What's a good bar in University City, Philadelphia?
July 17, 2008 11:22 PM   Subscribe

Philadelphians: recommend me a good bar in University City.

Somewhere with a good beer selection (I like IPAs). Somewhere hip, with a good atmosphere. Somewhere good to take a date. What's like the Royal Tavern in University City?
posted by ludwig_van to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Good luck. Everything in UC is overrun with annoying Penn students (I am a former Penn student of the non-annoying variety). My husband used to go to Fume which is a bit farther out. Over on Sansom there are some tasty places, but again, there's no avoiding the mass of Penn kids.
posted by nursegracer at 11:27 PM on July 17, 2008

Is the White Dog Cafe still there? I used to date a waitress, that was a good place.
posted by nicwolff at 11:33 PM on July 17, 2008

Is there a reason it has to be in University City specifically? Your selection will be a lot better if you're willing to take the trolley or subway to Center City...
posted by Deathalicious at 1:45 AM on July 18, 2008


The food is great, the bar is great, and it's pretty much the only place that serves both food and beer that I'll cross the river for. It doesn't look like much, but it's easily one of my favorite places in town.

White Dog is okay. When I lived out there, I went a few times, but I haven't been there in years.

If you're willing to come over this way, there are a TON of places. However, what are you looking for other than a good place to take a date? Your idea of a good date may not be the same as anyone elses.

It's too bad the Astral Plane closed. That place would've been my number one suggestion under any circumstances.
posted by onedarkride at 3:55 AM on July 18, 2008

As you may or may not know, it is summer now, that glonious season of no lines at food trucks and open seats in bars. That said, if you want to get the UCity experience, you need to embrace the students and academic atmosphere.

As far as ambience, White Dog has some, but can also be rather pretentious if you're not all into organic food. Right down the block is La Terasse, which, before 10pm or so, is very decent and has an OK beer selection. Further down Sansom is Mad Mex, which really doesn't have all that much in ambience but has quote a lot of good beers. Not fancy, but I do enjoy the $1.75 lagers at New Deck's happy hour.

Outside of the Penn-sanctioned UCity area, things turn more into 'neighborhood', less fancy places. If you want to head out west a little bit, the newer Dock Street Brewery at 50th and Baltimore can be a good time. Other than that, if I want good beer in that neighborhood, I drink at a friend's house.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:32 AM on July 18, 2008

Go to New Deck on a M or W and play Quizzo.
posted by melodykramer at 6:53 AM on July 18, 2008

Seconding Fiume. It's TINY, but the vibe is chill.
posted by desuetude at 7:12 AM on July 18, 2008

Yeah, University City is somewhat lacking for quality bars. I'd stay away from New Deck and Mad Mex.

I always suggest White Dog, although the bar area gets pretty crowded at times, even in the undergrad-less summer days. La Terrasse is also good and less crowded. Both of these are on the 3600 block of Sansom. One option that might be great for you is the World Cafe - a bar/live music/cafe associated with WXPN. It's on the Walnut bridge. They have live music most every night.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 7:21 AM on July 18, 2008

There's always POD. I don't know if they have a bar-bar, but they do have a sushi bar.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 9:17 AM on July 18, 2008

I am seconding New Deck Tavern. Half-price on all food during the later hours-- I want to say 10PM-Midnight or 11-1. As far as a date is concerned- it's great food, pretty good beer selection as well as wine menu, but it does fill up quickly, and often times (especially Quizzo nights) LOUD. Definitely worth a look.

POD is also good, but it doesn't sound like you're going for the expensive martini Steven Starr experience.

MadMex has an okay IPA selection, if I remember correctly. The place definitely has a trendy, college-hipster feel Great Mex-Fusion food too!!

OH! Just thought of the perfect place: Ecco Qui. Beer selection is not bad.
posted by nayten at 12:25 PM on July 18, 2008

Response by poster: Weeeell we ended up going to Good Dog in center city. But I will surely check out these suggestions next time. Thanks for the tips.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:12 AM on July 20, 2008

Local 44 (www.local44beerbar.com)
posted by LilBucner at 10:29 AM on February 6, 2009

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