Restaurants in University City, University City Dining - AKA

When it is convenient, AKA University City recommends that residents let us plan for their arrival as early as possible. The best Center City Philadelphia restaurant reservations, hottest tickets and services are assured when we can arrange them in advance of your stay.


1   24 Philadelphia  Newly opened on the famed Schuylkill Banks Trail, and offering stunning waterfront views, Chef Jose Garces' 24 features casual neighborhood dishes such as antipasti, delicious pizzas and mouth-watering pasta dishes, along with a spectacular wine list, craft beers, and a full bar.

2   City Tap House  Boasting one of Philadelphia’s largest craft beer selections, City Tap House offers elevated American pub fare in a “comfortably rustic” atmosphere. Located in the heart of University City, City Tap House also features extensive and picturesque outdoor seating featuring five large stone fire pits, perfect for enjoying the Philadelphia nightlife scene.

3   Distrito  Distrito brings the culture and cuisine of Mexico City to Philadelphia, with a menu developed by award-winning Chef Jose Garces that focuses on upscale Mexican bites and delicious margaritas. An amazing space for people-watching, Distrito’s alternative and modern setting also includes a fully stocked tequila bar with a variety of 100+ tequila brands.

4   Marigold Kitchen  Marigold Kitchen, an upscale BYOB offering an avant-garde New American tasting menu, was recently included in the top 10 of Philadelphia Magazine’s “The 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia”. Marigold Kitchen’s unique and creative setting in a former Victorian home makes it a favorite among locals for “special occasions."

5   Vernick Food and Drink  Vernick Food & Drink is an inviting neighborhood bistro developed by Chef Gregory Vernick that focuses on using extraordinary regional products to create a menu of approachable, globally-inspired dishes. The "Drink" side of Vernick Food & Drink features homemade sodas, as well as a carefully crafted selection of domestic and imported wines and beers and perfectly poured cocktails.

6   Pod  A futuristic space designed by impresario Stephen Starr, Pod sets the scene for high-end Pan-Asian fare including fresh sushi and dim sum while sipping on beer, sake, and a curated cocktail menu. Located in the heart of University City, Pod’s trendy and colorful atmosphere guarantees an inviting and exciting experience.

7   Han Dynasty  Rated one of the top 50 Chinese restaurants in America by CNN, built its reputation on its tasting menu and bold combinations. The menu helpfully assigns a spice level to each entrée, which can be altered to patrons’ tastes.

8   Zavino Wine Bar  Zavino, a pizzeria by proprietor Greg Dodge creates pizzas to provide ideal flavor pairings and innovative combinations with the highest quality ingredients. Allowing guests to invent and alter their pizza orders as they go, Zavino brings you a tiny fraction of Italy, boasting their Neapolitan-style pies, small plates, wide range of pastas and a full functioning wine bar.

9   White Dog Café  Located in three connecting Victorian brownstones, White Dog Cafe emphasizes on environmental sustainability and community engagement. Founded by social activist Judy Wicks in January of 1983, the restaurant Focuses on farm-to-table concept, sourcing from local farms with sustainable and organic practice within the Greater Philadelphia area.

10   CoZara  Considered as one of the Philadelphia’s most venerated sushi chefs, Japanese-Born Chef Hiroyuki “Zama” Tanaka brings CoZara, which means small plates, featuring Japanese food served tapas style including dumplings, soba, yakitori and other Japanese favorites, while sipping on some sake and Japanese craft beer. Chef Zama brings the rich culinary traditions of Japan to University City.

11   Hip City Veg  Home to Philadelphia’s well known smoothie, the Groothie, Hip City Veg is a fast-casual outlet utilizing plant-based ingredients, made from 100% organic non-GMO soy ingredients. Hip City Veg provides a healthy quick way to embrace a healthy lifestyle and at the same time maintaining a healthy planet by utilizing all compostable materials and providing delicious food.

12   Shake Shack  From a hot dog cart in Madison Square, Manhattan to University City, Philadelphia, famous restaurateur Danny Meyer brings the modern day “roadside” burger serving up delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more, serving fresh, simple, high-quality ingredients of the classics.

13   Tria  Relax and enjoy great wine, beer and cheese with Tria’s ever-changing fermentation menu. Small, diverse and seasonal, the fermentation trio are complemented by a European-style cafe menu of gourmet light fare. On Sundays, attend Sunday school to learn about a variety of not-so-common wine, cheese and beer at incredibly low prices.

14   Audrey Claire  Audrey Claire, a Mediterranean BYOB, one of the city's favorites offers a taste that falls between the South-of-France simplicity, Israeli couscous, mezze, grilled fish served head to tail, and the olive oils of those rustic lands. An intimate restaurant, Audrey Claire offers a rare opportunity to experience the theatrics of a small kitchen, with the opportunity to get up close and personal at the chef’s counter.

15   Sabrina’s Café  Serving brunch all day long, Sabrina’s Cafe is known for their long lines and wait time. Revolves around the concept of “eating at the home of a friend”, Sabrina’s strive to eliminate the concept of dining in a typical restaurant. Indulge yourself with stuffed challah french toast, buttermilk pancakes, a turkey burger, a caesar salad or more! Patrons never get bored as Sabrina’s is always coming up with something new. It’s worth the wait!

16   JG Domestic  Winner of 2009 James Beard Foundation’s prestigious “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” award, Chef Jose Garces brings JG Domestic, a contemporary American restaurant serving artisanal food crafted from the finest available domestic ingredients sourcing products from Luna Farm, owned and managed by Chef Garces himself! Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails and an assortment of American wines and craft beers to complement the whole dining experience.

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