One of the highlights of summer is enjoying outdoor dining, awash in sunshine or beneath the stars. Add a riverside to the equation, and you’ve got the makings of a sublime summer experience. (Photos clockwise from top left by B. Krist for GPTMC, via Google, by G. Widman for GPTMC, courtesy Manayunk Brewery)
Philadelphia’s waterfront restaurants whip up a feast for the senses. Summertime sunshine, cool river breezes and picturesque views are perfect compliments to a delicious meal and boozy refreshments.
Make a date with the gorgeous weather and take a mini vacation on any of these waterfront decks or docks, and enjoy the perfect summertime dining experience.
Our top picks for waterfront dining, below:
• Morgan’s Pier: Philly’s sprawling waterfront destination is back in action for its second year. With its sweet Delaware River waterfront views, scores of alfresco tables, busy entertainment schedule and epicurean picnic fare, Morgan’s Pier is an ideal outdoor hangout. And with room for more than 300 alfresco diners, there’s plenty of space for folks to experience chef George Sabatino’s new menu for the 2013 season, a fresh entertainment lineup and the new elevated “Crow’s Nest” viewing area.
• 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 made this brewpub a staple on the Manayunk scene. House in what used to be a textile mill, this microbrewery and restaurant is situated right on the mouth of the Manayunk Canal now serves the community and its visitors in a different way. Enjoy the selection of craft beer (brewed on the premises!) and nicely done burgers on the beautiful outdoor deck overlooking the Schuylkill River. In addition to a full menu, the brewery recently-added a gluten-free menu. Bonus: Live bands play 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. They offer a seasonal menu to take advantage of the region’s robust 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.
• In Riva: With a newly expanded deck overlooking the Schuylkill River, In Riva’s chef Arthur Cavaliere brings his experience running Stephen Starr and Jose Garces kitchens into play. The weekly specials and pizzas keep the deck packed with loyal patrons, and waterfront views make for a sensational summertime treat.
More picks, below.
• La Veranda: Located on Pier 3 at Penn’s Landing, La Veranda has always been a treat for diners looking to experience the Delaware waterfront. The dockside seating brings you excellent views for the summer’s many fireworks displays, while the kitchen serves a fantastic menu of Northern Italian cuisine.
• Yardley Inn: In beautiful Bucks County, the Yardley Inn Restaurant & Bar offers a new perspective on our beloved Delaware River with its romantic porch seating. With a contemporary play on comfort food, the Yardley Inn is sure to be on your list of countryside dining destinations.
• Bourbon Blue: Set in the heart of Manayunk, Bourbon Blue has a great outdoor deck right above the Manayunk Canal. Known for its 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. to 2 a.m. at the 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 outdoor happy hour which runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
• Chart House: This Penn’s Landing spot offers incredible views of the Delaware River. But to make this experience even better, Chart House expanded its riverfront dining area and introduced a city view lounge. Chart House serves up dinner daily, so don’t miss another great opportunity for a lovely sunset. For a daytime view of the river, Chart House also serves Sunday brunch.
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.