Four new options for hungry souls

Marathon Grill

The new Marathon Grill at 40th and Walnut streets anchors the neighborhood’s eating scene.

If you’re looking for a substantial late-night bite or need a loaf of fresh rosemary and olive oil bread to go with dinner, life in University City just got a little easier. Four new eateries around 40th Street have opened their doors for business, with tempting offerings from artisan breads to made-to-order burritos, homemade spinach pie to grilled salmon burgers.


Included in this special report:

Dining/40th Street continues its bid to become a hot dining destination.

Academics/New degree programs from cinema to computer games.

Wellness/Pottruck introduces Pilates and other options outside the gym.

Neighborhood/An image makeover for the special services district.

Buildings/Construction projects continue, and this fall sees the completion of two major buildings.

Networking/Wireless service continues to expand around campus.



The new businesses add more life to an already thriving part of University City, says Tony Sorrentino, director of external relations for facilities and Real Estate Services. “40th Street is the scene that stitches together the community to the east and the residential community,” he says. “It’s a corridor that accommodates a variety of people associated with the University and those who make this their home 365 days a year.”

The idea behind the expansion—new eateries included—is to encourage people to think of 40th Street as a destination. The Bridge: Cinema de Lux, free outdoor concerts on the sidewalk in front of The Rotunda, the bustle of Fresh Grocer all contribute to that goal, says Sorrentino.

Now, so do these four new hot spots:

The Greek Lady, 222 S. 40th Street
The line for gyros, souvlaki and traditional Philly food may be long, but it’s worth it. Once a Spruce Street food cart—a lunchtime staple for many—the Greek Lady now has a permanent home between Locust and Walnut. Breakfast, lunch and dinner fare include bougsta, fresh spinach pie and grilled chicken on a pita. This Greek fast food eatery is perfect for a quick bite or late-night snack.

Marathon Grill, 40th and Walnut streets
Strolling along 40th Street, it’s hard to miss the new Marathon Grill. It sits right at the corner, and if the din of diners enjoying their meals al fresco doesn’t attract your attention, maybe the design will. Adjacent to The Bridge (and accompanied by an upstairs nightspot, the Mar Bar) the Marathon Grill is an airy, comfortable spot for breakfast, a late-night meal, or anything in between. The menu is similar to their other Center City locations, with a wide selection of omelets, salads, sandwiches and smoothies.

Metropolitan Bakery, 4013 Walnut Street
This haven for the bread connoisseur offers tabards, brioches and foccacia baked on the premises. You can order a loaf of saffron raisin challah, New York rye or an individual French berry roll. Prefer plain bread? Try a loaf of country white or cracked wheat, an organic country miche or a Metro baguette. While you’re at it, treat yourself to a bag of homemade granola or pick up some olive tapenade and artichoke salsa.

Qdoba, 230 S. 40th Street
This national chain offers made-to-order burritos, tacos, salads and nachos in a casual atmosphere. Located on the corner of Locust and 40th streets, this new eatery is popular with students in search of a reasonably priced meal in a relaxed setting. If you’re counting carbs or fat, choose a “naked” burrito, which comes without the wrap.

Originally published on September 9, 2004