Hello from Spain! I arrived in Madrid yesterday and am heading off to volunteer again with Vaughantown, an incredible program I’ve blogged about before. This is just the beginning of a five week trip that will take me to Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Edinburgh as well! My posts will resume next week, but for now, enjoy this delicious food post by Kacey Mya. More details on her below!
While you might always think of five star restaurants as having the best food, Pennsylvania’s best dishes are found where you might not think to look. From unique chains to hole in the wall joints, you’ll find awesome food in the strangest of places. But it’s definitely worth finding them. Here are the absolute best places to eat that PA has to offer.
1. PRIMANTI BROTHERS
Coming from humble beginnings in the Pittsburgh area, Primanti Bros. has expanded to locations all around Pennsylvania. They’re famous for their massive sandwiches. They have some pretty delicious sides as well, but it’s hard to have room for them once you finish the sandwich.
In between two thick slices of fresh bread, they pile the meat of your choice, cheese, fresh cut fries, homemade coleslaw and tomatoes. There’s also the option of adding egg, onions or double meat if you somehow want even more. Regardless, you definitely get the bang for your buck—and a sandwich you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
2. PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS
You can’t go to Philadelphia and not try their most famous dish. While the rivalry between Pat’s and Geno’s on “cheesesteak corner” is widely known, Philly has awesome cheesesteaks all over the city. Whether you’re feeling whiz or provolone, with or without onions, they have the perfect one for you.
You have to make sure you pick up the Philly lingo before you order though, at the risk of being ridiculed by the natives. With the lines that normally form out of these places, you’ll have some time to figure it out before you get to order.
3. FlEA MARKETS
Seriously. When you’re in Amish country, some of the best food you’re going to find is at their stands at flea markets and on the side of the road. Sometimes they have small shops where they sell their goods as well. The Amish can their own homemade preserves such as jams, vegetables, salsas, soups and almost anything else you can think of.
They also make wonderful baked goods like whoopie pies, shoofly pie and applesauce cake. You’ll find yourself coming back to Central PA just to get more of these delicious desserts.
It’s just a bonus if you also love craft beer. Breweries are everywhere in PA, and they’re often the spot for unique food options as well as their beer. Most of them specialize in crafty food or epic steaks.
The atmosphere in these places is often amazing as well, giving you a beautiful room to look at while you’re enjoying your food. If you’re looking for something to do before or after you eat, most of them have tours where you can see how things are made. While beer is always good, seeing how it’s made is a super interesting process!
5. THE CORNER ROOM
A State College classic, it’s a must-try if you find yourself in Happy Valley. They have great prices and if you’re a Penn State fan, it’s definitely the place to be. They offer everything from hearty breakfasts to mouth-watering desserts and none of it disappoints.
The health-conscious have a variety of salads to choose from, while pizza lovers will be pleased too. The best, though, is their rib-sticking entrees like shepherd’s pie and macaroni and cheese. You can never go wrong with comfort food classics.
6. THE VILLAGE TAVERN
In what looks like someone’s house on a random street in Lock Haven, you’ll find some of the best Italian food Pennsylvania has to offer. Locally owned and operated by a family, the atmosphere is friendly and almost as great as the food.
The portions give you enough for two meals, especially if you fill yourself up on the delicious fresh bread and homemade pepper mixture they put on every table. If you ask, they let you buy the peppers too, just a heads up. They’re good enough that you’ll want to take them home along with your leftovers.
7. LUCKY LOUIE’S BEER AND WIENERS
While the name is interesting to say the least, their deluxe hot hogs speak volumes. Their menu literally consists of just beer and wieners—but it’s a hole in the wall that’s worth trying. They have to many varieties of hot dogs that you won’t even know where to start. From the traditional chilidog, to one called the breakfast beard, you’ll find something that you’ll want to try.
For the adventurous among you, they have a hot dog challenge they call the Moby Dick. Just trying to take on the wiener gets you a shirt—and it’s definitely an undertaking. It’s two pounds of garlic ring bologna, pierogis, Greek sauce, sauerkraut, chili, cheese, onion, bacon, fried eggs, cream cheese, ketchup and Frank’s extra hot sauce. If you’re brave enough to take that on, you deserve a t-shirt at the very least.
PA has some of the best—and most unique—places to eat if you know where to look! Use this as your guide to eat your way across this great state.
About the author: Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.