Small town vibe, city zip. Manayunk was named for the Lenape word “Manaiung,” which means “place to drink.” But it’s also a place to eat, and along the neighborhood’s Main Street, there are several spots you shouldn’t miss. –Chelsea Karnash
Despite the close quarters, this Italian spot is a Manayunk fav. Expect great service, even better crostinis and a cozy atmosphere that just makes you feel welcome. Peruse the blackboard for specials, then order a bunch of plates and share—you won’t be disappointed.
While better known for its bar scene, Bourbon Blue is a great spot for brunch or dinner too. Some of the yummier appetizers are the Philly Cheesesteak Spring Rolls and the hush puppies, and for dinner, the Voodoo Shrimp or the paella are good choices. Plus, the restaurant recently added outdoor seating that overlooks the river, making it a prime spot to hang out during the warmer months.
There is one con, though—the service can be pretty spotty. But settle in with one of Bourbon’s many craft brews, and you’ll be able to put up with it.
Some call this Thai BYOB the best in the city; it’s rated high for authenticity, price, portions and service. Chabaa regulars recommend one of the many varieties of pad thai or the Crazy Noodles for an excellent meal. And while there is a corkage fee for wine, it’s worth it.
Couch Tomato Café & The Tomato Bistro
The cute, veg-friendly café and take-out spot is now home to a more upscale eatery upstairs. But whether you go with the café or the bistro, the Tomato is sure to keep both “Big Salad” lovers and gourmet pizza aficionados satisfied. Try the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” pizza, a vegetarian pie with red sauce, roasted peppers, artichokes, spinach and mozzarella, for something (remotely) healthy. Or create your own salad from the extensive list of ingredients and dressings. And how awesome is this: all pizzas can be made with whole wheat crust or vegan soy cheeses!
Much like its sister location on Chestnut Street, Manayunk’s newly opened Han has gotten rave reviews. Prices are reasonable, service is good and the food is more than a few steps up from standard Chinese take-out. Try the Dan dan noodles, the dry fry beef or pork and the cucumbers in chili oil. And if something else on the extensive menu catches your eye? Just ask, Han, the owner—he’ll give you his honest opinion (really!).
Is it Jake’s or Cooper’s, or are they one place? If so, then why is the website just for Jake’s? And why are there different reviews for each name?
Googling this restaurant will only confuse you, but go anyway. Order the Parmesan Fries, one of the scrumptious wood-fired pizzas and the Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, and you won’t care where you are. Oh, and there are more than 40 wines by the glass, plus local craft brews and unique specialty cocktails, too.
Terrace Street Bistro
This tiny French bistro might not have caught your eye, and the regulars would prefer it stay that way. But head inside, and you’ll be transported by food that rivals that of the City of Lights. The French onion soup, crème brulee and pretty much any of the beef entrees are standout, and the owner is a home-brewer who will sometimes let you sample his beer. A word of warning, though: Call ahead. Terrace Street is not always open, especially during the summer.