White Dog Cafe - University City

4.5
3609 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 3609 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
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
1 review
Dined 16 hours ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

The brunch menu was all over the place. The food was very bland and weird combinations and not at all tasty. The drinks were terrible, one tasted like pickle juice. The waitess was weird and monotone. The other servers were rude. The bathroom was so small and uncomfortable and gross. The food was expensive. At the end we left very disappointed and dissatisfied. Would not recommend this place at all.

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AM
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I’ve been coming to this restaurant since 1990 and it has recently seen some pleasant improvements under its new owners.

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PB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Service was very very slow. Waitress was nice but later told us our entrees were delayed because ‘tickets’ got misplaced after appetizers course. We liked our table in the back where noise level was very low.

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D
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was excellent as usual.

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W
New England
6 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

The Lamb Bolognese is a firm favorite - very tasty. The All spice hummus and the golden beet salad (wonderful tangy dressing!) was also great. We did sit for a long time before getting any service and the bread served was really dry.

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KC
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Considering it was Penn Grad weekend & a busy time...couldn’t have been nicer to be there!

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J
Charleston
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

It’s a Penn institution. Busy graduation weekends lead to noisy loud atmosphere, food a little too bland, service a little too slow.

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KC
Milwaukee
10 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 3

Clearly not staffed for graduation weekend. Second round of Drinks came at time of dessert. Entree served 5 minutes after getting soup/salad. Good quality very good, but ambiance and service unfortunately put a damper on the celebration...

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J
Austin
29 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Graduation dinner

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s
Austin
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 2

This was very disappointing. They initially seated us at a table with huge windows facing directly onto 4 overflowing dumpsters. It was gross (exposed garbage, mice), we had to ask to be moved. At least get some half curtains! I had a kale salad with chicken and it was a limp side-salad with three tiny beet pieces, and a tiny piece of rubbery chicken I struggled to cut because of a big piece of cold fat clinging to the side. It was basic, fine I guess, if it had been $7.95. It was $21. Our waitress asked at least seven times if I was done when I clearly was eating - the first time I still had 85% of my food on my plate. Not "How are you doing over here?" but rather "Are you done yet?". Honestly seven times at least. Every time I took a sip of water I had to guard my plate. The room was very hot, the nearby tables extremely loud. I'd never been here before and will never come again - the most overrated restaurant ever.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The restaurant is larger than expected with some rooms more pleasent than others. The staff was a little overwhelmed by people given it was graduation weekend. The service was fair and the food decent. Nothing amazing. Standard breakfast/brunch but a little pricy.

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CM
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 4

We booked well in advance and even left a deposit since it was a busy weekend. When we checked in at the time of our reservation, not early or late, the man at the desk was quite rude to us and demanded to see all of us before he would seat us. We were all present and standing together by the desk. His attitud was unfriendly as if he were doing us a big favor to give us a table. It put a damper on the meal and we will not go back.

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r
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

I’ve been here several times and this was by far...the weirdest? All of the cocktails were actually terrible - we left several just unfinished. The menu has become untethered from any reality in which people are served desirable food. $275 for three people.

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LH
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ordered the mussels and tuna tartar appetizer and shared the salad lyonnaise, all of which were excellent. (The tuna tartar was the best I’ve had ). It was a jam packed Friday complete with Penn graduation but our server was prompt friendly and knowledgeable and we were able to get to our next destination on time. I have also been to White Dog in Haverford multiple times which is excellent and the reason I picked White Dog in University City/Phila PA. I will definitely be back to the one in Philly.

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TE
New England
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went here for a recent Penn Graduation celebration and the food was fantastic! Such a great location, such fun rooms. Would 100% go back during reunion weekends or any time im back in Philly.

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l
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My go-to restaurant in University City. Always great service and interesting food. Great place to get oysters.

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JS
Philadelphia
5 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The White Dog Café, University City, is consistently fabulous!

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AF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The White Dog is my favorite restaurant on the Penn campus and I have been going to it for 25 years. Enough said!

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j
New England
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 2

I called in advance to adjust my reservation out of consideration, bc it was mother's day and to ask if solarium or another lighter room/space was possible. They said yes. When we arrived we waited MUCH longer than anyone else to be seated even though we were early and a party of 2 (multiple parties arrived after and were seated before us without a single word spoken by way of update or explanation). When we were seated we were in the furthest from the solarium, seated between large groups of families with small children (my son is 19, I am 42). The whole thing felt unusually lacking in hospitality. I love White Dog and go often and will go again. I hope this was just a fluke. But as a mom on a mother's day brunch, it sucked. And if I had any doubts we were ignored, we were marked as "not showing up" to our Open Table reservation! OUR SERVER WAS GREAT however.

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AW
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were very pleased with our experience on Mother's Day afternoon. It's hard to find a quiet restaurant these days. Most are blasting noise and filled with screens. We had a quiet table downstairs and if there was music it was very low. We could actually converse!! The food was excellent and attractively presented. Our waitress was charming and attentive. An overall great experience.

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OT
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was delicious. Interesting twist on regular favorites. I had to apologize to my cats for eating in a place with colorful pictures of dogs in every room. Don't tell my cats but I would visit again.

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SM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 1

It was Mother’s Day raining and freezing outside. They were sitting guests in the basement which would be fine but there was this cold draft and it happened to be the air condition. It made the experience uncomfortable. Table after table requested to be moved upstairs due to the cold. I would of overlooked that experience if my burger wasn’t burnt to a crisp...my mother’s said her chicken sandwich was really good so I’m happy to hear that. I hate sending food back so I just decided to call it a lost. The waitress was very sweet and attentive so this obviously didn’t affect her tip. I wouldn’t reccomend this place but maybe I would give it another try. It really depends.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I went with a part of four on mother's day. Our server was very nice and friendly. The food was pretty good. Would definitely recommend.

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DC
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went for Mother's day brunch. Didn't upcharge like so many places. Very nice place. Great food.

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m
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great selection of food, bottomless deal amazing, service was a little slow but it was Mother’s Day. So that was my only complaint everything else was great !

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M
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Good food– a great brunch spot! Lots of sweet and savory options, fun decor, and good service. Great happy hour deals too!

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KD
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 5

Food came out within 5-10minutes. You could tell it was pre made
Disappointed in food. Eggs looked like they had been made day before

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S
Philadelphia
20 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Overall it’s a good place. Went for Mother’s Day. Was semi-disappointed that this location didn’t have the same menu as the other locations, specifically the donuts. But it was a good meal, service was also very good.

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CC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

They sat me and my mother in the WORST seat practically inside the bussing station in the basement. I made this reservation 3 weeks in advance and was extremely upset with my seating in a completely empty room in a corner. All I heard was the dishes being cleaned and the silverware drawer opening and closing interrupting me and my mothers brunch on Mother's day. I was extremely upset and disappointed.

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MJ
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and food made for an amazing Mothers Day experience for my family!

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DS
Atlantic City
12 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

My wife and I had lunch at the White Dog prior to a show. Perhaps is was timing as Penn students were moving out of their dorms so there were quite a few families dining. There are numerous small rooms which are all uniquely brightly decorated. Even though it was a busy time we were greeted promptly by our server who explained the restaurants farm to table concept. The menu was varied with something we believe for everybody. It didn't take long for our food to arrive and all was very good. I did feel the mushroom soup was bland but that's my opinion. We will return and recommend to all. Next time hopefully sit outside.

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JP
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went on Saturday to celebrate Mother's Day and it was wonderful!

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LR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Server was a little less friendly than the last time we were here, which was really disappointing, but we would still be back again - just hopefully with a different server

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JT
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Went for brunch very nice decor, i would go back with friends

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OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Innovative cuisine. Great Vegetarian menu.

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p
Philadelphia
746 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Took my boss here for the first time. Love the ambiance of the place. Food is good just pricey! Service was good but had to ask for things more than once.

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LD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Cute spot. Decent food. Terrible service.

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NJ
Philadelphia
41 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

It's been a few years since I last visited White Dog and I was happy with the experience. The food was very good as was the service. The entrance was extremely congested when we arrived so it was noisy and hectic, but once we were seated it was all good. Great service. Seating not very comfortable.

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LB
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

I took my grandparents here for Sunday Brunch because they love dogs - they were overjoyed with this place and the food was delicious.

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D
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere! MUST LOVE DOGS:) Food was yummy, some unusual dishes on the menu...seasonal and farm to table. Try the pulled pork Mac and cheese, it's delicious! I had a burger( wasn't that hungry) and hubby had a rock shrimp salad,both were well done. We shared the hazelnut chocolate cake/creme bruise/ice cream desert and it was a large sampler! Beer on tap was limited. Overall really good. Moderate price. Would return!

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