A Guide to Eating in the Ville

As most Swatties will tell you, sometimes Sharples just doesn’t cut it. We all have our favorite Sharples bars (I live and breathe for the fish taco bar), but some days, you just feel like eating somewhere else. This is where the Swarthmore Ville (ie. downtown Swarthmore) comes in. Rather than trudging to Sharples and making yourself a panini or a quesadilla, why not try some of my favorite food options just steps away in the quaint streets of the Ville? 

Swarthmore Co-Op: The Co-Op is a staple of the Ville for Swatties and non-Swatties alike. You can find most groceries if you’re a DIY in the kitchen kind of person, or if you’re more like me, you can get a variety of pre-made foods ranging from fresh sushi to delicious paninis and sandwiches (their focaccia bread is incredible). Be warned! You’ll most likely run into some of your professors, who also shop there. 

Bamboo Bistro: Bamboo Bistro is a Swattie fan-favorite Asian fusion restaurant with a miles-long menu of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai cuisine. Usually filled with Swatties letting loose with a group of friends, it’s always a great idea to order lots of plates and share everything. A night at Bamboo is a great dine-in experience and can be a nice change of scenery from Swarthmore’s campus. 

The main street of the Ville where these restaurants are located. Dunkin’ is on the corner.

Dunkin’ Donuts: As a Massachusetts native, I need my Dunkin’. Thankfully, the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Ville feels just like home, with delicious munchkins, refreshing iced coffees, and (bonus!) a Baskin Robbins ice cream counter on the side. 

Occasionally Yours: In my opinion, Occasionally Yours is the most criminally underrated restaurant on this list. This family-owned restaurant is cozy and usually filled with non-Swatties. I’ve had some memorable breakfasts and brunches here, like French toast with fresh berries and homemade whipped cream. There are options to satisfy all kinds of brunchers, with many types of omelettes, bagels, and pancakes. Come for the brunch, stay for the cozy vibe! 

Renato Pizza: Renato’s is my go-to spot after a particularly long day filled with classes or after scoping out the Swarthmore parties on a Friday night and realizing I’d rather be eating comfort food. Their list of sides extends as far as the eye can see and the pizza slices are big, greasy, and perfect. The hidden jewel of Renato’s is their mint chocolate chip milkshake, which comes in an enormous serving and is perfect to sip on a warm spring day spent outside. 

Hobbs Coffee is a favorite of both students and town residents.

Hobbs: Hobbs has a distinctly artsy vibe with art by local artists on the walls, loud music that ranges from pop punk to peaceful coffee shop tunes, and a fun menu. My personal favorites are their various bagel sandwiches that come with fillings like brie and apple, avocado and tomato, and lox. There are also other interesting items on the menu, like kimchi mac and cheese. If you’re lucky enough to find a seat, it’s also a nice place to get some work done while you eat and people watch. 

The Ville is a great resource to take advantage of at Swarthmore, especially when you need a break from campus and routine. Plus, most places take SwatPoints, which is part of your dining plan! Taking the time to stretch your legs, walk over, and find something to eat can turn your mood and day around. Whether you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, get a quick snack, or eat something that reminds you of home, you can be sure to find it in the Ville!

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Ananya, a junior from Massachusetts double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. In my free time, I love to play the guitar and be outdoors. At Swat, you’ll most likely find me hanging out with the Admissions Office dogs, enjoying a sunny day in the amphitheater, or munching on sushi in Underhill Library.

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