Using ‘foodstagram’ to explore city, Main Campus

A student reflects on exploring new restaurants with her roommate.

Last year, as I scrolled through my friend’s posts of aesthetically pleasing dishes from New York City and Los Angeles, I couldn’t help but feel jealous.

Since I was little, I’ve loved cooking, and I’ve had a love of trying new foods. I craved the opportunity to combine my passion for travel and photography with that of food.

As a self-proclaimed “foodie,” I wished for nothing more than to create my own “foodstagram,” an Instagram account devoted solely to my favorite meals.

But growing up in Reading, a small suburb, I was aware that there were barely any Instagram-worthy restaurants near me. When I chose to come to Temple though, I knew it would be my chance to create the perfect foodstagram because I’d be living in Philadelphia, one of the best food cities in America.

I decided to make my foodstagram a team effort by inviting my roommate to join me. This way, I figured, there’d be twice as many photos, and we’d both be able to contribute whenever we took trips out of the city separately.

We agreed on @philadelfeeda as our handle.

Our first post featured Kawaii Kitty Cafe in Queens Village. My roommate showed off her milkshake, and I captured the image of my rainbow bagel and latte, which had a cat design in the foam of course. This was the perfect post to kick off our account: pretty food from a local cafe. Our foodstagram could only grow from there.

Next, we went to Magpie Artisan Pie Boutique, a vintage cafe on South Street. We ordered the mac and cheese pot pie — something I definitely wouldn’t have found back home.

Since the first couple of posts, people have started engaging with us in the comments, offering us a platform to discuss the quality of the food and the environment of the restaurants. This makes us feel like food critics.

During our first year here at Temple, we’ve ventured to restaurants all around the city and the towns outside of it, snapping photos of our plates and mugs each time before we indulge. It’s so much fun to post photos of food, knowing that I’m inspiring other people to try these places and dishes. But actually eating the food is the best part.

I’ve tried the red velvet pancakes at Green Eggs Café in the Gayborhood. I’ve ordered different kinds of desserts at T-Swirl Crêpe and I CE NY in Chinatown. I’ve tasted ice cream at the historic Franklin Fountain in Old City. And I’ve found myself drinking coffee while surrounded by new and used vinyl at Milk Crate Cafe in Fishtown, which doubles as a record store.

Some days, we don’t get the chance to take the subway out into Center City or down to Girard Avenue. But that doesn’t mean we don’t get to post something artful and delicious.

On those days, we can simply walk over to the dining halls for a waffle with the iconic Temple “T” logo on it, get penne pasta-topped pizza at Maxi’s or use a meal swipe at Cosi. By running this page, we’ve been able to explore our campus for the best eats and bond as roommates.

We have entered what feels like an entire foodstagram community of hungry college students who like posting pictures of food, too. It has given us the encouragement to explore different parts of the city and campus, try new restaurants and make new friends through social media.

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