Where to Eat Weekday Lunch in Philadelphia

Whether you need a two-martini lunch or a quick and delicious salad, we’ve got the midday break for you.

An Italian Salumeria from Liberty Kitchen. / Photograph by K.C. Tinari

Whether you need a two-martini lunch or a quick and delicious salad, we’ve got the midday break for you.

Sure, takeout or delivery is a nice dinnertime treat. But you know what’s even more luxurious? Letting someone else take care of your weekday lunch, whether that means taking 20 minutes away from your desk to pick it up or having it delivered. No forethought, no packing, no mess necessary. Whatever your weekday lunch needs may be, here are our favorite spots to treat ourselves.

Liberty Kitchen, Fishtown and University City
Will you be productive after eating a hulking hoagie stuffed with hot capicola, roasted eggplant and fresh mozzarella? Probably not. But maybe it’s Friday and that’s not so important. 1400 North Front Street and 3675 Market Street (inside Two Locals Brewery)

Stargazy, East Passyunk
If you’ve never been to Stargazy, it’s time to go right now. Sam Jacobson makes British-style meat pies out of this small storefront on East Passyunk, and to us sweet-pie-obsessed Americans, everything he makes is a revelation. Get a savory pie with mash and parsley liquor or grab a sausage roll for your walk back home. 1838 East Passyunk Avenue

Vernick Fish, Center City
For an elegant lunch, Vernick Fish is tops. The seafood masters here go a bit more casual during the mid-day hours with dishes like a fried shrimp po’ boy and yellowfin tuna rice bowl, but the classics are available too. Go ahead and get a glass of Sancerre. We won’t tell your boss. 1 North 19th Street

Dig, Rittenhouse and University City
Dig is our go-to for really delicious salads made to order. Even though it’s a chain, they bring in a lot of regional produce, so the options feel seasonal. The Chestnut Street space is also nice enough that we actually enjoy eating our meal there. 1616 Chestnut Street and 140 South 36th Street

High Street crudités / Photograph by Jason Varney

High Street, Center City
Now that High Street is fully open in its new spot, it’s even more of a lunch staple than before. From light bites — like crudités with green goddess — to rigatoni with braised chicken or a spicy crab pizza, you can’t go wrong here. 101 South 9th Street, door 1

Goldie, multiple locations
All of Michael Solomonov’s fast-casual spots are hardwired for lunch, and Goldie is perhaps our favorite, if only because the vegan tahini shakes make blah Mondays and Tuesdays feel more special.

Mawn, Bella Vista
Pro tip: Phila Lorn’s no-rules Cambodian noodle house is open for lunch — a good thing, since it’s always booked at dinner. No reservations at lunchtime, so just show up and dig in. 764 South 9th Street

Schlesinger’s, Rittenhouse
Sometimes you need a gigantic pastrami on rye or a bowl of matzo ball soup. For those times, this is your spot. 1521 Locust Street

Talula’s Daily, Washington Square West
If you tend to feel like lunch salads aren’t worth it because you could make them at home, go to Talula’s Daily, where even their grab-and-go selection has enough chef-y touches to make the extra effort worth your while. 208 West Washington Square

Hummus Yerushalmi / Photograph by Michael Persico

Dizengoff, Rittenhouse
If your normal lunch consists of sad grocery-store hummus with a selection of whatever you can find in the fridge, plus some pita chips, consider an upgrade. At Diz, which just got a glow up and a bar, you can have a bowl of ethereal hummus topped with a scoop of meat or seasonal vegetables, plus a few rounds of fresh pita. 1625 Sansom Street

Hip City Veg, multiple locations
Think of it like your neighborhood, fast-casual, fast food restaurant. But you know, vegan.

Ocean Harbor, Chinatown
Cart-style dim sum every day of the week? Count us in. 1023 Race Street

El Chingon, East Passyunk
Lunch is more brunch at Carlos Aparicio’s sunny Mexican sandwich spot. You won’t hear us complain about eggs with mole poblano sauce and corn tortillas, red or green chilaquiles, and tacos. 1524 South 10th Street

Suya Suya West African Grill, Northern Liberties
Same idea as Chipotle (fast, build-your-own lunch bowls), but with a West African twist and much nicer ingredients. The meat options are marinated in Nigerian yaji (peanut sauce), served over jollof rice, and topped off with plantains or cornbread. 400 Fairmount Avenue #2808

The Breakfast Den, Graduate Hospital
Meet a friend or new Zoom co-worker here for a cozy lunch of American-Vietnamese mash-up comfort foods like chao ga, a chicken-y rice porridge, or a breakfast bowl with home fries and Vietnamese pulled pork. 1500 South Street

El Merkury, Rittenhouse and Center City
At El Merkury, you can get a pupusa, a tostada, and two sides for less than $15, which means you can break out of your salad grind one day for about the price of Sweetgreen. 2104 Chestnut Street and 51 North 12th Street

The Antonio breakfast sandwich at Gilda / Photograph by Kae Lani Palmisano

Gilda, Fishtown
The coolest place to be in Fishtown on weekdays is Gilda, Brian Mattera’s Portuguese cafe, where pastéis de nata often sell out early. Bring your laptop and work your way through the menu, from potato, kale and sausage soup to a hearty pork cutlet sandwich. 300 East Girard Avenue

Middle Child and Middle Child Clubhouse, Washington Square West and Fishtown
You know it. You love it. That’s all there is to say. 248 South 11th Street and 1232 North Front Street

Jezabel’s, West Philly
Working from cafes is slowly making a comeback, and our favorite sun-filled spot to set up is Jezabel’s, with a spread of seasonal soup, Argentinean empanadas, and dulce-de-leche-filled alfajores. 206-208 South 45th Street

Alif Brew and Mini Mart, West Philly
Order a platter or an injera wrap from Alif’s menu, then take it outside for a quick lunch in the sun before returning to work. 4501 Baltimore Avenue

Huda, Center City
All of Huda’s sandwiches come on house-baked milk-bread buns, so it’s tough to pick a favorite, but we’re particular fans of the fried mushroom sandwich — like a fancy Mexican torta with a huge, crispy hunk of maitake mushroom. 32 South 18th Street

Paprica, Washington Square West
Take the time for a real sit down meal at Paprica, where you can share a spread of lamb chops, octopus salad, grilled halloumi and falafel with whoever was smart enough to play hooky with you for an hour or two. 811 Sansom Street

Tearing into Paffuto’s panzerotti / Photograph by Mike Prince

Paffuto, Bella Vista
After working in top kitchens around town, three chef friends opened this Italian-inspired cafe. It has quickly become a must-visit place for hefty sandwiches and savory and sweet dough-based treats, namely panzerotti, which is filled with cheese and tomato sauce, and maritozzi, a soft cream-and-jam-filled brioche. 1009 South 8th Street

DaMo Pasta Lab, Washington Square West, Rittenhouse location coming soon
All of DaMo’s pastas are cooked to order, so you can get the experience of a sit-down Italian restaurant without the time commitment. Orders come in whole and half sizes so you have the option to try multiple dishes. 105 South 12th Street

Reap Mini Mart, Fishtown
For those of you who can’t be bothered with meal prep, stop by Reap’s new brick-and-mortar location to stock up on lunch for the whole week. Their plant-based glow bowls (basically not-boring salads) will keep you well-fed all week. 1325 Frankford Avenue

Crunchik’n, Center City and North Philly
Yes, they specialize in Korean fried chicken, but the menu at Crunchik’n also includes rice bowls, crunch dogs, dumplings, bulgogi, and japchae. (But you should still order the chicken.) 212 South 11th Street and 1428 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Parc, Rittenhouse
As far as we can tell, Parc basically never closes, so it’s a great option for lunch. All walks of life lunch at Parc. Enjoy the people watching. 227 South 18th Street

SkyHigh, Center City
The most obvious time to enjoy the sexy, stunning lounge at SkyHigh on the 60th floor of the Comcast Technology Center is evening, but it’s also perfect for a special occasion lunch, paired with sunlit views of the whole city. 1 North 19th Street