In no particular order:
1. Monk’s: Center City Belgian cafe and bar. Recently in the news for having a city bus crash into it. Apparently named for the monks who brew many Belgian beers like the ones served here. Eight different kinds of moules frites, aka mussels and french fries.
2. New Delhi: University City Indian since 1988, so you know it has to be good. $11.95 for delicious and surprisingly classy dinner buffet. A pitcher of ice water at your table, so no waiting for refills!
3. Rx (BYOB): University City brunch and dinner spot. Came in for brunch. Loved the decor, the corn flake french toast, and the free coffee (the waiter spilled milk on me).
4. Le Bus: Rittenhouse bakery and sandwich shop. Apparently this place supplies the fresh bread at many Philadelphia establishments. Grab a sandwich and eat it in Rittenhouse Park (only a block away) before the weather gets too cold.
5. Pizzeria Stella: Old City/Society Hill pizzeria. One of the venerable Starr Restaurants, but not out of the college student/non-profit fellow price range. Delicious thin crust pizzas that are “artisanal” without being “pretentious”. Try the asparagus appetizer. It involves a fried egg. ‘Nuff said.