5 Essential Cheap Eats in PhiladelphiaJanuary 20, 2018
West Philly is a treasure trove of African eats, including flavorful fare from Ethiopia and much of West Africa. This Senegalese favorite serves beautiful whole grilled fish and fish stews, incredible chicken and lamb choices (try the peanut sauce), and much more, all in generous portions at prices that make it an absolute steal.
Manakeesh Cafe Bakery
West Philly’s much-adored Middle Eastern bakery and cafe specializes in, of course, manakeesh — a Middle Eastern-style personal pizza with your choice of toppings — and it’s one of very few places in Philly you can order it.
Saad’s Halal Restaurant
Between the flavors and the student-friendly, everyone-friendly prices, it’s not hard to see why Saad’s is a true West Philly staple. Sandwiches (think shawarma, kebabs, falafel, and more) are hearty and almost all fall well below $10; especially if you stick to the vegetarian side of the menu, you could feed yourself here for just $5. Beyond falafel and kebabs, Saad’s also makes a good cheesesteak.
No matter where you find yourself, falafel shops often provide some of the very best bang for your buck, and Rittenhouse is no exception. Platters large enough to yield leftovers hover right around $10, full-size sandwiches can be had for less, and many appetites can be appeased with just a half sandwich for less than $5. Whichever way you go, expect creamy hummus, great falafel, fresh veggies, and a pretty sweet pickle bar.
The new (vegan) falafel spot from the team behind Dizengoff, Rooster Soup Co., Zahav, et al, has a tight menu of falafel sandwiches, fries (with a choice of spices), and one of the city’s coolest drinks: tehina shakes. They’re dairy-free, come in a few flavors, and can be had for just $4. Walk out feeling full for under $15 total.