Photo credit: @woodlandsphila
This year’s Guide to Philly features neighborhood guides written by students and recent grads. In this mini-guide to West Philly/University City, we cover things to do, places to eat, and everything YOU need to know to enjoy the neighborhood!
As told by Camille Velasquez, Drexel 2023
Hi there, I’m Camille Velasquez! I am a recent grad of Drexel University. I majored in graphic design and minored in dance. I am passionate for the arts and using my creativity to its endless possibilities, whether that’s through design or dance! I also am the Content & Creative coordinator here at Campus Philly! I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, and although Miami is very different from Philly, I have grown to love the city and make it my second home. I love the University City area because as a first-time college student living in Philly, it is the perfect neighborhood to get acclimated—and there’s so much to explore!
University City is home to Drexel University and UPenn, as well as other surrounding colleges! Each campus has unique things to explore and it is easy to walk around. I love going to Drexel Park because not only is it close to the bridge, which cuts across to Center City and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but you can always see the beautiful skyline in the distance—it’s especially amazing at sunset.
Speaking of movies, I love going to the Cinemark on UPenn’s campus with my friends; they also offer 50% off your movie ticket to students every Tuesday!
The food in University City is also always fun to explore. One of my favorite places for brunch is Sabrina’s cafe, I always get the Huevos Rancheros or the Stuffed Challah French Toast! For lunch I often explore the food trucks on Drexel’s Campus. We have “food truck alley” behind the Main Building, and there’s so many options, so it’s worth checking out.
Another great dine-in restaurant is Board and Brew, where you can play board games while you eat! If you have a major sweet tooth you have to check out Coco’s Cookies and Creamery, too; they have delicious milkshakes, ice cream, and insanely good fried Oreos.
Another part I love about University City is walking the Schuylkill Trail and walking around Penn Park as well. I also love World Cafe Live; they have so many events featuring local performances and artists, and every first Friday is Latin dance night! The Philadelphia Zoo is also in the UC area and it is so much fun to check out, as well as the Please Touch Museum (good for families with young children!) or the Penn Museum!