West Los Angeles
I travel to PA frequently for business and am looking for great, (preferably lesser known) places to dine at during my stay. Any price range works but I prefer establishments with a casual, low key vibe where I will most likely be dining alone. I am open to all varieties of food.
When I am dining alone in a big city like Philadelphia, I tend to go for more casual cafes and coffee shops. I like them because they tend to have a unique yet relaxing atmosphere, great coffee, and I feel like I can hang around for a bit if I would like to spend some time on work related things. Also, they tend to care about the kind of food that they are serving. I like eating fresh, healthy food when I'm traveling (especially for work) so it doesn't weigh me down too much. Another advantage is since at most of them you order and pay at the counter, I don't have to wait around for a bill when I'm in a rush.
Here are a couple good choices for Philadelphia:
Burlap and Bean Coffee While this one is a bit of a distance from the central Philly area, it is worth visiting. It has a small food menu of soups and wraps, is definitely low key, and has live music every weekend.
Garces Trading Company They have delicious bistro style lunch and dinner options in a really unique space in Washington Square. Dinner can get pretty pricey, but I find lunch fairly reasonable. They focus on fresh ingredients and have lots of French and Italian inspired dishes as well as awesome cheese plates.
Federal Donuts It has a couple of locations. They have a chicken and donuts dish... so enough said.
Cake and the Beanstalk It is super cute. Also a small food menu, but worth a visit.
High Point Cafe This place has awesome quiches.
I hope this is enough to get started!
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It probably seems cliche--but I love R2L on the 38th Floor of Liberty II. It's a great place if you're by yourself too because you can just have a drink and food at the bar and see the incredible view of our beautiful city!
Go to The Baker's Jar . They have amazing desserts all in mason jars! You can't go wrong with anything you get there.
Great Vietnamese food, Pho Ha and Cafe Diem (spicy Bun Bo Hue) are great for solo meals. CHeU noodle bar has a lot more people but it's common to hang at the counter too. National Mechanics Philadelphia Bar and Restaurant is casual and located in a beautiful old bank. Tria is always excellent for great wine and light fare. I also love the atmosphere and food at High Street on Market and The Dandelion.
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Big fan of Village Whiskey (http://philadelphia.villagewhiskey.com/). Best burger I've ever had. Also, the Duck Fat fries are a must.
Make your way to South Philly and eat at Ralph's. Fantastic Italian restaurant, authentic food. Yum!
Philly is home to many small BYOB places! I would suggest any of those. My favorite is the Italian restaurant Mercato
Have a great time!
Creperie Beau Monde & L'Etage. The crepes are delicious. I just had the burger for the first time, and it too was tasty. Nice atmosphere; not somewhere I'd feel uncomfortable dining alone.