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 Date Spot Penn Choice: Ramen Bar
A cult favorite on Penn’s campus, Ramen Bar is the place to be for a hot bowl of noodles on a cold winter afternoon. With big portions and a cozy atmosphere, this ramen restaurant is the perfect spot to bring your boyfriend, crush, or hookup. Students can try a wide variety of traditional selections, like chicken miso ramen, gyoza, or tsukemen "dipping noodles." You can even follow the restaurant on Facebook @ramenbarphilly for the inside scoop on new offerings. And with two locations, one on Drexel's campus (3400 Lancaster Ave), you’ll never have to walk far for Ramen Bar.
Address: 4040 Locust St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Mon–Fri: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., 4:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
Sat: 12 p.m.–10 p.m
Sun: 4:30 p.m.–9 p.m.
Second place: Spruce Street Harbor Park
Third place: Louie Louie
Best Date Spot Street Choice: Charlie was a sinner.
Charlie was a sinner. is an all vegan bar located in the beautiful Midtown Village of Philadelphia. The name of this restaurant alludes to the fact that its building previously functioned as a strip club. Nowadays, this bar is renowned for its tapas–style small plates and an exquisite collection of strong cocktails. A perfect date spot, this late–night kitchen serves until 1 a.m. every day. The environment here resembles that of a boutique speakeasy where bartenders are knowledgeable, whimsical, and attentive. The founder of this restaurant, Nicole Marquis, is also the owner of plant–based fast casual restaurant chain HipCityVeg. Take a look at the menu and you’ll always be surprised to find out the (vegan) ingredients in each dish.
Address: 131 S 13th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: Sun–Sat: 4 p.m.–2 a.m.
Best Place to Take Your Parents Penn Choice: White Dog Cafe
White Dog’s homey yet elegant aesthetic, in combination with its signature luxe eats, make it the perfect place to splurge on a meal with your family. Don’t miss out on their brunch: omelettes, avocado BLTs, truffle fries, and churro waffles ensure every member of your family—including your insatiable brothers and your mom who’s been on that health–kick lately—will leave content. The decor will remind you of your grandmother’s house—each room has a different vibe, yet each is overtly dedicated to dog memorabilia. You might see everyone you know here, but it’s well worth it for the unbeatable food and ambience.
Address: 3420 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Hours: Sun: 9:30 a.m.–9 p.m.
Mon–Thurs: 9:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Fri: 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Sat: 9:30 a.m–10 p.m.
Best Place to Take Your Parents Street Choice: Zahav
There’s a reason you’ve been hearing so much buzz around the Zahav cookbook lately. Author Michael Solomonov is one of the owners of this Israeli eatery, located in Old City. Zahav serves up Middle Eastern dishes that’ll make you feel like you’re abroad in Tel Aviv. Enjoy Philly’s diverse food scene while sharing the unmatched hummus, salads, and meat with your family. Dinner at Zahav is well worth the trip off–campus and is an excuse to explore a part of Philly you don’t normally see.
Address: 237 St James Place, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Hours: Sun–Thurs: 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
Fri–Sat: 5 pm.–11 p.m.
Best Smoke Spot Penn Choice: BioPond
Smoke that green while surrounded by greenery at the BioPond. Conveniently located near the Quad, right of Hamilton Walk near 38th Street, this hidden urban oasis is the perfect place for freshmen to find their cannaBliss away from their RAs. It’s pretty possible that you’re a senior, and still have never been. Trust us, it’s worth a trip (pun intended). Stare in awe at the myriad of tree species. Giggle at the frogs, fish, and turtles swimming in the pond. Observe the wildlife that is other Penn students smoking or hooking up.
Address: 433 S University Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Second place: Clark Park
Third place: Radian 11th floor balcony
Best Smoke Spot Street Choice: The DRL Rooftop
You just finished your 3 p.m. in Towne on a Monday and you’ve just had enough. You’re craving a smoke break, but you have a 4 p.m. in DRL and there is NO way you’re walking another ten blocks to smoke at home. The DRL rooftop is for you. Head on up to the top floor of DRL, open some random doors until you find the boiler room, and climb up to the most chill rooftop on 33rd Street. Soak up some sun and THC while staring out at the Philadelphia skyline.
Address: 209 S 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Best Places to Pee On–Campus Penn Choice: The Ben on a Bench Statue
As a physical structure, this spot earns points for its waist level height which makes it an easy target. Then, consider the history: for decades, this legendary urination spot has been christened by hundreds of Penn students before you. The cameras installed specifically to catch Ben on a Bench pranksters only adds to the thrill. While peeing on Ben may seem embarrassing, as Mr. Franklin said himself, “there are no gains without pains.”
Second place: Allegro
Third place: Frat backyard
Best Places to Pee On–Campus Street Choice: Anywhere—it’s 2018
Everyone pees, it’s just a fact. Sometimes you get caught past 2 a.m. and you can’t run into Huntsman. Or, you’re too lazy to go to the 6th floor of Van Pelt, and let’s face it, the other bathrooms just don’t compare. Maybe you see an open building to go pee in, but then you see that one person you have beef with walking in. Just go ahead and pee wherever the fuck you want. It’s 2018. The world is your oyster.
Best Vom Spot Penn Choice: Abandoned Lot Next to Blarneys
Having one of those nights where it be like that sometimes? The abandoned parking lot next to Blarney’s is a tranquil and quiet place to let it all out. Whether or not your best friend is holding your hair and giving you words of encouragement, this vom spot is bound to be a more positive experience than most. Unlike a hookup, this abandoned lot is always reliable and will never let you down.
Address: 3929 Sansom St., Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Second place: Trash can on Pine Street
Third place: Allegro
Best Vom Spot Street Choice: Outside of the Dental School
Definitely one of the more underrated spots on campus, the Dental School has a very convenient location in the block between Smokes/McDonalds and Allegro/Copa, meaning that you could be leaving a drinking location to go to a food location, and have a spot to quickly pull trig if needed. The Dental School isn’t exactly a place where people congregate, so you’ll save yourself the pain of puking in front of strangers. You will also be reminded to stop getting into these puking situations, considering the damage it can do to your pearly whites.
Address: 240 S 40th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Best Place for Public Sex Street Choice: Wharton’s Historic Desk That Sits In The Corner Of Steiny D
The perfect place for sex on a desk. The corner desk is a great spot to celebrate your OCR victories or mourn over your negligible job prospects. Take off your tie and get relaxed—this spot is ready for you. Bonus points if you ~prepare for you interview~ here.
Address: 3620 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA, 19104
Best Place for Public Sex Penn Choice: Penn Park
What’s more public than Penn Park? Situated on the far eastern side of campus, Penn Park feels like an escape from stress, but is convenient to get to. Located right next to DRL, it is the perfect place for that one hour “study break” with your special someone in between class and office hours. Breathe in the fresh air and gaze at the city skyline at sunset!
Address: 3000 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Second place: The Button
Third place: GSR
Best Walking/Running Spot Penn Choice: Schuylkill Trail
While runners and joggers can enjoy their sport almost anywhere, Schuylkill Trail displays wonderful facilities for them. Paved between Fairmount Park and Valley Forge, the trail has a vast network of paths on both flat and hilly terrain. Particularly popular is the eight–mile loop that crosses the Falls Bridge in East Falls. The loop provides almost no shade, but you can get a nice breeze off the river on a windy day. And during the warmer months, you can expect to see a few water fountains on the trail—one at Lloyd Hall, one just south of the Falls Bridge, and one on MLK Jr. Drive near Montgomery Avenue. Distance runners may wish to skip the loop and run the trail from Center City all the way to Valley Forge, and catch a ride back to the city on SEPTA’s regional rail line in Norristown.
Address: Schuylkill Banks—25th and Spruce Streets
Second place: Forbidden Drive
Third place: The Woodlands
Best Walking/Running Spot Street Choice: Fairmount Park
Looking for a place to walk or run in peace without bumping into your neighbor or TA while drenched in sweat? Head out to Fairmount Park, a ten–minute drive from campus easily accessible by a long walk or a SEPTA ride. The park stretches from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to North Philly and beyond, splitting into East and West with the Schuylkill river dividing it. In addition to the extremely popular walking/running/biking trail on Kelly Drive, there are two thousand acres of land available to explore by walking or running. There are many notable landmarks throughout the park, one particularly picturesque and unique one being the Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, which was built in Japan in 1953 and moved to Fairmount Park in 1958. With a koi pond, tea house, waterfall, island, and more, it’s a beautiful sight.
Address: Reservoir Dr., Philadelphia, PA 19119