Houston Market

Penn Dining is planning a major renovation of Houston Market, located in the lower level of Houston Hall. The project will include enhancements to the kitchen, serving and seating areas, and the introduction of new dining concepts. This effort, which is the first major renovation since 1998, is being done jointly by the Division of Business Services and VPUL. It is part of a larger project that includes work on Penn Commons and Houston Hall South patio replacement.

The work will enable Penn Dining to provide broader food options and improve efficiency for diners, especially during peak hours. The design will leverage the history and architecture of the Houston Hall space, the oldest student union building in the country, to create an inviting gathering place.  A variety of seating types will be introduced to allow individual and group dining as well as support other activities throughout the day and later into the evening. Seating arrangements have integrated technology allowing diners to plug-in, charge, and connect.

The actual market will combine the successful features of modern food halls which offer numerous high quality options provided in small-format food and beverage areas. The renovation will also expand the current late-night campus dining options that our students have been requesting and will accommodate the unique scheduling needs of students who often have little time to eat between classes.

Eight different food options will be offered each featuring food prepared from scratch using responsibly-sourced, local ingredients:

  • The Market Café – featuring La Colombe coffee products, fresh baked goods, gelato, and quick bites. The café will be open early and late
  • Ginger @Spruce! – interactive cooking on a Mongolian grill featuring bowls of fresh, local vegetables, a variety of proteins, rice and noodles, topped off with sauces
  • Ivy Leaf  –  freshly made salads and Mezze bowls with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine
  • 34th Street Carvery – house- roasted meats, fresh breads and a selection of vegetables, and house-made spreads
  • HM Street Cart – A Grab’n’Go selection of Globally-inspired street cart fare offering both hot and cold options for those on the go.
  • Houston Grill – Packed with traditional menu options as well as specially curated chef’s favorites, the HM Grill focuses a variety of meats along with sauces, and toppings
  • Bento -– Traditional sushi and sashimi along with perennial favorites like edamame, steamed gyoza, seaweed salad, Ramen bowls, Rice Bowls, and hand rolls
  • Pi – Wood-fired pizzas, flatbreads, strombolis featuring fresh, Jersey tomato sauce and house-made dough; as well as a seasonally changing, tossed-to-order Pasta Bar featuring proteins, toppings and Severino pasta


Each station will have its own point-of-sale which will allow diners to order their favorites quickly. Pre-order kiosks will also be available. All venues will accept Dining Dollar$ and PennCash. Tapingo, the online ordering app, will also be available for all stations, allowing students to pre-order their meals.

Construction is scheduled to be completed Aug. 19. Houston Market will be closed for the duration of the project.

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