It's that time of year again: Street's annual Best of Penn issue is here. You voted on your favorite food, drinks, shops, occasions and communities and the results are in. Click here to see the rest of our winners.
Best Brunch Penn Choice: The Farmacy
Start your day off right at Farmacy's cozy brunch spot, located on the quiet corner of 45th and Spruce. This 45–seat BYO focuses on serving the most fresh and delicious ingredients. Some of the highlights on their menu include the chicken and waffles, build–your–own Eggs Benedict, and s'mores French toast. It’s the perfect spot to take a friend, a date, or your parents.
Address: 4443 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sat–Sun: 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Thurs–Fri: 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Second place: Sabrina’s Café
Third place: Green Eggs Cafe
Best Brunch Street Choice: White Dog Cafe
While the quirky dog–themed decor and unique array of dining rooms are a plus, you come to White Dog for the food. White Dog Cafe is synonymous with some of the best brunch in University City. It’s your go–to spot for an impressive start to Family Weekend, a daytime date with your significant other, or a much–needed boozy breakfast. The first Philadelphia restaurant to prioritize ingredients from local, organic farms, this upscale cafe ensures every dish—from its crispy fried pickles to its decadent stuffed French toast—is fresh. Street’s signature order? The Avocado BLT with an artisan cheese plate to start, obviously.
Address: 3420 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun: 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
Mon–Thurs: 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sat: 9:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Best Vegan Food Penn Choice: Magic Carpet
Not only one of Penn’s favorite food trucks, Magic Carpet also wins best vegan spot on campus. Offering a plethora of hearty, vegan dishes including tofu meatballs, veggie chili, and spicy seitan pepper–steak, Magic Carpet skips the meat without sacrificing flavor. Check out the mix–and–match salad bar and get the baked tofu and falafel combo salad with a drizzle of tahini dressing—you won’t regret it. Can’t decide? Get a feast platter and sample a variety of specials—Street’s personal favorite is the Dervish Delight (falafel, hummus, tabouli). They’re large enough to share but you won’t want to. Head over to the Lower Quad Gate or Meyerson Courtyard at 34th Street, to one of their two food trucks. The lines are never short but we promise it’s worth the wait.
Address: 36th and Spruce Streets, southwest corner and 34th and Walnut Streets, southwest corner
Hours: Sat–Sun: Closed
Mon–Fri: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Second place: Vedge
Third place: Honest Tom’s Plant Based Taco Shop
Best Vegan Food Street Choice: HipCityVeg
Step aside, meat, because HipCityVeg is here to satisfy all of your burger and sandwich needs, vegan–style. The restaurant originated in Philadelphia back in 2009 and has since continued to be Philly’s favorite spot for vegan food that looks good, tastes good, and—most importantly—feels good. Discover an explosion of fresh flavors in their Curry Tofu Wrap or their Buffalo Bella mushroom burger, which allows you to indulge on your buffalo wing cravings without the greasy consequences. HipCityVeg’s “Chick’n,” made from tempeh, a soy–based protein, allows them to create sandwiches and wraps that are unlike any other. Satisfy your sweet tooth with their signature banana whip. With HipCityVeg, converting to veganism doesn’t sound so bad.
Address: 214 S 40th St., Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Hours: Sun–Sat: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Best Food Truck Penn Choice: Magic Carpet
Over 30 years old and still going strong, Magic Carpet is practically a Penn institution. Fresh, healthy, and undeniably comforting, Magic Carpet serves up globally–inspired vegetarian and vegan food. Choose between one of the two food trucks: one at Lower Quad Gate, and the other at Meyerson Courtyard on 34th Street. On any given day between 12 and 2, you’ll find the line of shivering students stretched down Spruce, hungrily awaiting their falafel and hummus. Boasting everything from Middle Eastern classics like tabouli and baba ganouj to creative vegan fare like spicy seitan pepper–steak and tofu meatballs, Magic Carpet has something for everyone. Is it worth the wait? Answer me after you dive into a steaming falafel bowl or bite into a flakey spinach & feta pie. Snag a chocolate chip cookie as you checkout—vegan, gluten–free and baked fresh every morning, it’s the perfect sweet treat to round out your feast.
Address: 36th and Spruce Streets, southwest corner; 34th and Walnut Streets, southwest corner
Hours: Sat–Sun: Closed
Mon–Fri: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Second place: Lyn’s
Third place: Halal trucks
Best Food Truck Street Choice: Chez Yasmine
Of all the food trucks lining the stretch of Spruce bordering the Quad, none provide food and service nearly as refined as Chez Yasmine. Run by Jihed Chehimi—whom Street in the past—this campus fixture focuses on using local, fresh produce to make its healthy, often vegetarian– and vegan–friendly, dishes. Fan favorites include the vegetable couscous plate, the chicken wistar, and an array of banh mi sandwiches. Using ingredients like herbes de provence and black olive paste, your meal is bound to feel a bit more elevated than the average chicken over rice bowl. In addition to creating interesting dishes, Chehimi makes a point to get to know his regular customers. Next to each menu item are the names of different Penn students who frequently order the item. Every meal comes with free water and a piece of fruit. You can also Venmo—what’s more to ask after waiting in line just long enough that you’ll definitely be walking into your foreign language class in Williams three minutes late?
Address: 37th and Spruce Streets
Hours: Mon–Fri: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Best Pizza Penn Choice: &pizza
From your first glance at &pizza’s clean black–and–white color scheme and neon lighting, you can tell it’s not your typical college pizza hub. &pizza’s location on 39th and Walnut opened earlier this year and instantly became the newest late–night hot spot. It’s probably due to the fact that their pizza, made from scratch in front of you, is so good that you don’t need to be drunk at 3 a.m. to enjoy it. If you’re feeling lazy, choose from popular creations like American Honey and Pineapplejack, or build your own pizza by deciding from a variety of fresh options for the sauce, cheese, and toppings. Most of &pizza’s menu is $11 and under, which is a fairly reasonable price for the amount of food you’re getting.
Address: 3925 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Hours: Sun–Thurs: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Fri–Sat: 11 a.m.–3 a.m.
Second place: Pizzeria Vetri
Third place: Axis
Best Pizza Street Choice: Clarkville
Some Penn students tend not to venture past 41st Street or explore Baltimore Avenue. However, sitting on the corner, right across from the Saturday farmer's market, is Clarkville, a restaurant with incredible pizza, an amazing beer selection, and extremely relaxed vibes. If you’re looking for something small, the starters are delicious, ranging from warm cauliflower salad with kale and pickled onions to meatballs, roasted mushrooms, and beets. But the pizzas absolutely steal the show. Whether you’re feeling simple and want some plain slices, or you’re willing to venture into the creative world of the Honey Pie and White Pie, you will not regret your decision. The pizza is $15, but definitely enough to split with a friend and still leave satisfied. This amazing restaurant is the perfect setting for all your weekend brunch or weekday dinner desires.
Address: 4301 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun–Sat: 11 a.m.–12 a.m.
Best Drexel Food Spot Penn Choice: Shake Shack
The famous New York–based Shake Shack has three Philadelphia locations, and while the spots in the Gayborhood or the Wells Fargo center might be a little wilder, University City’s own Shake Shack is laid–back and spacious, with plenty of outdoor seating for warm nights and an upstairs dining room. Shake Shack offers all the classics that make it beloved nationwide— Shackburgers, ‘Shroomburgers, hot dogs, and cheese fries—as well as Philly–specific custard mixers made with locally sourced ingredients. They also have shuffleboard and Quizzo every Wednesday night.
Address: 3200 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun–Wed: 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
Thurs–Sat: 10:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Second place: Zavino
Third place: Landmark Americana
Best Drexel Food Spot Street Choice: Blaze Pizza
It’s like Chipotle, but pizza. The world of “build your own” has now extended to the world of pizza, and it does not disappoint. Located on Drexel’s campus, Blaze Pizza allows you to build your own pizza or choose one of their signature pies. We all know what one person loves on a ‘za can be despised by another (think pineapple), but Blaze’s toppings bar can satisfy any craving. There are 11 sauces to choose from, and meats range from your standard sausage and pepperoni to turkey meatballs. Veggies include peppers of various color and spice levels, artichokes, broccoli, and more; cheeses even include a vegan–friendly option. But what really makes Blaze pizza outstanding is the open–flame–oven that bakes your meal in about three minutes. Fast, customizable, and not about to empty your wallet (a two–topping pizza is $7.75), Blaze is the ideal place for a snack break. Before you leave, don’t forget dessert—I had a chocolate chip cookie with sea salt that made me wonder how something so simple could be so good.
Address: 3400 Lancaster Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun–Thurs: 11 a.m.–11 p.m.
Fri–Sat: 11 a.m.–12 a.m.
Best Food Deal Penn’s Choice: Lyn’s
Lyn’s is an indisputable campus staple. If the food truck is gone for even a few weeks, . Parked right in front of the Quad, Penn students get hooked from day one. After all, where else can you get a bagel egg and cheese sandwich for $2.50? Lyn knows how to get just the right ratio of hot sauce that will keep you coming back every Friday after waking up hungover. But don’t forget to bring cash—Lyn hasn’t added Venmo or credit cards to her payment methods. She’s still an icon though, so we can forgive her.
Address: 36th and Spruce Streets
Hours: Mon–Fri: 7 a.m–3 p.m.
Second place: Mizu lunch special
Third place: Distrito Taco Tuesdays
Best Food Deal Street’s Choice: Copa Burger Deal
Copabanana, the popular Mexican restaurant on 40th Street, is already loved by many Penn students for the and of their margaritas. But, if you’re willing to make an appearance in the middle of the day, they also have great deals on food. On Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., their wide array of burgers—which includes unlimited toppings and highly praised —are all served half–off. (And if it’s just one of those Wednesdays where you need a midday marg to go with, nobody will judge.)
Address: 4000 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun: 11 a.m.–1 a.m.
Mon: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Tues–Thurs: 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m.
Fri: 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m.
Sat: 11 a.m.–2 a.m.
Best Drunk Food Penn Choice: Wishbone
At any point in your party process—whether you’re trying to fill up your stomach, already several shots deep, or so hungover you can barely think—there is nothing better than good, old–fashioned fried food, and no better spot to get it than Wishbone. Conveniently located a short stumble away from the frat houses on 40th and Locust, Wishbone serves fried chicken tenders, artisanal fried chicken sandwiches like Korean BBQ and Bacon–Avo, and mac ‘n’ cheese. They’re open until 3 a.m. on weekends, making Wishbone the perfect refuge from your long night out.
Address: 4034 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun–Wed: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Thurs–Sat: 11 a.m.–3 a.m.
Second choice: Allegro's
Third choice: Wawa
Best Drunk Food Street Choice: FroGro
Open 24/7, the vast emporium of food that is The Fresh Grocer is always at your disposal, no matter how late it is when you stumble out onto the streets of University City. Along the walls of this complex maze of aisles (let’s hope that drunk you is able to navigate), there is no shortage of appropriate drunk foods, from Pop–Tarts to sliced bread, and if you somehow gain access to a spoon, a jar of Skippy is sure to be the perfect way to top off your night. The sheer number of choices might hold you up a bit longer than you intended, but don’t worry—once you’ve accidentally wandered into the produce section for the third time, you’ll be ready to call it a night. If you’re aching to chow down on a bowl of microwavable noodles or a bag of Tostitos with the obligatory Hint of Lime, make for the self–checkout and bounce on out of there.
Address: 4001 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104