Many of us enjoy dining out, but in today’s tough economic times we have to watch our restaurant budget, especially in expensive cities such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One solution to enjoying great meals at lower prices is to eat out for lunch, instead of dinner. A number of Philadelphia’s top restaurants offer great deals at lunchtime, so why not set your date for earlier in the day instead of the night? Here are just seven of the lunchtime meal deals you can enjoy at well-known locations throughout the city.
1. $12.50 Express Lunch at Chifa
707 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA
Everyone wants to try Iron Chef Jose Garces’ cuisine, but the bill can add up quickly at his various Philadelphia “small-plates” restaurants. At lunchtime, his Cantonese-Peruvian restaurant Chifa offers a great two-course lunch deal. Start with one of two salads or a bowl of Pho, then choose from one of six larger dishes including a Shrimp Noodle Bowl, Thai Beef Salad, or Red Curry with Tofu and Eggplant. Ordered independently, these dishes could easily cost one $13-20, so it can be a good savings depending on what you order.
2. $14.50 Catalan Express at Amada
217 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA
Jose Garces’ flagship restaurant in Philadelphia, Amada, also offers a great two-course lunch deal. Start with a choice of soup, and follow it with either a salad or a sandwich for $14.50, including one non-alcoholic drink. Menus are seasonal but soups may be a Gazpacho Amarillo, served with Avocado Ice Cream, or a White Bean and Ham Stew. Salads can include Chicken a la Plancha with artichoke and creamy garlic dressing, and for sandwiches one could try the Skirt Steak Peppito or a Vegetarian with Smoked Paprika Hummus.
3. $18.95 Three-Course Business Lunch at The Palm
200 South Broad Street, Philadelphia PA
This classic steakhouse in Center City Philadelphia offers an outstanding deal at lunchtime. Choose one of three starters (Green Salad, Caesar Salad, or Soup of the Day), Entree (one of five steak, seafood or chicken selections), one Signature Side Dish and one dessert (New York Cheesecake or Key Lime Pie). After such a feast, you’re likely not to even want to think about dinnertime later on.
4. $20 Cafe Lunch at XIX
200 South Broad Street, Philadelphia PA
XIX restaurant, located on the 19th floor of the Hyatt at the Bellevue, is a wonderful place to go for a lunch that is both casual and classy. Enjoy stunning skyline views of the city while savoring an outstanding meal at incredible value. For $20, you get to sample a dazzling array of cold salads, charcuterie and cheese from the buffet. Save room for your entree, which is prepared fresh in the kitchen to your order and generally includes the option of steak, fish of the day, flatbread, pasta or a sandwich. Finish your meal with unlimited selections from the dessert buffet of homemade cookies, cream puffs, brownies, miniature pies and other delights. Soda or ice tea is also included in the price.
5. $24 Three-Course Lunch at LaCroix
210 West Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia PA
LaCroix at the Rittenhouse Hotel offers a great value lunchtime special, featuring the outstanding cuisine of Chef Jason Cichonski. While enjoying gorgeous views of Rittenhouse Square, start with a soup or salad (such as Chilled Coconut-Pea Soup with Red Curry Crackers). Then choose a large plate, such as the Broccoli Risotto with Diver Scallop or the LaCroix Burger with Truffled Fries. Finish your meal with a Trio of Petit Desserts. Dinner entrees at LaCroix typically start at prices over $30, so it’s an excellent way to sample the restaurant’s exceptional food at affordable prices.
6. $30 Three-Course Business Lunch at Estia
1405 Locust Street, Philadelphia PA
Estia is an elegant Greek restaurant with an emphasis on seafood, popular as a pre-theater destination in the evenings with its location near the Avenue of the Arts. But lunchtime is an excellent time to enjoy a sampling of some of the restaurant’s best dishes. For first course, enjoy fried calamari, grilled octopus, or a fresh green salad. For second course, choose a whole grilled fish, braised lamb shank, or roasted organic chicken. Finish the meal with seasonal fresh fruit or traditional Greek baklava.
7. $55 Five-Course Lunch at Le Bec Fin
1523 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA
The most extravagant choice on this list is still a bargain compared to dinnertime dining prices. Le Bec Fin, one of the city’s longest standing restaurant destinations, offers an amazing five-course lunch of fine French cuisine in its elegant, iconic dining room. Feast on classic dishes such as escargot, loin of lamb, striped bass, and selections from the restaurant’s legendary dessert cart. Considering the six-course dinner costs $120, lunchtime is a steal in comparison. With proprietor Georges Perrier having announced the restaurant will close its doors for good in 2011, now is the time to visit the legendary establishment while you still can.