New eats (and drinks) in U. City

gelato

WHAT: It seems that with every passing season comes a slate of new eateries, coffee shops and drinking establishments that open their doors in University City. Here are just a few of the latest dining additions to the neighborhood.

ITALIAN FOR ‘DECADENT’: If you ever get a craving for a sweet summer treat, head straight for the newly opened West Philly location of the local chain, Capogiro, located at 3925 Walnut St. Known for their high-quality, handmade gelato, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find something that strikes your fancy. Flavors run the gamut from the traditional (dark chocolate, pistachio, strawberry) to the unique (ruby red grapefruit with Campari, bourbon butterscotch, tahini). This location also boasts a small selection of panini, including the standout “Carne” sandwich, with roast beef, carmelized onions, gorgonzola cheese and wasabi mayo. Be sure to sample a unique liquor drink made with—what else?—gelato. For more information, check out the website at www.capogirogelato.com.

ALL LOCAL, ALL THE TIME: Even if you feel pangs of guilt about indulging your sweet tooth at Cream + Sugar, at least you can rest easy that you’re doing your part to help out the local economy. That’s because everything at this shop, located at 4004 Spruce St., is locally crafted or made in-house. The coffee comes from Rittenhouse Square-based caffeine connoisseurs La Colombe and the ice cream is from Philadelphia mainstay Bassett’s. The place also features homemade bagel toppings, fresh fruit smoothies and hoards of candy—from SweetTarts to gummi worms. There’s even something for vegans—scrumptious desserts from Gianna’s Grille. Try the Peanut Butter Bomb. It’s, well, the bomb. For more information, call them at 215-243-9979.

COFFEE TALK: If you head three blocks north to the corner of 40th and Ludlow streets, you’ll find another new cafe, Lovers & Madmen Coffee Lounge. Situated in a bright, airy refurbished space (check out the painted pressed tin ceiling), the shop offers locally made goodies, too, quiches from West Oak Lane eatery Under the Oak Lounge and of course, coffee. Be sure to take advantage of the free wi-fi. For more information, call 215-243-9851.

GOLD RUSH: The Gold Standard Cafe is situated in a restored brick house at the busy five-way intersection of 48th Street and Florence and Baltimore avenues. The front of the restaurant has casual seating, with bistro tables and a wide selection of salads and sandwiches, including the pan bagna, with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, basil and tomato. If it’s sit-down service you want, walk through to the dining room, and try their version of eggs Benedict (with a choice of crab, smoked salmon, chorizo or Canadian bacon) for brunch. Dinner selections vary, but the current menu contains a rack of lamb in a rosemary Dijon cream sauce and baked halibut with honey orange marmalade. For more info, check out their website: www.thegoldstandardcafe.com.

Originally published on July 2, 2009