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What's for lunch: Walnut Street Cafe

Enjoy the sunshine while dining indoors.
The Walnut Street Cafe has an extensive lunch menu with a view of the Schuylkill River. | Jennifer Logue
The Walnut Street Cafe has an extensive lunch menu with a view of the Schuylkill River. Jennifer Logue

Lunch in Philadelphia should be savored, even if it’s during a busy work week. If you’re looking for a great place to dine in University City, Walnut Street Cafe is a sound bet.

Located at 2929 Walnut Street inside the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South, the chic space features floor-to-ceiling windows that bathe guests in sunshine, despite being indoors. And the view of the Schuylkill River can’t be beat.

So what should you order? To start, you can’t go wrong with their decadent butternut squash soup ($12). The butternut squash isn’t pureed so much that the texture is lost, and it’s topped with creme fraiche and pumpkin seeds. Word of warning: It’s so good, you may never be able to eat butternut squash soup again elsewhere.

To pair with the soup, definitely order the recently launched Roasted Potato and Chive Parker House Rolls ($6). They come with an assortment of freshly whipped butters, but they’re pretty satisfying on their own. Can’t have soup without a healthy dose of doughy, carby goodness.

As far as a main course, there are so many ways you could go. The porchetta sandwich with arugula and provolone is divine and not overly filling ($12) — as long as you didn’t load up on the rolls and opt for a side salad instead of fries. The ravioli with brown butter, ricotta and mint is also excellent and comes with two different portion options, depending on how hungry you are ($12-$22). The fried porgy ($16) is  a crowd favorite, with tempura, tartar sauce, cornichon and oregano. Think of it as upscale fish and chips.

If you’re trying to avoid a food coma back at the office, you could always keep it super light and load up on veggies. The WSC salt roasted beets ($6) are phenomenal and quite refreshing, with pear, parsley and watercress. Pair that with some oysters from the raw bar ($18 for ½ dozen) for protein and you’ll be whistling your way back to work.

Lunch is served at Walnut Street Cafe Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

For more information, visit walnutstreetcafe.com.