For all Penn foodies, Restaurant Week is one of the best times of the semester. As a member of Penn Appétit, one of Penn’s cooking clubs, this is definitely true for me! Center City, Philadelphia, only about a twenty-minute walk or five-minute Septa ride from campus, is crammed with amazing restaurants and dining options lining the streets. From large chain companies to small family-owned eateries, if you are craving it, you can probably find it in Center City. There is also food from all over the world, from Italian, Spanish and French to barbecue, tex-mex, steakhouses and so much more. My love for Italian food has drawn me to restaurants such as Bistro La Baia and Maggiano’s! If you enjoy eating, exploring new cultures or just hanging out with friends in downtown Philadelphia, Restaurant Week is a must-do in Philly.
Restaurants in Center City, usually range in prices from within a college student’s budget to more on the expensive side. Twice a year featured restaurants put together a menu and allow people to enjoy a three-course meal for a reduced price. This event usually happens once at the beginning of the fall semester and again towards the beginning of the spring semester. I first found out about Restaurant Week during the fall of my junior year. While a group of friends and I were looking at the delicious menu for this Mediterranean restaurant near campus, we saw an advertisement online for Center City Restaurant Week. Between our eagerness to try the food after looking at the menu and the opportunity to sample the food for less than it would normally be, my friends and I immediately made a lunch reservation at the restaurant.
Being a Resident Advisor, I have the opportunity to take my residents out to enjoy the various types of food during Restaurant Week. A fellow RA (and foodie) and I have taken students to eat a meal at some of the best and tastiest restaurants in the city. Spending time with the people that live on my floor off campus was a great opportunity for us to get to know each other even better and bond over our love for eating.
One of the hardest parts of being away from home for me was missing the food that I grew up with. But discovering new places to eat and establishing some of my Philly favorites has easily been a very memorable college experience. Since the first time I had the opportunity to enjoy Restaurant Week, I’ve gone back with many different groups on campus. From friends and visiting family to student groups and residents, the experience is unique every time I go. As an honorary Philadelphian during my time at Penn, it has been important to me to take the time to get off campus. With the numerous activities happening regularly in Philadelphia and the countless sights to see, I can tell you from experience that it is definitely worth it to take the time to get a taste of the city!