White Dog Cafe - University City

4.6
3343 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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Private dining
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Vegetarian
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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
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Phone number
(215) 386-9224
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Pay with OpenTable, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Zach Grainda with Greg Maloney
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Neighborhood
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access
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Private Dining

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Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Enjoy seasonal specialties for dinner from 4:30 - 8 PM

Monday, December 24, 2018

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Enjoy festive holiday specials and cocktails from 4:30 - 10 PM

Monday, December 31, 2018

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Mon 8:45PM - 9:30PM
Tue - Thu 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Fri 8:45PM - 10:00PM

What 3343 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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U
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

I used to be a fan of White Dog, but this brunch was subpar. Dog-painting decor is nice, servers reasonably attentive, but food was disappointing. The $17 "burrata & prosciutto" plate "for the table" was particularly sorry - three scraps of very dry prosciutto & a few spoonfuls of burrata, with most of the small board covered by raw persimmon slices. Bacon on the Avocado BLT was fatty and undercooked. Toast with the eggs was cold. ~$35 per person for the meal (incl. tip) was not money well spent.

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

I dine at White Dog fairly regularly and always have a good experience. Food is consistently very good and service is always friendly and accommodating. On this occasion I met a friend for Sunday brunch. It was delicious! Service was superb. I hadn’t seen my friend for awhile so we sat and caught up after brunch and did not feel rushed.

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P
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Made a late evening reservation on open table, then were called and told that we needed to come in earlier because kitchen would close. We did, but then felt rushed by staff (from hostess to server) to be done, pay our tab and leave. Wish they would just reflect that on seating options on open table...we would not have chosen the restaurant if they were not going to be open late.

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B
New York Area
145 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Upon arriving at Amtrak's 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, our first stop in University City is typically the White Dog Cafe. Elaine was our charming and efficient server this afternoon. She quickly informed us about specials and retrieved our choice beverages: a Vault robust porter and an accompanying "robust" cup of coffee, which she never let run dry. We opted for the deviled eggs paired with a beet and arugula salad & a soup/sandwich combo of black bean and blackened catfish tacos. We were thrilled with every bit of it, me especial by the three small soft-shell tacos with morsels of fish breaded and fried but not overcooked and crunchy which can really ruin a hand-held. As if all of that wasn't enough, we decided that we had room to share a ginger bread pudding topped with cranberry vanilla ice cream. OMG, if it weren't only lunchtime we really had no desire to dine again today!

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OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really wonderful staff! The different rooms were remarkably fun to peer into. Great cocktails and even better food! Thank you so much for a wonderful evening!!

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SP
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and service. The soup and sandwich option for lunch is great. Had the mushroom soup which never disapoints.

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B
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Food is always excellent There was a draft coming through th restaurants that made dining uncomfortable and we had to track down the server at the end of the meal

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S
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

not the best table, kind of small and close to other groups, but great food and service

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OT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great meal at a favorite restaurant... Can be pricey but the food, service and ambiance are great

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F
Philadelphia
31 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great for a group. They make it easy to reserve and will also split checks. Food and service were terriffic.

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GR
Philadelphia
49 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Still the best of the three locations. Our waiter was truly outstanding and made the experience even better than expected.

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MC
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Speed eating. Barely had time to sit down & food was at the table

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CA
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 3

Good for nothing. This place sucked they were so rude and the worst service ever. It was my sisters 25th birthday and they ruined the entire day.

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BT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Restaurant is lovely and the food is excellent. However, you need railings inside where there are steps. I have MS and it was difficult to climb steps withoutrailings.

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OT
Oklahoma City
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Waitress had no personality, but when I asked her what “scrapple” was she described it as a “mash of pig bits” and so then I loved it. Excellent location, awesome food, and cool place

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CR
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never a bad meal at Whitre Dog Cafe. The food is outstanding, every time.

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D
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

The food is excellent as my wife and I were reminded when we went to celebrate our 53rd anniversary. We'd not been there for a few years so it's good to know that the food is still excellent. The wait service was excellent but I gave it a three star because of the way we were greeted. I'm 78 years old and I guess I'm a man of more traditional values. I prefer the courtesy of being address by younger people in business situations as Mr. and not my nick-name.
Will we return? Yes!

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f
Philadelphia
16 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

Terrible service. Overpriced hamburgers. Resting on its laurels. Used to be wonderful a decade ago. Has seriously deteriorated.

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AN
Philadelphia
44 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Besides feeling just a bit cramped, White Dog is so quaint and a real gem in University City. The extended space is cozy and makes you forget this used to be just a college bar. The people are really nice and the food is spectacular! So flavorful, so well made, so homey! I recommend everything, from apps to entrees, right down to dessert! We loved everything!!

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WZ
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Surprisingly delightful and enchanting. That is how our night at White Dog turned out, and we couldn't be happeir. The food was excellent, but the ambiance, especially for dog lovers, was over the top. Cocktails were worth the splurge as well. The check was a little high for two people, but in the end, you're getting a creative, healthy farm to table option in Philadelphia, along with the ambiance. The bottom line is this: it's totally worth it. One of our new favorites in Philly for sure.

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K
Philadelphia
15 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Delicious meal and excellent service. Always a great place to eat. Definitely recommend!

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AP
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a quiet, cozy table near the front window. The good was creative and unusual, and the service was friendly but unobtrusive, though our waiter spoke very, very fast--Eastern shore style? People at a nearby table whose first language wasn't English may have had a challenge. A great destination restaurant in a quaint neighborhood.

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B
Philadelphia
30 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

We were left standing when we arrived while two hostesses finished their private conversation. They didn’t even bother to say they would be with us in a minute. Looked up and just kept talking. One seemed embarrassed and turned to us when she could, the other completely ignored us. Not a great start. It was fine but very limited menu for our one GF eater. It was okay. Living a bit on its reputation.

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LS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Oh my goodness where do I start? We had scrumptious food the waitress was amazing. We came here for 35th wedding anniversary and we will remember this evening. We came and stayed at the gables Inn bed and breakfast I would highly recommend them as well we will be back.

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NL
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family had a wonderful lunch here with our daughter, a college student. We all had spectacular salads and dishes with real flair. When an omelette was not prepared to the satisfaction of one in our party, the restaurant promptly replaced it. The convivial atmosphere, excellent service, and original dishes are all memorable. We all loved it and look forward to our next meal there.

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A
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love dogs so I was already excited to go. You can see the theme without the restaurant and I am not upset about it. I had been once before in college but it wasn't as memorable to me then. I just came this past weekend and fell in love. I wish we had sat in a theme heavy room, but hey it'll keep me coming back. We started out with a cheese plate- definitely don't regret it. I had the fall bellini and the pork belly benedict, very highly recommend. For the bellini, I went with the pear and orange combo- delish. I love eggs benedict but the pork belly was a nice twist. All of it was perfectly cooked. Atmosphere was amazing, definitely one of my favorite brunch places now. Will be back soon!

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S
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Or party of 5 had a terrific experience at Saturday brunch. The service was great (server Becca was stellar), orders were all correct and delivered hot, the food was excellent. I loved that I could make a reservation for brunch. We'll be back for sure.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing along with a great atmosphere. Nicole topped it all off with great service for a perfect evening

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BM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 3

Wait staff very attentive. Asked for a gluten free menu and drink suggestions. Food was excellent.

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V
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Good food; pricey specials (restaurant should state prices without being asked); excellent service. Their omelettes are perfect; the salads are a bit pedestrian; the coffee is the best in Univ. City.

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M
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Love the dog theme

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing everything.

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NI
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I enjoyed

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Seated immediately at our reservation time for brunch on a Sunday afternoon. $16 bottomless mimosas..that we’re constantly being topped off! Great service, awesome ambiance, will definitely be returning

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Made reservations right at the opening at 930 am. Despite being on time, and the restaurant being relatively empty, we we’re shuttled downstairs to the empty & colder basement dinning area, and seated right behind the servers station. My girlfriend was cold, the service was okay, and we missed seeing the better part of the restaurants decor, which was the whole reason for the visit really. Maybe I’ll give one of the other locations a try, but I think thats my last visit to University City.

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SP
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

Service and food were subpar this time. We've been here 3 times since August and the first visit was by far the best for the food and service. This time we had to ask for several items which are usually standard (teaspoons for our coffees), honey butter and jam for our biscuits, ketchup for our potatoes which came with our omlets. It just seems like the waitstaff wasn't quite organized. The food also wasn't piping hot which is what you would expect, it was just warm to cool. The potatoes which came with the eggs were not crisp, they were cool and soft. Our first experience in August was excellent, both with the service and and the food, the second visit in October was OK and this experience was basically subpar. All three experiences were at the same time of day, Sunday, 9:30 am for breakfast. I actually think we ordered either the special for the day or omlets so very similar meals as well.

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SF
Atlantic City
10 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is my second time enjoying this wonderful cafe. The food is delicious with vegan and vegetarian options (yay!). It is always well attended so I would recommend reservations if you think of it. The decor is adorable, the staff is very knowledgeable, friendly, fast and efficient. Honestly, this place is all I could ask for.

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KB
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

White Dog was amazing as usual. We were seated in a new to us section this time and it was decorated like a garden room. Good service, amazing food. There was a private party and they were LOUD, but other than that, it was a great evening out which is typical of White Dog.

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OT
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Very busy night. Front of house did a great job managing the volume of people and providing good service. Food was just "ok" for the price point. You can get better food for the price at many other Philly restaurants.

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L
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

White Dog is always great. We were there for Penn Homecoming. While a busy night, the food and service were wonderful. We had two little kids, two teenagers, and three adults. The mushroom soup and the squash bisque were each vegan and awesome. Two of the adults had the tuna tartare appetizer as a main dish. The NY Strip looked great. Salads and fish dishes were terrific. The kids burger was just as nice and full as a regular burger. Out waitress was awesome. The drinks were tasty too.

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