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Where to Get Delicious Food in University City

University City, a neighborhood surrounding the local universities in Philadelphia, is a popular spot to eat, drink, and explore. With the high population of young adults, there’s a lot of affordable restaurants around this area. Believe it or not, this neighborhood offers an incredibly diverse array of flavors and cuisines, so it’s the perfect spot to try something new. We’ve put together a list of the top places to grab a bite to eat while in town.

people enjoying their food at a restaurant in university city

So what are you in the mood for? Mexican food? Chinese food? How about Laotian? Whatever it is, this neighborhood is bound to have the perfect spot to grab some. Keep reading to learn a little bit about each place in University City!

Dim Sum House by Jane G’s – University City

3939 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 921-5377
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If you like dim sum, you need to try Dis Sum House by Jane G’s. This local restaurant serves authentic dim sum cuisine, drinks from their full-service bar, and entertainment like pool tables for their guests.

Dim Sum House offers an extensive menu with plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options. We recommend the shu mei, dan dan noodles, egg custard bao, or dry pepper tofu. Be sure to sip on some tea while you enjoy your meal!


261 S 44th St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 921-2140

If Mexican food is more your style, check out TacoTacoMexican. This local restaurant is quite popular among residents with a 4.9 star review. Reviewers especially like the portion sizes and affordable prices at this spot.

TacoTacoMexican offers a modest menu of burritos, tacos, and nachos with plenty of vegetarian options. Be sure to try the sweet potato burrito, pork tacos, or nachos. You can also order chips and guacamole on the side, if you’d like. Don’t forget to grab a Jarritos to complete your meal!

Vientiane Cafe

4728 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone: (215) 726-1095
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Hoping to be a bit adventurous and try some new flavors? Look no further than Vientiane Cafe. This family-owned and operated restaurant serves Laotian-Thai cuisine like no other spot near University City. As a BYOB spot, it’s also a popular place to save some money on drinks.

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Serving a menu full of delicious dishes including plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options, Vientiane Cafe has a little bit of something for everyone. Try out the bamboo stew, aw lao, crazy pineapple fried rice, or pho soup. Make sure you grab some mango sticky rice or green tea ice cream for dessert!

Renata’s Kitchen

3940 Baltimore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (267) 275-8254
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Looking for amazing Mediterranean cuisine? Swing by Renatas Kitchen. This local restaurant offers classic Mediterranean fare with lighter options if you’re not too hungry. Though this spot was originally BYOB, they now offer a full-service bar.

Renatas Kitchen’s menu is filled with tasty options including gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes. We recommend the shakshuka, feta wrap, grilled kefta, or eggplant haloumi. Renata’s Kitchen also has an amazing brunch menu. Be sure to sip on some wine or a cocktail while you eat your meal!

New Deck Tavern

3408 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 386-4600
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Another popular spot for delicious food and drink is New Deck Tavern in University City, Philadelphia. This local restaurant offers a wide selection of draft beers and bar-like food, perfect for a casual occasion. With events like quiz nights, this is also a great spot for some fun on your night out.

New Deck Tavern offers a menu full of shareable plates as well as entrees if you’re on the hungrier side. Be sure to try the awesome cheese fries, Irish curry chicken, or cajun chicken alfredo. Don’t forget the beer or a cocktail to go with your food!

White Dog Cafe

3420 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 386-9224
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If you prefer to make more sustainable choices in your day-to-day life, head over to White Dog Cafe. This locally-owned restaurant has been operating since 1983 and is all about eco-friendly decisions. Through the use of locally-sourced ingredients and environmentally-friendly structures like LED lights, this restaurant helps to create more sustainable practices.

White Dog Cafe offers a regular menu as well as a vegan and vegetarian menu, so everyone will be able to find something here. Try out the sweet pea ravioli, Thai steak noodle salad, or spicy lamb bolognese!

Louie Louie

3611 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (267) 805-8585
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Named one of the most beautiful restaurants in the country, it’s no surprise that Louie Louie is a popular spot to grab some food. This French-American bistro takes on the style of a French cafe and classic colors and trends from the 70s. With outdoor seating, this is also the perfect spot to enjoy good weather.

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Louie Louie’s menu is full of amazing plates, so if you can’t decide what to order, we recommend the eggplant milanese, roasted half duck, or pork belly croque monsieur. Be sure to complete your meal with some dessert like creme brulee or gelato!


4317 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 387-1970

Another great spot to try new thins is Kilimandjaro. This local restaurant serves Senegalese cuisine to the University City area. With a casual and laid-back atmosphere, this is the perfect place for any occasion. The interior is also decorated with African artwork and artifacts.

Kilimandjaro is a cash-only establishment, so make sure to come prepared to pay for your meal. Be sure to try the red snapper, plantains, fried rice, or yassa chicken. Don’t forget to sip on any of their ginger juices with your meal!

Han Dynasty

3711 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 222-3711
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Last but not least on our list of restaurants is Han Dynasty. This local Chinese restaurant serves Sichuan dishes and drinks. With over 1,000 reviews on Google, you can count on this food being tasty.

Han Dynasty serves a wide variety of cuisine as well as many vegetarian options. Try out the dan dan noodles, dry pot chicken, double-cooked pork, or spicy mung bean noodles. Make sure you order a beer, cocktail, mocktail, or some wine!

It’s pretty clear that University City offers a diverse range of cuisine, all of which is absolutely delicious. Whatever the occasion is, the spots on this list will never let you down. So, the next time you’re looking to eat out, you’ll know exactly where to go.

Which spot will you try first? Let us know! Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.