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Amanda Shulman’s guide to lunching in Philadelphia

Chef Amanda Shulman and the Philadelphia skyline.

iStock/Michael Branscom

Amanda Shulman’s guide to lunching in Philadelphia

The Her Place Supper Club and My Loup chef shares her favorite spots in Philly for lunch on the go or something altogether more leisurely.
11 April, 2024

Amanda Shulman doesn’t have much time for dining out: she runs two of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants, Her Place Supper Club and My Loup.

The former is a dinner party-style restaurant where Shulman and her team welcome diners into the small dining room for generous portions of French, Italian, and Jewish-influenced dishes served family style against a backdrop of upbeat pop music.

At My Loup, which Shulman co-owns with her husband Alex Kemp, the menu leans on Kemp’s Quebecois background and the couple's time spent cooking and living in Montreal.

Both restaurants are open only during the week, and Shulman often travels on weekends to collaborate with restaurants nationwide. This leaves her little time for evening dining, which means many of her favorite restaurants in Philadelphia are lunch spots.

Whether grabbing something to go before service or slipping away for a bigger spread, a mid–day meal is one of her favorite moments. These are her favorite places for lunch in Philadelphia.

Cafe Nhan

“[Owners] Andrew and his mother are so kind. It’s casual but warm and homey. You have to get the fried shrimp wrapped in rice paper with scallions, and then my favorite thing is the lemongrass pork chops with rice and a fried egg.”

El Chingon

El Chingon in Philadelphia.

“I usually get the vegan aguachile, with jicama and avocado, and then I do like the sandwiches but I am really all about the tacos. I always ask for an extra side of sourdough tortillas, and I like the tacos choriqueso, which are just straight up cheese and chorizo. It’s the best if you can sit outside and take in the sights of Philadelphia.”

A.kitchen

Ricotta rosette at a.kitchen in Philadelphia.

“A.kitchen is my most visited restaurant in Philadelphia—it hits all the spots, [chef] Eli [Collins] is a wizard, and it’s just food you want to eat. I change my order every single time which is a testament to them because there are so many good things to try. If they have anything with chicken liver on the menu it’s really good, anything with bread is really good.”

Meetinghouse

“My very specific order here is the turkey cutlet and green salad, and then you have to cut a piece of turkey cutlet, and wrap it in the salad and then eat it like a taco. Hot take. And then you also need to get the ice cream with the creme de menthe.”

Parc

Outdoor scenes at Parc in Philadelphia.

“I always start with the tartare and a side of fries to dip in the tartare, but you’re also getting the escargot and the ham and cheese sandwich at the same time because you’re going to get your ham and Comté sandwich and dip it in the escargot butter. You kind of go back and forth with everything. We actually did an ode to this dish at Her Place last year, and it was herby mussels in butter with a ham and cheese sandwich.”

Middle Child

“I usually order Middle Child’s sandwiches in, to be honest. I like the Baller Classic. I just love the pickles and they do an aggressive amount, and it’s delicious.”

Pho 75

“You have to get coconut water, the juice with the pieces of the coconut. I like the number 12, with steak and brisket, with extra basil on the side. I often will drink all of the broth and then dress my noodles like a salad in the bottom of my bowl with bean sprouts and basil and lime.”

Bacchus Market

“My friend used to live in the area and he was always talking about Bacchus Market, so I finally went. It’s this tiny little prepared food market, and they do really nice sandwiches. I like the turkey apple and brie, and I like the chicken salad with the seeded crackers.”

Ocean Harbor

“Ocean Harbor is my hangry lunch, because there’s nothing better than knowing you’ll have food in your face within four minutes of sitting down, dim sum is the best for that. I like the slippery shrimp and rice rolls, and then the siu mai there are incredible, and I also like the chive dumplings.”

Mighty Bread Company

Bread at Mighty Bread in Philadelphia.

Neal Santos

Neal Santos

“I like the kale salad at Mighty Bread and the tomato pie, which is a specific Philly thing, but they do a good one. And then their toasts are good.”

Vic Sushi Bar

“Vic’s is such a good quick sushi spot. I like the nigiri combo with a seaweed salad and miso soup. It’s a mix of nigiri and it’s just good, and fast.”