The days of grabbing a bite to eat in 1920 Commons or meeting a friend for dim sum are now behind us, or at least on pause for the time being. With campus closed this semester and classes entirely online, one of the greatest Penn traditions—sharing a meal with friends—seems like a distant memory. Although Penn is not housing students in its dorms this semester, many people are returning to Philly to live in off–campus residences. We’re here to answer an important question for Penn students spending the next few months quarantined in University City: which classic Penn restaurants ARE open this fall? 

Magic Carpet Foods

Your favorite vegetarian street cart is officially back in business. Dean and Deb will be serving their renowned tofu meatballs and spinach pie at their 34th Street location (behind the Penn Design building) from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You can now order online for pickup and delivery or stop by the cart to grab lunch on-the-go. Don’t sleep on the marinated tofu—it’s great. 

Distrito Taqueria 

There’s nothing to ease the sadness of a global pandemic and massive school closure like a Distrito marg! Just kidding... kind of. Everyone’s favorite Mexican spot is open for takeout through online ordering. Pick up chips and guac, nachos, and margaritas to recreate the magic in your quarantine apartment. Or, order a “taco bar” to assemble your own in-house restaurant with all of the goods. 

Allegro Pizza

It’s hard to say what the best part about Allegro Pizza is: the greasy food that hits the spot after a long night out, the low-key but fantastic milkshakes, or the immaculate drunk people watching. Although you won’t be stumbling home from a 1980s ski–themed mixer any time soon, you can replicate that 2 a.m. Allegro’s feeling with pickup or delivery this semester. Order online or by phone to get University City’s best mozzarella sticks and chicken tenders delivered to your doorstep. 

Greek Lady

A landmark of Penn student life and fantastic gyros, Greek Lady is opening its doors this fall with COVID–19 precautions in place. Craving a Greek salad or spanakopita? Order online or by phone for pickup and delivery or stop by to dine outdoors on 40th Street. Nothing is quite the same as squeezing into a booth with your friends to share french fries and pita, but having the food brought to you will certainly get you close. 


Nothing says Penn like the rainbow Copabanana sign that wraps around the corners of 40th and Spruce Streets. Copa is a staple for $9 margaritas, burgers, and quesadillas. Usually one of the sceney–est spots to grab a drink before a night out, Copa will not be seating diners this semester. But, you can sip your margs at home by ordering online for pickup or ordering delivery through Grubhub or Uber Eats. 

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Keep these classics in your repertoire to create that warm fuzzy Penn feeling wherever you may be residing this fall.