The venerable White Dog has been the top dining choice in University City since 1983, when local activist Judy Wicks opened a muffin shop on the ground floor of her home in a row of Victorian brownstones (houses she helped save from developers who wanted to turn this block into a mall). This excellent, if pricey, Philly mainstay has long been at the forefront of the national organic and locavore food movements. Its eclectic menu ranges from salads to steaks, pastas to panini—all ingredients rigorously sourced from regional family farms and organic food collectives and markets. The menu changes seasonally (naturally), and the four-course "Market Menu" is, at $45, a particularly good bargain. Also excellent: The weekend brunch.
Another nice touch: You can eat here any time after noon, as a Bar & Grill menu takes over when the lunch hour ends at 2:30pm, and continues to be offered even after the dinner menu goes offline at 10pm.