Campus cafés offer homey hospitality

Joe's Cafe

In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability, Joe’s Café, which opened last winter in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, is a “green” café. All food is produced seasonally and within 150 miles of Penn.

There are plenty of places to find food and drink on and near campus, ranging from vending machines to food trucks, to the many restaurants situated in University City. But tucked away inside several University buildings there are also small, intimate cafés that offer diners charming spots to refuel, relax and recharge.

The cafés sprinkled throughout campus are Penn’s version of neighborhood sandwich shops or corner stores.

“Many cafés develop good relationships with the people they serve,” says Pam Lampitt, general manager of Conference Services. “A customer might say, ‘Why don’t you serve turkey?’ And the next week the café will serve turkey. That’s the uniqueness of the cafés, and being responsive to their customers.”

One of the newest cafés, Brysi, is housed at the recently renovated arches of the Weiss Pavilion on the north side of Franklin Field. “Brysi,” the Greek word for fountain, serves panini sandwiches, salads and a variety of beverages, including real fruit smoothies made with traditional favorites like strawberry and banana as well as more exotic flavors such as mango and passion fruit. For the after-workout crowd, Brysi serves power shakes fortified with protein and other supplements. 

On the ground level of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, Mark’s Café offers a spot where library visitors can take a break from studying and enjoy a snack, soft drink, coffee or tea.

Joe's Cafe

In keeping with the University’s commitment to sustainability, Joe’s Café, which opened last winter in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall, is a “green” café. All food is produced seasonally and within 150 miles of Penn. Joe’s, named after Wharton School founder Joe Wharton, offers hormone and antibiotic-free meat and dairy products, as well as fish sourced using the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guidelines, and dolphin-safe tuna. The café is LEED gold certified, and recycles and composts 50 percent of its waste.

Some of the cafés are currently operating under limited summer hours, but during the school year most remain open late into the evening.

Originally published on June 23, 2011