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The Best Cheap Eats in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a favorite tourist destination in America. The city is rich with cultural treasures and has a laid-back vibe with a unique and welcoming personality. It's also a haven for foodies. But where are the smartest, savviest diners eating out? Welcome to our Tastemakers List. We’ve pulled data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among OpenTable's most expert, seasoned diners. Whether looking for one of the city’s signature cheesesteaks, a gourmet burger, or some kind of wonderful ethnic dish never tried before, Philly has you covered. Keep reading for the best cheap eats in Philadelphia.

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The OpenTable Team
19 Restaurants
Updated October 01, 2021
Restaurants:Marathon - 19th & Spruce, Smokin' Betty's, Continental Midtown
Price Range:$$ - $$
Cuisines:American, Comfort Food
Neighborhoods:Rittenhouse Square, Center City
A photo of Marathon - 19th & Spruce restaurant

Marathon - 19th & Spruce

$$$$
American
Rittenhouse Square
4.6
593 reviews
Marathon has been around since the '80s, serving up juicy burgers in their cozy 10-seat dining space. They pride themselves on being a true neighborhood joint and pay special attention to their friendly service and positive vibe. They update the menu regularly but include an awesome selection of cheap eats, including a matzoh ball soup, a variety of starters, their famous Marathon Burger, and an awesome Philly cheesesteak, among other goodies. It’s a fun and family-friendly place to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Smokin' Betty's restaurant

Smokin' Betty's

$$$$
Comfort Food
Center City
4.1
1493 reviews
Smokin’ Betty's is the place to go for messy but delicious BBQ, burgers, and flowing beer at reasonable prices. They guarantee a great time and they're perfect for after-work hangouts with colleagues or a night out with friends. The full menu is “New American” but they pride themselves on their no-frills meat offerings. Cozy in at the bar or in warmer weather grab a seat in the “trendy” industrial room with large windows that open out to the street. They keep their prices low and if you visit during happy hour you will get even more bang for your buck.

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A photo of Continental Midtown restaurant

Continental Midtown

$$$$
American
Center City
4.7
1686 reviews
The Continental Mid-town offers three stories of fun just to make sure there is something for everyone at this palatial restaurant. Whether you’re hanging out in the lounge, swinging in a basket chair on the jet-set mezzanine, or taking in the night on the airy rooftop patio, they're a welcome break from the bustling cityscape outside. The menu focuses on bold and eclectic flavors from jumbo lump crab pad thai to playful spins like cheesesteak spring rolls and French onion soup dumplings. It’s a great option for cheap eats that span a whole range of cuisines served up in a bright and convivial atmosphere.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of In Riva restaurant

In Riva

$$$$
Italian
East Falls
4.4
1721 reviews
In Riva is the first restaurant by local chef Arthur Cavaliere, who wanted to bring a taste of Naples to Philly cuisine. Located along the banks of the Schuylkill River in East Falls, the restaurant specializes in Napoletana-style pizza made in a wood-fired oven, as well as housemade pasta and antipasti for sharing. The pizzas are some of the best in the city — and so are the prices! They also feature one of the largest outdoor dining space in Philadelphia with a full bar and nearly 100 seats. Grab a seat, order a pizza pie, and enjoy fantastic views of Kelly Drive and the Schuykill River.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti restaurant

Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti

$$$$
Italian
Old City
4.5
3407 reviews
Positano Coast brings the beauty of the Amalfi Coast in Italy right to Philly's Old City for you to enjoy! Pop in for brunch, lunch, dinner, or happy hour and you’ll find amazing views from the second-story open-air balcony. They feature a menu full of delicious options, including fresh fish and seafood, as well as variations on Italian classics like pasta and meat dishes. Their prices are reasonable all around but if you want to take advantage of an even better bargain, check out the Happy Hour, Power Lunch Specials, and Late Night Menu for both food and drink specials.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of FARMiCiA restaurant

FARMiCiA

$$$$
Contemporary American
Old City
4.3
3308 reviews
Located in Philly’s historic Old City, FARMiCiA is a 122-seat restaurant and bar known for their creative menu that showcases local, seasonal ingredients. You can find plenty of affordable options, from the Brussels Sprouts Carbonara to Vegetables and Grains to their delicious farm salads and more. The chefs aim for simply crafted food with no pretense and the vibe here is fun and relaxed, perfect for a group. They also pride themselves on a great beverage menu with cocktails and wine that pair well with the food.

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A photo of Bud & Marilyn's restaurant

Bud & Marilyn's

$$$$
American
Center City
4.6
4519 reviews
Bud and Marilyns is a classic Philly-feeling joint; a retro American restaurant from chefs Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran that features updated American comfort food highlighting fresh and local ingredients. You can find some very affordable shareable plates, starters, salads, and mains — try the fried chicken or one of the house specialties like the Fontina and Chard Stuffed Meatloaf to get a taste of what the chefs are capable of! They also feature local craft beers and handmade American classic cocktails to complement your meal.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Lolita Restaurant restaurant

Lolita Restaurant

$$$$
Mexican
Center City
4.5
1457 reviews
Lolita is a modern Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia's Midtown Village that has been open since 2004. Another of Marcie Turney’s classics, Lolita went through renovations in 2014 to get a fresh look and a full liquor license. The menu features Turney’s spin on Mexican classics, such as mango guacamole, octopus costadas, fried chicken tacos, and street-style Mexican taquizas, and all items are reasonably priced. For extra savings, head here at happy hour to enjoy the $5 food and drink specials!

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A photo of Amada PHL restaurant

Amada PHL

$$$$
Spanish
Old City
4.7
7883 reviews
Amada is the first restaurant by chef Jose Garces and opened in 2005 to serve up rich, classic Spanish cuisine. It has a huge dining room with a chef’s counter and a second dining room with a lounge area. The menu features Andalusian tapas such as Spanish octopus, garlic shrimp, lobster paella, and even a whole roasted suckling pig! Take advantage of their daily happy hour, which features a selection of tapas for $5 each paired with great drink specials like the $5 glasses of homemade sangria.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of El Vez restaurant

El Vez

$$$$
Mexican / Southwestern
Center City
4.6
6191 reviews
El Vez is a contemporary Mexican restaurant located in Midtown Village that makes a great cheap dining destination if you’re looking for a bright and boisterous place to hang out. The space has flashy Latin decor and creates the perfect environment for an enjoyable meal. The menu features unexpected interpretations of Mexican classics along with traditional favorites like carne asada and pasilla braised pork pozole. You can find plenty of well-priced food options as well as amazing made-to-order guacamole and margaritas with fresh-squeezed juices.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Parc restaurant

Parc

$$$$
French
Rittenhouse Square
4.8
14539 reviews
Parc is a Parisian-style restaurant located in Rittenhouse Square that pays tribute to French cafe culture, with breakfast, lunch and dinner served seven days a week. They have great cheap eats and you can make it a quick bite or linger as long as you like for a leisurely meal. Indulge in a cafe au lait and fresh-baked croissant to start your morning or pop in for a steak frites, escargots, or fruits de mer for dinner. They have a wide menu full of French classics and offer a warm and inviting environment for everyone to enjoy.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?


Takeout available
View Takeout Menu
A photo of Zama restaurant

Zama

$$$$
Japanese
Rittenhouse Square
4.7
1981 reviews
Zama is a traditional Japanese restaurant with a modern twist. They feature a whole slew of unique specialty rolls and over 30 a la carte sashimi choices, as well as a wide variety of maki rolls and vegetable offerings. Chef Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka is one of the most famous sushi chefs in Philadelphia and Zagat has named Zama one of the best sushi restaurants. You can find great prices on fresh fish and small bites and they also feature a full bar and a number of Japanese specialty beers.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of The Dandelion restaurant

The Dandelion

$$$$
Gastro Pub
Center City
4.7
7045 reviews
The Dandelion is a unique gastropub that brings London’s culinary revolution to Philadelphia. Walk in and you’ll find cozy rooms and intimate bars that will transport you back to the Old World. The updated takes on British food are a welcome change to some of the traditional classics you might recognize, like the traditional roast, steak and chips, rabbit pie, and more. Head here for warm comfort food and take your time to relax with a cask ale by the brick fireplace while you wait for your table.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Pod restaurant

Pod

$$$$
Asian
University City
4.3
2849 reviews
Pod is a warm and welcoming modern oasis located in University City. They have a large lounge where guests gather to sip colorful cocktails, people-watch, and catch up with friends and colleagues. Stroll in and sit at one of the pulsating, color-changing cocoon booths or pull up a seat at the sushi bar to check out the conveyor belt full of sashimi, nigiri, and maki plates. The menu is shareable so come with a group and pick some of the cheap and delicious dishes from China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and more — it’s a true international voyage of flavors!

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A photo of Effie's Restaurant restaurant

Effie's Restaurant

$$$$
Greek
Center City
4.6
709 reviews
Effie’s Restaurant is a little townhouse located on Antique Row in Center City. They're modeled after a Greek taverna and have that same warm, familiar vibe of walking into the home of someone you know. Their specialties are all reasonably priced and include things like a grilled whole fish, octopus salad, famous lamb dishes, moussaka, and the best Greek salad you can find in Philadelphia. They serve as a beautiful gathering spot and also have a lovely garden area you can enjoy on warmer days.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Barbuzzo Restaurant restaurant

Barbuzzo Restaurant

$$$$
Mediterranean
Center City
4.6
5729 reviews
Barbuzzo is a Mediterranean restaurant and bar located in the trendy Midtown Village area of Center City. The menu is full of small plates for sharing and they cook up pizzas in the wood-burning oven. The focus here is on rustic, handcrafted regional fare like grilled octopus with fingerlings, roasted peppers, and soppressata, Parsnip ravioli with duck ragu and roasted pears, and other unique delights. You can find some real steals on the menu and they also have a full bar with wines, craft beers, and cocktails.

At the moment, there's no online availability within 2.5 hours of your request. Do you have another time in mind?

A photo of Tequila's Restaurant restaurant

Tequila's Restaurant

$$$$
Mexican / Southwestern
Center City
4.5
2849 reviews
Tequilas Restaurant is a go-to spot for cheap Mexican food in Philadelphia. It’s been around since the 1980s when the owner, David Suro, brought his knowledge of Mexican cuisine to the space and created a menu of true Mexican delights. You can find great prices on classic Mexican dishes like mole poblano, chiles rellenos, empanadas, ceviche, and more. Check out their happy hour for amazing prices on drinks, appetizers, and desserts.

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A photo of Jones - Permanently Closed restaurant

Jones - Permanently Closed

$$$$
American
Center City
4.4
2108 reviews
Jones describes itself as a fun-loving homage to mid-century Americana and classic homestyle cooking. Located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, the space is funky and energetic with stone walls and shag carpeting. The menu features timeless classics like fried chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, Thanksgiving turkey dinner, and chocolate layer cake — all the comfort foods you can dream up. It’s a great place for a delicious cheap meal in Philly, plus you can hang out with a cocktail by the roaring fireplace.

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A photo of Rouge restaurant

Rouge

$$$$
International
Center City
4.4
391 reviews
Rouge is one of Philadelphia’s most classic neighborhood restaurants. It has been open for 15 years and its location in Rittenhouse Square makes it a prime destination for locals and tourists alike. It’s a great place to find cheap eats in Philadelphia and offers traditional bistro food and house specials like the Lamb Meatballs, Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Day Boat Scallops, and more. You can make a great meal out of the share plates, and they also have a number of local craft beers and specialty cocktails to highlight the flavors of the food.

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