Worth the Visit: Delco’s No-Frills Eateries
Just because a restaurant is called “no frills” doesn’t make it less appealing. In fact, whether it’s off the “eaten” path or right in your backyard, you can bet that these casual, hometown, friendly, not fancy, favorites where locals mix and mingle, provide down home, tasty and filling fare without the fanfare, so prices stay low.
We gave this a nod in Delco’s Big Burger Bites because it consistently came up as a favorite burger joint. Not surprising, since it’s a mainstay since 1935 serving up good ol’ burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheeses and milkshakes at throwback prices. Charlie’s is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Closed on select holidays — check its Facebook page for updates.
237 E. MacDade Blvd., Folsom; (610) 461-4228.
Remember rolling into a college haunt for a breakfast sandwich: Two-fisted, belly filling and you could actually afford it? If you’re nostalgic for that, then roll into this breakfast, lunch and coffee spot that’s been delighting locals since 1964. Grilled hot buttered sticky bun … need we say more? There’s just about any breakfast sandwich imaginable, plus BLTs, club sammies, burgers and more, at prices well under $10. Open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.; closed Sunday.
755 W. Sproul Rd, Springfield, PA 19064, (610) 543-9720.
This family restaurant has been wowing locals with memorable breakfast and lunch — each under $10! — for more than three decades. Treat yourself to a fried egg, cheese and pork roll on a toasted English muffin with a cup o’Joe to start the day, a positively stuffed Italian hoagie (add sweet or hot peppers) at lunch, and don’t miss the freshly baked muffins, sticky buns, scones and more. Bonus: Wednesday night is Pasta Night, with entrees under $15 that come with soup or salad plus a bread basket. We love the baked pizza spaghetti with pepperoni and mozzarella. Open every day from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., plus Pasta Night BYOB dinner on Wednesday from 4:30 to 8 p.m.
1176 Middletown Rd, Gradyville, (610) 558-3354.
Famous for rivaling those other Philly steak shops and shipping anywhere in the United States, yes, but this stalwart (circa 1939) is perhaps best known for being Upper Darby native Tina Fey’s favorite. No whiz for Tina; she goes with provolone. Jim’s also serves up a solid breakfast, hoagies and salads. When we’re not indulging in a cheesesteak with extra whiz, we go for the roast beef hoagie piled high with lettuce, tomatoes, oil (hold the mayo), onions, hot peppers and the special seasonings. Open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday noon to 11 p.m.
469 Baltimore Pike, Stoney Creek Center, Springfield, (610) 544-8400.
This is next-gen no frills, as you can order any of its hoagies, steaks, wings, sandwiches, burgers, paninis, wraps — even salads! — online for delivery. Three things stand out: The large handhelds are huge; unique cutlet specialities swap chicken cutlet into hoagie favorites; and the flaming rooster cheesesteak smothered in American and blue cheese plus hot sauce. Prefer veggies? No worries. The veggie hoagie is a must-try. Open Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
650 E. Chester Pike, Ridley Park, (610) 532-9679.
When we’re hankering for a throwback to a simpler time, we head here, where there’s a pretty good chance a waitress is going to call you “hun.” And although we’ve had our share of late-night breakfasts, we pop in for seafood platters done the old-fashioned way: sides and sauces served in little bowls, and the baked potato served in foil. As you’re enjoying your meal, look for memorabilia from when The Llanerch served as a set for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Open 24 hours; breakfast served all day.
95 E Township Line Rd, Upper Darby, (610) 789-6057.
A collective tear welled in Delco and Chester counties (and, beyond!) on May 1, 2010, when a fire severely damaged this circa 1940 restaurant — on its 70th anniversary. Thankfully for hot dog lovers near and far, the Steward family rebuilt Jimmy John’s, and all was right in the frankfurter world again on Dec. 4, 2010, right down to the famous electric train displays. The menu is packed with different kinds of sandwiches (all under $8!), but it’s Jimmy John’s! Get the special frankfurter and top it with your favorites, or enjoy it as the Triple Crown Meal loaded with chili, cheese and bacon, plus fries and a drink. Pro tip: Buy some franks and rolls to take home, too. Open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
1507 Wilmington Pike, West Chester, (610) 459-3083.
Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Find us at 1501 N. Providence Rd., Media, PA, 19063; (610) 565-3679 or online.
Feature photo: Bigstock