Campus Food

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Campus Food


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3 College Sophomore

Campus Food: Campus food for the most part is pretty good but sometimes the food is cold and often times the hours of the dining halls are bad.

3 people found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Campus Food: The food is pretty good and they do have a lot of options if you have diet restrictions, but its a little overpriced.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Food: Its pretty expensive to be on the dining plan. For one of the options, each meal swipe is around $16 -$18 and it is sometimes difficult to use up all the swipes. Also, the food that can be used with dining dollars sometimes feels overpriced.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Campus Food: So many awesome food carts in the area as well as great places inside of Houston Hall including Insomnia Cookies that will deliver cookies and milk to your door whenever. Love the options!

1 person found this useful Report
3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Food: I say it's okay simply because Frontera is so delicious.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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

What are the best food options on campus?    Based on 62 responses

  • 27% Houston Hall
  • 24% Tortas Frontera
  • 9% Pari Cafe Creperie
  • 7% Kings Court
  • 7% Hill House
  • 7% 1920 Commons
  • 7% Magic Carpet Food Truck
  • 5% Lyn's Food Truck
  • 3% McClelland Express
  • 2% Falk Dining
  • 1% Kitchen Gia
  • 1% Sweet Green
  • 1% Beefsteak

Rate campus dining on the following topics    Based on 112 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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