Thai 2 Go’s chefs draw on traditional and modern influences to concoct their own recipes for noodle dishes, curries, and sizzling stir-fries. Aromatic basil leaves, spicy chilis, and coconut milk season dishes such as pad thai and panang curry. No matter what you order, expect leftovers—even sturdy chopsticks begin to resemble toothpicks when considered beside the huge, family-size portions.
Ever since its first location opened in 1994, very rarely is there a quiet moment at J.D. McGillicuddy's. Crowds watching the Phillies cheer and groan in unison, and members of bachelorette parties dance around groups of old friends meeting for a drink. The only time the noise dips is when the staff brings out plates of the house's flavorful pub food. Wings, burgers, pizzas, and nachos fill the menu, with East Coast twists such as Old Bay seasoning and jumbo lump crabmeat. Each spacious location has also been known to host special events, from DJ-spun theme nights and pub crawls to Easter breakfasts.
Flush with the success of their first restaurant, The Couch Tomato Cafe, business partners and college buddies Craig Mosmen and Michael Cassano have expanded their plant-themed empire with The Tomato Bistro. Situated in the Manayunk district among an array of boutiques, salons, and nightclubs, the comfortable yet formal dining space surrounds diners with loft seating, cut-stone walls, hardwood floors, and modern lighting fixtures.
The Bistro’s dinner menu is filled with thin-crust, New York style gourmet pizza creations topped in San Marzano sauces and Grande mozzarella cheese. Produce is ordered and prepared daily and used to cover pizzas, fill salads served with homemade dressings and rolls, and add splashes of color to otherwise lackluster chef uniforms. Gourmet small plates encourage sharing, while an intentionally limited menu of specialty pizzas, salads, wraps, paninis, and homemade soups allows The Tomato Bistro’s cooks to maintain a high level of quality.
When Scott Caputo was 17, his father opened a pizza shop and bequeathed it to his older brother. Scott honed his pizza-making skills during his afterschool shift at the eatery and balanced his kitchen expertise with a hospitality-management degree from Widener University in 1998. A little more than a decade later, Scott opened the doors to Caputo's Pizzeria, dishing out slices of hand-tossed, thin-crust pizza adorned in abundant toppings such as rib eye steak, hot cherry peppers, and sliced fresh mozzarella from south Philadelphia's Di Bruno Bros.. Customers can live out their wildest pizza fantasies by concocting their own 14- or 18-inch pizzas or scarf down their choice of more than 15 specialty pies. Steaks, calzones, hoagies, and salads supplement pizza bites, and Caputo's catering supplies birthday parties and corporate Survivor competitions with heaping quantities of its plentiful palate-pleasers.
The staff at Flat Rock Saloon likes to jokingly describe the place in Seinfeld-ish terms: It’s a bar about nothing. This century-old corner Manayunk pub doesn’t go for gimmicks or themes, beyond a host of weekly specials. Mondays and Wednesdays are all-you-can-eat crab legs, and on Tuesdays, the 25-cent wings can get addictive. There are shot specials and combos, like a glass of beer plus mussels for a reasonable price, and the limited food menu consists of standards like burgers, a barbecue pork sandwich and fish and chips. TVs and indoor as well as outdoor tables and seating serve the purpose at this straightforward spot that sometimes hosts live entertainment.
A traditional Italian restaurant, Bella Trattoria is warmly lit and decorated in the colors of Tuscany: pale-green walls, dark wood and marble-top tables. With a prime location right on Main Street in Manayunk, the trattoria works well for a casual lunch or an upscale dinner. The long list of pasta options, supplemented by specials, includes penne with chicken tips, mixed vegetables, and marsala wine sauce; tortellini with prosciutto, peas, shiitake mushrooms and a basil cream sauce; or the Lasagna Della Nonna, a big square of beef lasagna laced with hard-boiled egg. A large selection of stromboli, calzones and tomato pies rounds out the hearty menu.