Top Waterside Restaurants In Philadelphia

The pull of the waterfront has been the siren call for people throughout history. Whether sitting by a river, lake or ocean, bodies of water have the power to touch an ancient and innate part the human psyche. Water images form the basis for archetypes in dreams and act as metaphors in poetry. Similarly, dining beside the water has long been a prescription for a relaxing, soul-and-body nourishing experience. So succumb to nature’s call — migrate to the waterfront and enjoy a hearty meal and an invigorating dining experience.

Centre Bridge Inn Restaurant

2998 N. River Road
New Hope, PA 18938
(215) 862-9139

2998 N. River RoadNew Hope, PA 18938(215) 862-9139

Located along the Delaware River in the village of Centre Bridge near New Hope, the Centre Bridge Inn Restaurant makes for a serene, rural and timeless venue for memorable experiences. There’s no wonder it specializes in hosting weddings and other touchstone celebrations. Located on the first two floors of the rebuilt four-floor, 1700s colonial-styled building, the restaurant is graced by a functional 310-year-old stone fireplace. Its full-service bar and other amenities plus a view of the river and surrounding fields and woodlands make for a gorgeous meal. During the warmer months, diners can choose to take meals on the terrace that looks upon the iron Centre Bridge. Chef Fred Moffitt supervises the menu here, which includes an array of salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts.

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401 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 923-2500

401 S. Columbus Blvd.Philadelphia, PA 19106(215) 923-2500

If waterfront dining is the goal, then the Moshulu, a four-masted sailing ship built in 1904 and considered the largest sailing ship of its kind in the world, is a natural choice. In 1968, the ship was purchased in Finland to be restored and converted into a restaurant. In the autumn of 1974, the Moshulu was towed to Philadelphia and docked at Penn’s Landing, opening for business in 1975. Despite a fire in 1989, the ship was sold to HMS Ventures Inc. and was restored and rechristened in 1996. Since 2003, restauranteur Martin Grims has supervised the operation. Chef Anthony Bonett is responsible for the extensive menu fare here, and the setting is responsible for the gorgeous views.

Water Works

640 Water Works Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19130
(215) 236-9000

640 Water Works DrivePhiladelphia, PA 19130(215) 236-9000

Home to one of the first municipal water supply systems in Philadelphia and the country, the Fairmount Water Works were built at the start of the 19th century. Later, the Schuylkill Dam was built, which provided power to the water pumping system. Sadly, the facility shut down operations in 1909 due to increasing pollution of the river. Known for its spectacular view of the Schuylkill River, the Water Works is now one of Philadelphia’s most popular upscale restaurants. With a menu featuring appetizers such as grilled octopus and jumbo lump crab cakes, seafood is a perennial favorite of diners here.

Yardley Inn

82 E. Afton Ave.
Yardley, PA 19607
(215) 493-3800

82 E. Afton Ave.Yardley, PA 19607(215) 493-3800

A Colonial inn near the banks of the Delaware River in Bucks County, the Yardley Inn specializes in contemporary American fare. Only 20 miles from Philadelphia, diners can opt to enjoy meals in a garden patio located adjacent to the inn. Inside, the dining room is richly appointed in a style keeping with the overall theme and time period of building. Menus include brunch, lunch, dinner and bar options. All the food is prepared under the supervision of Chef Eben Copple. In addition to salads, sandwiches and full-course meals, house favorites include the seafood, pork, chicken and beef choices.

Black Bass Hotel

3774 River Road
Lumberville, PA 18933
(215) 297-9260

3774 River RoadLumberville, PA 18933(215) 297-9260

Established in 1745, the Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville once served travelers making their way up and down the Delaware River or passing through via land routes. A story is often told about the day General George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, came to the Bass to enjoy its accommodations, but was turned away by the innkeeper, who was loyal to King George and England. To the rear of the Black Bass lies the Delaware Canal, which was built in the 1830s. This famous and historic hotel has hosted President Grover Cleveland, Ethel Merman, Liza Minelli and Marlon Brando, and from its gorgeous River Deck, diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner while viewing the Delaware River. On Sundays, the hotel hosts a champagne brunch — perfect for a special occasion.

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Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on