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Dixie Picnic's box lunches are one of the best deals in Center City.

These fresh box lunches with Southern flair include a sandwich, side dish, deviled egg, and an "upcake".

Box lunch at Dixie Picnic.
Box lunch at Dixie Picnic.Read moreMICHAEL KLEIN

When the Malvern fast-casual Southern lunch spot Dixie Picnic opened a location in Center City last month, the restaurant's signature "upcakes" got a lot of hype. The upside-down cakes, iced on all sides, come in more than a dozen flavors that include carrot, vanilla bean, and seasonal variations, like caramel apple.

But Dixie Picnic is also known for its box lunches, now one of the best lunch deals in Center City. For $10.99, diners can choose a sandwich from a list that includes BLTs, egg salad, vegetarian, and a "Thanksgiving" mashup with cranberries and stuffing. The lunch includes a choice of a side dish, such as potato or fruit salad, a deviled egg, and an upcake of any flavor. It all tastes homey and comforting; the lettuce on the sandwiches is fresh, the bread is soft, and every bite of the upcake is moist and flavorful.

Owner Tracey Deschaine, a graduate of the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill, who partnered with husband Dean Prescott, has said the menu was inspired by picnics with her Southern relatives.

Dixie Picnic, which serves food for takeout or to eat in, is also open for breakfast. Online ordering is available.

Box lunch, $10.99, Dixie Picnic, 1306 Chestnut St.,