Beyond the 50 Best: The 10 Best Casual Bites

Whether you’re looking for a casual breakfast spot, a place to linger over a long lunch, or a solid meal when you’re out and about, here’s where to go.

Pomelo salad at Càphê Roasters / Photograph by Ted Nghiem

Best Daytime Bites 

Our dining scene has expanded so much over the past few years as chefs and restauranteurs developed dining experiences that go beyond what we think of as conventional restaurants. So we thought, why not expand our annual 50 Best Restaurants as well! This year we wanted to give some space to celebrate the best markets, neighborhood classics, promising pop-ups, and, of course, the best casual bites at daytime cafes and on-the-go.


Càphê Roasters
3400 J Street, G1

Settle into this cozy cafe for a relaxing late-morning Vietnamese coffee and gochu-glazed fried chicken bahn mi.

South Philly Barbacoa
1140 South 9th Street

Though Cristina Martinez is a James Beard Award-winning chef, her South Philly Barbacoa is still a modest corner spot dishing out barbacoa tacos cradled in fresh-pressed tortillas made with locally sourced corn.

Pastéis de nata and iced coffee at Gilda / Photograph by Michael Persico

Gilda
300 East Girard Avenue

Get here before the pastéis de nata are all gone! But if you do miss the flaky custard tarts that have Fishtown talking, you won’t be disappointed by the mega-fluffy bola de Berlim.

The Breakfast Den
1500 South Street

American breakfast meets Vietnamese comfort in the form of the Sang Som’mer roll with eggs and bulgogi and the thit kho hash with pulled pork. You’ll never think about breakfast the same way ever again.

Jezabel’s
206-208 South 45th Street

The light and buttery alfajores and savory empanadas will transport you to Northwestern Argentina, specifically to the home of Jezabel Careaga’s grandmother, the inspiration behind this bakery and cafe.

Best Meals On-the-Go  

A hot chicken sandwich at Asad’s in the Northeast / Photograph by Scott Lewis

A life in motion deserves a solid meal that can keep up. So when you’re on the road or out for a walk — or you just need a bite on a nearby stoop — here’s where you go.  

Down North
2804 West Lehigh Avenue

There’s no shortage of outstanding pizza in Philly, but Down North’s thick and airy Detroit-style pies, loaded with toppings like lamb sausage, lemon ricotta and garlic honey drizzle, truly stand out.

Asad’s Hot Chicken
Multiple locations

The inferno-inducing Nashville hot chicken at Asad’s is worth the pit stop (and the wait in line) no matter which one of the locations you’re passing by.

Korea Taqueria
3101 Tasker Street

Mexican and Korean food collide in a saucy symphony — the high notes being birria tacos with beef bulgogi, fried chicken sandwiches, and the bulgogi cheesesteak.

Korea Taqueria

Korea Taqueria owner Alexander Sherack doling out tacos from the business’s food truck / Photograph by Huy Dinh

Angelo’s
736 South 9th Street

Pizza, hoagies and cheesesteaks: a trifecta of Philly classics. Angelo’s is a triple threat, but don’t skip the chicken cutlet specials, either.

Ba Le
606 Washington Avenue

This legendary bakery pumps out impeccable pastries, but it’s the BBQ pork banh mi and the Chinese sausage, egg and dried-shrimp-filled summer rolls you don’t want to miss.

 

Published as “Best Meals on the Go” and “Best Daytime Bites” in the February 2024 issue of Philadelphia magazine.