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July 01, 2024

University City Dining Days returns to pre-pandemic numbers, with more than 30 participating restaurants

The event, which will be held July 18-28 in West Philly, offers $20, $30 and $40 lunch and dinner specials.

Food & Drink Restaurants
University city dining days co-op Provided Image/University City District

Co-Op, above, is one of more than 30 restaurant options for diners during this year's University City Dining Days event in July.

University City Dining Days returns next month to West Philly, offering diners a discounted dim sum lunch around a lazy Susan or a new Thai option.

The neighborhood's version of restaurant week, which will be held during lunch and dinner hours Thursday, July 18, through Sunday, July 28, has been a staple for over 10 years. Eateries in the area will offer three-course set menus for $20, $30 or $40 per person, featuring an appetizer, entree and dessert or specialty drink. Participating restaurants include the White Dog Cafe, Co-Op, Dahlek, Dim Sum House, Irie Entree, Garces Trading Company and more. Tax and gratuity are not included. 

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So far, 32 restaurants in the area have signed on with specials for the 10-day event, which University City District Director Chris Richman said is back to pre-pandemic numbers. New participants this year are Tataki Ramen & Sushi, Blaze Pizza, and Crate & Press Cafe. 

"We think this is very much a global event," Richman said. "University City is a very diverse global neighborhood and the food reflects that."

This year, Richman said the event is getting back into the groove after the pandemic. Han Dynasty, Sabrina's Cafe, and the Board and Brew are all returning to the event after taking a few years off. The event has also refocused on in-person dining after shifting to takeout in the height of COVID-19. 

Margaret Starke, senior events manager at University City District, said Dining Days offers a chance to support the local community during a slow season when universities are on summer break. 

"So many of our participants are family-owned institutions that have been in the neighborhood for a really long time," Starke said. "So it really feels like you're supporting the family, you're supporting your local community when you come out and dine at these restaurants."

Not all participating restaurants accept reservations, but Richman and Starke recommend making one if possible. See the full lineup and menus here

University City Dining Days

July 18-28, lunch and dinner

University City

$20, $30 and $40 per person