can be expensive, the quality of the food justifies the price. Oyster House is a great place to go for a seafood lunch or dinner experience.

12. Honey's Sit 'n Eat

Honey's Sit 'N Eat
800 N 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (Google Maps)

Honey's Sit 'n Eat is a cash-only restaurant that serves up a menu of Jewish and Southern comfort eats. The cozy neighborhood hole in the wall is perfect for a nice breakfast or brunch.

The food is consistently great, with highlights including any type of potatoes and the specials that are always super creative.

There are good vegetarian and vegan options for brunch, and the coffee is on point.

The staff are friendly and attentive, and the atmosphere is comfortable casual. Expect to wait for a table on busy weekends, but it's definitely worth it.

13. Tria Cafe Rittenhouse

Tria Cafe Rittenhouse
123 S 18th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (Google Maps)

Tria Cafe Rittenhouse is a cozy wine bar that offers a variety of small plates and drinks.

The menu is limited but the food is excellent, especially the paninis. The wine selection is decent, and they also offer creative seasonal cocktails.

The atmosphere is lovely, and there is plenty of outdoor seating.

The service can be a bit slow at times, but the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. It's a great place to stop for a light lunch or a drink with friends.