Posted: 07/12/2022

Local Must-Eats in Lancaster, PA

How many of these must-eats have you tried?

When in Lancaster, eat as the Lancastrians eat – from scrapple and sweet bologna to whoopie pies and Wilbur Buds. Lancaster, PA is home to some unique eats that may not be common in other areas of the country. They are tasty reminders of our heritage, history, and deep PA Dutch roots.

Many of these eats highlight the resourcefulness of our ancestors – using what they had, when they had it to make something truly delicious. Others fill our bellies and hearts with warm memories as we share them with friends and family.

How many of these Lancaster, PA must-eats have you tried?

Start your day with this local favorite – scrapple! If you love pork or breakfast meat in general, this regional dish is for you, as it’s traditionally made from pork and spices then fried and served for breakfast. It may not be the most glamorous of foods, but it’s rich and very tasty, especially topped with ketchup or maple syrup.

Whoopie Pies
It’s hard to resist a Lancaster County whoopie pie. These tasty treats are made from two cake-like cookies with sweet cream in the center. Legend has it that when farmers and children would find them in their lunch pails, they would shout “whoopie!” Just one bite, and you’ll understand the why.

Stroopies are a Lancaster-made Dutch stroopwafel! It's two cinnamon waffles with caramel in the middle, meant to be put over a mug of warm tea or coffee to warm the stroopwafel. Chocolate covered, espresso, original, and other flavors make this a delicious treat.

Shoofly pie. Shoo-fly pie. Shoo fly pie.

Chow Chow
This sweet and sour side dish is both tasty and resourceful. Chow-chow is a combination of vegetables, typically the odds and ends left at the end of the harvest, which are pickled and served to accompany a typical PA Dutch meal. You’ll find carrots, onions, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, corn, peppers and beans in this colorful veggie mix.

Sweet Bologna
From our neighboring town of Lebanon, sweet bologna is a local staple. This sweet, smoky sausage is typically enjoyed on a sandwich or as a snack. Sweet bologna dates back to the 19th century and reflects traditions of Western Europe. Locals love the tangy flavor of this beef-based sausage that’s cured and smoked to perfection, often paired with mustard.

PA Dutch Chicken & Waffles
Chicken & waffles tend to look a little different here than other places. Rather than fried chicken and syrup, it's chicken in a gravy over waffles, made even better when paired with mashed potatoes.

Wilbur Buds from Wilbur Chocolate Factory and Americana Museum - Lititz. Photo Credit: / Brian Evans

Chicken Pot Pie
In Lancaster, we do chicken pot pie a little bit differently. This hug-in-a-bowl is a stew-like meal with hearty broth, tender slow-cooked chicken, carrots, potatoes and savory square noodles but… no crust! If you’re a fan of the chicken pot pie in a crust, we definitely recommend trying our version. You can’t go wrong with this hearty meal.

Wilbur Buds
Hailing from the charming town of Lititz, Wilbur Buds are little morsels of chocolate heaven. They made their debut in 1893, and have been a favorite ever since. Today, you can visit the museum and shop in Lititz to pick up a bag of milk chocolate or dark chocolate buds (or both) to enjoy. We bet you can’t eat just one!

Shoofly Pie
Shoofly pie is a staple of Pennsylvania Dutch dining, a molasses crumb cake dating back to the 1880s! There's also a difference between "wet bottom" shoofly pie, which has a gooey layer form at the bottom and is more popular, and "dry bottom" which is more cake-like.

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