White Dog Cafe - University City

4.5
3497 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
White Dog Cafe, an iconic restaurant in University City for over 30 years, is a leader in using environmentally sustainable, organic and local foods from farms within 50 miles. Known for warm hospitality, inspiring and award winning food, the White Dog's historic three brownstones were recently completely renovated offering charming and whimsical dog décor and artwork in its many unique dining spaces and outdoor patio.
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What 3497 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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w
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This is a funky, fun restaurant in University City where you are surrounded by a sea of mediocre chain establishments. Is it a Michelin star adventure, hardly. But is the simple farm to table ethic respected and the bill reasonable, absolutely. Entertaining bar scene and lots of college students abound. If you are going on a Sunday for brunch, get there by 10:30am before all the students rise, Dracula-like, from dorm slumbers. You will be rewarded with a nourishing choice of off beat breakfast options and interesting dog based decor (somewhat unsettling to cat lovers like myself). Beware of inviting your gran along, there are more elevation changes than my last flight to Philly. The restrooms rival Paris finest in terms of square footage. All in all a most satisfying interlude. Be sure to leave room for the Federal Doughnut shop next door...

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I stop here nearly every time I'm in University City, and I'm always more than pleased by the flavors of their farm-to-table preparations and local beers.

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MG
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Meet up with old friend

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S
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a treat. Interesting menu, pleasant atmosphere,ample portions. Tends to be noisier as it gets later, and wine seems a bit high ($), but that would certainly not discourage more visits.

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S
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We both had soup - mushroom and butternut squash- both terrific. I recommend the Thai Steak salad.

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N
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great spot for lunch and you can be back in time for class

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C
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Lovely spot, nice people, service and good food.

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SH
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday for our son-in-law

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SS
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A little too quiet in the room we were seated but the food and service are always impeccable

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BL
Philadelphia
32 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great dinner at white dog. I had the udon noodle salad (from the vegetarian/vegan menu) and it was delicious. Service was great as well.

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L
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 1food 5service 1ambience 4

The food was delicious and the waiter was great. My only problem with the restaurant was with the host/hostess. When my mum and I went, it was early in the morning on a Sunday so most of the restaurant was empty. However, after the host/hostess checked our reservation, we were led to the most hidden corner of the restaurant, where the booth was too high for my mother. When asked for a different table, we were taken to the other side of the restaurant in another corner hidden from the rest of the room. I felt extremely uncomfortable and disrespected. I will not be going back.

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RW
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Entrees came out at different times separated by 25 minutes. 20% auto gratuity and only 5 guests?

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S
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

I enjoy White Dog but not up to par tonight. Good service and good rolls. Fried cauliflower was tasty. But several real misses. The bread pudding was bland and the accompanying ice cream very small. The aperol spritzer was a glass of champagne with a bit of aperol; it should be on the rocks. Finally, I specifically mentioned we were celebrating a birthday but nothing was done to honor this.

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NS
New England
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The drinks, food, atmosphere and staff at White Dog continue to be top notch year after year. This is just an enjoyable place to grab a great meal.

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RH
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good place to go for dinner meetings. A bit too loud for real good conversation. Unfortunately my food was cold but it was tasty.
No other issues

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DB
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Historically I loved the White Dog but it has been many years since I last ate there. Had dinner and lunch on two consecutive days. General impression? Meh. Not terrible but not great. Food was ok, ambience ok but a little “dog cheesy” and impact mediocre. Since Judy Wicks sold it, seems to be less than special.

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g
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food and drink were very good, but the Kung Pao Cauliflower might be the best thing I ate in Philadelphia over the course of the week. Don't miss it if you go there.

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RH
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Hadn't been to White Dog in a long time. It wss just as good as I remembered. It is a treasure in University City.
A special shout out to my server. He was excellent in every way.

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L
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent! Service was slow and short of. Our dinner was at 6:30, but two of their signature desserts were already out....a little disappointed. But if you are in for good food, farm to table, this is a great choice!!

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B
Philadelphia
90 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

a great philadelphia institution! Haven't been back at the White Dog in University City in a long time. It was as good as I remember. Place looks great. Anya our server was perfect, friendly and professional. Hope to stop back for brunch sometime soon.

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MG
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 5

Super disappointed my experience this weekend. Went for brunch with friends because I heard great things, but those reviews did not stack up. Everything from the coffee to the food was cold, good but very cold. Not to mention our waitress was extremely awkward and not attentive. At the end, we decided to order the "Cookie Jar", first it was delivered to the wrong table, who didn't say they did not order that. It took our waitress 15 minutes to notice, there was no apologize, no taking it off our bill, a quick breezed "sorry, a new one will be out soon". She dropped on off at our table and did not say another word to us the rest of the meal other than dropping off the check. The ONLY good part of the experience was the drinks, tasty and strong, but not worth it for a $150 meal. Safe to say will not be going to this location ever again.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner was delicious. Nicole, our server, was knowledgeable about the menu, specials and cocktails. She was very kind, and made our date night even more enjoyable.

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J
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I recently went to White Dog Cafe for brunch and thought it was great! This was my first time at their University City location, and I can say it is just as lovely as their other location in Wayne. The ambiance is really cool, and the service was fantastic. The bottomless brunch beverage option (I personally went with the mimosas, but you could choose between multiple) is a great deal! The food was also delicious. I would recommend their pork belly eggs benedict. I will definitely be back!

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RP
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

My second time visiting and always a good experience. Great for foodies!!

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OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great! Accommodating.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The found the perfect table for us! The service was outstanding and helpful at every step. We ordered from both, the specials and regular menu, and both items were superb!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Very slow service. Took almost an hour to get bread for the table.
Same w appetizers.

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LV
Orlando
26 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The mahi-mahi was outstanding. The preparation was perfect and flavor abundant.

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OT
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Food was as usual very good, couple of the entrees very small portions

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PA
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Menu was limited due to it being in between lunch and dinner, however everything tasted great. Not a fan of additions on the fried chicken sandwich, but that's just my opinion.

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M
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we had great food and service. we were meeting someone we haven't seen for a while.
the server was kind and gave us the time we needed to catch up and enjoy our meal.
A favorite stop and we will definitely return.

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SS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We absolutely loved White Dog Cafe for brunch and will surely be back. Every single bite of food was amazing and there was so much more that we wanted to try. I love how every room has its own unique decor and vibe, but everything is dog themed. Our server Jeff was extremely attentive but not overbearing, and made sure we were well taken care of. We even had a random music question that we couldn't remember the answer to, so we jokingly asked him and he found the answer for us.

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FF
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great dining experience at White Dog. One of the first, if not the first Farm to Table restaurants. The food is amazing. Great options for vegetarians, too.

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P
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s great to see that the White Dog Cafe continues to create amazing dishes with great service. This place always has been a favorite of ours and last night’s experience was very good. Our waiter was knowledgeable, friendly and efficient. The food was inspired and creative. The salmon with the beet and potato rosti was truly amazing. Who knew that potatoes and beets could be that good!

Keep up the amazing work!

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PF
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

While a very pleasant dining experience overall, I cannot say I was impressed with White Dog's menu. All of the food is of high quality, but the variety is very limited. If you are not a fish fan, you'll have about 3 entree choices. They do not that the menu changes often, so perhaps I caught them at a less-than-great time. They do, impressively, have a separate vegetarian menu. I am not a vegetarian, but it is great that they have that option.

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CC
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was superb and the service excellent. Perfect for a late afternoon outing!

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

I have been going to the White Dog for years. I love the ambience and the food. I have to say that the food was visibly scaled back in portion size, presentation and overall ingredients, as one example, although figs were featured, they were cut into a microscopic size with very few sprinkled on the dish. I guess these are cost-saving moves, but I do tend to compare against meals I have eaten there over the past few years and this isn't an inexpensive restaurant. Every place has it's good and bad days. That being said, I'll be back, there is no other place like it. Woof! Woof!!

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B
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

One of my favorite restaurants. Very prompt service. Tasty dishes.

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OT
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 4

Our food and drinks were delicious, but the service was horrendous. We were never asked if we'd like another drink, and sat for at least 20 minutes after finishing our meal before anyone asked if we needed anything else. The service ruined the experience, and we will not be back.

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OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Magnificent food! Fresh ingredients! Great service and atmosphere!

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