Campus Dining

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Variety of food options and can buy cheap good food at food trucks

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: It is nice food and there are a lot of dining opportunities. Food trucks are really great! Yummy

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Dining: Overall good food on campus -- the eateries and external restaurants are really great and have a good variety. The on-campus dining halls are just okay, but have great options for kosher foods and also offer veg/vegan options. The late-night place is a local convenience store, Wawa, but otherwise we could have better cafeteria food.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Even though it's not amazing, the food quality has improved a lot and there are a decent amount of options on campus. Go for the dining dollars over the meal swipes though.

1 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Absolutely horrible! Get off of the dining plan as soon as possible and run away!

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 26th
    Best Ethnic/Kosher Options
  • 165th
    Best Vegetarian/Vegan-Friendly Options
  • 168th
    Healthiest Dining Options
  • 932nd
    Best Late-Night Dining Options
  • 1005th
    Best Cafeteria Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Perry Petra-Wong
Pasadena, Calif.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
View all previous student authors

Students’ opinions of the food on campus really depend on what they are used to. Some people are impressed by the quality and variety of food, while others get sick of the dining options extremely quickly. For the most part, students acknowledge both positive and negative aspects of the dining program. At Penn, students on a meal plan have three ways to pay for food. They can use a specific number of allotted meals per week or semester at the Dining Halls, Dining Dollars which can be continuously replenished at most retail locations around campus, and PennCash, which works somewhat like a debit card.

Whether you like the food or not, there is certainly enough to eat, facilitated by multiple all-you-care-to-eat locations. In addition, there is something to eat at all hours. Wawa is a popular place to grab a made-to-order sandwich. Freshmen are required to purchase a meal plan, but as long as you purchase the smallest plan available and you make an effort to find places with food that you like, your freshman dining experience should be more than bearable. When it comes to people with special diets, the choices become much slimmer. Dining administration assures students that there are vegan and vegetarian options at every dining location, but the selection usually gives these students little or no options. However, improvements seem to be just beyond the horizon as the school adjusts to alleviate low dining participation rates after students’ freshman year.

Facts & Statistics

Meal Plan Available?
Average Meals/Week
Average Meal Plan Cost
$4592 per year
Freshman Meal Plan Required?
Student Favorites
  • Beijing
  • Fresh Grocer
  • Hemos food truck
  • La Petite Creperie in Houston Hall
  • La Terasse
  • The Real Le Ahn food truck
24-Hour Dining
  • Fresh Grocer
  • McDonald’s
  • Wawa
Off-Campus Places to Use Flex Money
Savory/Spruce between 38th and 39th
Special Options
Food trucks can be found all over campus and offer a variety of food from fresh fruit to Japanese to hoagies. These trucks are usually convenient and incredibly cheap; as a result, they are very popular among busy students who like to grab a bite on the go. Late at night, it is not uncommon to order-in for wings and pizza from a place like College Pizza on the edge of campus.

Dining Halls & Campus RestaurantsWhat's This?

1920 Commons
Location: 3800 Locust Walk
Food: Buffet style, salad bar
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Accenture Cyber Café
Location: Towne Building
Food: Coffee, pastries
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.-9 p.m.
Au Bon Pain
Location: Huntsman Hall, ground floor
Food: Sandwiches/pastries
Hours: Monday-Friday 6 a.m.-7 p.m.
Hill College House Dining Hall
Location: 3333 Walnut St.
Food: Various, all-you-can-eat buffet
Hours: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Houston Market
Location: 3417 Spruce St.
Food: Various, food court
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
Kings Court/English House Dining Hall
Location: 3465 Sansom St.
Food: Various, all-you-can-eat buffet
Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-7:15 p.m.
Mark's Café
Location: Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Food: Coffee, sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-12 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
McClelland Hall (express service only)
Location: 3700 Spruce St.
Food: Various
Hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
Location: 1920 Commons, lower level
Food: Sandwiches
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m.-12 a.m.

Student Polls

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 46 responses

Very poor
  • Convenient hours
  • Ethnic/kosher options
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Value
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options
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