Though many Penn students got to see Pope Francis last fall, they missed out on another cultural experience that was moved to accommodate the visit — Philadelphia’s biannual Restaurant Week.
As a result, this month’s Restaurant Week, which takes place from Jan. 17 through 22 and 24 through 29, has become especially anticipated by students. Popular among students from Penn and other Philadelphia universities, Restaurant Week promotes the flourishing food culture that Philadelphia has to offer through discounted menus.
While students were not able to participate last semester because of Pope Francis’ visit, there is all the more excitement for this semester’s event.
“I would say it’s a very exciting time for students. I think it’s great that more students are going to be able to participate," Penn Appétit editor and College and Wharton junior Chase Matecun said. “And in some ways, Restaurant Week serves as a social event. It’s more of an event in the eyes of many Penn students a chance to hang out with their friends and to take advantage of some of the good deals to get food.”
College junior and Penn Appétit editor Elena Crouch said that the discounts restaurants give are offset by requiring customers to order multiple courses.
“I never order three things at a restaurant, so it would be more expensive than it normally would be," she said.
Matecun said that restaurants offer fewer choices during Restaurant Week in order to cater to mass amounts of customers.
“In my mind, it may not be the exact same experience as it normally would be,” he said.
Many of Penn’s freshmen will have their first Philadelphia Restaurant Week experiences this week.
“I think Restaurant Week is extremely exciting for the Philadelphia community, especially for freshmen because many of us come from places way outside of Penn and have not had [the] experience of trying many of the diverse foods that Philly has to offer, one reason being the dining plan,” College freshman Janet Zhang said. “Restaurant Week really encourages students to go out and explore the city that we live in.”
While it is a greatly anticipated event among freshmen, it still remains a highlight for upperclassmen — especially Penn Appétit’s staff. Crouch is determined to attend not only for the deals, but also for the experience itself.
“I already have plans for Restaurant Week with my friends. There is definitely more hype [surrounding this week],” she said.
She added that Restaurant Week is a good way to get students out exploring the city and hopefully encourage them to venture out during the rest of the year as well.
“A lot of students need that extra push to get them out into the city and get into the city, but I would encourage people to go out whenever they feel like it with friends, and not just limit it to Restaurant Week,” she said. “I think you can get almost equally as good of a deal at most of the places no matter when you go. It’s a good opportunity for people to branch out and try new things.”
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.