In a top-notch eating city like Philadelphia, there’s no need to spend big money to dine well. Philly’s restaurant scene makes excellent eats available at all price points, including pretty darn cheap.
Whether the occasion is a power lunch, a romantic supper or a late-night nosh, true Philadelphia deliciousness can be enjoyed at low cost. Here are just a few options for under $20 dinners (drinks excluded)—meals that are both inexpensive and impressive:
Dinner Under $20:
Bar Bombon – The vegan Latin food at this chic Rittenhouse Square hangout appeals equally to eaters’ ethics and savings accounts. Standouts include nopales and rice enchiladas, fried yucca and tres leches cake. 133 S. 18th Street, (267) 606-6612, barbombon.com
Cheu Fishtown – Regulars come early and often to the River Wards outpost of the popular Center City ramen spot of the same name. Daily happy hours mean apps such as chicken wontons and fried dumplings for $4-$5; every hour, shareable entrees—bibimbap, lamb ho fun and ramen—tend to top out at $15. 1416 Frankford Avenue, (267) 758-2269, cheufishtown.com
Fountain Porter – Sometimes after a night on the town, only a burger will do. The spare menu at this East Passyunk spot focuses squarely on that offering, and for $5, leaves enough cash for a beer (or three) to wash it down. 1601 S. 10th Street, (267) 324-3910, fountainporter.com
Hardena/Waroeng Surabaya – The beloved Indonesian enclave in South Philly tempts with authentic flavors and generous pricing. Gado gado salad, curried rendang and vegan collard greens in coconut milk each clock in at 12 bucks and under. 1754 S. Hicks Street, (215) 271-9442, hardenaphilly.com