With the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting coming to Philadelphia at the end of this month, Holly and I decided to begin compiling lists of Philly-related things to help our librarian friends make the most of their visit. We are both big fans of Philadelphia’s restaurant and bar scene and have plenty of recommendations.
Most of the things we’ll post about will be places we have first hand knowledge of, although we will include some places that we’ve heard enough good things about that we feel comfortable recommending.
This won’t be a comprehensive list but a selection of places easy to get to from the Convention Center area.
We’ll add new posts as we cover different topics but will aggregate all our information on this page.
Why go to a chain coffee shop when Philadelphia has a great local coffee scene? Here are a few suggestions for coffee shops not too far from the convention center:
- Old City Coffee (Reading Terminal Market) roasts on premises. Open Mon-Sat 8:00am-6:00pm, Sun 9:00-5:00pm.
- La Colombe (1414 South Penn Square, 130 South 19th St) is the most well known of Philadelphia’s local roasters. Open Mon-Fri 7:00am-7:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-7:00pm
- Toast (1201 Spruce St) features Philly Fair Trade coffee, locally roasted in Philadelphia. Open Mon-Fri 7:00am-7:00pm, Sat-Sun 8:00am-6:00pm.
- Green Street (1101 Spruce St) features their own coffee, locally roasted in Philadelphia. Open Mon-Fri 6:00am-8:00pm, Sat 7:00am-8:00pm, Sun 8:00am-8:00pm.
- Elixr (207 S. Sydenham St) is a great spot for a pour-over with a variety of high quality coffees. Open Mon-Sat 7:00am-8:00pm, Sun 8:00am-7:00pm.
- Plenty (1602 Spruce St) features coffee from Rival Bros, ReAnimator, and La Colombe, all locally roasted in Philadelphia. Open Mon-Thurs 6:00am-9:00pm, Fri 6:00am-10:00pm, Sat 7:00am-10:00pm, Sun 7:00am-8:00pm.
- Green Line (136 S. 15th St) features organic and free trade coffee, and tasty snacks. Open Mon-Fri 7:00am-6:00pm, Sat 9:00am-3:00pm, closed Sundays.
- Good Karma (928 Pine St) features fair trade coffee from Equal Exchange and Philadelphia-based One Village, as well as breakfast bagels, salads, and sandwiches. Open daily 7:00am-10:00pm.
- Ray’s (141 N. 9th St) features premium syphon-prepared coffee, Taiwanese tea, and is also a delicious place for Chinese food. Open Mon-Fri 8:00am-9:00pm, Sat 11:30am-9:00pm, closed Sundays.
Where to Buy Booze
Philadelphia has some great BYOB restaurants, or you might just want some wine or beer to enjoy in your hotel room during the conference. PA has wacky liquor laws, so not only can you not buy wine at the nearest Trader Joe’s like in a normal city, you also can’t buy wine and beer at the same place. For wine and liquor, you’ll have to go to a state store (“Fine Wine & Good Spirits“), and for beer you’ll have to go to a specialty market. Here are our recommendations based on proximity to the Convention Center:
- There is a state store near the Convention Center (5 North 12th St, open Mon-Sat 10am-9pm, closed Sun), but the selection is pretty basic. For a better wine selection, head to the “Super Store” at 1218 Chestnut St (open 9am-9pm Mon-Sat, 12-5pm Sun), or for more of a boutique wine selection check out the wine shop inside Garces Trading Company, 1111 Locust St (open 11am-10pm Mon-Sat, closed Sun)
- The Foodery at 324 S 10th St is a great place to pick up craft beer by the bottle. Their sibling The Corner Foodery at 1710 Sansom St is a little farther away but also has draft beer available by the growler in addition to a good bottle selection. You can get a mixed six-pack at either store.
- For more beer options, Drink Philly has a list of six pack stores in Philadelphia.
- The state store has an app (iPhone | Android) that includes a store locator feature to help you find the store nearest you.
There’s no way we can list all our recommended restaurants here, as there are just too many, so here are some highlights, mostly based on proximity to the convention center, with a few outliers that we think are worth the trip. Note that many Philadelphia restaurants are quite small/cozy and reservations are recommended in most cases (check Open Table or City Eats for openings).
Note: Center City Restaurant Week will also be happening during the conference. This may mean even more crowds than usual, so even more reason to try and secure reservations (or avoid restaurants participating in restaurant week if that doesn’t appeal to you).
Vedge (1221 Locust St) – not only one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the country, but one of the best restaurants in Philadelphia, period. Delicious food, beautiful space, fantastic bar, excellent wine list and cocktails. Dinner Mon-Sat (closed Sundays). Good luck getting a reservation (it books months in advance), but you can always try to get a seat at the bar.
Caribou Café (1126 Walnut St) – French bistro with good wine, beer, and cocktail options. Among Midtown restaurants, we find it to be rather underrated, and fortunately, less crowded than other options in the area. Brunch, lunch, and dinner daily. Takes reservations but we’ve had good luck walking in.
Garces Trading Co (1111 Locust St) – delightful food, great wine & beer options, full bar. They have a good happy hour deal from 3-7pm daily, with drinks and snacks for $5. They also have a boutique wine store in the back if you need to pick up wine for another occasion. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Sat-Sun. Takes reservations but we’ve had good luck walking in.
Jamonera (105 S. 13th St) – tiny place with delicious tapas and a good wine list. Dinner nightly. Reservations recommended.
Barbuzzo (110 S. 13th St) – another tiny place with tasty Mediterranean food and good drinks. The salted caramel budino is famous for being one of the best desserts in town. Lunch Mon-Sat, dinner nightly. Reservations recommended.
Zavino (112 S. 13th St) – a small wine bar and pizzeria, we’ve had their pizza several times and enjoyed it. Lunch and dinner daily. No reservations, walk-in only.
Little Nonna’s (1234 Locust St) – Tiny space with delightful Italian-American comfort food. We went for dinner and absolutely loved it. Lunch Mon-Sat, dinner nightly. Reservations highly recommended.
Nomad Roman (1305 Locust St) – wonderful pizza and a good beer list. We’ve only been once for lunch but were pleased to find it not crowded. Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more, otherwise walk-in.
Opa (1311 Samson St) – Greek food, full bar, and a beer garden in back. Lunch M-F, dinner nightly. Reservations recommended.
Spice 28 (1228 Chestnut St) – Interesting dual-chef concept, with a combination of Szechuan and Asian fusion offerings. Lunch and dinner daily. Reservations accepted but we’ve had good luck walking in.
Pennsylvania 6 (114 S. 12th St) – raw bar and seafood-centric menu, including a gluten-free menu. We went for lunch recently and were pleased to find it wasn’t too crowded. Lunch M-F, dinner nightly, open late. Reservations accepted but we’ve had good luck walking in.
Strangelove’s (216 S. 11th St) – gastropub fare, good beer selection. This place is relatively new so we haven’t been yet, but it looks promising. Lunch and dinner daily, brunch Mon-Sat. Reservations accepted for parties of 6 or more, otherwise walk-in.
Rosa Blanca (707 Chestnut St) – Cuban-inspired food from Chef José Garces. This just opened so we haven’t been yet, but we love the other Garces Group restaurants, and the menu looks great. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Reservations recommended.
Kanella (1001 Spruce St) – Incredible Greek food and BYOB. We’ve had some of our best meals in Philadelphia here. Dinner Tues-Sat, brunch Fri/Sat/Sun. Reservations highly recommended.
Varga Bar (941 Spruce St) – Gastropub fare, excellent beer and cocktails, one of our favorite places. Dinner nightly, brunch Sat-Sun, open late. Walk-in only.
Cheu Noodle Bar (255 S. 10th St) – Tiny space for homemade delicious noodles, limited selection of craft cans and cocktails. Lunch and dinner nightly. Walk-in only.
Amis (412 S. 13th St) – Italian trattoria with an excellent bar. Dinner nightly, Sunday brunch. Reservations recommended.
Zahav (237 St. James Place) – Delicious Israeli cuisine, excellent bar. Dinner nightly. Reservations a must.
Han Dynasty (123 Chestnut St) – Sichuan food, famous for dan dan noodles and spicy food. We haven’t been to this particular location (recently expanded, formerly BYOB but now with full bar) but we regularly go to the University City location and love it. Lunch and dinner daily, open late. Reservations recommended.
Vernick (2031 Walnut St) – excellent food, wine, and cocktails. Dinner Tues-Sun. Reservations recommended.
- Percy Street BBQ (900 South St) – delicious barbecue and a huge variety of craft cans and bourbon. Dinner nightly, lunch Sat-Sun. Fairly large, can accommodate groups (call first for parties of 9 or more). Takes reservations, but we’ve had good luck walking in.
Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St) – German food and beer. Lunch and dinner daily, open late. Looks small from the front, but has a big room in the back and a second bar. Takes reservations, but we’ve had good luck walking in.
Rex 1516 (1516 South St) – Southern comfort food, excellent bar, gluten-free menu available. Dinner nightly. Reservations recommended, or belly up to the bar.
Magpie (1622 South St) – a whole restaurant just for pie! Savory pies suitable for lunch or dinner, sweet pies for dessert. BYOB. Lunch and dinner Tues-Sun (closed Mondays). Walk-in only, limited seating.
Bistrot La Minette (623 S. 6th St) – Delicious French bistro, good wine list. Dinner nightly, lunch Sat-Sun. Reservations recommended.
Beau Monde (624 S. 6th St) – Traditional Breton crêpes, both savory and sweet. Lunch and dinner Tues-Sun (closed Mondays). Takes reservations, but we’ve had good luck walking in.
The convention center is very close to Chinatown, which offers many dining options. Just in time for Midwinter, the Philadelphia Inquirer recently published its Chinatown Eating Guide.
The East Passyunk neighborhood is home to Philadelphia’s best restaurant row, including Birra, Cantina Los Caballitos, Fond, Laurel BYOB, Le Virtù, Noir, Noord BYOB, Stateside, and Will BYOB. We are especially fans of Le Virtù, our favorite Italian restaurant in Philadelphia, and Stateside, which has a small but excellent bar. East Passyunk is also home to several other good bars, including Royal Tavern, P.O.P.E., and The Garage. East Passyunk is a bit off the beaten path if you’re staying near the convention center, but the dining scene is well worth the trip.
Gluten Free Philly is a source for gluten-free dining in Philadelphia and also has iPhone and Android apps to help locate gluten-free friendly establishments. Zagat Philly also has a list of the best gluten-free restaurants.
VegPhilly is a source for vegan and vegetarian dining in Philadelphia, and is searchable by neighborhood, cuisine, and special features.
But wait, there’s more! In our upcoming posts on Craft Beer, Wine, and Cocktails, we’ll be highlighting several other restaurants for their drink programs, but that have excellent food as well. We’ll also be doing a separate post on sandwiches and other quick eats.
Finally, for more options, see the Eater 38 essential Philly restaurants, or try Philadelphia Magazine’s restaurant search.
Philadelphia is a fantastic town for craft beer. This is not a comprehensive list of beer bars by any means, but here are a few of our suggestions based on proximity to the convention center.
Molly Malloy’s (Reading Terminal Market) – 24 taps. Conveniently located near the convention center, but only open until 6:00pm (5:00pm on Sundays), so better for day drinking. Also has a good food menu.
Perch Pub (1345 Locust St) – 14 taps, plus bottles & cans, full bar. Open until 2:00am nightly. Also has a good food menu.
Varga Bar (941 Spruce St) – 20 taps, 2 casks, plus bottles & cans, full bar. Open until 2:00am nightly. Also has a fantastic food menu, including brunch on the weekends!
Good Dog (224 S. 15th St) – 10 taps, plus bottles & cans, full bar. Open 11:30am to 2:00am daily. Fantastic food, including one of the best burgers in town.
Monk’s (264 S. 16th St) – 20 taps, plus bottles, full bar. Open 11:30am to 2:00am daily. Good food menu, including a vegetarian cheesesteak and delicious preparations of mussels.
Nodding Head (1516 Sansom, 2nd floor) – 6 taps, 1 cask. Nodding Head is a local brewery and serves primarily their own beer. Open 11:30am-2:00am Monday-Saturday, Sunday brunch 11:00am-5:00pm. Also has a good food menu.
Strangelove’s (216 S. 11th St.) – 18 taps, 2 casks. Open 11:30am to 2:00am daily. Also has a good food menu, including clearly marked vegan and vegetarian options.
Bainbridge Street Barrel House (625-27 S. 6th St.) – 25 taps, plus bottles, full bar, including house-made infusions and barrel-aged cocktails. Open 11:00am-1:00am Mon-Thurs, 11:00am-2:00am Fri, 10:00am-2:00am Sat, 10:00am-midnight Sun. **ALAMW14 special: show your badge and get 1/2 off draft pints, 10% off food.**
Eulogy (136 Chesnut St.) – 25 taps, plus bottles, full bar. Emphasis on Belgian beers. Open until 2:00am nightly. Also has a good food menu.
Khyber Pass Pub (56 S. 2nd St.) – 20 taps, 2 casks, plus bottles, full bar. Open 11:00am to 2:00am daily. Good food menu, including clearly marked vegan and vegetarian options.
Tria Taproom (2005 Walnut St.) – 24 beer taps, 12 wine taps, 4 taps for cider and soda. This may just be the most diverse, interesting draft beer list in town. Open Noon-late night M-F, 4:00pm-late night Sat-Sun. Delicious snacks, cheese, and flatbreads.
For the adventurous:
Yards Brewery (901 N. Delaware Ave)- OK this is a bit of a hike – to get here you need to take the SEPTA Market Frankford Line to Spring Garden and then walk the rest of the way, or take the bus, or you can take a cab. Tasting Room open 12:00pm to 7:00pm Monday-Saturday, 12:00pm to 4:00pm Sundays. Free tours are offered from 12:00pm to 4:00pm on weekends. Yards signature and seasonal beers are available on draft. There is a small snack menu and food trucks on Saturdays (one of our favorite food trucks, Spot Burgers, will be there, along with Cow and the Curd on Saturday 1/25).
Standard Tap (2nd St. and Poplar, Northern Liberties) – 21 taps, 2 casks, proudly featuring only locally-produced draft beers. Full bar also available. Open 4:00pm to 2:00am M-F, brunch Sat-Sun 10:00am-3:00pm. Excellent food menu, changes daily, featuring locally-sourced ingredients. A doable walk from the Spring Garden station on the Market-Frankford line.
Kennett (848 S. 2nd St.) – 15 taps, 1 cask, plus bottles and full bar. Open Tues-Fri 4:00pm-2:00am, Sat 11:00am-2:00am, Sun 11:00am-midnight, Closed Mondays. A bit of a hike down S. 2nd St. from Center City, but a great local beer selection and an excellent menu with locally sourced food.
East Passyunk is a great neighborhood for strolling, shopping, eating and drinking. Here are a few beer-centric stops:
- Royal Tavern (937 E Passyunk) – 8 taps, plus full bar. Open M-F 11:30am-2:00am, Sat-Sun 10:00am-2:00am. Great pub menu, including clearly marked vegan and vegetarian options, and brunch on weekends.
- POPE (1501 E Passyunk) – 15 taps, plus full bar. Open 11:00am-2:00am daily. Good pub menu, including clearly marked vegan and vegetarian options (including a vegan cheesesteak), and brunch on weekends.
Graduate Hospital – This is our neighborhood, so these are some of our favorites. Put together, these 3 can make for a good crawl:
- Sidecar Bar (2201 Christian St.) – 12 taps, plus full bar. Open 3:00pm-2:00am M-F, 10:30am-2:00am Sat-Sun. Very good pub food, including brunch on the weekends.
- Resurrection Ale House (2425 Grays Ferry Ave) – 12 taps. Open noon to 2:00am Tues-Sun (closed Mondays), brunch 11:00am-3:00pm on weekends. Excellent food menu.
- Grace Tavern (2229 Grays Ferry Ave) – 10 taps, plus bottles and full bar. Open 11:30am-2:00am daily. Good basic pub fare – several great burger options, and we love their blackened green beans as a vegetarian bar snack.
For more information on craft beer in Philadelphia, Philly Tap Finder is a fantastic resource. This site maintains a reasonably up-to-date draft list for most craft beer spots in town, and is also searchable by bar, by brewery, by style, and by location (a librarian’s dream). Drink Philly also has a nice bar search page with facets for neighborhood, type of bar, atmosphere, drink prices, and other features.
Prior to moving to Philadelphia, when I first came here for ALA Midwinter in 2008, my first impression was that there was a wine bar on every corner! That’s not quite the case, but there are plenty of good places to drink wine, even at the airport.
Tria (3 locations: Tria Café 12th & Spruce, Tria Café 18th & Sansom, Tria Taproom 2005 Walnut St) – Tria gets its name from the trio of wine, beer, and cheese, and it excels in all three. Each location is great for wine, beer, and snacks, and the taproom location has a bit more of an extensive menu as far as food goes. The taproom has an innovative tap system with both wine and beer on draft. The only problem with Tria in general is it’s so popular, so it can get a little crowded, but it’s great if you get there early. The café locations are open from noon to late night daily; the taproom location is open noon to late night M-F and 4:00pm to late night Sat-Sun.
Vintage Wine Bar (129 S. 13th St.) – Vintage has a good wine list as well as a full bistro menu, so it’s suitable for dinner as well as drinks. Open 4:00pm – 2:00am M-F, 2:00pm – 2:00am Sat-Sun.
Ristorante Panorama (Front & Market St) – The bar at Ristorante Panorama (Il Bar) is located at the Penn’s View Hotel and features a 120 bottle cruvinet, the largest in the world. This means you can order wines by the glass that would normally only be available by the bottle, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to try a variety of wines. The restaurant itself features delicious Italian food (including gluten-free pastas), which you can also enjoy at the bar. Bar opens at 5:00pm Sun-Fri, 3:00pm Sat.
Jet Wine Bar (1525 South St) – Jet Wine Bar happens to be our local wine bar, so it’s a favorite of ours. The wines are more unusual, from off-the-beaten path locales, and the by-the-glass prices are also a bit more reasonable than some of the other wine bars. Open Sun-Thurs 11:00am – midnight, Fri-Sat 11:00am – 1:00am.
a.bar (Walnut & 18th St) – a.bar is housed in the AKA Rittenhouse Hotel and has an outstanding wine program, with a special focus on wines that pair well with oysters. It can be a bit pricy, but wine lovers will appreciate the hard-to-find wines available here.
Franklin Mortgage (112 S. 18th St) speakeasy vibe. Usually a wait to get in on weekend nights. Eclectic cocktails.
Sassafras (48 S. 2nd St) a longtime favorite. A touch of class along a street that can get a bit rowdy on weekends. Good food in addition to good cocktails.
Ela (627 S. 3rd St) a new favorite. Inventive cocktails to go along with classic cocktails. Excellent food.
Southwark (701 S. 4th St) one of the best places for classic cocktails. We haven’t had the food yet but hear nothing but good things.
Stateside (1536 East Passyunk Ave.) Wonderful cocktails made with all U.S.A. ingredients as well as arguably the best whiskey selection in town along with Village Whiskey (118 S. 20th St) and Percy Street BBQ (900 South St).
Talula’s Garden (210 W. Washington Square) excellent organic and otherwise earth conscious wines and local beers. Unique and always stellar cocktails. Get a seat at the bar for a drink and one of the best cheese plates around.
For the adventurous:
Emmanuelle (1052 N. Hancock St #67 – in the Piazza, Northern Liberties) tiny and dark bar with some of the most amazing cocktails we’ve ever had.
Lemon Hill (747 N. 25th St) a bit difficult to get to but well-worth the effort. Stellar beer and wine selection and crazy good cocktails. Also crazy good food.
Rex 1516 (1516 South St) our go-to place. Unique cocktail program but also strong on the classics. Small but excellent beer and wine selection. We’re also huge fans of the food.
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) (118-128 North Broad St) – near convention center, free on Sundays in Jan. Art school and museum focusing on 19th and 20th Century American Art. Current exhibits: Beyond the Paint: Philadelphia’s Mural Arts and In with the New: Recent Gifts on Paper.
Philadelphia Museum of Art (2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy) – one of the biggest and best in the country. Current exhibits: The Surrealists: Works from the Collection and Vermeer’s Young Woman Seated at a Virginal
Barnes Foundation (2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy) – amazing collection of Post-Impressionist and early Modern paintings. Reservations necessary.
Moore College of Art and Design (20th St and Benjamin Franklin Pkwy) – the first visual arts school for women. The Galleries exhibit regional, national and international artists. Current exhibit: Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk, among others.
National Museum of American Jewish History (101 South Independence Mall East, corner of 5th and Market) – exhibits explore and celebrate the history of Jews in America. Current exhibit: “Pop” Lubin’s Silent Film Empire.
African American Museum (701 Arch St) – the first institution built by a major United States city to house and interpret the life and work of African Americans. Current exhibit: The Unflinching Eye: Works of the Tiberino Family Circle.
Mütter Museum (19 South 22nd St) – unique and intriguing museum of medical history.
Rosenbach Museum and Library (2008-2010 Delancey Place) – a must for book lovers. Eclectic collection of literary treasures, including works by Maurice Sendak and Marianne Moore’s living room. Current exhibit: The Night Max Wore His Wolf Suit: 50 Years of Wild Things.
Mural Arts Program (various locations) – city-wide art program, which began as an anti-graffiti campaign, now encompassing 3,600 works of art.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens (1020 South St) – museum dedicated to the mosaic art of Isaiah Zagar.
Sandwiches and other Quick Eats
First of all, Reading Terminal Market is the easiest answer to all your breakfast, lunch and snacking needs during the conference. There are a few sit-down options (Down Home Diner, Molly Malloy’s, Dutch Eating Place) as well as numerous take-out options covering many kinds of cuisines, and even groceries if you want to prepare your own food. (Keep in mind that the Pennsylvania Dutch vendors are only at the market Tuesday through Saturday and close up somewhat earlier than the other vendors.) Market hours are Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm.
Philadelphia is also a great town for food trucks. Closest to the convention center, Love Park at 16th and JFK has gourmet food trucks at lunchtime Monday-Friday; see the Schedule of Food Trucks in Love Park. We especially recommend LOS Burger Truck on Friday and Pitruco Pizza on Monday.
- Here are some more highlights:
Dinic’s (Reading Terminal Market) – get the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone (note: since being named “best sandwich in America” by the Travel Channel, lines can get very long during the lunch rush).
Meltkraft (Reading Terminal Market) – amazing grilled cheese sandwiches.
Beck’s Cajun Cafe (Reading Terminal Market) – gumbo, jambalaya, po boys and the like.
Rib Stand (Reading Terminal Market) – the names says it all.
By George! Pizza, Pasta & Cheesesteaks (Reading Terminal Market) – brick oven pizza, stromboli, calzones, lasagna, meatballs, sausages, salads, sandwiches, cheese steaks, hot and cold Italian specialties, fresh pasta, homemade sauces, fresh Mozzarella
Jake’s (122 S. 12th St) – inventive pork, brisket, and steak sandwiches.
Luke’s Lobster (130 S. 17th St) – Maine lobster rolls, crab rolls, shrimp rolls, and clam chowder.
- Wedge + Fig (160 N. 3rd St) – wonderful selection of sandwiches (especially grilled cheese) and cheese, plus brunch on weekends.
Federal Donuts (1632 Sansom St) – fried chicken and donuts!
Capogiro (119 S. 13th St and other locations throughout the city) – world-famous gelato, but also has good takeout sandwiches.
Talula’s Daily (208 W. Washington Square) – excellent quality takeout sandwiches, salads, soups, and snacks, or you can eat in.
High Street on Market (308 Market St) – Breakfast and lunch highlights include classic sandwiches and artisan breads & pastries. Also open for dinner with a full bar (and getting rave reviews).
Di Bruno Bros (several locations, including 834 Chestnut St & 1730 Chestnut St) – excellent takeout sandwiches, deli, cheese, and groceries.
Hip City Veg (127 S. 18th St) – 100% vegan food, including sandwiches, burgers, salads, wraps, smoothies & desserts.
HoneyGrow (110 S. 16th St) – build-your-own salads, stir-frys, and smoothies, featuring local, seasonal ingredients.
Pure Fare (119 S. 19th St, 1609 South St) – healthy takeout sandwiches, salads, and snacks, plus San Francisco Blue Bottle pour-over coffee.
Mama’s (18 S. 20th St) – vegetarian Middle Eastern food, famous for falafel.
For the Adventurous!
A trip to the outdoor Italian Market is well worth your while if you’re a fan of sandwiches (and food in general). Paesano’s has been featured on several Food Network shows for their sandwiches, and Sarcone’s has amazing hoagies (we love their bread!). There are also numerous cheesesteak options, as well as Taqueria Los Taquitos de Puebla for tacos.
If you are on a cheesesteak quest, see Visit Philly’s list of best cheesesteaks. We are fans of Tony Luke’s (also available in PHL airport Terminal F). Most of the best options involve leaving Center City and exploring other parts of town.
For vegetarian or vegan cheesesteaks, VeganJawn has a guide to veggie cheesesteaks.