Top Spots in Philly’s University City

Get to know this hip college neighborhood, block by block.

Located just a quick hop across the Schuylkill River from Center City, this bustling neighborhood is best known as the home of several educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania. And though the zone features all the charms of a college town, it’s also a popular spot for dining, shopping and exploring beyond the school year. Here’s a quick hit of just a few of our favorite places in this vibrant enclave.


Visit Walnut Street Café for a menu of delicate and upscale American-inspired items. For a futuristic dining experience, visit Pod where a conveyor belt delivers sashimi. At Zavino, enjoy delicious pizzas and pastas incorporating creative ingredient combos.

Walnut Street Café, 2929 Walnut St., 215.867.8067

Pod, 3636 Sansom St., 215.387.1803

Zavino, 112 S 13th St., 215.732.2400



Shop Penn is a collective offering over 30 retailers such as United By Blue (sustainable outdoor lifestyle apparel), House
of Our Own Books (new and used books) and Hello World (unique furniture, home decor, gifts).

United By Blue, 3421 Walnut St., 215.222.1617

House of 
Our Own Books, 3920 Spruce St., 215.222.1576

Hello World, 3610 Sansom St., 215.382.5207

United By Blue


Claiming to make craft beer accessible to all, City Tap House pours a wide range of craft brews. For tons of whiskey and an unassuming dive bar aesthetic, head to Fiume. New Deck Tavern has one of the largest single malt scotch collections in the city.

City Tap House, 3925 Walnut St., 215.662.0105

Fiume, 229 S. 45th St., 215.352.3591

New Deck Tavern, 3408 Sansom St., 215.386.4600


The Institute of Contemporary Art displays some of the newest developments in contemporary art. Visit the Penn Museum to learn about cultures like ancient Egypt and Greece. For live music from local, national and international artists, bop over to World Cafe Live.

Institute of Contemporary Art, 118 S. 36th St., 215.898.7108

Penn Museum, 3260 South St., 215.898.4000

World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 215.222.1400

Institute of Contemporary Art

Emily Sisco
About the author