Recession Specials Guide

If you’re into dining out, as we are at Foobooz, all of the news about an impending (or already in progress) recession might send a shiver down your spine and directly into your wallet. Every day there’s a new and more dismal report on the skyrocketing prices of raw ingredients and rising transportation expenses due to high gas prices. These spiraling costs have already hit pizza places–and they will undoubtedly creep into other eateries as well, if they haven’t already.

Does it spell the end of the voracious dining out that has transformed Philadelphia in the past decade? Will you have to stop eating in restaurants and bars and gastropubs and start…gulp…cooking at home?

Put away your package of ramen noodles and relax. You just have to be a little more creative, that’s all. Many restaurants have great deals on certain nights of the week and we’ve broken them down for you in this Recession Specials Guide by day of the week and price point: $10 and under, $10-$20, $20 and over [but still a deal]. We’ve also included a list of happy hours that offer free or discounted food.

This is a work in progress and we’re actively looking for deals to add, so if you’ve got ’em, send ’em along, but only if they include a food component – this is NOT a drinking guide (not that there’s anything wrong with that, we’re just trying to keep it focused).

WEEKDAY SPECIALS AND HAPPY HOURS WITH FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOOD

The Khyber
Noon to 7pm DAILY
$4 Royal Burger, hot dogs and sausage sandwiches from $2.25-$4, chili $2.25. [Menu]

The Dive
Noon to 7pm DAILY
FREE pizza and $2 beer and cocktail specials

Lucy’s Hat Shop
Until 10pm DAILY
$1 tacos, $1 hot dogs, 25-cent wings

Coquette
LATE NIGHT HAPPY HOUR 10pm-12am Sunday-Thursday
$5 half dozen Long Island oysters, $2.50 select bottles of beer, $5 Absolut martini, $5 select glasses of wine

Drinker’s
Until 11pm Sunday-Thursday
$1 tacos, $1 hot dogs, 25-cent wings

Tequila’s
3-6pm Sunday-Friday
Half off select appetizers (nachos, guacamole, queso fundido, ceviche, taquitos de pollo, nopalitos and cesar salad); half price on select margaritas, beers and specialty drinks

El Fuego
4-7pm
$1 chips, $1.50 with salsa, $2.50 with guacamole. Mexican and imported beer, $2.50.

London Grill
4-7pm Monday-Friday
$3 Mini menu including sliders, fish-n-chips and spring rolls; $3 beers and specialty drinks

Johnny Brenda’s
4-6pm Monday-Friday
Half-price raw bar

Prive
4-7pm Tuesday-Friday and 2-7pm Saturday, Sunday
Free appetizer flight. Half-priced mezze. $3 domestic, $4 imported bottles, $4 house wines and $5 mixed drinks.

Pub & Kitchen
4-6pm Monday-Friday
$1 oysters, $2 bar snacks and domestic draughts for $3. Firkin of Yards on Fridays.

O’Neal’s
4:30-6:30pm Monday-Friday
Half off appetizers; half off all drinks and beer

Zocalo
4:30-6:30 nightly
Zocalo offers 25% off house margaritas, sangrias & selected beers & 25% off all appetizers.

Alfa
5 to 7pm nightly
$3 Kenzingers, $5 cocktails, $3 frozen vodka-oyster shooters.

Alma de Cuba
5-7pm Monday-Friday
FREE tapas and discounted drinks

Continental Midtown
5-7pm Monday-Friday
Wines, beers and cocktails available from $3 to $6 and small plates from $4 to $6.

Davio’s
5-7pm Monday-Friday
FREE pizza, $5 martinis

Devil’s Alley
5-7pm Monday-Friday
$3 Grilled Veggie Quesadillas, $4 Dry Rubbed Wings & $5 BBQ Pork & Cheddar Sliders; drink specials $2 Yuengling Drafts, $3 Daily Local Draft, $3 Wine & $4 Well Cocktails.

Le Bec-Fin
5-7pm Monday -Friday
Featuring $5 wines, $5 beer, 45 martinis and a $5 snack menu.

McCormick and Schmick’s
5-7pm Monday-Friday
Discounted bites all under $5

Morimoto
5-7pm Sunday-Friday
$6 cocktails and Morimoto beers, $7 appetizers, $6 Maki and $5 desserts.

Patou
5-7pm Tuesday-Sunday
$1 Gourmet mini burger with goat cheese and wild mushrooms, $2 Split king crab legs, $3 Mussels steamed and served with Italian sausage, sun-dried tomato, shallots and white wine, $8.50 Patou Steak Sandwich – 6 oz of filet mignon caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, gruyere cheese, topped with sunny side up egg on a toasted soft roll

Sidecar Bar
5-7pm Tuesday-Thursday
Half price chili, nachos and pork tacos; $1.00 off all drafts, $2.50 Highlife, $2.50 Well Drinks, $3.50 Call Drinks.

Tinto
5-7pm Monday through Friday
Enjoy delectable pinxtos for free and half-priced sangria and reduced price beer.

Meme
5:30-7pm Tuesday-Friday
$5 menu. A white, red and rose wine available for $5 plus three appetizers for $5 including sizzling mussels.

Ansill
6-8pm Tuesday-Saturday
$1 oysters, $5 martinis, $5 Prosecco sparkling wine and $3 Yards Philadelphia draft beer. Available at the bar only.

WEEKDAY LUNCH DEALS

Under $10

National Mechanics: $6 beef or veggie burger. Lunch only. [Thanks, Tyler]

The Khyber: $4 Royal Burger, hot dogs and sausage sandwiches from $2.25-$4, chili $2.25 (Noon to 7pm DAILY) [Menu]

Palace at the Ben: It’s  fanciful Indian lunch buffet for $9.95 (7 days a week)

Reading Terminal Market: 22 merchants are offering a $7 meal deal, some seven days a week.

Su Xing House: Chinese vegetarian lunch specials, large portions (Monday-Friday)

Under $20

Amada: $12.50 Catalan Express prix fixe (Monday-Friday)

Chifa: $18 for two courses (Monday-Friday)

Le Bec-Fin: $15.23 Express Lunch includes choice of soup or salad and Burger Lyonnais (Monday-Friday)

Meme: Plate of fried chicken, homemade biscuit and bottle of Miller Lite for $11. (Thursday Only)

Tinto: $14.50 Bilbao Express prix fixe (Monday-Friday)

XIX: $19 three-course prix fixe (Monday-Friday)

MONDAY

Under $10

McGillin’s Olde Ale House: half price pizzas and $5 pitchers of Coors Light & PBR

Table 31: $9 bar menu, $7 martinis, $5 wines, $3 draft and bottled beer in the bar & lounge (Monday-Saturday)

Vango: half price apps all night and $3 wine beer and martinis

Under $20

Devil’s Alley Mama Devil’s Kitchen: $17.50 for three courses of comfort food (Homemade soup or mixed greens salad, choice of comfort food classics like Beer Can chicken, BBQ’d Turkey Meatloaf, Stout Braised Beef & Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie or Lager Battered Fish & Chips. Dessert usually includes a choice between homemade bread pudding, seasonal fruit tarts & triple layer chocolate cake.)

Ansill: In the biz night – 15% off of your food bill. [Of course, you have to be in-the-biz, but since this is a recession, you’ll probably have a second job waiting tables soon. Or, make a waiter friend.]

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Above $20, [but still a deal]

DiNardo’s: All-you-can-eat crabs with fries and slaw for $32.

Lacroix: $35 for 3-course dinner. (Sunday through Thursday)

Le Bec-Fin: $35 for 3-course prix fixe dinner. (Monday through Friday)

Matyson: $45 four course prix-fixe. (Monday-Thursday)

Saloon: $1 oysters, $5 house wine and $20.95 for 16oz porterhouse at the bar. (Monday through Friday)

Supper: $35 prix fixe menu includes a glass of beer or wine. (Monday through Friday)

Table 31: $35 prix fixe menu from 5 to 7 pm. (Monday-Saturday)

Zahav: Ta’Yim, Salatim and Hummus, choice of three plates and choice of dessert for $36.

Zot: $25 all-you-can-eat mussels, includes house salad and one drink. CASH ONLY.

TUESDAY

Under $10

Chick’s Cafe: Inventive paninis make up Chick’s “Recession Proof $5 Paninis.” Add soup, salad or fries for $3.

Konak: $2 Turkish day. Sample unique dishes for just $2. Good until 7pm.

Table 31: $9 bar menu, $7 martinis, $5 wines, $3 draft and bottled beer in the bar & lounge (Monday-Saturday)

Tattooed Mom’s: Taco Tuesday! $1.50 beef and vegetarian tacos from noon till 9pm and half priced margaritas from 5-7pm

McGillin’s Olde Ale House: 25 cent wings and $5 pitchers of Bud Light, Coors Light & PBR

O’Neal’s: $2 Mexican bottles, $3 margaritas plus Mexican food specials all night

Rum Bar: 50 cent jerk wings

Bump: half off all small plates on the menu

Under $20

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Witch Bistro: Four courses for just $20.

Above $20, [but still a deal]

Bistro 7: Changing five course prix-fix menu for $35. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Casta Diva: Three-course recession menu for $30. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Cochon: Four course pork centered menu for $30. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Lacroix: $35 for 3-course dinner. (Sunday through Thursday)

Le Bec-Fin: $35 for 3-course prix fixe dinner. (Monday through Friday)

Matyson: $45 four course prix-fixe. (Monday-Thursday)

Saloon: $1 oysters, $5 house wine and $20.95 for 16oz porterhouse at the bar. (Monday through Friday)

Supper: $35 prix fixe menu includes a glass of beer or wine. (Monday through Friday)

Table 31: $35 prix fixe menu from 5 to 7 pm. (Monday-Saturday)

Alison at Blue Bell $33 three course prix-fixe. Choose any three courses out of four: appetizers, entrees, desserts or wines. Each course includes several options. (Tuesday-Thursday)

WEDNESDAY

Under $10

Center City Sips: $2 beers, $3 wines, $4 cocktails and half-priced appetizers through the summer.

Table 31: $9 bar menu, $7 martinis, $5 wines, $3 draft and bottled beer in the bar & lounge (Monday-Saturday)

Tattooed Mom’s: Pierogie Wednesdays! 25cent pierogies from noon to 11pm

McGillin’s Olde Ale HouseTwo tacos for $1; $5 Pitchers of Bud Light, PBR; $2 Pint of featured micro brew

Under $20

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Above $20, [but still a deal]

Bistro 7: Changing five course prix-fix menu for $35. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Casta Diva: Three-course recession menu for $30. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Cochon: Four course pork centered menu for $30. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Gayle: $35 Veal Stew Wednesdays. Includes glass of house wine, salad, veal stew and apple pie dessert

Fork, Etc.: Chef Terence Feury creates a four course menu, including wine for $40. No reservations accepted.

Iron Hill in West Chester: $40 Chef’s Table. Every other Wednesday night, 7 pm, four courses, chef’s choice, paired with wine or beer.

Konak: 3-courses startin with soup or salad, choice of appetizer and entree for $25.

Lacroix: $35 for 3-course dinner. (Sunday through Thursday)

Le Bec-Fin: $35 for 3-course prix fixe dinner. (Monday through Friday)

Matyson: $45 four-course prix fixe. (Monday-Thursday)

Saloon: $1 oysters, $5 house wine and $20.95 for 16oz porterhouse at the bar. (Monday through Friday)

Supper: $35 prix fixe menu includes a glass of beer or wine. (Monday through Friday)

Table 31: $35 prix fixe menu from 5 to 7 pm. (Monday-Saturday)

Alison at Blue Bell $33 three course prix-fixe. Choose any three courses out of four: appetizers, entrees, desserts or wines. Each course includes several options. (Tuesday-Thursday)

THURSDAY

Under $10

Manayunk: Stores stay open late and restaurants offer $5 menus.

Table 31: $9 bar menu, $7 martinis, $5 wines, $3 draft and bottled beer in the bar & lounge (Monday-Saturday)

McGillin’s Olde Ale House: $2.99 Cheese Nachos and $2.99 Margaritas; $5 pitchers of Coors Light & PBR

Under $20

Cuba Libre: $20 dinner duos, choose two courses for $20.

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Xochitl: Thursday’s “staff meal.” Late-night menu is half-off in the lounge

Above $20, [but still a deal]

Bar Ferdinand: $35 tasting menu consists of thirteen tapas plates and a dessert.

Bistro 7: Changing five course prix-fix menu for $35. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Casta Diva: Three-course recession menu for $30. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Cochon: Four course pork centered menu for $30. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Lacroix: $35 for 3-course dinner. (Sunday through Thursday)

Le Bec-Fin: $35 for 3-course prix fixe dinner. (Monday through Friday)

Matyson: $45 four-course prix fixe. (Monday-Thursday)

Saloon: $1 oysters, $5 house wine and $20.95 for 16oz porterhouse at the bar. (Monday through Friday)

Alison at Blue Bell $33 three course prix-fixe. Choose any three courses out of four: appetizers, entrees, desserts or wines. Each course includes several options. (Tuesday-Thursday)

Supper: $35 prix fixe menu includes a glass of beer or wine. (Monday through Friday)

Table 31: $35 prix fixe menu from 5 to 7 pm. (Monday-Saturday)

FRIDAY

Under $10

Catelli’s Ristorante: No plate costs more than $10.

Table 31: $9 bar menu, $7 martinis, $5 wines, $3 draft and bottled beer in the bar & lounge (Monday-Saturday)

Tattooed Mom’s: half price sandwiches

Under $20

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Above $20, [but still a deal]

Le Bec-Fin: $35 for 3-course prix fixe dinner. (Monday through Friday)

Saloon: $1 oysters, $5 house wine and $20.95 for 16oz porterhouse at the bar. (Monday through Friday)

Supper: $35 prix fixe menu includes a glass of beer or wine. (Monday through Friday)

Table 31: $35 prix fixe menu from 5 to 7 pm. (Monday-Saturday)

SATURDAY

Under $10

Table 31: $9 bar menu, $7 martinis, $5 wines, $3 draft and bottled beer in the bar & lounge (Monday-Saturday)

Tattooed Mom’s: half price sandwiches

McGillin’s Olde Ale House $5 meal: 5-oz Sirloin Steak, potato & vegetable, plus (99¢ buys a side salad) and $5 Pitchers of PBR (all day) & Coors Light (11:30 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Under $20

Bump: half off all big plates on the menu

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Above $20, [but still a deal]

Table 31: $35 prix fixe menu from 5 to 7 pm. (Monday-Saturday)

SUNDAY, INCLUDING BRUNCH

Under $10

Brunch

Bar Ferdinand: three brunch plates for $10 (11am-3pm)

All Day/Dinner

Tattooed Mom’s: half price sandwiches

O’Neal’s: 25cent wings; $3 Guinness and Stella Draft

Under $20

Grey Lodge: Surf & Turf plus a beer for $19.95.

Sole Food: 3 course seasonal menu for two for just $40

Tria: Sunday School. Learn about and enjoy a different not-so-common wine, cheese and beer—and at 50% or more off regular prices. Limit one each per guest at Sunday School prices. [Ed. Note – we’d appreciate this more if you could have more than one drink at the Sunday School price, but it’s still a deal if you can control yourself. We can’t.]

Above $20, [but still a deal]

Brunch

Jose Pistola’s: $25, one first course and one entrée course, plus BOTTOMLESS margaritas and bloody marys. (11:30 to 3pm)

Dinner

Catelli’s: 3-course family style meal for just $25.

Iron Hill brewery Locations: Prime rib, baked potato, vegetable and a beer for $19.95 (1 to 9pm).

Lacroix: $35 for 3-course dinner. (Sunday through Thursday)

Little Fish: $28 five course prix-fixe

Prive: $25 three course prix-fixe

Pumpkin: $35 for five courses

Supper: $35 three course prix-fixe; BYOB or pay half-price for select bottles from their list. (first Sunday of every month only)

Xochitl: $35 Enjoy Guacamole prepared tableside and any appetizer, entree and dessert

Marigold Kitchen: $30 for three courses off of the menu

BYOB or HALF OFF NIGHTS AT LICENSED RESTAURANTS

Ansill: BYOB with no corkage fee on Tuesdays

Bar Ferdinand: Half off all bottles of wine on Monday

Farmicia: B.Y.O. WINE Every Night!
Pair your favorite wine with our farm-fresh cuisine any night. No corkage fee for groups of 10 or less!
A corkage fee of 15.00 per bottle will be applied to three or more bottles per table
and to all bottles for groups over 10 guests. not available during special promotions or holidays

Lacroix: 50% off wine list on Sunday and Mondays.

Le Bec-Fin: BYOB night on Mondays, no corkage fee.

Southwark: 50% off the wine list when you eat in the dining room Tuesday through Thursday.

RANDOM BARGAINS AND RUMORS

APO Bar +Lounge – Sunday through Thursday, APO offers “recession proof specials” of $6 cocktails.

DiBruno Brothers – Show up after 7pm and order a sandwich. You may just be offered two for the price of one. When asked if this was always the case the clerk said, “as long as you don’t ask for it.”

DiBruno at the Comcast Center – Save 20% off of your total purchase all day Saturdays and after 4pm on weekdays.

Capogiro – Stop in to Capogiro for a late evening panini and you’re likely to go home with a second one free.

Fair Food Farmstand – Occasionally, the Farmstand has their frozen pastured/organic/hormone-free meats and poultry for half off the original price due to packaging issues. The meat is perfectly fine and for half the price, I don’t care if it’s wrapped in an old pair of sweatpants.

Fez – A 7-course Fez feast is just $25 per person.

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