Hear Philly: University City Dining Days Offers Super Deal On A Great Meal

By Dan Majka

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — University City is home to some of the most innovative and diverse dining options in the region. From July 16 through July 26, diners have the opportunity to eat at some of its great restaurants for a significant discount.

University City Dining Days is in its 11th year for 2015,” says Lori Brennan, Marketing and Communications Director for the University City District. “It’s a promotion that gathers a lot of our top restaurants together to participate in a three course, three price, discount dinner promotion. So it’s our version of a restaurant week, which is a really popular concept that happens all throughout the country.”

Brennan says the initial goal of Dining Days was to drive business to the neighborhood restaurants during a typically slow summer season. Now, 11 years later, tens of thousands of diners from all across the region come to take advantage of the great deals.

“People can enjoy three course meals from 32 restaurants,” she says. “They range from $15 to $25 to $35.”

She says the idea behind the multi-tier pricing is to help showcase all of the dining options in University City and also to accommodate different folks who are on a variety of budgets.

“There are a lot of students in University City,” Brennan says, “so they might want to eat at one of the lower price points, or they might look at it as an opportunity to have a really nice date and maybe splurge for the $35 dinner.”

And don’t worry about choosing the cheapest option. Brennan says just because you spend less doesn’t mean you eat less.

“You’re still getting three courses,” she says. “You’re getting a difference in selection. Typically it’s an appetizer, an entrée and dessert, although some restaurants do change it up a little bit.”

An entree from Doc Magrogan's Oyster House (credit: Ryan Collerd)

An entrée from Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House (credit: Ryan Collerd)

And with more than 30 restaurants participating, there is something for everyone.

“You’ve got some restaurants that are wonderful spots for a more romantic dinner or a date, you’ve got family-friendly spots,” Brennan says, “places like Landmark Americana, Copabanana and Harvest (Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar), places that have an accessible menu that are kid-friendly, and really everything in between.”

Among the restaurants participating this year are five new places to dine.

“48th Street Grill, High Street Kitchen, Wahoo’s Tacos, William Street Common and Zavino University City,” Brennan says. “We’re really excited to have them onboard. They compliment the really nice, diverse list of places that we have and they’re all different price points, so they give you the opportunity to experience different cuisine no matter what your budget is.”

A pizza from Zavino University City (credit: Ryan Collerd)

A pizza from Zavino University City (credit: Ryan Collerd)

If a discounted dinner is not enough to whet your appetite, Brennan says Dining Days is offering guests a chance to earn some great gifts by participating in a brief online survey after your meal.

“We’re giving away three prizes,” she says. “Either an Apple TV, an iPod or $200 in restaurant gift certificates.”

So if you’re looking to fill your stomach without emptying your wallet, University City Dining Days promises to hit the spot.

“We encourage folks to check out multiple restaurants throughout the promotion, maybe try one in each category,” Brennan says. “so you get a good feel for what the differences are, and then you know which places you want to come back to when it’s not Dining Days.”

For a complete list of participating restaurants, menus or to make a reservation, visit ucdiningdays.com.

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