Internal Medicine Residency

Ethnic Life - Restaurants

The aim of this section is not to present the finest Philly has to offer, but rather, delicious food at reasonable prices.


Right around Campus


Food Trucks
Spruce St.
Walnut St. by Gimbel Gym,
In front of the Hospital on 34th
The food trucks are lunch and on-call faves. Cheap and quick and you can take your Styrofoam to-go box to the Green. The hands-down favorite on campus is the crepe truck on Walnut by Gimbel. You'll recognize it by the long line; unfortunately it's a good four blocks from Stemmler Hall at the Medical School. The darlings of Spruce St. are "The Real Le Ahn" and "The Original Le Ahn" which are fierce competitors (I'm serious.) They're hard to tell apart, and have good Chinese food. Finally, look for the Fruit Trucks every season except winter. Excellent sliced fruit; great for a snack in class.

Abramson Cafeteria
Ground floor of Abramson Building (next to BRB)
Great selection, decent prices. Eat healthy or greasy in the glass-enclosed dining area, but come early to beat the crowds at lunchtime.

Au Bon Pain
Ground floor of BRB
37th and Locust Walk (Wharton)
Good sandwiches, if a bit pricey. Good place to study with a cup of coffee in the afternoons when it's less hectic. Both locations have outdoor seating, but the BRB one lets you picnic on the lovely patch of grass outside.

Bitar's
222 South 40th St. (at Locust St.)
215-382-3000
Good, cheap Middle Eastern food next to campus. Would be nicer if they invested in real plates and silverware.

Nava Japanese
(formerly Genji)
40th & Spruce St. (under the Hair Studio)
215-387-1583
Decent Japanese close to school. It looks questionable from the outside, but the inside has class. Wide variety of Japanese food at a reasonable price.

Tandoor India
106 S. 40th btw Walnut & Chestnut Sts
215-222-7122
New Delhi
4004 Chesnut St.
215-386-1941
Tandoor and New Delhi, its competitor around the corner on Chestnut, offer the best lunch buffets close to campus. $5.95 plus a 15% student discount to eat 'til your hearts content on good Indian food. They're just close enough that if you hurry, you can fit in a meal here during a one hour lunch break. Tandoori chicken lovers frequent The House of Tandoor, naturally. Staunch advocates for New Delhi cite it's vegetable section and more pleasant atmosphere. Try 'em both multiple times.

Mad for Mex
3401 Walnut St. behind the Gap
215-382-2221
You'll undoubtedly eat here even though it sucks. The food is kinda boring despite the funky leather menus, and if you're at all hungry, you probably ought to consider buying two dinners. The service is slow and often reluctant to honor the happy-hour and late-night food specials that make the prices worth it. The restaurant does have a cool atmosphere, and the bar is extensive. Okay, their margaritas are pretty good, and it's a popular place for post-test class happies. Go here to get drunk, not fed.

The Restaurant School
4207 Walnut Street
215-222-4200
Gourmet food at affordable prices, the highest being about $14/entrée. Service is excellent. Students prepare and serve food under the supervision of an instructor. Reservations are required, and dress is casual.

The White Dog
3420 Sansom St.
215-386-9224
One of Philadelphia's best-loved restaurants. Definitely a parents-taker, and quite worth the trip any time. The atmosphere is excellent - lots of small, ornately decorated rooms. For Sunday brunch head for the one with the piano. The food is also one-of-a-kind, designed by an excellent head chef, and eclectic in style. If you want an up-scale bar for some hob-nobbing with law students (fresh from their school across the street) or just want to go out for a nice dessert, this is also the place. You'll undoubtedly note the political overtones of activist/owner Judy Wicks on the menu, at the bathrooms, and in the speakers' series calendar near the door. Entrees between $15 and $25.

New Deck Tavern
3400 block of Sansom St.
next to White Dog
Serves as the standard college bar with strict enough carding that you're not surrounded by kids just finishing their driving tests. Worthwhile bar food, and Quizzo fun on Wed nights.

Thai Singha House
3939 Chestnut St.
215-382-8001
($8 to $15)
Satisfies the Thai urge when you're near campus. A very cozy, cute sort place at that.

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African


Abyssinia
229 South St.
215-387-3155
Don't be put off by the appearance outside, this family-run favorite is clean and pretty inside. A true Ethiopian feast awaits - you'll eat with your hands and share a plate with the other folks at the table, having a great time. I recommend the Chicken Ye doro Tibs and the Azifa. Dinner entrees at $8-12.

Dahlak
4708 Baltimore Ave.
215-726-6464
A favorite of Penn students, this authentic Ethiopian features flavorful fun food that's eaten with fingers in a friendly communal style. The service can be slow, so don't go in a rush; the experience is worth it. Definitely have some mango juice while you wait.

Fatou & Fama
4002 Chestnut St.
215-386-0700
Delicious West African food for affordable prices.

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American


Astral Plane
1708 Lombard St.
215-546-6230
A romantic date place with a decor dedicated to old flying memorabilia, this place will have you looking around and at each other. I think the food was good. I do remember it was on the pricey side.

Audrey Claire Restaurant
276 S. 20th St. (Spruce)
215-731-1222
Though some say "more atmosphere than food," this trendy, crowded destination does deliver innovative, delicious food. The salads are always unique and good. No reservations taken, so be prepared to wait.

Fork
306 Market St.
215-625-9425
Though they can't seem to match the silverware, they serve up delicious fish and meats. The place is new and elegant; clientele well-dressed. Quiet but popular.

Marathon on the Square
1839 Spruce St.
215-731-0800
Best brunch east of The White Dog. Go any time for chic atmosphere and great food. Lunch and dinner are not as well-received.

Rose Tattoo Cafe
1847 Callowhill St.
215-569-8939
This place is beautiful! Tons of plants and flowers, lots of color. Try to sit in the upper level balcony area, and enjoy the food, which by the way, is delicious.

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Belgian


Monk's Cafe
264 S. 16th St.
215-545-7005
A multiple "Best of Philly Winner" for its beer selection and burgers, Monk's does some non-traditional "bar" food too, and quite well. Don't skip the fries, though. Not a good place to go with a big crowd on a weekend night if you expect to get seated quickly.

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Caribbean


Jamaican Jerk Hut
1436 South Street
215-545-8644
Great duck. Mainly take-out menu, but during the summer and early fall, the patio out back is open. Live jazz and reggae on the weekends. Feature dishes include jerk shrimp, conch salad, and roasted red snapper. Specialty drinks include sorrel and Irish moss. No credit cards.

Uhuru Restaurant
12 N. 52nd St.
215-747-1191
Caribbean shop and restaurant with sit-down and take-out.

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Chinese


Wok Chinese
Walnut St. between 16th and 17th
Exceptional Chinese food close to Rittenhouse Square

The section of Center City between 12th and 8th and Arch and Vine constitutes Philadelphia's Chinatown. There's a restaurant in every other doorway it seems, so exploring can be fun. Here are two favorites:


North Sea
153 N. 10th St.
215-925-1906
Frequented by locals, this Cantonese place is great. I highly recommend the steamed fish dishes. You can choose your fish yourself from the tanks near the door. They'll scoop it out and have it on your plate in 15 minutes. Nothing's fresher for seafood. This restaurant also does tofu very well and has great soups. ($8 to $20 for entrees.)

Penang
117 N. 10th St.
215-413-2531
This trendy restaurant did so well in a couple of Manhattan locations that the owners opened new branches in Philly and D.C. It serves Malaysian food, a blend of Indian, Thai, and Chinese styles. Everything I've tried has been good, and the prices are excellent. Ask your waiter for help ordering; expect lines out the door on weekends. ($5 to $15.)

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Eclectice


Judy's Cafe
627 S. 3rd St.
215-928-1968
This very cool place serves "fancy diner food." Do not miss the meatloaf. The staff and clientele are colorful. The food is hearty. A very fun place.

Reading Terminal Market
51 N. 12th St. (Arch St.)
215-922-2317
Let me just say - go there! If you like food, you'll love this place. Basically a farmer's market, there are tables set up in the center to re-group and eat. Lots of variety and everything is super-fresh.

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French


Bistro St. Tropez
2400 Market St., 4th Floor
215-569-9269
You may have seen the neon as you cross the Schuylkill, obviously this place at least has a view. Rumor has it the food is authentic French and delicious; prices are "cheap for French."

Le Bec-Fin
1523 Walnut St
215-567-1000
We just had to include this one - "the best restaurant in America" several years running according to the French National Restaurant Ratings. Prices are not cheap in any way ($118 price fixed dinner), but there is a $36 lunch "bargain" if you must try.

Astral Plane
1708 Lombard St.
215-546-6230
A romantic date place with a decor dedicated to old flying memorabilia, this place will have you looking around and at each other. I think the food was good. I do remember it was on the pricey side. Trendy cuisine in an even more trendy space.

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Gay-friendly

Caribou Cafe
1126 Walnut St.
215-625-9535
French-style restaurant with art-deco atmosphere and mouth watering entrees.

Cosi
12th and Walnut Sts.
Cafe with scrumptious sandwiches and salads served during lunch and dinner. Bar opens in the evening, in addition to coffee drinks.

Judy's Cafe
627 S. 3rd St.
215-928-1968
This very cool place serves "fancy diner food." Do not miss the meatloaf. The staff and clientele are colorful. The food is hearty. A very fun place. Gay-owned restaurant that serves Gourmet Cuisine in a Diner atmosphere. Bar serves only top shelf cocktails, wine, and tall mimosas.


Last Drop Coffeehouse
1300 Pine St.
215-893-0434
Cute place but VERY smoky depending on time of day.

Millennium Coffee
212 S. 12th St.
215-731-9798
Pioneering coffeehouse that helped create the Gayberhood, with great music, friendly patrons, fabulous staff, and delicious pastries. Millennium carries 1 house blend + 2 exotic blends that change daily, which is great for late night studying, as it closes at Midnight everyday of the week.

More Than Just Ice Cream
1119 Locust St.
215-574-0586
A café/restaurant with an (home-made) ice cream parlor. Mountain-sized apple pie slices are a real treat. Known for its tasty, yet affordable burgers as well as healthy chicken salads.

White Dog Cafe
3420 Sansom St.
215-386-9224
One of Philadelphia's best-loved restaurants. Definitely a parents-taker, and quite worth the trip any time. The atmosphere is excellent - lots of small, ornately decorated rooms. For Sunday brunch head for the one with the piano. The food is also one-of-a-kind, designed by an excellent head chef, and eclectic in style. If you want an up-scale bar for some hob-nobbing with law students (fresh from their school across the street) or just want to go out for a nice dessert this is also the place. Finally, you'll undoubtedly note the political overtones of activist/owner Judy Wicks on the menu, at the bathrooms, and in the speaker's series calendar near the door. Entrees between $15 and $25.

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Greek


Effie's
1127 Pine St.
215-592-8333
A favorite for relatively inexpensive, delicious food, Effie's delivers fresh, home style flavor consistently. Save room for the baklava and be prepared to wait for a table during prime hours.

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Italian

Bistro La Baia
1700 Lombard Street
215-546-0496
Though owned by Egyptians, this one-room romantic restaurant serves up some tasty Italian. Their soups are often quite creative and their seafood is delicious, but I still can't deny their delicious bread.

Melograno
2201 Spruce St.
215-875-8116
Delicious Italian BYOB. This place is often extremely crowded, so unless you go right at 5 pm (when it opens), expect at least an hour wait. However, they will take your cell phone number and call you when your table is ready, so feel free to put your name in and then go stroll around Fitler Square or the dog park. The food is definitely worth the wait!

Porcini
2048 Sansom St.
215-751-1175
A small neighborhood place - go as a couple; this place is always full. Very friendly service and light, delicious food. More Italian than Italian-American.

Dmitri’s 24th St. Café
2400 Lombard St.
215-546-2009
This place serves large portions of basic, but tasty Italian food. A relatively new place in a less-trendy locale, Roma Cafe is a good bet for an empty table, even with a group of 6-8.

South Philly (especially the region south of South and between 8th and Broad) is "Little Sicily", Philly's historically Italian section. It remains the place to go for Italian groceries, the old-world style out-door "Italian Market" on 9th St., and authentic restaurants. South Philly is no yuppie tourist mecca, rather it's the real thing for the people who live there. There are loads of neighborhood restaurants, some without signs. The streets are generally safe at night; hearsay has it that this is because they are controlled by the mob. I've found this to be true (the safe part, anyway). Here are a few starters in this region:


Io E Tu
1514-20 South 9th St.
215-271-3906
Owned and run by John and Concetta Varallo, this place is friendly and comfortable, even if the decor reminds you of the Mummer's parade. The food is very good, and the service excellent. Large wine list. Dinner entrees $10-$20.


Mr. Martino’s Trattoria
1646 E. Passayunk (near 12th and Passayunk)
215-755-0663
The classic cozy Italian with a charming atmosphere. There are only ten tables or so in the place, so call ahead. BOYB. The small menu changes constantly and the food is pretty good. Entrees between $10 and $15.

Victor Cafe
1303 Dickinson St.
Btw. Broad & 13th St.
215-468-3040
The Opera-lover's dream. For several generations this place has been famous for its virtuoso wait-staff. Most of these folks are members of the Philadelphia Opera Company, and every 15 minutes or so one of them puts down their tray to sing an aria. Amazing. The walls are adorned with decades of opera star photos and memorabilia. The food is worth it, but come especially for the entertainment.

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Japanese


Ajia
3131 Walnut St., Unit 3B
215-222-2542
This is a new sushi place located at the Left Bank. The sushi is creative, delicious and affordable. The staff is extremely friendly and attentive and the atmosphere is very soothing.

Sagami Japanese Restaurant
37 W. Crescent Blvd.
Collingswood, NJ
856-854-9773
Claimed by one student to be “the best sushi from here to California” this popular restaurant requires a short drive over the Ben Franklin Bridge or a train ride on Patco (15th and Locust) to the Westmont station. Sushi dinner options cost about $25, but include lots of side dishes, salad, miso soup, and dessert. Weekend nights tend to bring long lines, so call in advance to make a reservation.

Shiroi Hana Restaurant
222 S. 15th St.
215-735-4444
Some of the best sushi in Center City at workable prices and nice atmosphere.

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Latin

Berlengas Islands
4926 N. 5th St.
215-324-3240
This place has been selected as one of the "50 best Hispanic restaurants" in this country by the magazine Hispanic (7/94). The seafood offerings, paella and langosta recheada are recommended. Closed on Wed. No credit cards.

Copa Two
263 S. 15th St. (at Spruce)
215-735-0848
Friendly, colorfully-decorated 2-story bar a block off Broad St. Top-notch margaritas and burgers. Big brother is Copabanana at 344 South St. (215-923-6180).

El Azteca II
714 Chestnut
215-733-0895
Your classic cheap, hearty portions of authentic Mexican. A good place for a rowdy group. They don't have a liquor license so bring your own bottle of tequila. Hand it to the waiter and they'll add everything else to make pitchers of margaritas for you.

Tierra Colombiana
4535 N. 5th St.
215-324-6086
3 blocks from Roosevelt Blvd
Excellent Colombian and Cuban. Makes a whopping bowl of paella. Catch the disco upstairs to make an entire evening of it.

12th Street Cantina
Reading Terminal Market
12th St., btw Filbert & Arch Sts.
215-625-032l
If you want fast food without the fast-food taste, this is the place. The food is authentically Mexican and inexpensive. You can also buy imported Mexican grocery items to make it yourself. Open 11 AM - 4 PM.

Zocalo
36th and Lancaster
215-895-0139
Features excellent Mexican cuisine in a relaxed setting, in Powelton Village. Average entree is $13, but there is a range from about $8 to $20.

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Mediterranean


Bitar's
40th and Locust Sts.
215-382-3000
Good, cheap Middle Eastern food next to campus. Would be nicer if they invested in real plates and silverware.

Cedar's Restaurant
616 S. 2nd St.
215-925-4950
One of several great restaurants in the downtown South St. area, it serves delicious Middle Eastern food complete with tasty desserts. Relatively small, intimate setting makes it an ideal place for a romantic date. The staff is friendly and fast, and the food is not too pricey.

Sahara Grill
1336 Walnut St.
A relatively new restaurant, they serve good Middle Eastern food at a good price (main entrees run $8-15), and cater to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The Arabic bread, which is homemade, is particularly good. Reservations are recommended on the weekends.

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Moroccan

Marrakesh
517 S. Leithgow St.
btw 4th and 5th , N of South
215-925-5929
You have two great options here. Many love this place for a large group, and you will have lots of fun. But, the dimly-lit room, with pillow-filled "booths", and succulent food you eat by hand lends itself as well to a date.

Tangerine
232 Market Street
(between 2nd and 3rd Sts.)
(215) 627-5116
The new "it" spot, at least for now, this extravagant mix of dim lighting, tons of candles and some neon, definitely delivers atmosphere. Food is served "family-style". However, with its high prices, bringing Mom and Dad wouldn't be a bad idea. It is tasty.

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Seafood


Dmitri's
795 S. 3rd St (215-625-0556)
2227 Pine St (215-985-3680)
What used to be 2 separate restaurants with the same owner is now 2 Dmitri's, yet the original on 3rd St. is no less crowded. Why? Consistently fresh, Mediterranean-styled seafood, not over-priced. Very trendy and very good. Sit at the counter for added entertainment.

Striped Bass
1500 Walnut St.
215-732-4444
One of the best restaurants, according to the national press. It's truly outstanding, but pricey. Take Mom and Dad on a special occasion. The interior decor features a lot of marble, and is impressive on its own. The dinner scene from The Sixth Sense was filmed here.

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Thai


My Thai
2200 South St.
215-985-1878
You can go hot, but don't have to here. Food is very well seasoned and delicious. Prices aren't too high and I've always been seated immediately.

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Vietnamese


Vietnam Restaurant
221 N. 11th
btw. Race & Vine Sts.
215-592-1163
For many people this place edges out Viet Nam Palace across the street. If you have at least four people, order the bar-b-que appetizer, and ask your waiter to teach you how to make Vietnamese style tortillas. Definitely try a soup, a vermicelli, and the grape leaves. The mixed drinks here are a hoot. They come out in classic ceramic glasses with umbrellas or flames.

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