A study break is very important to have when a student is bombarded with classes, homework, and extracurricular activities. Taking a trip to Manayunk, right down the street from Saint Joseph’s University, is a great place for an enjoyable time. This town is popular among college students and is a great place to spend time with friends and family. There are many activities for someone to do here, such as go to brunch with friends, go shopping, or enjoy a sweet treat! We asked SJU students about their experiences in Manayunk.
“Manayunk offers a variety of restaurants; makes it a great place to live if you want to socialize and utilize local businesses.” – Francesca Cataliotti, Senior
When we asked Saint Joe’s students about their favorite places to eat in Manayunk, we got an overwhelming response for the Manayunk Brewing Company! “The Manayunk Brewing Company is the best place for dinner. They have a normal American menu but then they also have a great sushi bar,” says junior Sam Disipio.
Manayunk Brewing Company is recognized for its fresh food, craft beer, and entertainment. This is a reliable place to go to because of its variety of choices on the menu. They serve American cuisine as well as fresh sushi. This is a great place to go to dine with a group of friends or sit at the sports bar with a well-made hamburger and a beer.
Francesca Cataliotti, senior, lives in Manayunk and found it is a convenient location due to its vast selection of restaurants, such as Winnie’s Manayunk. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Winnie’s Manayunk is a great place to go for any craving; however, brunch is an especially popular meal amongst college students. Brunch at Winnie’s is a favorite because of their scrumptious menu. One student who was interviewed enjoys the eggs benedict, avocado toast, and mimosas. In addition, they are known for their cozy restaurant in which one can order “comfort food” such as fresh vegetable chili, warm flatbreads, or a loaded sandwich. For this reason, many students take their parents to Winnie’s when they visit because they know Winnie’s will satisfy their cravings.
Another crowd favorite is Insomnia Cookies. Although this is a chain, its mouth-watering cookies definitely bring more traffic into Manayunk, or at least more Saint Joe’s students! “Insomnia cookie is heavenly,” says freshman Emily Bolton. “The best thing is when you make a cookiewich with ice cream!” Even if you don’t feel like making the trip to Manayunk, you can still enjoy these delicious treats. Insomnia delivers. Until 3 am!
But just when Manayunk seems great, it gets even better! When asking students about their desire for Manayunk, a majority brought up the annual Food Truck Festival. This event is so fun and unique to the town. It is held on Main Street, practically bumper to bumper with food trucks, drink trucks, and little shopping trucks. They line the street and people of all ages check it out and enjoy everything from mac and cheese bites, pizza cones, cool smoothies, their favorite boutiques, and beverages with friends and family.
These restaurants were the most popular amongst Saint Joe’s students for their quality food and experience. Other recommended restaurants included Taqueria Feliz, ChabaaThai Bistro, and SOMO Manayunk. Manayunk is a city that will guarantee quality food and an overall enjoyable experience with friends and family.
“The nightlife in Manayunk is lively and known for guaranteeing a good time with friends.” -Alexa Stabile, Senior
Manayunk has a popular bar scene where students can get together to have a good time. There are a few bars which are more popular and students are bound to run into some fellow Hawks at these locations. These few include Spanky’s, Castle Roxx, Cuddy’s, and Mad River. Students tend to hop around and check out the scene at a few or all of them in a given night. “Manayunk has the best bars, everyone just gets dressed nice and wants to have a good time,” says sophomore Kirsten Babich. Manayunk is a unique place to do this because of the atmosphere it has, it is a lot different than Center City where the stereotypical city scene is. The intimate community which Manayunk has developed is because of the quaint joints and the people which frequent them. The SJU Hawks who visit the scene weekly appreciate what the town has to offer.
In addition, having Manayunk so close to Saint Joe’s campus allows students to celebrate their twenty-first birthday at a convenient location. This is highly popular among college students. Students become familiar with these locations, especially Mad River, through word of mouth. Mad River offers special deals every day of the week for specific drinks. Not only do these discounts grab the young crowd’s attention but Mad River’s DJ is ready to play the latest trending music. The nightlife in Manayunk is popular and a recommended location to guarantee a great time with friends.
“Manayunk is just a great place to walk around and window shop, it’s so pretty!”– Jenn Kraft, Freshman
While many Saint Joe’s students go to Manayunk primarily to eat and drink, Main Street also has a variety of stores ranging from clothing to music. One store which gets less attention is Main Street Music. The store has a variety of records, CDs, and music memorabilia from all genres and eras. Main Street Music may not be as well known because of its location on the end of Main Street away from the popular bars and restaurants but it is still known amongst music aficionados. “I love Main Street Music, they have an awesome variety of 1960s-90s music and their memorabilia is so cool.” says junior Jessica Knobloch. While Main Street Music is not as popular because of its location, many other students say they do not generally go to Manayunk for the shopping scene. “I’ve never done any shopping there because the shops are normally closed,” says junior Connor Quealy. Although people who live in the Manayunk area may frequently visit the shops, they are not immensely popular amongst students traveling from campus.
As far as shopping goes in Manayunk, we concluded that this city is not the most popular destination. “I’ve never really been shopping in Manayunk, I usually go to Ardmore,” says sophomore Carrie Mahoney. As Carrie and Jenn mentioned, the shops in Manayunk are viewed as “window shopping” and a great location to walk around, especially after eating at one of Manayunk’s tasty restaurants. In addition, many shops in Manayunk are small boutiques, which are not as popular to Saint Joe’s students. These are “hole in the wall” shops, which are enjoyable to look around and browse the trendy window displays. Students are aware of the shops in Ardmore because they are chain stores and are more known and revered amongst the student population.
The students have spoken: Manayunk is a convenient and reliable city which guarantees quality food, drinks, and enjoyable scenery for walking around. This is a great city for a study break, at any time of day, and is a place which will definitely be remembered during your college experience.