University City: The Mike McCann Team’s Insider Guide

University City is one of Philly’s hottest growing neighborhoods. The area serves as an educational and cultural hub, in close proximity to many renowned museums and universities. University City residents put a lot of effort in maintaining a clean and safe neighborhood and expanding the amount of parks and green spaces. The area is always filled with a fun, exciting, youthful energy and there is never a shortage of places to explore or events to attend. Spend one day visiting all of the attractions, cafes, bars and delicious restaurants in University City and we guarantee you will fall in love. Here are some tips to get you started!


University City has so many awesome museums. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, commonly referred to as The Penn Museum, features a seemingly unlimited supply of discoveries from decades of UPenn explores and a revolving series of special exhibits throughout the year. The Penn Museum combines excitement and education with electrifying presentations, riveting lectures and fascinating artifacts from around the world. Drexel University’s Academy of Natural Sciences is a blast for adults and children. The giant dino skeletons are guaranteed to amaze and the butterfly garden is absolutely breathtaking. With fact filled exhibits and live animal presentations, this museum will delight the whole family.  The Institute of Contemporary Art is a great UC hot spot with explorative modern art, fashion exhibits, artist appearances and educational events. Best part, it is completely, one hundred percent, free of charge!


There are enough happening events in University City to keep you busy all day and all night long. One of our favorite ways to start a day is to browse the Farmer’s Market at Clark Park on Saturday mornings. The Clark Park Farmer’s market has food and produce at great prices so you can stock up and make yourself some farm fresh meals all week long. We also love The Porch at 30th Street Station because of their constant supply of hip events.  The Porch hosts food truck festivals, craft fairs, artistic and educational exhibits, musical performances and even the occasional fitness class. The Baltimore Avenue Dollar Strolls are another favorite! You will love strolling Baltimore Ave between 43rd and 51st Street and browsing all of the dollar deals on food, drinks, desserts, and crafts. Also, Awesome Fest features outdoor movies in Clark Park during the summer months. With all of these fabulous events, there is never, ever any an excuse to be bored in University City.


University City prides itself on its parks and green spaces. Many of these parks have been recently created or recently renovated. There are playgrounds, tennis courts, athletic fields and nice relaxing areas with benches and tables. These beautiful parks host community events year round. University City is a park filled paradise. Front runners include Clark Park, Penn Park, Cedar Park and Drexel Park.


We love the classy and youthful nightlife in University City. World Cafe Live is definitely at the top of our list because of their great concert schedule and delectable bar food. All the fried pickles, please! Fiume is a great spot for whiskey, cocktails and live music. Zavino is a wine bar and pizzeria which, if you ask us, is a show stopping winning combination. St. Declan’s Well is a down to earth Irish Bar with a huge beer selection and it is just plain fun to hang out in. There are so many places to explore in University City. One night won’t be enough to enjoy all it offers!


There is so much amazing food in University City. It would be impossible for us to give you the low down on every restaurant but we can, at the very least, tell you about some of our favorites. HipCity Veg is an award winning, one hundred percent vegan, fast food inspired restaurant. Ask any Philly vegan and they will tell you that this place is to die for. Don’t forget to grab a groothie! Distrito has a very unique, very bright and very pink atmosphere. They offer authentic Mexican dishes paired with tequila and sangria. The Fat Ham serves southern inspired food that even the locals just can’t seem to get enough of. The University City food scene is amazing! Don’t take our word for it go out and do some exploring of your own.


University City has some phenomenal coffee shops. Manakeesh Cafe Bakery is a foodies dream, serving up a full menu of Lebanese food and desserts. The atmosphere is spacious and comfortable and you will feel like one of the family in this University City staple. P.S. the Turkish coffee will make your head spin! Lovers & Madmen serves up a wide variety of specialty coffee drinks. The French press is fantastic! Earth Cup is a cute little coffee shop with great brews and a funky atmosphere.  HubBub Coffee is a great spot right off of UPenn’s Campus that serves some seriously strong coffee in a clean, comfortable environment. With all those students, you have to have coffee aplenty!

Well, now you know why we love University City. Tell us why YOU love this fantastic Philly neighborhood, we’d love to know your favorite spots!

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