Philly Green Guide Part III: Gourmet Fare at White Dog Cafe

Image courtesy of White Dog Cafe

Question: What do you get when you mix award-winning American contemporary cuisine with principles of the Slow Food movement and add in a dash of environmental activism?

Answer: A delicious meal at White Dog Café in the University City district of Philadelphia.

Housed in a quaint row of Victorian brownstones, White Dog Café serves up a mouth-watering array of gourmet organic and local seasonal fare.  The restaurant, hidden from the busy streets of Philly, evokes an ambience reminiscent of a summer or, more appropriately, winter stay in a New England cabin.   From the rich wood paneling to the exposed brick, White Dog Cafe imparts a comforting, homey vibe that makes you want to sit and stay a while.

Image courtesy of White Dog Cafe

Low lighting and tasteful furnishings encourage quiet and lengthy chats of all sorts.  During my meal, the surrounding tables were filled with couples, families, professors, students and businessmen…and it was only a Tuesday night!

The food is impeccably made and sourced.  I started off with a glass of Parducci Winery’s (the first carbon-neutral winery in the States) Syrah and a bowl of the Wild Mushroom Soup, which was poured from a carafe over cubes of seasoned chicken and drizzled with a truffle chive crème fraiche.  For my main course, I chose the Spicy Lamb Bolognese, which was made with meat sourced from local Meadow Run Farms.  Topped with ricotta that was whipped and seasoned to a fluffy perfection, the spiciness of the lamb was balanced by fresh organic spinach and sizeable shavings of parmesan.  For a sweet finish to my meal, I had a steaming glass of organic apple cider rimmed with cinnamon-spiced sugar.

The 25-year old establishment has stayed true to its humble and eco-conscious beginnings.  Founded by Judy Wicks, an award-winning leader in the local, living economics movement whose list of accomplishments includes a James Beard Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year award and the Philadelphia Sustainability Awards Life Time Achievement, the restaurant continues to prove that quality and local farm fare can create inspired dishes that will impress – and more importantly, delight – even the most distinguished palate.


  1. That sounds so good! I want to go!

  2. I love reading all your blog posts. I can’t wait to visit these places!

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