From food trucks to restaurants, here’s where to eat on and around campus this semester

05-06-21-united-by-blue-ubb-coffee-latte-cafe-kylie-cooper

United By Blue sells coffee, pastries, and some breakfast foods.
Credit: Kylie Cooper

With Penn’s campus once again populated with students, many local restaurants have reopened their doors, and some have normalized their capacities and hours after closing or limiting operations due to COVID-19.

Here’s a rundown of where students can dine this semester.

Food trucks

Penn boasts a number of food trucks regularly stationed at several locations around campus. These businesses, however, have struggled throughout the pandemic, particularly last year when Philadelphia cracked down on food truck operations as a pandemic safeguard. 

Popular food truck Lyn’s, known for its breakfast sandwiches, reopened for the first time this semester after closing in March 2020. Lyn’s faced financial struggles and raised more than $3,000 through a GoFundMe after Penn’s depopulation of campus eliminated about 80% of the food truck’s business. Stationed in front of the Quad, Lyn’s will operate daily from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Magic Carpet, another beloved campus food truck that serves vegetarian fare, is currently “feeling out” policies regarding complete reopening and recently reopened its second location, according to the truck’s employees. The truck stationed near the Quad will operate daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while the 34th and Walnut street location will serve food from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. daily.

Cafés

United By Blue, a go-to coffee shop for Penn students located at 3421 Walnut Street, has resumed indoor seating at full capacity and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, according to a sign written on the location’s door.

Another popular spot for coffee and studying, Saxbys, will operate its 40th and Locust location from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on weekends. The café offers outdoor dining at full capacity and has resumed limited indoor dining.

Panera Bread, which opened its 40th and Walnut street location in June 2019 and has quickly become a student hub, will continue to be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. 

Dining Dollar locations

Several on-campus cafés and restaurants that accept dining dollars have also reopened to accommodate students during the fully in-person semester.

Pret a Manger, located inside Huntsman Hall and a popular stop for coffee and a quick bite to eat, has reopened for the first time since March 2020 with a requirement that customers wear a mask while they are not eating or drinking, employees said. Currently, Pret’s hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. 

Houston Market, which houses several dining spots in Houston Hall, opens at 11 a.m. weekdays while the Market Café, an eatery in Houston Market, opens at 8 a.m. weekdays. Both Houston Market and Market Café close at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and at 5 p.m. on Fridays. Houston Market also operates from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.


Credit: Kylie Cooper
Franklin’s Table Food Hall is home to seven different restaurants.

Local restaurants

Franklin’s Table Food Hall, located near 34th and Walnut streets, opens at 11 a.m. every day. The facility hosts a number of restaurants, including Dizengoff, known for its hummus; Goldie, known for its falafel; High Street Provisions, which serves coffee and sandwiches; KQ Burger; and Papermill Fresh Asian Kitchen. Franklin’s Table locations close at 3 p.m. every day, except for Pitruco Pizza, which remains open until 9 p.m. DK Sushi, also located inside Franklin’s Table, currently remains closed. 

White Dog Cafe, located at 3420 Sansom Street, has also returned to operating at full capacity. The restaurant, known for its brunch offerings, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays, according to employees. The restaurant requires customers to wear masks when they are not eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status.

Louie Louie, located under the Inn at Penn near 36th and Walnut streets, is another restaurant near campus known for its brunch offerings and happy hour deals. Louie Louie is currently operating from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 12 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, 4 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and is back to full-capacity indoor seating with a mask requirement inside.

Honeygrow, a stir-fry and salad restaurant, located near 37th and Walnut streets, is offering contactless delivery and in-store pickup. Both indoor and outdoor seating are operating at full capacity, and masks are required when people are not eating or drinking. The location opens at 10:30 a.m. daily and remains open until 11 p.m. every day except for Sundays, when it closes at 9 p.m.

Korean restaurant Bonchon, located on 39th and Chestnut streets is open from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. every day except for Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at midnight. Masks are required inside, and the restaurant offers curbside pickup and no-contact delivery. 

Acai bowl location SoBol, located next to the Quad, is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day and has limited indoor seating available. Masks are required indoors.

The 39th block of Walnut Street is home to a number of popular restaurants: Starbucks operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Chipotle operates from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sweetgreen operates from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and &Pizza operates from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. All of these restaurants require masks indoors. 

NAM Vietnamese Kitchen, located under Hamilton Court Apartments, a popular off-campus housing complex for students, opened its doors for the first time in March and is offering full-capacity indoor dining every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Allegro Pizza and Grill, a popular late-night stop for Penn students, is also back to full-capacity indoor dining after operating at reduced capacity throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. The restaurant opens at 9 a.m. every day and closes at midnight Sunday through Wednesday and at 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. 

Across the street from Allegro, Mexican restaurant Copabanana is also operating at full-capacity indoor dining, for which masks are required. The restaurant, which also offers outdoor dining, operates Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Barbara J. Miriam

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