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On-campus dining does have its perks. However, in the all-too-frequent event that the stale burger buns at J&H or the obnoxiously long line at Tony Luke’s won’t cut it, it’s nice to know that other options exist near Temple University. They don’t take Diamond Dollars (such a bummer!), but these restaurants and food spots are definitely worth checking out.

1. Champ’s Diner

If you haven’t already been to Champ’s, then hightail it over to Cecil B. Moore Ave. for a heaping stack of hotcakes. This cozy diner is the perfect go-to for those Saturday mornings when you and your crew want a solid brunch that’s just a couple of blocks away. The omelets are packed, the coffee is fresh and takeout’s totally an option.

2. Loco Pez 

Spanish for “crazy fish,” Loco Pez puts its money where its enchilada-loving mouth is. The Fishtown dive bar/taqueria serves up insanely good tacos, salsa and other LA-style street food. I ordered a side of refried beans to go along with my dinner, and it was the size of my face. No lie. Bonus – the name’s not just an aquatic reference. There are PEZ dispensers all over the place.

3. Mugshots Coffeehouse 

Time to switch up your TECH Center routine! Trade your time spent scoping out available desktops for an afternoon at this earthy café, and you won’t regret it. Mugshots sources local grub that’ll pair perfectly with your caffeinated drink of choice. Craving something savory? Go for a flatbread or an egg sandwich that you – yes, you – get to build yourself. Sweet tooth? The Banana Baked French Toast is crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and oh-so satisfying.

4. Sabrina’s Café 

Speaking of French toast, you won’t truly know the Philly breakfast scene until you’ve tried Sabrina’s Stuffed Challah French Toast. You’ll be tempted to pull out a tape measure when this plate hits your table because the vanilla bean syrup-topped tower is unbelievably thick. (Just writing about it has me drooling!) If batter-dipped bread’s not your best friend, then have no fear – Sabrina’s has frittatas, burgers and vegetarian options that’ll make you wish you never had to use a meal swipe again.

5. Pete’s Famous Pizza 

A Fairmount mainstay, Pete’s is one of those rare best-of-both-worlds eateries. In addition to signature pizzas, sizzling Stromboli and solid sandwiches, this kitchen serves a pretty magnificent breakfast menu. My brother chose pork roll for his Hungry Man Special, and, well, let’s just say he didn’t walk away with an empty stomach.

6. Hip City Veg 

To all you nonbelievers out there, I have just one thing to say: vegetables are the bomb. They’re so cool, in fact, that the fast casual options at Hip City Veg will make you forget all about that thing that starts with m and rhymes with feet. I hadn’t known about the deceptive powers of chick’n until a chance encounter with one of the restaurant’s Chipotle Fajita Wraps won me over. Order it with Organic Iced Green Tea, and you’ll know exactly what I mean.

7. Green Eggs Café 

To-die-for doesn’t even begin to describe the tantalizing treat that is Green Eggs. This potential nod to Dr. Seuss’s bestseller is anything but old-school. They fill bread bowls with chicken potpie, smother lox with hollandaise sauce and fill French toast with cookie dough. Yes, you read that correctly. Cookie dough. For the love of all that’s good in this world, stash some cash in your wallet and snag a table!


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Megan Sawey

Megan Sawey is a Temple University alumnus. She maintains deep passions for puns, distance running, hula hooping, peanut butter, and (thanks to her recent trip to Rome) Nutella. You can find her on megansawey.com.


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