Where To Eat & Drink In Manayunk

The 13 best places to eat and drink in Manayunk, between walking its steep streets.
Where To Eat & Drink In Manayunk image

photo credit: GAB BONGHI

Manayunk is Lenape for “where we go to drink.” And sure, a few hundred years ago that was probably referring to the massive river nearby. But today, the neighborhood’s long list of bars and restaurants offers a lot more than a view of the Schuylkill. From one of the best pizzerias and ramen shops in town to bars with exceptional wings, here are the 12 spots worth navigating Main Street.  

The Spots

photo credit: NICOLE GUGLIELMO



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Pizza Jawn isn't your typical neighborhood slice shop.  With a crust full of crispy dough bubbles and perfect char rings, it’s one of our favorite pizza places in Philly. Grab a round, Grandma, or Detroit-style pizza by ordering online for pickup or delivery. Our favorite is the Grandma, but a bite of any pie from Pizza Jawn will confirm that you'd go through an Amazing Race-like journey just to have another one. Enduring heavy I-76 traffic isn’t as exciting as a trip around the world, but any way you dress up your pie—they have 38 topping options—you’ll head home with something you’ll cherish (maybe even more than the $1 million prize).

Whether you’re dining by the indoor plants or on the sidewalk, Mi ‘N Tea is a casual Vietnamese cafe with great bubble tea and banh mi. In the colorful, artsy space, you can enjoy perfectly crispy katsu-style fried chicken topped with pickled carrots, daikon, and a syrupy orange glaze. On a sunny day, grab a seat on Main Street, sip on a creamy Thai Sunset bubble tea, and watch people walking their dogs that are somehow always happy.

Manayunk has a few places for a casual, post-work drink, and other solid sandwich-heavy spots. Only one place in the neighborhood seamlessly pulls off both: Bar Jawn. From the team behind Pizza Jawn—one of our favorite pizza shops in the city—and located in the old Manayunk Tavern, you can watch people stroll by on Main Street, catch a game on the TVs, and enjoy a menu full of comfort food that’s perfect for carb lovers. Besides grabbing one of the top cheesesteaks and burgers in the neighborhood, try the gooey mozzarella triangles, an order of peppery cacio e pepe wings, and their crispy chicken parm. It’s a great place to share a bunch of dishes with your friends, go Hungry Hungry Hippos on all of them, and wash it all down with $7 beers. 

C&C Creamery is a Philly staple—which is probably why it always has a line out front. You’ll see people holding cones and cups full of their excellent vanilla, chocolate, twist, and pineapple Dole whip soft serve. The sizes here range from kiddie to a $4 large that’s a towering three-and-a-half scoops. For just a few bucks, it’s a creamy reward for everyone who stood in a line that rivals the one at the DMV.

There are lots of places to get Ramen in Philly, but At Ramen MNYK is one of the best. It feels like a typical ramen spot: a handful of wood tables, anime framed on the walls, and hanging lights from the ceiling. They have six ramen options—ranging from shrimp tempura shoyu to a triple truffle mushroom, and like Apple products, you’ll want them all. But it’s their bowls of spicy katsu that we love to let wage war against our sinuses. It comes with a deep-fried pork loin that’s tender and great for sopping up every drop of their fiery signature sauce. Have a drink on-hand, grab a few dumplings for the table, and pass the time wondering if one of the anime drawings could work in your dining room. 

With lots of locations, Han Dynasty’s Sichuan food is all over the city. Unlike the old, ornate Old City space or University City’s sports-bar theme, Manayunk’s is the most lowkey. Instead of TVs inside, they have a bunch of large tables where you can bring a last-minute group for an affordable meal (entrees are all under $20). The dan dan noodles are the signature dish here—beware, they’re pretty spicy—but if you can’t handle the heat, there are about 50 other things on the menu that you can get instead. Or just suck it up and get the dan dan. It’s worth it.

The first things you’ll notice when walking into Ramen Yakitori and Bar are the neon lighting strips, large screens, and Dragon Ball Z art along the walls. Like most places in the neighborhood, the space feels casual—the kind of restaurant that has regulars who come in every week for a brothy bowl. And when they do, they order dishes like crispy chicken katsu, mayu ramen made with savory pork bone broth, and juicy chicken skewers while old-school hip-hop provides the soundtrack between slurps.   

Manayunk Indian Grille is the best Indian restaurant to visit in the neighborhood, with a large menu of excellent pakoras, crispy samosas with mint chutney, and chicken vindaloo. There are paintings of the Taj Mahal, colorful umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, and a curry scent so good you’ll wish Yankee Candle made a version of it. Start with crowd-pleasers like the tangy cubes of eggplant and aloo papdi chaat and head to their murgh malai kebab (chicken marinated in malai, cheese, and spices, then roasted in a clay oven). Add steaming piles of naan or paratha, and you’ll have plenty of options to sop up every last drop of sauce.

With TVs at every corner and a long bar, Lucky’s Last Chance is an easygoing place to have a great burger and catch a game while sipping on a beer. They have 14 burgers on the menu, so there’s no question what the headliner is here. And whether you get one stacked with two thick patties or loaded with melty cheddar, bacon, and sriracha aioli, the butter-toasted Liscio’s roll impressively holds it all together. Order a basket of jalapeño cheddar tots for your friends to ensure that even if the Phillies lose, your day was a success. 

This house-like neighborhood bar has cozy wood interiors and a nice outdoor space where you can get a few small bites and drinks with friends. Located far enough up Main Street that you’re not in the middle of the action, the walls of TV’s, large bar space, and polished interiors don’t take away from the t-shirt-heavy atmosphere. Pair your beer with the melt-in-your-mouth cheesesteak and crispy wings before returning to a day of nearby bicycle and record shops. 

There are days when you can sit down at a restaurant and happily hear someone go on and on about Selling Sunset or the Sixers’ downfall. And then there are days when your alarm has an alarm and you need to eat, pronto. For the latter, head to this classic deli that serves amazing breakfast sandwiches and hoagies, all for under $8. Grab a bacon, egg, and cheese on a toasty everything bagel and after one bite, you’ll have discovered a better wake-up system than any alarm tone your phone has.  

You can truly break a marathon-level sweat walking around Manayunk. At least when biting into a beef shawarma sandwich at Smiley Cafe, you can feel like you’re getting a shiny medal at the end. The Mediterranean restaurant and smoothie shop has a long menu of veggie sandwiches like grape leaves with baba ghanoush and meat-filled options like a beef gyro layered with a creamy tzatziki sauce (all for $15 and under). It’s ideal when you want to start your day with a smoothie or a lunch that’s a switch-up from all the pizza shops, bars, or general crowds nearby.

Let's be clear—with stark tavern interiors and a few picnic tables out back, the primary reason people come to this dimly lit bar is for the wings. Outside of having some of the best in town, they also have the most variety. Union Tap House has 18 different sauce choices, and all of them go beyond the typical BBQ and lemon pepper. We’re talking flavors like strawberry jalapeño, pineapple express, and the subtly smoky bourbon molasses. Orders come in 10 jumbo, crispy, and saucy wings that you’ll need more than a few napkins to handle. 

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