Philly Eats: MANAYUNK AND ROXBOROUGH

Philadelphia has always been a world class city. For many years it has thrived in the areas of arts and culture, historical significance and architecture. However, until recently, Philly has never been known as a culinary hotbed.  Sure, there were a few heavy hitters, but nothing like it’s current offerings. These days, it seems Philadelphia gives cities like Chicago, New York and San Francisco a run for their money in edible excitement. We are a city of neighborhoods filled with BYOB’s, Iron Chefs and Ethnic Delicacies.

Manayunk and Roxborough, two neighborhoods Northwest of Center City, offer an urban experience with small town charm. These hilly enclaves offer a surprising amount of wonderful food options for such a small amount of geography! The bustling Main Street is the hub of entertainment and nightlife in the region and offers a bounty of edible delicacies. Off to Manayunk and Roxborough!

ETHNIC:

Hikaru: (Japanese) Hikaru is Philadelphia’s first sushi bar and is still widely regarded as having the best and most authentic Japanese cuisine in Philadelphia, since 1983!

Yanako: (Japanese) A multi-sensory Japanese restaurant and sushi bar featuring classic dishes, superior-quality ingredients and a soothing, vibrant interior.

Laxmi’s Indian Grill: (Indian) The only authentic Indian restaurant in Manayunk! A warm, relaxed atmosphere provides the backdrop to savory dishes that can only be produced with time, expertise and a multitude of spices.

Kildare’s: (Irish) Traditional Irish pub with great beer and excellent food.

Zesty’s: (Greek) Traditional Greek dishes with a quiet dining experience.

Han Dynasty: (Chinese) Han Dynasty offers some of the best Chinese food in the city of Philadelphia.

Chabaa Thai Bistro: (Thai) Chabaa Thai is a modern yet authentic BYOB, serving elegant yet authentic Thai cuisine that is equally exciting in taste, presentation and experience.

Cactus Cantina: (Mexican) Cactus Cantina is a fun, casual tex-mex bar & grill with good times and good friends. Our specialty is southwestern and Mexican influenced cuisine.

Ali Baba Palace: (Persian): A variety of Kabob served over rice.

Tacqueria Feliz: (Mexican): Tons of Mexican entrees and a great cocktail menu.

Il Tartufo: (Italian) Tuscan specialties and wine list.

Agiato Restaurant: (Italian) Great selection of Panini’s and Pasta dishes.

Bella Tratoria: (Italian) Besides offering tasty southern Italian cuisine, Bella Trattoria also has an extensive wine menu.

Maria’s Ristorante: (Italian) The staff at Maria’s prepare the family recipes as well as specials every night using only the freshest and finest ingredients. Maria herself makes all of the desserts available minus ice cream and sorbets at both locations. In addition to classic homemade Italian dishes Maria’s has a casual all day menu with burgers, wings, and specialty sandwiches. The Roxborough location also boasts a large bar area featuring 10 craft beers on draft and seasonal favorites such as homemade flavored vodkas and limoncello in addition to the beautifully appointed dining rooms.

Pierogie Kitchen: (Eastern European) Pierogies, Soups and Kielbasa.

PIZZA / CHEESESTEAKS:

Tomato Bistro: The Tomato Bistro’s menu has award winning pizza, the addition of small plates, a unique beer & wine list, and much more.

D’Alassandro’s Steaks: A contender for best cheesesteak in the city of Philadelphia. Try it and compare!

The Couch Tomato Cafe: Soups, sandwiches and pizzas.

Chubby’s: There will always be a great debate on where to find the best steak sandwich in Philadelphia. Chubby’s of Henry Avenue prepares steak sandwiches, burgers, hoagies, and sandwiches the way you like it. With cheese or without, homemade chili, party platters and more.

Santucci Brothers V: Home of the original square pizza.

 

MISCELLANEOUS:

Jake and Coopers: (Wine Bar) Their mission is to provide a level of service that is unmatched by most, a menu quality that does not compromise on any level, and offer a diverse list of wines and beers.

Lucky’s Last Chance: (American) Artistic Burgers,  Craft Beer  and Serious Hot Dogs.

Bourbon Blue: (American / Cajun) The charm and beauty of Bourbon Blue’s revamped mill building takes your breath away before you even taste the food, which has a hint and style of New Orleans.

Sapphire: (Eclectic and Al Fresco Dining) Saphhire Manayunk offers one of the largest outdoor dining experiences. Enjoy a great meal and a cocktail while people watching out front or enjoy truly private dining on the back deck.

Manayunk Brewing Company: (Eclectic American) Manayunk Brewery offers a broad selection of beverages including their own handcrafted beers and ales, as well as a diverse menu with everything from American cuisine to hand-rolled sushi.

Derek’s: (American) Derek’s is your anytime, come as you are neighborhood restaurant and bar.

Winnie’s LeBus: (Comfort Food) A visit to Winnie’s offers comfort food and great drinks in a welcoming setting.

Ugly Moose: (Bar Bites) Appetizers, Sandwiches, Salads and Entrees.

Sole to Soul: (Seafood/ Southern) Soul Food, Seafood and Karaoke.

Bob’s Diner:  (Diner) When arriving at Bob’s Diner, you may think the 1940’s silver dining car is what makes it unique or that for over 70 yrs, it has sat adjacent to a cemetery. However, when you experience the award winning, home cooked food and family friendly atmosphere, you will find what really makes them stand out from the rest.

Tommy Gunns: (BBQ) Well regarded BBQ joint. Dine in, take out and catering available.

There are also dozens of coffee shops, sandwich shops and other food options too numerous to list, and many new restaurants pop up almost daily. Bon Appétit!

Roxborough / Manayunk— Manayunk and Roxborough are family neighborhoods in Northwest  Philadelphia; Hilly enclaves along the Schuylkill River. Once a center of industry, with textile mills and factories, Manayunk is now a lively district dotted with bars, restaurants, nightclubs and plentiful shopping. Children are ubiquitous and families fill the row homes of modern day Roxborough and Manayunk. Below are some family friendly destinations in the area.

Parks/Playgrounds/ Pools:

Gorgas Park: The central park of the Roxbrough-Manayunk community. (6300 Ridge Ave.)

Allens Lane Playground: A wooded escape. (Allen’s Lane between McCallum and Green)

Pretzel Park: Formerly Manayunk Park, Pretzel Park overlooks Main Street in the middle of town. With a playground, dog park and many benches, Pretzel Park is operated by the Philadelphia Department of Recreation and often receives financial help from the neighborhood group Friends of Pretzel Park. The iconic metallic pretzel was installed in 2005. (Cresson St & Roxborough Ave.)

Houston Rec Center: Houston Playground has a wide range of programs for all ages. (900 Grakyn Ln.)

Kendrick Rec Center: Karate, Gymnastics, Zumba and More. (5800 Ridge Ave.)

Freedom Valley YMCA:  Pool, classes, camp for children of all ages. (19 W. Linfield Rd.)

Camp:

Philadelphia Summer Camps: A blog dedicated to Philadelphia area summer camp programs.

Attractions/ Things To Do:

Aikido Association of North America: Kids Classes Available (5836 Henry Ave.)

AmeriKick Karate: Karate Classes for All Ages (8500 Henry Ave.)

Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center: The Manayunk Roxborough Art Center (MRAC) is a non-profit educational institution which offers a full range of creative educational services to residents of the Manayunk-Roxborough community as well as the greater Philadelphia area. (419 Green Street)

Manayunk Sport and Social Club: Philadelphia’s largest organizer of adult coed sports. (Venice Island Rec Center)

Kid Friendly Restaurants / Stores:

Manayunk and Roxborough Kid Friendly Restaurants via Urban Spoon

Worn Yesterday: Kids Clothing (4228 Main St)

Game Stop: Video Games (8500 Henry Ave)

More Info:

Roxborough.us: All About Roxborough

Manayunk.com: All About Manayunk

Christine “Chrissi” Gaddie spent her early childhood in West Mt. Airy and currently resides Germamtown with her fiancé and daughter. After graduating from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, Chrissi went on to attend Temple University where she received a B.S. in Legal Studies and Political Science.

Chrissi is a 4th generation Philadelphia Realtor and works as a residential and commercial Property Manager for various apartment communities in Chestnut Hill, Germantown, Center City, University City and throughout North Philadelphia. In addition to her background in property management, Chrissi is also an independent women’s wardrobe stylist for Cabi Clothing — and Los Angeles based design team.

Throughout Chrissi’s career she has excelled in sales by being warm, charismatic, knowledgeable, and honest. She gives every client the “five-star” treatment by being sincerely attentive and naturally accommodating. Chrissi’s tireless work-ethic, keen sense of style and an unmatched hustle are her methods for success. Chrissi is fully committed to helping you reach your home buying, selling and/or investment goals. Specializing in the areas of Northwest Philadelphia including Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Germantown, Oak Lane, Roxborough, Manayunk and the surrounding suburbs.

What did you do before you became a realtor?

I am an Artist by training having earned my BFA and MFA and practiced as a sculptor primarily in welded steel, glass and light. For many years I designed and fabricated furniture as well as teaching Art at the University level. I loved helping students visualize their ideas and master the skills to realize those visions. How things are put together is a passion of mine, from conception/visualization through execution. In addition I have spent many years recreating my own home in Manayunk/Roxborough.

Why did you decide to become a realtor?

I love people and realized I could use these skills to help other people visualize their new home and assist them if realizing that dream. I love problem solving and I am very detail oriented, all very helpful attributes in navigating a Real Estate transaction.

Where is your favorite place to vacation or to relax?

Getting out into nature is a must for me, be that into the Wissahickon Gorge or the mountains of Vermont, Pennsylvania, Colorado or Peru. When I need a break I love going birding with my husband, Leo, sometimes just a day trip to some of the great birding spots near Philadelphia in PA and NJ or on an extended trip like Costa Rica. Yet, I still love to check out museums, other artist studios and gallery shows. It gives me pleasure supporting other artist by collecting their work.

What does your perfect weekend look like?

Leo is a fabulous gardener and has made our tiny garden an oasis. Photographing the textures, colors and natural wonders of his garden, the Wissahickon Park or other natural locations is how I stay connected to my visual creativity. I frequently use these photos in my marketing.

Do you have a favorite new local restaurant or business that you are really excited about?

We enjoy Craft Beers and good creative food shared with friends. McMenamins Tavern in Mt Airy is a favorite of ours for years and recently we discovered The Pub of Penn Valley in Narberth.

What do you like to do in your free time – besides sell real estate?

Many early mornings a week you will find Leo and me power walking on Forbidden Drive or on the secluded trails of the Wissahickon Park. It is, also, important to me to nurture long time friendships and several early mornings each week I am on the phone with friends who live in other states. These friends have known me through many stages of my life some as far back as Jr High School and they represent industries as diverse as clothing manufacturing, aerospace engineering, a student of Ram Das, symphony violist, lawyer and psychologist. Getting support and perspectives from these areas of expertise is fascinating and enriching.

To contact Deb, call 267-235-7028 or email deb@elfantwissahickon.com

Deb Stanitz

Some of Deb’s photography work:

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Photo II

Photo III

Joan Topper was born and raised in Glenside, PA, and began traveling to center city by train to rehearse with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra at the age of 14. After living in Chicago for almost 6 years while she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance, Joan moved east, to East Falls, Philadelphia. There, she made a strong connection with Northwest Philadelphia by biking regularly through the Wissahickon to Chestnut Hill and to Center City along Kelly Drive. After next attending The Juilliard School for Masters Studies in Viola Performance in Manhattan, New York, Joan relocated to Chestnut Hill, where she began her shift to becoming a mother and also a permanent resident of the Delaware Valley.

After joining The D’Alessandro Group as an assistant, she began her courses in real estate education. One year later, she was an experienced agent, having handled upwards of 60 transactions during her time as an assistant. Now living in Abington, she is centrally located to have thorough knowledge of the suburban markets of Montgomery and Bucks Counties, as well as of Chestnut Hill, Mt. Airy, Manayunk, Roxborough, East Falls, and Center City.

Joan makes it her priority to treat her clients’ business as if it were her own. Through her decades of music training, she has found her attention to detail and artistic aesthetic to be instrumental in orchestrating smooth and successful transactions for her clients.

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This week in Philly.com there was a cool article on Manayunk, with some nice quotes from Elfant Wissahickon Realtor, Keith Adams, discussing the neighborhood’s value to buyers looking for a Center City experience for far less money. Take a look at the full article HERE and feel free to reach out to us if you are looking for a home in the Manayunk area!

 

History
Bala Cynwyd is a community in Lower Merion Township which is located on the Main Line in southeastern Pennsylvania, bordering the western edge of Philadelphia at US Route 1. It was originally two separate towns, Bala and Cynwyd, but is commonly treated as a single community. Bala Cynwyd lies in the Welsh Tract of Pennsylvania and was settled in the 1680s by Welsh Quakers, who named it after the town of Bala and the village of Cynwyd in Wales. (From Wikipedia)

Boundaries
Bala Cynwyd extends west of the Philadelphia city limits represented by City Line Avenue from Old Lancaster Road at 54th Street west to Meeting House Lane and then along Manayunk and Conshohocken State Roads north to Mary Watersford Road, then east along Belmont Avenue back to City Line.

Zip Code: 19004

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History
Passyunk Square traces its roots to Colonial times, when Gen. George Washington housed many of his soldiers on the 800 and 900 blocks of Federal. Passyunk Avenue from Tasker to Broad got its start as an upscale shopping mecca. Restaurants, specialty food stores, pharmacies, furniture shops, clothing and shoe and jewelry stores dotted the avenue, just as they do now. In 2002, a city ordinance created the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District, which was modeled after merchant-funded initiatives in Center City and Manayunk. Major landmarks of the neighborhood include East Passyunk Avenue; the Lower Italian Market, said to be the country’s oldest open-air market, Ninth from Washington to Wharton; Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, Ninth and Passyunk and the fountain at the junction of Passyunk, 11th and Tasker. (South Philly Review)

Boundaries
Broad Street to the west, 6th street to the east, Tasker to the south and Washington to the north.

Zip Code: 19147

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History
Most of modern day Roxborough was once part of Roxborough Township which was incorporated into the City of Philadelphia following the passage of the Act of Consolidation, 1854. At this time Roxborough was the home of the areas wealthiest; the owners of the Manayunk mills. These mills didn’t just produce anything from textiles to plastic containers, they also produced exuberant fortunes for the mill owners, much of which was funneled back into the community. This money went into building build schools, parks, and even a large Victorian manor built for the area’s elderly women, The Roxborough Home for Women.

The commercial spine of the neighborhood is Ridge Avenue, which, as its name suggests, runs along the ridge between the Wissahickon Creek and the Schuylkill River. Most businesses are located on Ridge Avenue and most residents are within walking distance to it. Several coffee shops, like “Crossroads” a cafe built in an old shoe store, and restaurants, like local favorites Bob’s Diner and Roma’s Bakery, have opened recently, along with boutiques and yoga studios. (From Wikipedia)

Boundaries
Roxborough is bordered to the southwest, along the Schuylkill River, by Manayunk, to the northeast by the Wissahickon Creek section of Fairmount Park, and to the southeast by East Falls.

Zip Code: 19128

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History
East Falls is a neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. The neighborhood runs along a stretch of Ridge Avenue that is only a few miles long, along the banks of the Schuylkill River then extends northeast to Wissahickon Avenue. East Falls overlooks the multi-use recreational path of Fairmount Park along Kelly Drive, and is desirable for its central location, an easy commute to Center City. East Falls continues to develop, with new housing, retail space and recreation centers in production. It features two train stations, a number of bars and restaurants, illustrious mansions and some recently renovated housing.

East Falls is best known as the childhood home of Grace Kelly, actress and Princess of Monaco who grew up in a house at 3901 Henry Avenue. East Falls takes its name from its location on the east side of the Schuylkill River at the original line of waterfalls where the river descends from the elevation of the Pennsylvania piedmont to the coastal plain occupied by the main part of the City of Philadelphia, thus East Falls was in colonial times the highest point on the river navigable by boat and transfer point to the Indian path/colonial roadways which later became Ridge Avenue and Germantown Avenue. The falls disappeared when the river level was raised by the construction of the dam at the Fairmount Water Works, four miles downstream, but rocks still visible above the water show the location of the natural fall-line.

Before the arrival of European settlers, the Lenni Lenape Indians considered the lower Schuylkill River their home. The Wissahickon Creek runs into the Schuylkill here and today is included as a part of Fairmount Park, providing walking and bike paths along its banks. Wissahickon is a merging of two Lenape words: “Wisaucksickan” meaning “yellow-colored creek”, and “Wisamickan” meaning “catfish creek”. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries “catfish and waffles” was a favorite food at the many inns and taverns that ran through the valley, and a catfish still serves as the weathervane atop the Free Library of Philadelphia Falls of Schuylkill Branch. East Falls, so named in the nineteenth century, had earlier been known as Falls of the Schuylkill or Falls Village. In the 19th century, the Dobson Mills textile factory thrived there. (Wikipedia)

Boundaries
East Falls is located adjacent to Roxborough, Manayunk, Germantown and Fairmount Park.

Zip Code:  19129

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