PROFILE: Philly Luncher “Lauren”

As is customary at Philly Lunch, every Tuesday we turn over the site to a different lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Philadelphia. This week, it’s Lauren, a student just dreaming about  good bagels.

Name: Lauren

Age: 21

Occupation: Student at Penn, soon to be marketer at Kraft Foods

Where in Philly do you Work?: University City

Favorite Kind of Food:I’m open to trying anything at least once. My favorite foods are probably Italian or Greek. Like Aubre, I also have a weakness for carbs.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: I’m not very picky, but I don’t like scallops, coconut, or capers.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Philly: Sakura Mandarin: Their soup dumplings are great. Honest Tom’s: It’s a bit of a hike if I’m going between classes, but it’s well worth it for their sweet potato tacos. 500 Degrees and Square Burger: I love burgers and these are my favorite quick places for lunch. I used to intern across the street from Franklin Square so I found myself going there a lot. It’s also a great place to take visitors from out of town. Pod: A bit more pricey than most Midtown Lunch spots, but I find that the Kaiseki Express or a big bowl of soup is a pretty good value.
“Go-To” Lunch Place You and Your Coworkers Eat at Too Often? I alternate almost every other day between Magic Carpet at 36th & Spruce and Gia Pronto at 38th and Spruce. The magic meatballs and the daily specials at Magic Carpet are amazing! Gia Pronto is a quick lunch and I’ve gotten pretty used to “my salad.” I also frequent Greek Lady at 40th St between Walnut and Locust for lunch and dinner. I often joke that I could make a fortune bottling and selling their buffalo sauce (blue cheese + hot sauce). If anyone from Greek Lady is reading, let me know! Potential business partner?

Place you discovered thanks to Philly Lunch (if any) I discovered Beck’s Cajun Cafe thanks to your post in January. The jambalaya with cornbread has become one of my favorite lunches!

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? I went to Argentina two summers ago and couldn’t stop eating beef empanadas. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t know where to get a good empanada in Philly.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Philly Lunch readers? Where is the best bagel in Philly? I know Capogiro brings in H&H bagels from NY, but I wasn’t sure if there was anything great that’s made in Philadelphia. Also, does anyone know where to get a good chopped salad other than Gia Pronto?

If you like empanadas too much, you probably shouldn’t read the recent write up of Sazon

If you would like to be next week’s Profiled Philly Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d like to nominate), email me at



  • Unfortunately, I never found a bagel that satisfied me in Philly….

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    I seriously can’t find a good bagel either! I got an H&H one once from Capogiro and it tasted stale so I threw it back at the counter person. I live right around the corner from a place they are “supposedly” opening called Spread Bagelry. Where they mix your cream cheese and topping like a Stone Cold Creamery. They have been dangling this place in front of me since last spring and the opening date keeps getting pushed back. When it does FINALLY open, I will rub that custom whipped cream cheese all over my face.

  • All quiet on the bagel front. Maybe try South Street Bagels on 3rd and South or Philadelphia Bagel Company in the shopping center south of Washington on Del. ave. Not amazing but pretty solid on both counts.

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    Though I have never had an “authentic” New York Bagel, the best in Philly by far for me is South Street Philly Bagels…otherwise known as “Hot Bagels”. Address is 613 S 3rd St. Made in-house, lots of varieties of Bagels and Cream Cheese!

  • @aubre, I think NYC has one of those “cold stone” bagel places. Puhleaseeee keep an eye out for their progress, that would be such a great addition.

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    Jamie, I walk by every day. IT’S NOT LIKE I’M LOOKING IN THE WINDOWS OR ANYTHING!! But, yeah, I’ve been to one in New York and was too hung over to take full advantage of the toppings but it was AMAZING! I will definitely have a full report, and mouth, once they open.

  • Amada has an AMAZING crab empanada!

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