Manayunk is a quaint neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Historically an old mill town, Manayunk has recently been rebuilt. Head up the Main Street to find both new and old boutiques, galleries, and plenty of great restaurants. Here’s our guide to 10 of Manayunk’s best venues.
The Couch Tomato Cafe and Bistro are two connected restaurants. The cafe has small, quick dishes while the bistro is a more formal-casual dining experience. The chefs at the cafe and bistro strive to use organic and local produce, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, and seasonal ingredients to create the freshest meals for their customers. The menu features many delicious and guilt-free dishes for lunch and dinner, including fresh salads, pizzas, and burgers.
Owner Frank Marchiano uses his mother’s genuine Italian recipes in his beloved, family-run bakery. The Italian breads, which are stuffed with meats, vegetables, and cheese, are a popular bakery item, but the favorite among customers is the tomato pie. Sheets of thick dough are hand-rolled and covered in crushed tomatoes, olive oil and spices and then sprinkled with Parmesan cheese to create this savory treat. The atmosphere inside is familial and warm, and the service is just as friendly.
Dawson Street Pub is a quaint local pub and the daily happy hour makes this a great place to eat on a budget. The pub specializes in a selection of craft beers and small-batch brews, and its food is hearty and full of flavor. Visit Dawson Street Pub at the weekend to see a live music performance.
This new bar and restaurant in Manayunk has a clear focus on sustainable cooking practices. Make your drink selection from the long list of craft beers and domestic whiskey and bourbon. The Goat’s Beard serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. At brunch, the breakfast burger, served with pepper jack cheese, bacon, caramelized onions, hash browns, and an egg, is a great way to start the day. Whether you’re looking for a whole meal or a few shared snacks to enjoy with a cold beer, The Goat’s Beard is an excellent choice.
Smiley’s Cafe serves made-from-scratch Mediterranean cuisine crafted from the freshest seasonal ingredients. Perfect for a light lunch, the cafe offers sandwiches, crisp salads, meat entrées, and vegan platters. Enjoy a fruit smoothie or fresh-squeezed lemonade with your meal, and don’t forget a slice of baklava for dessert. The outdoor seating and lounge are perfect for a leisurely lunch with friends. The staff are friendly and helpful, and they carefully make every dish to order.
Winnie’s fresh-made, preservative-free meals are made using as much locally grown produce as possible. Chef John O’Brien has crafted a fun and creative menu for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. For those feeling indulgent, try the lobster mac and cheese, a creamy, flavorful favorite, and order an eclectic local microbrew from the circular dining room bar.
Lucky’s gourmet burgers have been voted some of the best in Philly, but the menu doesn’t stop there. Carefully crafted hot dogs are made from the best frankfurters in between butter-toasted New England-style hot dog rolls. Try the Buffalo Bill dog topped with shredded chicken dipped in buffalo sauce with blue cheese crumbles. The best-selling burger is the Mak Attack. The burger is topped with cheese, a huge scoop of Lucky’s specialty Mak & Cheese, and finally more cheese.
Located in the heart of Manayunk, Rubb serves award-winning barbecue and boasts 24 beers on tap. Juicy, high-quality meats are smoked daily for up to 14 hours to allow the spices and flavors to mingle. Choose your favorite meat: ribs that fall off the bone, old-fashioned brisket or the always-delicious wings. Seating is cafeteria-style with long wooden tables that give the restaurant a sense of community.
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Located along the scenic Manayunk Canal, Bourbon Blue serves up American cuisine with a New Orleans twist. Transport your taste buds to the French Quarter with an Andouille sausage sandwich, slow cooked and topped with caramelized onions and creole mustard on a toasted baguette, NOLA-style jambalaya, baked crab cakes, and more. The seating is beautiful on the open air deck with room for 50 guests. The Southern spirit runs through to the warm hospitality from the staff and chef and owner Brendan McGrew. Enjoy live music five nights a week.
Zesty’s founder was born in Lefkas, an island between Greece and Italy, and he combines the best of both countries to create his Greco-Roman Mediterranean cuisine. Try the baby octopus for an appetizer—apple wood fire-grilled with olive oil, fennel, lemon, and oregano. For an entrée, the moussaka is a popular dish made of sautéed eggplant, zucchini, cheese, and optional ground beef baked in a béchamel sauce.