Pennsylvania is packed with fun road trips.
If you’re planning a fall adventure, plenty of destinations await in the Keystone State. Our original list of nine foodie towns in Pa. published this summer was so successful, we’re back with more suggestions.
We’ve crafted a list of nine more “foodie towns” – those stops with equal parts fun attractions and a decent offering of restaurants, inns, coffee shops and breweries, among other stops.
Also, we recognize this list is subjective. We welcome suggestions on towns you think are worthwhile destinations for foodies by emailing PennLive reporter Sue Gleiter at [email protected]
Bethlehem, once named an underrated city by Reader’s Digest, is often overlooked. The city sits along the Lehigh River in Northampton and Lehigh counties in the Lehigh Valley. Among the attractions is the Steel Stacks, National Museum of Industrial History and Hoover-Mason Trestle.
Looking to the holiday season, the town’s Christkindlmarkt was named one of the best holiday markets in the U.S. by Travel + Leisure.
It also has a bustling food scene. For one, Fegley’s Bethlehem Brew Works operates in downtown with an expansive craft beer selection and flatbreads, burgers and salads. Other stops include Billy’s Downtown Diner for classic and quirky fare, Twisted Olive for French onion au gratin soup, The Mint Gastropub for Nashville hot fish ‘n’ chips and The Bayou Southern Kitchen & Bar for buttermilk fried chicken and beignets.
The Cumberland County borough’s food scene is thriving, at least in part thanks to a captive audience from The Army War College, Dickinson College and Carlisle Events car shows.
Whether you’re in the area for a hike at a nearby park, fly fishing, antiquing or shopping, you’ll have plenty of options. Start with the longtime Hamilton Restaurant and its signature hot-chee dogs (so famous they have their own historical marker) or duck into Market Cross Pub & Brewery for English pub fare or Mount Fuji for standout Japanese food.
Other must-try spots include Issei Noodle for ramen, udon and Thai dishes; Redd’s Smokehouse BBQ for smoked meats; Cafe Bruges for frites and Belgian beer; Momma Spriggs Restaurant for comfort foods; and the Grazery for Mediterranean fare. Don’t forget ice cream from two favorites, Leo’s Ice Cream and Massey’s Frozen Custard.
Clearly, the main attraction in the Adams County town is the Gettysburg National Battlefield.
But the town also has an active food scene. After all, tourists and visitors need a place to take a break and grab a bite to eat. Fortunately, it offers a variety of styles from pubs and taverns to casual family oriented stops.
Favorites include Blue And Gray Bar & Grill for wings, burgers and more; Springhouse Tavern in the Dobbins House, a quaint ale house; and Garryowen Irish Pub for Irish fare like shepherd’s pie, Guinness beef stew and fish and chips.
The Gettysburg Baking Company offers sweet treats, while Hunt’s Battlefield Fries & Cafe is known for its fries and burgers and Dunlap’s Restaurant is a popular breakfast stop. Food 101 focuses on local foods with salads, artisan pizzas, sandwiches, burgers and a fair selection of vegetarian options.
In recent years, Lancaster City has evolved into a dining destination. It’s no longer just Pennsylvania Dutch classics like chicken pot pie, chow chow and shoofly pie.
Creative chefs have opened well-received restaurants including Luca with modern Italian, Amorette with its high end dining and John J. Jeffries with a focus on seasonal and sustainable dishes made with local and organic ingredients.
In the mix, Lancaster has plenty of casual pubs, taverns and ethnic eateries including the longtime favorite Lancaster Dispensing Company for pub fare and pints; Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub House for Irish food and drink; Himalayan Curry & Grill for Indian food; and The Big 5 African Cuisine for flavorful, authentic African dishes.
Truly, there are too many good spots to mention, including Passenger Coffee, the Belvedere Inn and Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie. While in town, check out Lancaster Central Market, Gallery Row, President James Buchanan’s home and the Lancaster Science Factory.
The quaint borough in Bucks County was founded by William Penn and is home to nearby attractions such as Sesame Place, Tyler State Park and Washington Crossing National Cemetery. A big draw is State Street with its mix of shops and restaurants.
You’ll find traditional American restaurants along with French, Chinese, Italian and Thai along with ice cream, coffee shops and bakeries.
Top picks include Isaac Newton’s Bar & Restaurant with pub fare and microbrews; Vecchia Osteria by Pasquale with Italian specialties; and Newtown Brewing Company with a rotating tap list and food truck schedule. The Temperance House is a historic inn with the Tap & Barrel Tavern serving appetizers, sandwiches, salads and 33 beers on tap.
Stop at Zebra-Striped Whale ice cream parlor or Caketeria bakery for specialty cupcakes. Before you leave town, shop the La Stalla Italian Market for homemade pastas, sausages, meatballs and sauces and The Tubby Olive for specialty olive oils and vinegars.
The BBC didn’t call Pittsburgh “the one destination foodies shouldn’t miss in 2019″ for nothing. Pittsburgh’s food scene is booming.
It covers all the bases from fine dining to farm-to-table, casual joints, microbreweries and ethnic foods. An influx of new residents drawn by Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and tech companies is fueling the renaissance.
Score a seat at Arlecchino in the South Hills for stellar Italian food, Spork for “Pittsburgh’s most elegant dining experience,” Everyday Noodles for hand-pulled noodles and Monterrey Bay Fish Grotto with white tablecloth service and seafood.
Love Rocks Cafe is located in Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks with burgers and salmon salads; The Summit offers great views and elevated pub foods; Con Alma features Latin dishes; Huszar with Hungarian food and culture; and Kaya with Caribbean in the Strip District.
Situated in the center of the state, State College combines a small town vibe with a lively college town atmosphere. On Saturdays in the fall, State College’s population swells for Penn State football games.
There is no shortage of dining options with a mix of landmark spots, ethnic eateries, pizza shops and dive bars. The Corner Room, a casual spot where generations of Penn State students, professors and alumni have gathered over sandwiches, burgers and entrees, stands among the town’s most recognized restaurants.
Other staples include The Tavern with steaks and seafood, Cafe 210 West for skillet fries, cheesesteaks and grinders; and The Waffle Shop for all-day breakfast. You can’t go wrong with Champs Sports Grille or Federal Taphouse for pub eats and beer.
Souderton is a borough located between Philadelphia and Allentown in Montgomery County. Its historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and nearby attractions include The Montgomery Theater, Asher’s Chocolates with self-guided tours and shopping.
You’ll find a variety of cuisines ranging from Caruso Brick Oven Trattoria with Italian and brick oven pizza to The Burger Shop with burgers and milkshakes, Broad Street Grind for coffee and light meals and Downtown Scoop for small-batch ice cream.
Be sure to check out Northbound Restaurant, a partnership between the owners of The Butcher and Barkeep and Boardroom Spirits with house smoked meats, seafood, wings and, of course, craft cocktails.
Home to the Little League World Series, Williamsport has more to offer besides baseball. Situated in Lycoming County, Williamsport lies on the west branch of the Susquehanna River.
Attractions include Millionaire’s Row, the Susquehanna River Walk and Susquehanna State Park. Restaurants run the gamut from fine dining and Italian to wood-fired pizza and barbecue.
Step into the Peter Herdic House Restaurant and Inn for gourmet food in a restored Victorian mansion; DiSalvo’s Restaurant for upscale Italian; Franco’s Lounge Restaurant & Music Club with an intimate setting and handcrafted pasta.
Otherwise, consider Stone House Wood Fired Pizza for solid wood-fired pizzas; Moon & Raven Public House for English, Irish and American food in a old-school tavern; The Brickyard Restaurant & Ale House for gourmet burgers; Bullfrog Brewery for craft beer and dozens of sandwiches and entrees; and Acme Barbecue & Catering Co. for slow-smoked barbecue.