A Guide to Lunch Spots on Penn’s Campus


As a Cogno presenter, I give presentations to prospective students and families each week from 12:15 to 1:15. Once these presentations wrap up, I am almost always asked about the best spots to try out for lunch. Penn has countless options for a fantastic lunch, but here are a few of my personal recommendations to check out on your next visit to campus!

If you are looking for the most authentic student experience:

Try Houston Market! Houston Hall is located right across from Claudia Cohen Hall (where we give our Cogno presentations) so it is a very convenient spot to grab a quick bite. Head down to the basement, and you’ll see a marketplace with a salad bar, pasta bar, grille station, sushi, and more grab-and-go options. Houston tends to be packed with Penn students studying, eating and catching up with friends, or just taking a break in the middle of the day. Since we can use our Dining Dollars in Houston, it is a go-to spot for many Penn students.

If you are in a hurry:

No visit to Penn’s campus is complete without stopping by one of our many food trucks. My personal favorite is Magic Carpet. Magic Carpet is located on the corner of 36th and Spruce, right outside of the entrance to the Lower Quad. Magic Carpet has fantastic vegetarian options with a Mediterranean flavor. My go-to is their falafel with rice and veggies with one of their famous vegan cookies on the side. Be prepared for a bit of a wait if you go during the lunch rush, but it will definitely be worth it!

If you are looking for lots of convenient options:

Take a walk down Walnut Street, primarily between 37th and 39th Streets. You’ll hit options like Honeygrow (stir-fry, salads, and fruit bowls), Chipotle, Bobby’s Burgers, Sweetgreen (salads), and Hummus (Mediterranean options). These restaurants do quite a big to-go business for students rushing between classes and meetings, but there is also plenty of seating for you to relax in the middle of your visit to campus.


-Rachel W, C'20