Off-Campus Dining

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Off-Campus Dining


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3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: The off campus dining has a wide variety and is interesting. However, the food off campus is pretty costly.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There are many options. Its nice because there are some chains like chipotle and mcdonalds, but they have some food that isn't chains. There are also a lot of cuisine variety

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: There seems to be a lot of great off-campus dining options that are definitely cheaper than dining plan meals.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: It's Philly! You get everything and anything.

1 person found this useful Report
4 Recent Alumnus

Off-Campus Dining: There are so many nice food spots within walking distance of campus. Drexel has better food options, for sure.

2 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Philly restaurants are staple of the Penn experience for their variety and convenience. There is no limit to your choices. On a normal day, students usually opt to eat somewhere close and cheap, but on the weekends, it is not uncommon to migrate east of the river or west of the high rises to treat your taste buds to some authentic Ethiopian or upscale Asian cuisine. Places to eat vary not only in fare, but also in price. Whether you have to save up or wait for your parents to take you out, definitely try a Stephen Starr restaurant at some point before you graduate. And, most importantly, try as many cheesesteak joints as humanly possible and decide for yourself, before you have a heart attack, which deserves the title for “Best Philly Cheesesteak.”

The food in Philadelphia is definitely one of the best things about Penn’s location. Since the school is immersed in West Philly, the line between off-campus and on-campus is blurred. As a result, some places considered off-campus are across the street from your dorm, next door to a classroom, or behind the bookstore. Additionally, the recent innovation of allows for students to order food from their computers. Most of the restaurants in the University City area deliver, so by using this website and your phone, you have a wide range of delivery options. Since nightlife at Penn usually doesn’t get started until around 11 p.m., there is always ample time to grab some eats as a pre-party activity. There is no doubt that Philadelphia restaurants will fulfill your needs by providing everything from a place to take a date, celebrate a birthday, people watch at a trendy spot, or simply enjoy an immensely satisfying meal.

Facts & Statistics

Student Favorites
  • Allegro's
  • Beijing
  • Bubble House
  • Bui's food truck (see Other Options in Campus Dining)
  • Fresh Grocer
  • Izzy and Zoe's
  • La Terrasse
  • Mad 4 Mex
24-Hour Dining
  • Fresh Grocer
  • Geno's Steaks
  • Pat's King of Steaks
  • Philly Diner
Best Asian
  • Beijing
  • Susanna Foo
Best Breakfast
  • Izzy & Zoe's
  • Philly Diner
Best Pizza
Allegro Pizza
Best Wings
  • Ed's Buffalo Wings & Pizzas
  • Moriarty's
Best Place to Take Your Parents
  • Buddakan
  • La Terrasse
  • White Dog Café
Did You Know?
  • Pat's and Geno's are located directly across the street from each other, and as a result, they have the most famous rivalry in the world when it comes to cheesesteaks. If you go to one, you have to also go to the other, simply to see which one really is better.
  • In the summer, Philly is home to many farmers' markets, the closest to Penn being the one at Clark Park. Here, you can buy fresh baked goods, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
  • The Ritz Carlton in Center City has a weekend all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet for $15 dollars. You don't have to stay at the hotel to hoard cookies and brownies galore, so this is definitely something to check out.
  • One of the most famous of Penn Traditions is throwing toast at football games. When singing the line, "Here's a toast to dear old Penn," from the school's song, "Drink a Highball," students hurl pieces of toast-and more recently, even croissants and bagels-onto the field.
  • Scoop DeVille, a famous Rittenhouse Square ice cream parlor since 1987, takes its 12 original flavors and uses them to create any of hundreds of combination flavors including Hot Apple Pie Ala Mode, Coco Cherry Cheesecake, and Pumpkin Pie for sweet-toothed customers.

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

Fresh Grocer
4001 Walnut St., University City
(215) 222-9200
Daily 24 hours

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

2 Goodfellas
Food: Italian
4101 Walnut St.
(215) 382-3600
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Live jazz on Tuesday nights
Abner's Cheesesteaks
Food: Cheesesteaks
3813 Chestnut St.
(215) 662-0100
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Free cheesesteaks if the Penn basketball team scores 100 points
Allegro Pizza
Food: Pizza
3942 Spruce St.
(215) 382-8158
Price: $2-$5
Cool Features: Late-night hang out
Alma de Cuba
Food: Modern Cuban cuisine
1623 Walnut St.
(215) 988-1799
Price: $20-$45
Cool Features: Live Cuban jazz and salsa
Food: Chinese
3714 Spruce St.
(215) 222-5242
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: B.Y.O.B.
Food: American cuisine
227 S. 18th St.
(215) 545-0342
Price: $15-$20
Cool Features: Philly murals, outdoor seating
Bubble House
Food: Pan Asian
3404 Sansom St.
(215) 243-0804
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Serves bubble tea, a Taiwanese drink with tapioca pearls
Food: Pan Asian
325 Chestnut St.
(215) 574-9440
Price: $40-$50
Cool Features: A huge gold Buddha watching down on you
Food: Mexican
3925 Walnut St.
(215) 222-0632
Price: $7-$10
Cool Features: Custom-made burritos, quesadillas, and bowls prepared on the spot, all in a clean new space underneath the Radian apartment complex.
College Pizza
Food: Pizza, sandwiches
3925 Walnut St.
(215) 386-6001
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Open late
The Continental
Food: American Asian
138 Market St.
(215) 923-6069
Price: $15-$30
Cool Features: Great cocktail menu
Food: Sandwiches, salads
140 S. 36th St.
(215) 222-4545
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Make-your-own s'mores
Food: Ethiopian-Eritrean, Vegetarian options
4708 Baltimore Ave.
(215) 726-6464
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Family-style
Ed's Buffalo Wings & Pizzas
Food: Wings, pizza
3513 Lancaster Ave.
(215) 222-4000
Price: $5-$10 per person
Cool Features: Affordable and tasty wings beloved by Penn and Drexel students. Fast and easy delivery.
Geno's Steaks
Food: Cheesesteaks
1219 S. Ninth St.
(215) 389-0659
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Outdoor dining
Izzy & Zoe's
Food: Sandwiches, "Jewish Soul Food"
Hamilton Village Shops, 224 S. 40th St.
(215) 382-2328
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: unlimited free dill pickles
Jim's Steaks
Food: Cheesesteaks
400 South St.
(215) 928-1911
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Offers beer (not offered at most other cheesesteak places in Philly)
Food: Japanese (Kaiseki)
205 N. Fourth St.
(215) 922-1770
Price: $20-$40
Cool Features: Sells Japanese gourmet cookware, B.Y.O.B.
Koch's Deli
Food: New York deli style, take-out only
4309 Locust St.
(215) 222-8662
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: Free samples passed out by staff while you're on line
La Terrasse
Food: Modern French
3442 Sansom St.
(215) 386-5000
Price: $20-$40
Cool Features: Bar menu, happy hour
Le Bec Fin
Food: French
1523 Walnut St.
(215) 567-1000
Price: $50-$150
Cool Features: Private dining
Mad 4 Mex
Food: Tex-Mex, vegan options
Shops at Penn, 3401 Walnut St.
(215) 382-2221
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Happy hour, student discounts
Maggiano's Little Italy
Food: Italian
1201 Filbert St.
(215) 567-2020
Price: $15-$25
Cool Features: All-you-can-eat family-style
Mexicali Cafe
Food: Mexican
110 S. 40th St.
(215) 222-2667
Price: $3-$8
Cool Features: Often said to have the best burritos on campus. A family-owned business with an extremely friendly staff. Unusual hours often prevent one from eating here late.
Food: American, Irish
1116 Walnut St.
(215) 627-7676
Price: $10-$20
Cool Features: Brunch, live music
Food: Asian
723 Chestnut St.
(215) 413-9070
Price: $20-$50
Cool Features: Chef Morimoto is the star of the cooking show the Iron Chef
New Deck Tavern
Food: Irish
3804 Sansom St.
(215) 386-4600
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Extensive beer and single malt scotch menu
Ortlieb's Jazzhaus
Food: Cajun
847 N. Third St.
(215) 922-1035
Price: $15-$25
Cool Features: Live jazz
Pat's King of Steaks
Food: Cheesesteaks
1237 E. Passyunk Ave.
(215) 468-1546
Price: $5-$10
Cool Features: outdoor dining
Pattaya Grill
Food: Thai
4006 Chestnut St.
(215) 387-8533
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Spiced iced tea
Philly Diner
Food: American diner
3925 Walnut St.
(215) 382-3400
Price: $8-$15
Cool Features: Breakfast served all day and night
Food: Pan-Asian fusion
Inn at Penn, 3636 Sansom St.
(215) 387-1803
Price: $20-$45
Cool Features: Sushi conveyor belt, private dining "pods" whose lighting changes color with the touch of a button
Striped Bass
Food: Seafood
1500 Walnut St.
(215) 732-4444
Price: $25-$60
Cool Features: Sunday brunch
Susanna Foo
Food: Chinese-French fusion
1512 Walnut St.
(215) 545-2666
Price: $25-$55
Cool Features: Private rooms for special events
White Dog Café
Food: American, eclectic, vegetarian options
3420 Sansom St.
(215) 386-9224
Price: $20-$35
Cool Features: Brunch, dine at the bar, shops next door
Zanzibar Blue
Food: American (Regional), Cajun and Creole, Southern and Soul
The Bellevue, 200 S. Broad St.
(215) 732-5200
Price: $20-$40
Cool Features: Live jazz

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 104 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 114 responses

  • 61% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
  • 31% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 8% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 1% An endless repetition of the same few places.
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