13 Best Lunch Spots in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a city known for its cheesesteaks, but anyone who really knows this city knows that there are a ton of great restaurants. This is no exception when it comes to the lunch hour.

There’s no end to the variety of food that Philadelphia has to offer us. We’ve compiled a list of the best lunch specials in Philadelphia in terms of price and quality.

Double Knot

120 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-631-3868
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Double Knot specializes in Asian cuisine. Their two-floored restaurant welcomes guests at any time of day. Upstairs is where Double Knot has their sushi bar and dining area, but downstairs is where people grab lunch.

Downstairs from 11:00 to 3:00 you can come to Double Knot for rice or noodle bowls with your choice of toppings. You can get a filling lunch here for only $7. The downstairs section also sells coffee if you need an afternoon pick-me-up.


325 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone: 215-574-9440
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Another Asian restaurant, Buddakan is one of the famous STARR restaurants here in Philadelphia. Buddakan isn’t known for their low prices, but you don’t have to break the bank to get a decent lunch with their bento boxes priced at $17.

Buddakan is an ambient, visually appealing restaurant with a 10 foot tall statue of Buddha as their centerpiece. STARR restaurants are known for their themes and organization, but their food is nothing to scoff at. Other options for lunch at Buddakan include Tuna Pizza, Pad Thai, and Kobe beef sliders. In addition, they have lunch menus for sushi and dim sum.

Chima Steakhouse

1901 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-525-3233
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A renowned chain of steakhouses that originated in Brazil, Chima has made a name for itself in Philadelphia. Their selection of meat will leave your mouth watering, but your stomach full.

Chima doesn’t operate like a traditional American steakhouse. Here you play one flat rate for a table, where people with skewers of delicious meats walk around the restaurant. Their selection of meats, called Rodizio, is constantly rotating around you whenever you’re ready for it. I highly recommend you come to Chima on an empty stomach.

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On weekdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm you can enjoy a lunch of unlimited Brazillian steaks for a reasonable price. Their $52 dinner is what they’re famous for, but many of the same options and sides are available during lunchtime for only $25. That’s half of the dinner price!

El Ray

2013 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-563-3330
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El Ray is another Stephen Starr restaurant on this list. They have a large selection of tasty Mexican foods including ceviche, tamales, quesadillas, and much more. The tacos at El Ray have been claimed by critics to be some of the best tacos in Philadelphia, so trying them is a must.

Even as a STARR restaurant, El Ray has some very affordable lunch options. Their lunch entrees all hover around the $12 range. Come a little earlier for a brunch of huevos rancheros and guacamole.

John’s Roast Pork

14 Snyder Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Phone: 215-463-1951
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Despite the name, John’s Roast Pork is always in the conversation for best cheesesteak in Philadelphia. They pride themselves in their roast pork, which is delicious and definitely worth a try. Their “ultimate cheesesteak” comes with 12oz of meat, a beefy lunch for only $9.75. They also offer breakfast sandwiches, cheesesteak variants, fish cakes, and a list of other lunch sandwiches.

John’s Roast Pork has been a staple in Philadelphia, getting recognition from, DETAILS magazine, and has even won a James Beard award of excellence. John’s Roast Pork is open from 9:00am to 7:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday.

Federal Donuts

21 S 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-964-9810
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Federal Donuts embraces a non-traditional combination of fried chicken and donuts. It might seem weird at first, but don’t knock it until you try it! Their donut selection covers the traditional flavors like brown sugar and cookies & cream. They also have gourmet flavors you won’t find anywhere else like Irish Potato and Grapefruit Brulee.

Federal Donuts has several different locations throughout Philadelphia, on South Street, in Center City, in West Philly (Sansom Street), in North Philly (7th Street), and even in Whole Foods. You can also find Federal Donuts inside the Wells Fargo Center and the Citizens Bank Park.

Their fried chicken is served with a honey donut and a selection of dry seasonings. The guilty pleasure combination of hot fried chicken and fresh baked donuts isn’t something you’re going to want to miss.

See also  BYOB Restaurants in Center City

Tattooed Mom 

530 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-238-9880
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Located on South Street, the Tattooed Mom is becoming a popular place to eat. By night they’re a bar, but their delicious selection of daily food specials could have fooled you. The Tattooed Mom opens at 12:00 pm, and closes shop at 2:00 am.

On Mondays they host Meatless Mondays, where their entire vegetarian menu is half-priced. On Tuesdays you can stop by for taco Tuesday, where their tacos are only $1 each. On Burger Wednesdays, you can get the classic, or vegan burger at Tattooed Mom for only $4. Finally, Pierogi Thursdays are where you can get any of their pierogies for only 50 cents each, including the potato and onion vegan pierogi.

The Tattooed Mom almost has a lunch special for every day of the week, which is not a bad thing. Realistically you can get a cheap lunch at the Tattooed Mom for four days straight, and you’d be trying a variety of quality foods in the process.

La Rosa Pizza

2106 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19145
Phone: 215-271-5246
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La Rosa Pizza on broad street has some of the best pizza in all of Philadelphia. Their thick cheesy slices of square pizza can be purchased by the slice for only $2 each, and they’re worth it. La Rosa opens at 11:00 am on weekdays, the perfect time to grab a quick slice for lunch.

La Rosa has been serving quality pizza on broad street for over three decades, and they’re not slowing down any time soon. This place isn’t quite as fancy as some of the other restaurants on this list, but they definitely get the job done and leave a smile on your face.

Crazy Sushi

1837 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-988-0398
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If you’re looking for amazing sushi for lunch, check out Crazy Sushi. During lunch hours, you can get 2 standard rolls for $9, or 3 standard rolls for $13. They also have sashimi specials at similar prices, and bento boxes in the $10-$15 price range.

Crazy Sushi has some excellent lunch specials, but they’re also a great BYOB place. Come during dinner hours with some friends and some wine to enjoy some quality time with your friends with some quality food. Their specialty rolls include crabmeat apple, fried banana, and pepper tuna.

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1526 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone: 267-239-0777
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Goldie is an Israeli-style falafel chain right here in Philadelphia, and they’re completely vegan! You wouldn’t recognize it in their pricing though, a falafel sandwich combo will only run you $12. Their dairy-free tahini shakes are an invention of their own, and they’re definitely worth trying out for less than $5.

Goldie has had a lot of success in the area with their all-vegan israeli cuisine. They even sell cookbooks for vegan Israeli cooking on their website.

Essen Bakery

1437 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Phone: 215-271-2299
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Essen Bakery prides themselves on being a small Jewish bakery in South Philly. Their baked goods are fantastic, but they also have menus for snacks, lunch, and coffee. Try their salmon and cream cheese on rye and tunisian tuna fish sandwiches.

Essen Bakery loves to embrace Philadelphia, and are very active in the community. Follow their Instagram account to see what they’ve been up to recently, or any special deals they’re offering. Additionally, their website has more information about their menus, gift cards, background, and catering!


205 S 13th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-545-4633
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Indeblue offers a $15 express lunch that includes one small plate and one entree or tandoori small plate. You’ll leave full, trust us.

Little Nonnas

1234 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 215-546-2100
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Little Nonnas is a Philadelphia staple and loved by many. This cute little restaurant offers a huge lunch special. For just $20 you can get a 3 course tasting menu, including a small plate, meatballs with polenta or pasta, and dessert.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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