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Nearby points of interest
About White Dog Cafe - University City
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.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Contemporary American, Vegetarian
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday through Friday 11:00am – 2:30 pm
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday 5 pm – 9:30 pm, Friday & Saturday 5 pm – 10 pm, Sunday 5 pm - 9 pm
Bar Menu: Sunday – Thursday 2:30 pm – 9 pm, Friday & Saturday 2:30 pm – 10 pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
Zach Grainda with Greg Maloney
Banquet, Bar Dining, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
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White Dog Cafe’s charming and whimsical dining rooms are perfect for private parties or group dining from 10 to 60 guests. Each of our themed dining rooms offers a unique backdrop and is perfect for lunches, working meetings or celebrations.
White Dog Cafe - University City Ratings and Reviews
Sad to report that the White Dog was not a very good experience. Menu items sounded great, but did not deliver on their promise. The food was mediocre at best. I do have to say our server was a sweetheart, but the "manager" who was walking around was less than gracious when we needed some assistance with an item that we ordered. She was snooty and made us all feel uncomfortable as if we were bothering her when asking about ingredients in a dish. We just wanted to be sure that we had ordered the vegetarian mac and cheese b/c it tasted like pork. There was a carnita mac and cheese on the menu too. It was a simple question and she was just not gracious or cool about it at all. Why are you there? Just to walk around looking at the tables and guests or to actually help your guests have the best experience at your restaurant? So strange. No one at the table enjoyed their meal very much. Just meh. We will not be returning and will be sure to dissuade anyone who asks about the White Dog. I'm sure they won't miss our business though, because the place was packed. Just not enough good restaurants in that area. It's a shame...
A bit disappointed in the food considering all the fantastic Philly restaurants we could have chosen. We chose White Dog because of it's proximity to where we were staying at 36 and Sansom and figured a restaurant around as long as White Dog would have upped its culinary game. Food was good, but far from memorable. Had Icelandic cod, sweet potato and black bean enchiladas and mushroom soup (with no hint of truffles). But complimentary rolls with house-churned honey and salt butter were excellent, as was the service.
Was so looking forward to eating here. Such a huge disappointment. We were a large party, half were elderly. They took us for a ten minute trek to our table in a basement by the door to the kitchen. The older members of our party were barely able to do all the stairs. We questioned the odd location of our table and they said we should have told them not to seat us there when we made the reservation and that we better be done in 2 hours when another party was slated to sit at our table. I had never eaten there, so not sure how I should have known there was a dungeon which was a ten minute walk from the front door! The table was so cramped that we could barely fit and there were dozens of huge pillows on the bench so we had no room to sit. It was really a table meant for 6 people that they squeezed all 8 or us into. There were multiple ear shattering crashes in the kitchen two feet from our table, so it was quite stressful. And the entire reason I wanted to eat at this restaurant, being a dog lover, was the artwork. But NOT ONE SINGLE PAINTING of a dog in the dungeon. The only dogs there were the dogs atop the posts coming down the harry potter staircase that eventually led us to the dungeon. The food and cocktails were delish, but be prepared to take out a second mortgage!
Very disappointing. Although I had a reservation, it took several minutes and several people blankly staring at a computer screen to seat us. The web site mentioned a dog theme, but the room we were seated in had no dog decorations. We ordered a hummus plate to share as an appetizer. It never arrived. My daughter ordered a salad and tater tots. The tots did not arrive with the rest of the food. We had to ask for them. I had a $24 cauliflower steak that was not completely cooked in the middle. For the prices, the quality of the food was not great. Won't be going back.
Very disappointing. We were seated in the lower level next to an extremely loud table. Our server wasn’t too friendly and seemed overall annoyed. My daughters burger was so burnt she couldn’t even eat it. We liked the decor but that was basically it. Definitely won’t be back.
This is our first or last time to the White Dog. It is a special occasion destination for us. The food, service, and ambience were wonderful. The only thing that kept it from being perfect was that a side dish, ordered as part of dinner, arrived almost at the end of the meal. This is very unusual for this restaurant and will certainly not deter us from coming again.
First time we tried White Dog Cafe in University City for a lunch with friends. The food was excellent and well-portioned. The server was friendly and service was swift so we can eat and talk and still get back to work within our lunch hour. We will definitely be back again.
We went to White Dog when my parents came to town. My mom is hard-of-hearing which I mentioned to the maitre d/host. He kindly sat us in a room that felt private; it was so nice and quiet. I really appreciated that he listened to my request and provided us with the best accommodations. The food was also delicious.
We went for Sunday brunch, and everything was delicious. I got the endless mimosas which were awesome. My boyfriend got the Samoa French toast that is the special for the month, so good. The noise level was really loud but that was also because it was super bowl Sunday. Our waiter was super knowledgable about the history of the restaurant, which I thought was really interesting. Would totally come back
Honestly the food was AMAZING. The waiter however gave us the WORST service of my entire life. It was birthday and the waiter couldn’t have been more miserable and nasty. I have been serving for years and never in my life have I experienced something as awful as this. We ordered the bottomless mimosas and sangrias and our waiter TOOK THE SANGRIA from my friends hand and told her with the most attitude only one drink at a time, she didn’t even have time to tell him she would like to finish her drink before he could snatch it. Bottomless mimosas are supposed to be a fun experience yet i couldnt wait to get out of this place i just wanted to get my money’s worth AND he dropped the check on his own time without asking us if we’d like another round.
This was February 3rd and my reservation was at 12:45. And i will never be returning
Wait staff was very friendly. Menu had nice variety of starters, salads and seafood. All 4 diners ordered seafood dishes and were happy with our choices. Only fell short on the sweet potato cake served under my otherwise perfectly seared salmon. (The cake was dense and cold). However, the fish, braised red cabbage and horseradish crema made up for it.
We finished things off with a “Cookie Jar” for dessert- sort of a Spuds Mackenzie-looking cookie jar filled with an assortment of cookies, including some shortbread “dog bones”- in line with their dog theme. The best cookie was the oatmeal cherry - wish the whole jar had been filled with them! Fun dessert for sharing - and comes with a glass of milk.
Have dined here off and on for years. Disappointed that the quality and taste have slipped considerably. Sausage in omelette special had a very funny taste, to the point my wife pulled all the sausage out. (We like sausage) and the 4 of us agreed it was weird. Potatoes, were included in my entire, however did not appear when it was brought out. Had to wait for the side....and then they had a soap residual taste. (All of us got potatoes....agreed) service.....got the bottomless mimosas....and had to ask for a 2nd glass, and then waited again.....that was not worth it, and also had to ask for coffee...after our first cup and waited...
It was not busy at the time of our arrival, (11 am). Things did start to pu around 1230.
Hope they take notice, this has been a fun place for many. But with service and food like this,
It will be a shame.
We made reservations at 5:30 since we were headed to the Palestra for the Penn / St. Joes' basketball game at 7:00. We were not the only ones with that idea. The White Dog was slammed. However, our waiter was professional and courteous and we made it to the game for tip off. 3 out of 4 of us had the mushroom soup. It was superb. Great food and great service. I can't wait to go back.
Delicious mushroom soup to start. Rolls were quite tasty. Rainbow fish was nice and so were the two forms of cauliflower on the same dish however the cubes of practically raw bacon hidden under the fish were difficult to chew and quite distasteful to me as well as the green leaf vegetable that was pretty in color but also inedible due to texture and flavor. That really ruined a decent piece of fish for me. Food also was not very hot.
I've come to White Dog on several occasions and this was by far the worst experience. We were there for a Sunday Brunch. While their new dining area is beautiful their service and food was lackluster. The server definitely forgot about us on several instances. I was served lukewarm coffee and was never asked or given a refill. Our food was not hot when it arrived at our table. The server clearly had friends at a nearby table and focused all of her attention on them. Overall, I was very disappointed in the dining experience.
We met our son, a Penn grad student, for dinner and as usual, a great meal. I can't resist the lamb bolognese, my husband loved the cod special. Our son had a burger with fried pickles that were the best! So convenient and easy to get to from the 'burbs and close to campus.
White Dog Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants for a slightly more leisurely lunch in University City. We were able to get in-and-out within 90 minutes. The food is delicious. We especially enjoyed the mushroom soup appetizer and the creme brulee dessert.
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