For students heading back to Penn, Drexel and University of the
Sciences, there’s a lot to look forward to. Our picks for some of the
area’s best going out options, plus a couple for when you’re staying in.
And no, we didn’t forget about you, Temple students.
College bar upgrades
It wouldn’t be University City without 50-cent drink night. But when you’re looking for more than a hangover, Tria Wine Room (3131 Walnut St.) serves up a small but painstakingly thorough menu of wines, cheeses and beers. And while New Deck Tavern (3408 Sansom St.) does have your sorority sister standards — karaoke, quizzo, Miller Lite, in no particular order — it’s also a surprisingly good dinner option with top-notch bartenders.
If your parents are in town
Not picking up the bill? Introduce mom and dad to Jose Garces’ hidden Cira Centre outpost, JG Domestic (2929 Arch St.), or Stephen Starr’s still-kicking Pod (3636 Sansom St.). For a less flashy but just as impressive night, check out the trendy-quaint RX (4443 Spruce St.) or Marigold Kitchen (501 S. 45th St.), both hidden among West Philly rowhouses.
For when it’s time to (dinner) party
Fresh Grocer is impressive as far as campus grocery stores go, but the area also offers great organic and specialty ingredients if you know where to find them. The Clark Park Farmers Market sets up shop on Thursdays and Saturdays with produce, cheeses and meats — not to mention chocolates and baked goods — from local farmers and artisans. Down the avenue, Milk & Honey Market (45th St. and Baltimore Ave.) sells the honey they harvest from urban apiaries, in addition to gourmet groceries and cafe fare.
Late-night survival secret
Look, California Pizza (3231 Powleton Ave.) isn’t exactly the slice you parade home to mom on Christmas break. But she is reliable, she is cheap and she is open later than most year-round (delivery until 2 a.m. on the weekends, 12:30 during the week). Don’t you ever, ever take her for granted.
Think outside the Starbucks
If you’re looking for more than a quick cup to go, University City has plenty of cozy nooks. Neighborhood mainstay Green Line Cafe (4239 Baltimore Ave., 4426 Locust St., and 3649 Lancaster Ave, ) strikes the perfect balance of reliable coffee, tasty snacks and West Philly people-watching while also hosting local art exhibits and live music. Although a fairly recent addition, Lovers & Madmen (28 S. 40th st.) has quickly won over an audience with their coveted Counter Culture beans.
Further west, Satellite Cafe is more charming and welcoming than their vegan anarchist brownies would lead you to believe.
Although Temple University is slightly off the beaten path of Philadelphia, it has its fair share of entertainment for students.
With bars, food trucks, and enough students that something is going on, you can have a great time without heading towards Center City.
Temple students can usually be found at one of three bars near campus: Pub Webb, The Draught Horse and Maxi’s. The first two are conveniently located almost next door to one another, on Cecil B. Moore between Broad and 16th streets. Draught Horse appeals as more of a restaurant, and has a more parent-friendly environment. Pub Webb, on the other hand, is filled with students drinking and dancing on the cheap.
Some of the best of the food trucks are the Sexy Green Truck (12th and Montgomery streets) and the Creperie (13th and Norris streets), locally known as the Crepe Truck. Students constantly rush across campus during the 10-minute break between classes to get a crepe from the truck, which blasts rock while the men inside roll out crepes for under $5.
Until Fresh Grocer was constructed in late 2009 the hunt for, well, fresh groceries was always daunting. Most students travelled down to Center City to shop at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, while others stayed content with mac & cheese from Rite Aid.
Those feeling adventurous can go to Cousin’s Supermarket on Sixth and Berks streets. It’s out of the way, but is much cheaper than Fresh and has many ethnic ingredients.