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Local Dining near Hershey?

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We are looking for a local (non-hotel) and teen friendly spot near Hershey this weekend. Our hope is something indy, food forward, and good fun. We are food travelers as are our kids - no chains please! Thanks...

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  1. My fave is Devon Seafood Grill. They do have other restaurants (Philly, Chicago, and Milwaukee) but I don't think of it as a chain. It is very high end seafood, hip and lounge like atmosphere, but we took our 7 and 8 y.o. and it was just fine - a foodie teen would probably love it. Fire Alley is a little away from the tourist area, popular with locals - it's in a strip mall next to the movie theater, but it doesn't feel like it inside - very unique decor, designed to feel like, well, an alley. Honestly, I haven't been in a while because I found the food and service hit-or-miss on 2 occasions. But, the atmosphere is fun, sort of sports bar-ish with big screen TVs in the bar and main dining area and like Devon, more 'hip' than most places in Hershey. It's the kind of place that if you hit it on a good night it is fantastic and if you hit it on a bad night you wonder why you bothered. I haven't been to the Chocolate Ave. Grill, but not sure why because it gets rave reviews, we plan on going soon and I plan on posting a review when I can - not sure if it is 'food forward' though. The Circular Dining Room and Harvest are both considered top spots in Hershey, don't disregard them just because they are at the Hershey Hotel. Harvest is fairly new as part of a major expansion and renovation at the hotel, so I haven't been but hear it is great and they focus on local sourcing for all their food. The Circular Dining room is a Central PA institution for fine dining. It is traditional though, so not the food forward fun experience. As far as that goes, I think Devon is your best bet.

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    Fire Alley Restaurant & Bar
    1144 Cocoa Ave, Hershey, PA 17033

    3 Replies
    1. re: centralpadiner

      Links:
      http://www.devonseafood.com/home.aspx...

      http://www.thehotelhershey.com/dining...

      http://www.chocolateavenuegrill.com/

      I didn't mention "What if... " or the Hershey Pantry because I really don't think that's what you are looking for, but they are also quite popular with locals. There are more options in Harrisburg and Lancaster, depending on where you are staying, how long and if you are willing to drive a bit.

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      Hershey Pantry
      801 E Chocolate Ave, Hershey, PA 17033

      1. re: centralpadiner

        Went to Hershey this weekend and went to Devon for dinner on your recommendation. Spot on! Thank you for saving us from a very long wait at one of the restaurants at the Lodge for very mediocre, overpriced food! We had a reservation which they honored and everything was delicious. Loved that they had several selections of fresh fish available grilled...my husband and I both had the halibut, which was very fresh and simply prepared. They were also very well-prepared to deal with his gluten-free needs, which was a bonus. Will definitely return.

        1. re: mom22tots

          Glad you enjoyed! It's one of our favorite places to dine!

      2. Yes, Devon has great food, but like is quite expensive, in excess of Fire Alley. Fire Alley tends to have the same tired old fried bar food. Houlihan's which is a smaller chain is well worth a visit if you haven't been. It is in the same building as Devon and is run by the same people. In fact, there menu's share several common offerings, but are less expensive at Houlihan's. Across the street is Fenicci's (http://www.feniccis.com) which is a family run operation and is quite good and well worth the visit (frequented heavily by locals). Reservations are strongly suggested to avoid long waits on the weekends, especially when Hershey attractions are open. The food is good, the decor is so-so. There is a parking structure across the street which makes things easy. If price is no object, Devon is definitely the place (plan on ~$50 to $75/person), Fenicci's and Houlihan's is half that.
        Best of Luck!

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        Fire Alley Restaurant & Bar
        1144 Cocoa Ave, Hershey, PA 17033

        1 Reply
        1. re: GemFoodie

          Finicci's is a traditional red sauce Italian restaurant. I didn't mention it because there is no way I consider that "indy" or "food forward" -- that said, my 7 y.o. thinks it's about the most 'fun' place next to Isaac's ;) Unfortunately, I find their sauce way too sweet. However, best super-thin crust pizza around.

          Funny, I consider Houlihan's more of the typical fried bar food than Fire Alley - kind of similar to a Ruby Tuesday's but a little bit nicer. I do enjoy Houlihan's when that is what I want - I didn't mention since it is a true chain. At Fire Alley I think the udon noodle soup is very good, and the seared tuna tower as well, but like I said, I have found the overall experience inconsistent.

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          Fire Alley Restaurant & Bar
          1144 Cocoa Ave, Hershey, PA 17033