Neighborhood guides

Manayunk: Philly’s Vibrant and Charming Neighborhood

Manayunk is a charming, historical neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia peppered with small boutiques and lively restaurants. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from downtown Philly,  Manayunk is attracting a steady stream of young professionals and families, folks looking for a small-town feel just minutes from a large city. With its mix of affordable, quaint homes, and new, modern developments, it’s no wonder why this community is booming.

Where is Manayunk?

Manayunk is located North of downtown Philadelphia, tucked between the banks of the Schuylkill River and the expansive Wissahickon Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country. It’s minutes from Chestnut Hill, another desirable historical neighborhood, and just across the river from the lovely suburban towns off “the Main Line” train to Philadelphia.

History

This lovely neighborhood was originally a manufacturing town, separate from the city. However, it was officially incorporated into Philadelphia in 1854, but the small-town feel has remained. Named a National Historic District in 1983 and a Classic Town by The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in 2007, it’s often on the bucket list for local history buffs.

 

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Wow this drone is a good photographer! 📷 awesome pic by @_ryanlam #manayunk #philadelphia

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The vibrant Manayunk that exists today began to develop in the late 20th century when vacant buildings and crumbling infrastructure were transformed into cozy, updated apartments and quaint, locally owned boutiques and restaurants.

Lifestyle

Everything that happens in Manayunk happens on Main Street. Don’t let its small size fool you. All of the best bars, restaurants and shops in the area are artfully crammed into this 5-block span.

What to Do

Wedged right into the middle of it all is Pretzel Park, a comfortable residential park sporting benches and lush, green landscaping. This is where the community meets, passing through with coffees in hand, dogs and babies in tow. It’s also where the seasonal farmers market pops up, hosting a selection of local goods and products from the many neighboring farms surrounding Philly.

Where to Eat & Drink

People flock to Main Street throughout the week to pack into the bars and restaurants, for homey authentic food mixed in with BYOB date night spots. Restaurants like Chabaa Thai are championing the food scene, serving up traditional Thai food in a simple but sophisticated setting.

 

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Pssst! Starting July 1, we’ll be back for (outdoor) weekend brunch and dinner. 🙌🏼

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For a more relaxed vibe, residents love Manayunk Brewing Company. Brewmasters here craft their own selection of rotating homemade beers and serve it up in a rustic, cozy interior.

One of the best brunches in town can be had at Winnie’s. They’ve been around since 2003, and they know a thing or two about feeding the hungry masses on Saturday morning, pumping out plates of crispy bacon and cheesy omelets alongside crafted cocktails and spicy Bloody Marys.

For takeout, stumble into Smiley Café, a hidden whole in the wall that is a family owned and operated gem which, true to its name, serves up heaping plates with a hearty grin. They make fresh, authentic Mediterranean style food cooked to order.

Over in neighboring Wissahickon Park, 57 miles of trails weave between creeks, farmland and old forests. There’s hiking and walking available for all levels here. Shaded gravel paths are perfect for family walks with young children while steeper, dirt trails provide ample challenges for more seasoned hikers. Some paths are suitable for horses, which can be rented from nearby stables, and dogs are allowed everywhere in the park, though they must be leashed.

Seasonal festivals pop up throughout the warmer months, bringing local artists in for the largest art show in the area and countless food trucks for festivals celebrating local eats.

 

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Gorgeous pic by @carolinedefelice #manayunk #philadelphia #spring

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Moving to Manayunk

Real Estate Snapshot

Living in Manayunk comes with a lot of benefits, but that hasn’t bumped the price tag up through the roof… yet. Renting and buying here is right on par with Philadelphia’s average overall but prices are a bit higher when you factor in square footage. What might get you a 2 bedroom in a less expensive Philadelphia neighborhood will likely get you closer to a 1 bedroom in Manayunk.

Residences are a mix of new construction blended with historical structures. There are tiny, 100-year old row homes faced with brick that have been completely revamped with new interiors. Buildings like Apex Manayunk are popping up, where developers transformed old textile mills into modern, luxurious apartments. Local developer Dan Neducsin, one of the masterminds behind Manayunk’s revival over the last 30 years, is still eyeing up new locations to bring to life, looking to vacant waterfront lots as the next possible surge in Manayunk housing.

 

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Ahhh 75 degrees and sunny today in #manayunkphilly. Doesn’t get much better than this! ☀️🌻📷 | @wafflesfox

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Transportation

Manayunk is only 8 miles from the bustling Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia, or 6 stops on the centrally located Manayunk septa train line. It’s also an easy drive (about 10-20 minutes, depending on traffic) or bike ride via the scenic Schuylkill River Trail.

 

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And it’s Christmas in #manayunk 📷 from @zach_boyers #philadelphia #philly #christmasdecor

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Schools & Employment

Manayunk’s public schools are in the City of Philadelphia school system, and include the highly rated public Dobson James School, located right in the center of Manayunk. There are also two private school options directly within the neighborhood, Academy of Manayunk and Holy Child School, and even more if you spread into bordering areas.

Much of Manayunk’s population is employed in central Philadelphia, but there are also quite a few who are owners or employees of the retail and hospitality businesses in town. The largest single employer here is probably the PaperWorks headquarters, a recycled paper and product company.

Ready to call this lovely neighborhood home? Check out all the available apartments in Manayunk here and choose the one that best suits your needs.

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About the author

Florentina Sarac

Florentina Sarac is a creative writer, editor, and researcher for RENTCafé. She covers a variety of topics, from real estate trends, demographic shifts, housing industry news, multifamily construction, homeownership, smart-home technology, personal finance, and business. With a 7-year background in the real estate industry, Florentina has also penned articles for publications such as Multi-Housing News, Commercial Property Executive, and the National Apartment Association Magazine. You can connect with Florentina via email.

Florentina’s work and expertise have been featured in several major U.S. and international publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bisnow, The Mercury News, Curbed, The NY Post, CBS News, Business Insider, and Realtor.com. She holds a B.A. in English and Spanish, as well as an M.A. in Multilingual and Multicultural Communication, which serve as a testament to her love of literature and language.

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