July 13, 2012
Philadelphia might not have the shore, but the region’s many rivers provide an excellent backdrop to enjoy the sun, fresh air and a delicious meal.
We know how hard it is to leave the AC sometimes, but especially in these summer months, dining by the breezy riverside offers a cool and refreshing alternative to staying indoors.
Our top picks for waterfront dining, below:
• Morgan’s Pier: Not even two months old, Morgan’s Pier is a major hot spot for outdoor dining and drinking. Its location right on the Delaware River provides a beautiful backdrop to enjoy an impressive selection of craft beers, signature summer cocktails and wines along with a menu of quick bites. Don’t forget to enjoy the live music and DJs on the outdoor stage against the breathtaking view of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
• Moshulu: Moshulu takes waterfront dining to a whole new level by bringing you out onto the water. The 394-foot sailing vessel is permanently docked as a restaurant and bar at Penn’s Landing, serving up lunch, dinner and a weekend champagne brunch. Make reservations around sunset for an unforgettable view of the Delaware.
• Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant: The location of Manayunk Brewery & Restaurant has always been a staple of Manayunk society. What used to be a textile mill, this microbrewery and restaurant is situated right on the mouth of the Manayunk Canal now serving the community and its visitors in a different way. Enjoy their selection of craft beer (brewed on the premises!) on the outdoor deck with amazing views of the Schuylkill River. In addition to their full menu, they have also added a stone pizza oven and sushi bar. Bonus: the place hosts live bands regularly on the riverdeck.
• Water Works Restaurant & Lounge: There’s plenty of outdoor seating at this Philadelphia waterfront hotspot. Water Works Restaurant & Lounge provides a must-do dining and drinking experience for your summer. Enjoy your lunch, dinner or brunch while overlooking the Schuylkill. On the evenings, you can see all of Boathouse Row lit up as well as the grand Philadelphia Museum of Art in the background.
• Keating’s River Grill: Keating’s River Grill at the Hyatt Regency boasts a large riverfront terrace that offers front-row views of all the action on the Delaware River. Right next to the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing, Keating’s offers a great way to enjoy a specialty cocktails and wines from Hyatt’s Signature wine list while watching the sun set. They also serve an enticing selection of small plates on their all-day Terrace menu.
• The Landing Restaurant: With a outdoor terrace overlooking the Delaware River, The Landing Restaurant has always been a destination for visitors of the countryside. This New Hope restaurant boasts a riverside terrace of 50 tables and an outdoor bar. On top of that, they’re pet-friendly. They offer a seasonal menu to take advantage of the region’s local ingredients.
• Spirit of Philadelphia: It’s more on than in front of the water, but cruising on the Delaware with delicious food and drink at your disposal makes for a fine summer evening. The Spirit of Phiadelphia includes LED Lighting, a DJ, dance floor, sumptuous buffet and incredible open-air views of Philadelphia’s skyline.
• Firecreek Restaurant: Located on the bank of the Brandywine River, Firecreek Restaurant in Downington offers a large outdoor patio for you to enjoy panoramic views of the Brandywine as well as their food and drink selections. For those looking for a little bit of greenery, Firecreek is also located right outside of Kerr Park.
More picks, below.
• La Veranda: Just recently celebrating their 25th birthday in June, La Veranda has always been a treat for diners looking to experience the Delaware waterfront. Located on Pier 3 at Penn’s Landing, their dockside seating brings you excellent views for the summer’s many fireworks displays while serving a fantastic menu of Northern Italian cuisine.
• Yardley Inn: Located in Bucks County, the Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar offers a new perspective on our beloved Delaware River with their romantic porch seating. With their contemporary play on comfort food, the Yardley Inn is sure to be on your list of countryside dining destinations.
• Bourbon Blue: Set on the canal in the heart of Manayunk, Bourbon Blue has a great outdoor deck right above the Manayunk Canal. Known for their New American twist on classic New Orleans fare, this waterfront hotspot brings the flavors of the South to Philadelphia. From a lunch and dinner menu to a special snacks menu, kids menu, vegetarian/vegan menu and gluten free menu, you’ve got plenty of (delicious) options. Check out live music from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. at their Canal Lounge on Fridays and Saturdays while you’re there.
• The Refinery at SugarHouse Casino: From its home on North Delaware Avenue, the casino has an unrivaled location on the Delaware River’s waterfront. The Refinery lets you satisfy your hunger while you overlook the river. They’ve also added Asian Fare to their dinner and late-night dining. Cool off after a long day with their daily outdoor happy hour from 6-8 p.m. (Bonus: there’s live entertainment on Wednesdays and Saturdays for happy hour!)
• Chart House: This Penn’s Landing spot offers incredible views of the Delaware River. But to make this experience even better, Chart House has expanded their riverfront dining area and introduced a new city view lounge. They serve dinner daily, so don’t miss another great opportunity for a lovely sunset. They also serve Sunday brunch for a daytime view of the river.
• Tuscany at the Towpath House: The beautiful outdoor patio, piano performances and cozy bar area complete with fireplace at Tuscany at the Towpath House gives you a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the waterfront dining scene in New Hope. The Italian cuisine also adds to the romance of this destination.
AND here are a few of our honorable mentions:
• Shank’s Original at Pier 40: For a quick bite to eat by the Delaware, South Philly’s own Shank’s Original offers classic Philadelphia sandwiches and hoagies for you to enjoy at the pier.
• Johnny’s Hots: Come grab a famous hot sausage sandwich from Johnny’s Hots, a local favorite with just a walk-up window in Fishtown. Penn Treaty Park is just across Delaware Avenue where you can enjoy your sandwich while overlooking the Delaware.
Stay tuned for the final installment of our outdoor dining series: Uwishunu’s Alfresco Dining Guide 2012.