Many people view dining out for lunch as a luxury, but that’s why restaurants run great midday specials to get you in. From a multicourse Indian feast delivered to your door for free to an elegant way to impress a business colleague on the cheap, here are our picks for the 10 best lunch deals in Philly.
From noon-4 PM weekdays at this sleek Rittenhouse tavern, $14 will bring you two courses with several choices from each. Start with pumpkin seed-goat cheese spinach salad and follow it with cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese and you’ll be $6 richer than if you ordered them separately. Bonus: free refills on all nonalcoholic beverages, including Sprecher root beer on tap.
2005 Walnut St.; 215-557-8277
Some of the best ramen in Philadelphia is found at this graceful Wash West shop, and from 11 AM-4 PM, Monday-Saturday, you can slurp it up for less. A bowl of your choice of ramen, a side salad and an appetizer like gyoza or fried chicken bites is your for $12 total.
1102 Chestnut St.; 215-939-5558
Satisfy your Mexican food craving for $9.99 at this Starr cantina in Rittenhouse, where your Hamilton gets you two courses plus complimentary chips and salsa. Start with a soup, salad or nachos and continue with a hot dish like enchiladas or quesadillas. Be sure to look for daily special additions to the menu, which is offered weekdays from 11:30 AM-4 PM.
2013 Chestnut St.; 215-563-3330
“Luncheon Lunacy” takes over at this Old City pub from noon-5 PM, Monday-Friday, with a different plate going for just $5.95 each day. Look for hearty sandwiches like the sirloin burger, hand-carved turkey and bacon or grilled chicken with long hots and provolone, all served with fries, sweet potato fries or a side salad.
48 S. 2nd St.; 215-925-2317
Slide into Jose Garces’ Wash West dining room between 11:30 AM-3 PM for the “Santa Maria Express,” which opens up nearly the entire menu for your two-course selections. Soup or antipasti (like the great charcuterie plate) is backed up by a sandwich with house chips or flatbread on duck-fat dough, plus a soda or iced tea for a total of $14.50.
1111 Locust St.; 215-574-1099
A churrascaria is a meat lover’s paradise, with roaming gaucho waiters slicing off as much spit-roasted meat as you care to have land on your plate. As of last month, this Brazilian steakhouse on JFK Boulevard made the rodizio available for lunch, and weekdays from 11:30 AM-2 PM, you can enjoy the unlimited protein feast (along with sides like mashed potatoes and fried polenta) for just $25, less than half the price of the $52.50 dinner.
1901 JFK Blvd.; 215-525-3233
Visit Marcie Turney’s Midtown Village Italian nook between 11:45 AM-2:45 PM any day except Sunday to get a three-course tasting menu of her grandma-style cooking for $20. Turney’s beef-veal-pork meatballs are an option there, but if you want those fontina-stuffed balls and nothing but, get the spaghetti and meatballs dish, which goes for $14 as opposed to $16 at dinner.
1234 Locust St.; 215-546-2100
When Munish Narula first introduced the “daily Tiffin” lunch offer, Philadelphians in search of good Indian food could hardly believe their luck — and the deal remains to this day. For just $9.50 (or $8.50 if your main plate is vegetarian), you get dal, rice, potatoes, chutney and an entree of your choice. Plus, it will be delivered to your door for free. Small catch: you must order before 10 AM to get the special price.
Take your next business lunch to this European-style bistro on Rittenhouse Square and you can impress without worrying for your wallet. The lunch prix fixe is offered 11:30 AM-2:30 PM, Monday-Friday, and includes a starter plus a sandwich or plate for a total of $25. (If you went beef-crazy and got the beef tartare plus the Wagyu steak, you’d be saving $13). There’s also a featured wine available for $8 per glass.
135 S. 18th St.; 215-825-7030
The 11:30 AM-2:30 PM weekday lunchtime bento box lets you choose your level of lunch deal at Stephen Starr’s Old City Pan-Asian. Go for the $15 assortment and pick dumplings, soup or salad and a seafood or meat dish like garlic shrimp or grilled lamb chops, or level up to $20 and get three of anything on the special small-plates menu. Add dessert for $5 more.
325 Chestnut St.; 215-574-9440