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Best Cheap Restaurants in Philadelphia

by Dhriti

About Philadelphia

Wondering what to eat in Philadelphia that will not cost you more than 10$? Here is a complete guide for the best cheap restaurants in Philadelphia that will fill you up without burning a hole in your pocket.

Before the pandemic hit the world hard, I had the opportunity to spend a week in the ‘City of Brotherly Love,’ or Philly as it is affectionately called. This beautiful city has so much history that it feels like stepping back in time. There are a lot of amazing places to go and fun things to do, but what surprised me was the city’s food scene. Restaurants in Philadelphia Center City have great options on cheap eats that offer great value to your money with mouth-watering dishes.

About Philadelphia

About Philadelphia

Philly loves to experiment with food. Built on the hard work of the immigrant communities, Philly’s food scene is a blend of diverse cultures. Philly’s culinary art reflects ethnic and cultural diversity. A Valhalla for foodies, Philadelphia’s culinary style is more than its famous cheesesteak and hoagies. From artisan pizza, delectable cheesesteak to soft and salty pretzels, Philly has a great taste in food. 

Here is a list of places where you can eat without worrying about your bank balance.

Cheap Eateries

Dalessandro’s Steaks

Dalessandro’s Steaks

Dalessandro’s is one such place in the Roxborough neighborhood, where you won’t mind spending 10$ on a cheesesteak. At Dalessandro’s, you will find the most delectable, juicy, cheesy steak sandwiches with onions, mushrooms, and wiz. This place has been ‘People’s and Critic’s choice’ year after year. But that doesn’t make them hike the price on their menu.

  • Phone
    (215) 482-5407
  • Location
    600 Wendover Street & Henry Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19128
  • Price
    5 USD – 12 USD

Johnny’s Hots

The first best cheap restaurant in Philadelphia that I visited was Johnny’s Hots. Johnny’s Hots opens only for breakfast and lunch. However, I prefer this place for a quick breakfast. You visit them, wait at the counter, place your order, get your food, and leave or sit on the bench outside and eat your food. Don’t expect much hospitality.

Ok, initially, I underestimated this place because of the exterior. However, their delicious hotdogs and pork roll with cheese had changed my perception.

  • Phone
    (215) 423-2280
  • Location
    1234 N Delware Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125
  • Price
    3 USD – 10 USD

Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House

Nothing could be better than Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House unsurpassable hand-drawn and shaved noodles. For me, more than their comprehensive menu, the hand-pulled and densely fragrant noodles are the stars of all the dishes they serve.

It is a place where you can have varieties of dumplings, noodle soup, fried rice, and a lot more and that too within 11$. Isn’t it a great deal!

So definietly we can add Nan Zhou Hand Drawn Noodle House in our best cheap restaurants in Philadelphia list.

  • Phone
    (480) 275-5352
  • Location
    1022 Race St. Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Price
    3 USD – 11 USD

Wah-Gi-Wah

Probably one of the best Pakistani restaurants that offer the authentic flavour of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi cuisines. From palak gosht, chicken curry, mutton biryani, keema naan to Lahori chicken tikka boti, Wah-Gi-Wah has a gamut of cuisines on their menu to offer.

But what made me fall in love with the eatery is its Lahori Charga- where a whole chicken is marinated with authentic herbs and spices and then coated with secret spice paste before frying. The ‘crispy outside, juicy inside’ whole chicken charga will cost you 15$. So, if you can’t finish it up alone, order for half at 8.99$ without putting a dent in your wallet.

  • Phone
    (215) 921-5597
  • Location
    4447 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Price
    1.99 USD – 24.99 USD

El Jarocho

I tried tacos mostly in south Philly, and El Jarocho stands out among others. The wide range of choices on the menu could be overwhelming, but  6$ tacos stuffed with pork, Mexican sausage, steak, chicken, grilled steak, jalapeno filled with chicken, seasoned pork, cilantro, and onion is the best bet.

The burrito, tostada, breaded chicken or beef sandwich, etc., are some of the other specialties you can try when in El Jarocho. Philly is a historical treasure-trove and has a laid-back vibe. There are a lot of places to visit and a lot of food to relish. For Philly, food is a serious business, and each dish represents the heritage of this fantastic city. So even if you are backpacking on budget, the best cheap restaurants in Philadelphia won’t let you starve.

  • Phone
    +34 956 21 36 03
  • Location
    1138 S 13th St. Philadelphia, PA 19147
  • Price
    6 USD – 16 USD

Overall

Although Philly has a wide range of sophisticated restaurants, it is not difficult to find cheap eats here. Reading Terminal Market and the South 9th Street Italian Market are the two iconic places where you will find a lot of cheap eats in Philly.

If you are in Philly and overwhelmed by the gamut of food choices, I recommend you to take a food tour and start Philly culinary exploration, as I did the same.

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