12 Great Things to Eat in Philly for $2 or Less

Where will your couple bucks stretch to cover more than a candy bar or pretzel?
June 24, 2014
by Danya Henninger

Back when they were in regular circulation, a $2 bill could buy you a full and hearty dinner. Not so today, when even pizza and hot dogs usually top the $2 mark. Where will your couple bucks stretch to cover more than a candy bar or pretzel? Here are 12 great snacks in Philly for $2 or less — cheap eats worth seeking out.

Pinwheels at Isabella: Heard of the famous rotolo at Pizzeria Vetri? This East Passyunk pizzeria has been making similar rolls for quite some time now — less luxurious, ingredients-wise, but still tasty and just $1.50 a pop.

Sardine Sandwich at American Sardine Bar: At this Point Breeze tavern, chef Scott Schroeder offers the namesake fish between baguette slices with mustard, red onion, lettuce and hard-boiled egg to make one of the most elegant $2 bites in the city.

Beef Jerky at Rival Bros.: Possibly even better with your coffee than the luxurious toast at this newly launched Fitler Square cafe is the coffee-spiced beef jerky made in house. Your $1 dip gets you a decent handful of flavorful dried meat.

Tomato Bacon Skewers at coZara: From 4-6:30 PM weekdays, a pair of these bacon-wrapped tomato bursts on a stick are just $2 at Zama’s UCity cousin. That’s not all — there are eight total $2 snacks on the happy-hour menu, along with several $2 drinks.

Pizza at Rosa’s Fresh Pizza: When you pick up a $1 slice of very decent pizza at this Wash West joint, toss in your other dollar to pay it forward — proprietor Mason Wartman uses the funds to offer free pizza to homeless folks who visit the store.

Al Pastor Tacos at Loco Pez: Flavor is much bigger than size when it comes to the tacos at this Fishtown hipster hang, so you could get away with ordering just one of these for $1.75. Five other fillings (chicken, chorizo, tofu) are also found at that price, and you can always look out for the random dollar taco nights.

Tots at North Bowl: For summer, this NoLibs bowling alley bar is offering its Wednesday and Sunday night deals every weekday from 5-7 PM, when not only are tots $2 per order, but so are shoe rentals, lane play, select beer and shots of Tullamore DEW.

House Pickles at The Trestle Inn: You might not visit this Loft District whiskey and go-go bar for the food, but while you’re there, satisfy snacking urges with a $2 jar of house pickles. Alternately, that price will score you a plate of jerky or bowl of snack mix.

Fancies at Federal Donuts: You don’t need to hit up the national chains to get your $2 sugar fix — the fanciful glazed cake donuts are just two bucks each (or $20 per dozen) at any of the four outposts of Mike Solomonov’s quick-service shops.

Sliders at Opa: Spend 5-7 PM weekdays at the bar inside this Midtown Village taverna and score Greek sliders for $2 each or chargrilled skewers for just a dollar each.

Octopus at Tinto: Jose Garces’ Basque dining room in Rittenhouse offers deals just once a week, but on Tuesdays from 5-7 PM, eight of the pintxos on the menu go for $2, including the pulpo (octopus), albondigas (Spanish meatballs) and deviled egg with tuna.

Tomato Pie at Sarcone’s Bakery: A heftier snack than most slices of pizza are the $2 squares cut from the thick crust, cheese or no-cheese tomato pies at this Italian Market bakery. If you have an extra $2, pick up a quarter-pound of Italian cookies for dessert.

cheap eats
federal donuts