People's Choice: Good eats

With new restaurants opening at a dizzying pace of late , we thought it was time to take stock of what Penn people thought were the best places to dine out. Since we didn’t restrict their choices to the campus, it’s perhaps not surprising that most of our respondents mentioned restaurants in Center City. Our readers apparently do have a taste for the new—several of their recommendations are recent additions to the local dining scene.

Sharon Benzeno
Postdoctoral Fellow, Cancer Research Center

“Sal’s on 12th is a great little Italian place on 12th and Walnut. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is cozy. They always have a pretty good bar crowd too. It is a must in Center City.”

Carrie Fillman
Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of Education

“Tragos, Tragos, Tragos [39 S. 19th St.]! Perfect for dancing after the restaurant has closed. It’s a great happy hour spot too.”

Beth Adams
Director of Publications, School of Dental Medicine

“Matyson [37 S. 19th St.] Reasonable food at a good price and a small menu, so it’s not overwhelming. Duck with pomegranate sauce was excellent. The mirrors on the ceiling were an odd touch, though.”

Carrie Stavrakos
Associate Director of Programs and Events, School of Arts and Sciences Development and Alumni Relations

“El Vez [13th and Sansom]. Very good, very retro L.A. Decorated with that Mexican art made out of tin.”

Sandra Rathman
Director of Special Projects and Commnunications, School of Engineering and Applied Science

“My current favorite is Django’s [526 S. 4th St.]. Great, inventive food, BYOB—which is always a plus—fabulous cheese plate presented knowledgeably by the in-house cheese aficionado. An all-around charming bistro.”

Adam Sherr
Associate Director of Academic Affairs, School of Nursing

“I love Lee How Fook at 11th and Cherry streets. They have the best pan fried noodles and awesome won ton soup. On campus, nothing beats the pub atmosphere and hearty food at the New Deck Tavern [3408 Sansom St.].”

— Jason Bartlett, Sandy Smith and Judy West

Originally published on April 1, 2004