Foodie Towns in Lancaster, PA
Sidewalk cafés dot the streets, and roadside stands with hand-scrawled signs advertising everything from brown eggs to baked apple dumplings invite you to turn down winding farm lanes. These are the towns that produce the foods for which we yearn – from Intercourse’s sensational jams and jellies to Hershey’s famous chocolate bars and the Wilbur Buds of Lititz. With hands-on experiences, world-famous food brands, and take home specialties for culinary adventures in your own kitchen—these towns are don’t miss foodie destinations.
Downtown Lancaster is home to more than 90 unique dining locations, the majority of which are independently owned and operated. Enjoy restaurants that feature local, farm-raised poultry, organically-produced meats and farm-raised shellfish, and menus that feature innovated fare that emphasizes seasonal items.
Aside from traditional dining, you’ll also want to satisfy your sweet & savory taste buds. Downtown Lancaster is home to a growing number of bakeries and candy shows that produce mouthwatering candies. Pick up some sweet candies at Miesse Candies Downtown Shop & Factory. For those who prefer salty treats, you’ll definitely want to check out Hammond Pretzel Bakery – voted #1 hard pretzel in Lancaster County Magazine for the past 21 years. Of course the ultimate stop for any foodie is Lancaster Central Market.
And don’t forget to treat yourself to the handcrafted ales and lagers at Wacker Brewing Company, Spring House Brewing, or Lancaster Brewing Company. Grab lunch or dinner inside a working microbrewery where all of the beers are brewed on-site and you are welcome to schedule a tour.
Lancaster City is home to Pennsylvania's best cup of coffee according to Food & Wine (Passenger Coffee), Alton Brown's favorite salad (Luca), and Buzzfeed's restaurant to try in Pennsylvania in 2018 (Callaloo Trinidadian Kitchen) - just to name a few favorite spots.
Founded as a country village in 1754, Intercourse is a quintessential Amish community, where buggy hitching posts stand in parking lots and farming is the talk outside general stores. You’ll find top-notch foods that are favorites locally and around the globe.
For a true taste of Pennsylvania Dutch delights, spend a few hours at Kitchen Kettle Village. This village has 42 shops, cafes and sampling opportunities your tastebuds can’t ignore. Visit the Jam & Relish Kitchen to watch Amish and Mennonite women work to “put up” more than 5,000 jars of jams, relishes, and other goodies every day. Sample everything from apple butter to pickled beets. Also find a shop specializing in candy and fudge, meats and cheeses, olive oils and balsamics, and even wine made right here in Lancaster County.
At Stoltzfus Meats & Deli, discover an old-fashioned butcher shop with farm-fresh meats and cheeses. Pick up some famous Dutch scrapple or grab a quick lunch of a Pennsylvania Dutch hot sausage sandwich—a county fair staple.
Stroll down the street in Lititz, and you’ll think you’ve wandered right into a scene of a Norman Rockwell painting. Founded by the Moravians 250 years ago, Lititz is home to treats known around the world and that warm, inviting feeling that’s so common in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Strolling along Main Street, you’ll see the enticing chocolate fountain in the window of Café Chocolate. Here, all dark chocolates are imported from sustainable cocoa farming communities in Africa and Central America, and each has a rich, deep taste you won’t find at the corner store! Wander to the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery, America’s first pretzel bakery, where Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels are still baked in stone ovens, just as they were 145 years ago. Take a tour of the bakery, and try out the twisting process to become a “pretzel chef.”
Just a few steps away, satisfy your sweet tooth at the Wilbur Chocolate Factory Store. Wilbur Chocolate, made famous by its Wilbur Buds, produces more than 170 million pounds of superior chocolate every year. Watch skilled candy makers hand-dip marshmallows into chocolate or create nut-filled creations for the perfect gift.
Rooster Street Butcher is a cut above the rest with hand-cut meats, homemade sausage, delicious charcuterie, and so much more. They have a fantastic menu for a bite to eat and plenty of goodies to take back to your kitchen.
Each year, Lititz hosts foodie-centric events to highlight the tastes of the town. Taste of Lititz and Pretzel Fest are held in the Spring, while Chocolate Walk and Lititz Craft Beer Fest are held in the fall.
Continue your drive, and you’ll land in a chocoholic’s paradise, where Milton Hershey built his chocolate empire that still reigns today. With Kiss-shaped streetlights and the ever-present scent of chocolate in the air, there’s no doubt you’ve arrived in Hershey.
As you make your way through town, the familiar brands of Hershey’s, Reese’s and more appear along the sides of factory buildings. Your first stop is the Hershey’s Chocolate World Visitors Center, where you can take a Factory Tour ride about the chocolate-making process. From there, become an “official” employee at the Hershey Factory Works, where you can select your very own Kisses or “Hersheyize” your own desserts.
Next door, HERSHEYPARK offers rides, games, shows and more – all centered on those friendly Hershey Product Characters! Mingle with the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, the York Peppermint Pattie and your other Hershey favorites! Hershey isn’t just for the kids and kids at heart. There’s luxury for chocoholics as well. Step into the chocolate spa for a cocoa massage, chocolate fondue wrap or strawberry parfait scrub. After dinner, relax with a chocolate martini and mouth-watering desserts.