Lancaster area - reccomended restaurants and what to order
2 adults and a fairly well-behaved toddler are heading to Intercourse mid may for a 4 day break.
We would like to know about your favorite restaurants and the favorite foods therein. We don't mind a ride if there's something wonderful at the end of it.
Does someplace make Dutch Babies (very puffy oven baked pancakes) or German apple pancakes?
Is the Hershey Hotel as good as it was 25 years ago?
A friend mentioned whopee pies - where should we get them (or not?)
Anything special in your experiences would be welcome.
I usually send people with young children to Isaac's. It is a local chain. It is a deli, so that might not be what you are looking for. I don't know of any place that makes Dutch Babies, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. That is German or Dutch (as in Holland) food, not PA Dutch, which isn't the same thing. However, I think some places have started incorporating those types of foods since some people coming from out of town have that expectation. I don't often eat in that part of the county, and avoid the buffet type places. If you want PA Dutch food and don't mind the drive, my favorite is Country Table in Mount Joy and the kids get a wooden nickel to exchange for a cookie in the bakery. Otherwise, I prefer to eat in downtown Lancaster. Our favorites with children in tow include Iron Hill Brewery, Rachel's Cafe and Creperie, and Rice and Noodles Vietnamese. If in the area on a Tue., Fri., or Sat. you should check out Central Market, but be aware there is construction going on there right now.
In Hershey, I haven't been to the Circular Dining Room in years, but it still gets good reviews. They recently remodeled and added a couple new restaurants but I haven't had a chance to try them. Harvest has especially gotten good reviews. From what I understand it is in it's own building behind the main hotel near the new condo style accommodations. Probably my latest favorite in the area is Devon Seafood Grill in Hershey. Fun seafood restaurant that is a really nice sit down place, but was very accommodating to my kids when we took them (they were 6 and 8 at the time).
I'm not big on the bakery items, I am sure someone else will tell you a favorite spot for whoopie pies.
Isaac's is okay, but I have found that service is horrible, especially with hungry kids. We usually get take-out. The only one that I've had consistently good service is the one in Hershey.
I find the pastries at Country Table dry and the food is okay, but then I'm not a big fan of bland PA Dutch food.
I agree with Iron Hill (sweet potato fries), Rachel's Cafe (nutella crepe) and Rice and Noodles (various).
If you are looking for lunch or breakfast, Ida's on Rohrerstown Road makes great food. Interesting waffles and pancakes and egg benedicts as well as an assortment of sandwiches. This is a bit out of the way.
For ice cream, there are two places. Lapp Valley Farm which is out by Intercourse. Your hotel should be able to give you directions as it is a bit in the country but you can feed cows and see them being milked, play with the barn dogs and cats and see peacocks. This is my favorite ice cream. If you can't get out to the farm, they serve it at Kitchen Kettle Village. Kitchen Kettle also has a play area and some petting animals as well as other kid friendly things to do.
Carmen and David's on Prince Street in Lancaster is a very, very close second. They have interesting flavors and it is all handmade.
For whoopie pies, the best place I've found (and they've been voted best), is a stand at Roots Market in East Pete/Manheim. It is only open on Tuesdays. A wide assortment of flavors, incredible taste. Last week, they had lemon, black forest, pumpkin, chocolate, red velvet, just to name a few. Roots is an experience in itself. Different from Central Market in that it is in the country, is larger, also includes flea market items and an auction.
Similarly is Green Dragon in Ephrata which is on Fridays. This may be another good place to find whoopie pies, although I'm not sure who has stands there.
My aunt swears by Bird in Hand bakery, although it is not my favorite but it is closer to you. Byers Butterflake is very good as is Achenbach. Achenbach is famous for longjohns (frosted donuts). They all have bakeries as well as stands at various markets and stores.
For incredible chocolates and non-whoopie pie cakes and desserts, Haute Chocolate off Fruitville Pike in Lancaster is wonderful, although expensive. My kids also love their "lasers" in the bathroom.
Hershey Pantry is very good food and kid-friendly. The only drawback for me was the long wait; however, this was at Christmas time.
Have a wonderful trip.
801 E Chocolate Ave, Hershey, PA 17033
Country Table Restaurant
30432 Highway 77, Townville, PA 16360
Prince Street Cafe
17 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603
Haute Chocolate Cafe
711 Penn Ave, West Reading, PA 19611
Kitchen Kettle Village
RR 340, Intercourse, PA 17534