Sandwiches and Other Quick Eats in Philadelphia #alamw14


With the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting coming to Philadelphia at the end of January, we decided to begin compiling lists of Philly-related things (probably mostly food) to help our librarian friends navigate the city. This won’t be a comprehensive list but a selection of places easy to get to from the Convention Center area.

We’ll add new posts as we cover different topics but will aggregate all our information on our Midwinter 2014 page.

If you’re coming to Philly for the conference, feel free to ask us any questions. We’d be happy to answer or point you in the right direction.

Sandwiches and other Quick Eats

First of all, Reading Terminal Market is the easiest answer to all your breakfast, lunch and snacking needs during the conference. There are a few sit-down options (Down Home Diner, Molly Malloy’s, Dutch Eating Place) as well as numerous take-out options covering many kinds of cuisines, and even groceries if you want to prepare your own food. (Keep in mind that the Pennsylvania Dutch vendors are only at the market Tuesday through Saturday and close up somewhat earlier than the other vendors.) Market hours are Monday – Saturday 8:00am – 6:00pm, Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm.

Philadelphia is also a great town for food trucks. Closest to the convention center, Love Park at 16th and JFK has gourmet food trucks at lunchtime  Monday-Friday; see the Schedule of Food Trucks in Love Park. We especially recommend LOS Burger Truck on Friday and Pitruco Pizza on Monday.

Pitruco Pizza

Pitruco Pizza

Here are some more highlights:

Dinic’s (Reading Terminal Market) – get the roast pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone (note: since being named “best sandwich in America” by the Travel Channel, lines can get very long during the lunch rush).

Meltkraft (Reading Terminal Market) – amazing grilled cheese sandwiches.

Beck’s Cajun Cafe (Reading Terminal Market) – gumbo, jambalaya, po boys and the like.

Rib Stand (Reading Terminal Market) – the names says it all.

By George! Pizza, Pasta & Cheesesteaks (Reading Terminal Market) –  brick oven pizza, stromboli, calzones, lasagna, meatballs, sausages, salads, sandwiches, cheese steaks, hot and cold Italian specialties, fresh pasta, homemade sauces, fresh Mozzarella

Jake’s (122 S. 12th St) – inventive pork, brisket, and steak sandwiches.

Luke’s Lobster (130 S. 17th St) – Maine lobster rolls, crab rolls, shrimp rolls, and clam chowder.

Blue Figs Sandwich at Wedge + Fig

Blue Figs Sandwich at Wedge + Fig

Wedge + Fig (160 N. 3rd St) – wonderful selection of sandwiches (especially grilled cheese) and cheese, plus brunch on weekends.

Federal Donuts (1632 Sansom St) – fried chicken and donuts!


Gelato at Capogiro

Gelato at Capogiro

Capogiro (119 S. 13th St and other locations throughout the city) – world-famous gelato, but also has good takeout sandwiches.

Talula’s Daily (208 W. Washington Square) – excellent quality takeout sandwiches, salads, soups, and snacks, or you can eat in.

High Street on Market (308 Market St) – Breakfast and lunch highlights include classic sandwiches and artisan breads & pastries. Also open for dinner with a full bar (and getting rave reviews).

Di Bruno Bros (several locations, including 834 Chestnut St & 1730 Chestnut St) – excellent takeout sandwiches, deli, cheese, and groceries.

Hip City Veg (127 S. 18th St) – 100% vegan food, including sandwiches, burgers, salads, wraps, smoothies & desserts.

HoneyGrow (110 S. 16th St) – build-your-own salads, stir-frys, and smoothies, featuring local, seasonal ingredients.

Pure Fare (119 S. 19th St, 1609 South St) – healthy takeout sandwiches, salads, and snacks, plus San Francisco Blue Bottle pour-over coffee.

Mama’s (18 S. 20th St) – vegetarian Middle Eastern food, famous for falafel.

For the Adventurous!

A trip to the outdoor Italian Market is well worth your while if you’re a fan of sandwiches (and food in general). Paesano’s has been featured on several Food Network shows for their sandwiches, and Sarcone’s has amazing hoagies (we love their bread!). There are also numerous cheesesteak options, as well as Taqueria Los Taquitos de Puebla for tacos.

If you are on a cheesesteak quest, see Visit Philly’s list of best cheesesteaks. We are fans of Tony Luke’s (also available in PHL airport Terminal F). Most of the best options involve leaving Center City and exploring other parts of town.

For vegetarian or vegan cheesesteaks, VeganJawn has a guide to veggie cheesesteaks.

See also our list of coffee shops for more coffee and nibbles options, and our list of restaurants for more sit-down eating options.

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich at Sabrina's

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich at Sabrina’s

2 thoughts on “Sandwiches and Other Quick Eats in Philadelphia #alamw14

  1. Jami Nord

    Note: Some of those restaurants are cash only. I highly recommend checking before you order if you plan to use a card. I’d also recommend Erawan Thai (Arch and 10th) and Fuel (Walnut and 12th). Both delicious and reasonably priced. There’s also a lovely winery in Reading Terminal, they’ll do tastings for you if you’re so inclined.