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Water Works Restaurant & Lounge

2347 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Top Tags:
  • Scenic View
  • Special Occasion
  • Great for Outdoor Dining

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Water Works is a National Historic Landmark located on the waterfront of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You will start your evening off with handmade hors d'oeuvres and cocktails around a customized ice sculpture. Hot and chilled stations serve items such as shrimp, crab, East Coast Oysters, sautéed Kiwi Mussels, roasted chicken osso buco or seared Italian sausage cassoulet. In addition, chef attended stations will be available to you and your guests. Water Works can prepare pasta dishes at the ravioli bar or create many Asian specialties at the Asian Station. Enjoy the romantic atmosphere with a filet mignon, roasted prime rib, orange braised short ribs or a seafood dish, such as grilled salmon with crab or Chilean sea bass. Veal, lamb, duck, pork and chicken are also available options. Top off the night with a strawberry shortcake, cheesecake or an assortment of miniature pastries.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Mediterranean, American
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Hours of operation
We are available for catering events 7 days a week
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Phone number
(215) 236-9002
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Private party facilities
Celebration dinners in the Engine House. Romantic evenings on the Riverside Veranda. Business lunches in the Breezeway. Casual cocktails in the Caretaker’s Lounge. Wedding receptions under the Pavilion. All these can only be found at the Water Works Restaurant and Lounge.
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Private party contact
Gary Ted Abramson: (888) 606-4158
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Please contact us for details at or 215.236.9002.
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Cross street
Kelly Drive
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Parking details
$6 valet for day events. $12 valet for evening events. Public parking also available.
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Special events & promotions
The Water Works Restaurant and Lounge is the perfect venue for special events of all kinds! This historic landmark offers unique options for both indoor and outdoor affairs of all sizes. Please email for more information
Banquet, Beer, Dancing, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 2347 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.1  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HappyDiner (Philadelphia)
1.0  Dined on June 21, 2015

I would not recommend this restaurant. Buffet line was more than 10 minutes long. Food was mediocre at best, and service was lacking. We asked for coffee and one person received a luke-warm cup, while the other received nothing for several minutes because they were brewing it (it's brunch - seems standard that coffee should constantly be available). When more coffee was requested, it took more than 15 minutes to get a cup. Brunch was extremely expensive for something not special at all, and they charged $3.50 for a glass of orange juice. When we were done eating we had to flag the waiter down to request our check after waiting for several minutes. I would NOT recommend this terribly overpriced place to anyone.

vipAll4glastonbury (New York Area)
3.0  Dined on June 13, 2015

Celebrating a special event was worth it for the pictures - location and grounds are wonderful. Maitre' d was warm and inviting - it would be great if he could mentor staff to be more attentive and warm. Food was "fine" - nothing special. Everyone seems good with their food - salmon, chicken, tofu, but my husband said Duck was very weak. Biggest issue though was the attentiveness of wait staff and everything took a VERY long time. I was dining with some "elderly" folk so by the time dinner came they were ready to leave. Would try again in the hopes that this was an off-night.

vipDave (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on June 13, 2015

Excellent food. Fantastic view. Very attentive and friendly waitstaff.
I was disappointed to learn that this would be a banquet/ event venue only in the future.

Jennygee (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on June 7, 2015

I have never been behind the Art Museum!!! The view was fabulous!!! The food was delicious!!! Well worth the money spent!!

vipPattyvk (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on May 31, 2015

With such an historic and potentially beautiful venue, you'd think the business would respect it with good food and decor. This city enjoys the luxury of having quite a few excellent restaurateurs who bewitch the most unassuming of places into world class gems. Just imagine the culinary landmark this would be if the likes of Jose Garces got his hands on the Waterworks Restaurant! What a shame.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on May 17, 2015

Sunday Brunch is fantastic! Great views of Boathouse Row and the River

pmw13 (Philadelphia)
1.0  Dined on May 10, 2015

We reserved a 5:00pm table for 8 on Mother's Day and everyone in my family was ecstatic when we were seated. The restaurant overlooks the city and specifically Boat House Row. The art museum, waterfall and walking trails add even more to the experience.

We were seated promptly and ordered by 5:30..and then waited, and waited. Understanding it was Mother's day everyone was patient and enjoyed the surroundings and incredible view. Then we waited..and waited, then asked for more wine, but they no longer had the wine we had, only a comparable wine - in taste, not price!

Knowing we were going to a place like Waterworks, everyone went hungry and excited for a good meal. Over two hours later we would have been happy with McDonald's. Finally, the food came out around 7:30 and inevitably they served my mom the wrong dish (on mothers day after waiting 2:30 to eat). I ended up eating a dish I didn't order and the server and/or manager never apologized for the mistake. The only apology was from me to my family for making the reservations. The View is NOT worth the aggravation, the food was awful. A steak knife was needed for every dish - filet, chicken, pork and duck, because they were so hard - but our server never stopped to ask .

I wasn't expecting anything great, but I wasn't expecting them to rely 100% on the view. Management/staff at the Waterworks are either slow or they are deliberately trying to extend the length of your meal to increase liquor/wine/beer costs. Spend your money somewhere that cares.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on May 10, 2015

I have been to the Waterworks before with my mother for her birthday and it was incredibly good--food, service and unbeatable location on the water. However, not every restaurant is able to match their buffet on a holiday with the off the menu quality on a "regular" day and Waterworks was a prime example. The experience could have been improved with 1) Music--even of the recorded variety 2) More choices on the buffet--which was heavily weighted towards breakfast choices even at our 1:45 reservation time. 3) Replenishment of the buffet table--I know we had a late seating but we were paying exactly what those who arrived 2 hours earlier paid. And this brunch was no bargain!

I will we back to the Waterworks again but not for brunch and not on a holiday. Come on, Waterworks! You can do better. Don't let us down!

SouthPhillyQuanda (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on May 10, 2015

Visited Waterworks restaurant for Mother's day brunch.. Food was excellent- especially the french toast (one of my favorites) and the salmon!! When making reservations, I requested outside seating but the restaurant was unable to accomodate me due to the volume of guests dining that special day. I was annoyed but went with the flow. Hopefully, my next visit to the restaurant I'll be able to be seated on the outside to enjoy the view of the river. Other than that, I would recommend the restaurant to others wholeheartedly!! I give it 5 stars!!

Orangeman (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on May 10, 2015

Took my family here for Mother's Day brunch. Good food, excellent view, impeccable service. Gorgeous area and a beautiful day. Bloody Mary's done right. BUT, be prepared to spend $$!

vipBrunchingBrittany (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on May 9, 2015

they didnt give us any dining points... and we got engaged on this outing!! SIGH

Veggiegirl25 (Philadelphia)
1.0  Dined on May 9, 2015

The chairs were sticky, the service was poor, and the food was awful. The wait time for our food was about an hour!! and when it arrived it was such poor quality!!
Terribly disappointing experience.

OpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
4.0  Dined on May 3, 2015

The location is great, overlooking the river and being a short walk from the Art Museum. A few more signs indicating where it is on the walking path would have helped. It's a fairly quiet place and we liked being seated in a booth looking out on the river. I did want to be seated under the tent outside and asked for it in the reservations. We were told that all the empty tables were "reserved." I wonder for whom and whether staff didn't feel like accommodating us!! It was our first time there and guess we're not part of the "in crowd." Still, it was very pleasant overall.

vipOpenTable Diner (Philadelphia)
3.0  Dined on May 3, 2015

I wanted to try the Water Works Restaurant because I often run past it, and it seemed like it would have a nice view and be good for brunch. The view is about what I had expected - a nice view of boathouse row and the river, you can see the bikers / runners go by on the other side of the river on a Sunday morning.

However, the food was such a disappointment. I guess part of it was my fault for not doing my research, but I wasn't expecting a pricey buffet. At first I was impressed by the selection - hot food, omelette bar, raw bar, desserts - but I quickly found that food that looks good doesn't necessarily taste that great. Nothing was particularly bad, but neither is it something I will return to, especially given the price.

CoachCP (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on April 26, 2015

My husband and I celebrated our 2nd Wedding Anniversary here and it was a great experience. We were seated on the outside patio which was closed in because it was a little chilly and windy that day. However, we were in the covered (heated) tent but the view was still amazing. My husband had no idea that the waterfall was even there. The service was impeccable, the ambiance was soothing and romantic. They even provided us with a desert plate that said Happy Anniversary. How sweet and thoughtful. The food was delicious as well, the omelette station, the waffles and french toast were the best items on the menu.