You’re in Philadelphia, looking to grab a quick meal before a meeting or flight home, but you’d rather not stop at a greasy restaurant. Here are five alternatives to fast food that serve quick quality food to eat in Philadelphia.
1. Sarcone’s Deli
734 South 9th Street,
We tend to think of delis as an exclusively New York phenomenon, but the award-winning Sarcone’s gives even the Empire State’s classic establishments some healthy competition. The deli’s cheekily named – but positively delicious – sandwiches include the “Uncle Louie” (turkey, sautéed spinach, and provolone) and the “Sinatra” (prosciutto, roasted garlic, and fresh mozzarella). Much of Sarcone’s menu is inspired by Italian food and culture, but the deli is not afraid to branch out: turkey burgers, American subs, and fresh tuna are available alongside Italian-American staples, like hot capicola.
1020 Race Street,
The Chinese equivalent to “bar food,” dim sum is quick and simple. At Dim Sum Garden, it’s also delicious. Choose from a variety of dumplings, steamed buns, Chinese pancakes, savory cakes, and other options easily eaten on the go. Dim Sum Garden is family-owned, and it shows in the care and attention that goes into the crafting of every dish, even the smallest dumplings.
1730 Chestnut Street,
Di Bruno Bros. may be best known as world-famous Philadelphia cheesemakers, but the company’s Center City café, Upstairs @ Di Bruno Bros., serves more than just dairy products (though, it should be mentioned that the cheese plates are excellent). At Up-stairs, Di Bruno Bros also offers cured meats, sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit, and baked goods. For quick meal that is equal parts fine dining and authentic Italian café, Upstairs is the perfect choice.
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1946 Lombard Street
The burger is the quintessential fast-food menu item, but Pub & Kitchen takes this staple to new places. Emphasizing quality of beef over flashy topics, Pub & Kitchen’s burger has no frills, but it doesn’t need any. We recommend pairing your burger with the whiskey and sage bread with ramp butter – or, of course, Pub & Kitchen’s French fries with aioli, if you’re in the mood for something classic.
2146 East Susquehanna Avenue
The soup selection is a point of pride for this deceptively titled restaurant, including a tomato basil soup that locals swear by. The café also has at least two other soup offerings daily, ranging from traditional soups, like chicken and rice, to more progressive fare like cauliflower and kale. Sandwiches include herb-poached chicken salad and a modified BLT that boasts a helping of creamy burrata cheese on top. If you do stop by Soup Kitchen Café, be sure to order a glass of cucumber lemonade – the cool, refreshing flavor is a perfect encapsulation of the restaurant’s whole menu.