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Jun 17, 2012 09:22 PM

kosher options off the 80 between nj and chicago

my nephew broke his leg badly and is stuck missing sleepaway this summer

so he and his dad and taking a baseball roadtrip, going to mets games all around

its pretty much the 80 all the way across, to their first game in chicago, so my question is, are there any options not far off the 80 lets say for minyanim, maybe 3 hours from ny, or for food the whole way through

thanks in advance for your help

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  1. 3 hours out from NYC is Wilkes-Barre or Scranton where there are several daily minyanim.
    E.g. or

    The closest kosher food to the 80 would be in Cleveland, about 8 hours out of NYC

    6 Replies
    1. re: zsero

      theres really nothing between nj and cleveland???

      1. re: shoelace

        Have you looked at a map? There are no major cities between NJ and Cleveland on i80. If they took the PA turnpike then maybe Harrisburg or Pittsburgh have options, but you're going out of your way and paying tolls. It's 8 hours of driving, pack a lunch and do it in one day.

        1. re: avitrek

          im a spoiled nyer

          i have checked the map out, but i figured maybe there were communities i wasnt aware of

          1. re: avitrek

            In any case, there's nothing in Harrisburg and only a pizza shop in Pittsburgh.

            1. re: zsero

              There is kosher food in Hershey ,which is about twenty minutes from Harrisburg. I didnt' recall that that is off 80,though. I believe that it is off 78.

              1. re: kosherfoodie1226

                Hershey is well over an hour off of I-80.

      2. I have driven between NJ and Ann Arbor, MI along Rte 80 many, many times. There is nothing kosher along the way except for Cleveland. Some of the rest areas (not in PA, unless you go to a gas station with a convenience store - in PA, the "official" rest areas are basic little huts with bathrooms, some brochures, a couple of outdoor picnic tables) might have some overpriced packaged snacks (chips, pretzels, nuts, etc.) with a reliable hechsher, and of course, overpriced beverages kept in the refrigerator (so at least they'd be cold). When I do the drive, I pack a sandwich, some snacks, and my own drink. It's kosher, healthier, and much, much cheaper.

        In some pockets, you may be able to pre-arrange something with a Chabad. For example, there is a Chabad in State College, PA (near Penn State). It's about 20 minutes off of Rte 80. No guaranteed minyan, but for a donation, they may feed you. State College is about 4 hours, maybe 5 hours from New York (it's Exit 161 on Rte 80, plus another 20-30 minutes to get to town).

        And, there probably won't be much, if anything, kosher between Cleveland and Chicago, either. Best bet for that is to take a cooler, get a hotel room with a freezer to keep ice packs cold overnight, and buy some food in Cleveland for the leg of the trip between Cleveland and Chicago.

        1. There's an App for iOS devices called "Kosher Free" that takes its data from the 's kosher data base. Alternatively, if you have a laptop, you can log in @ . Personally, I like to stop @ the kosher Subway in the JCC in Cleveland. It's not even 5 minutes off the interstate, but you need to detour off of I-80 to get there. Don't forget to stop and load up on hot dogs (garlic polish are my favorite), cold cuts, & chopped liver from Romanian Kosher Sausage in Chicago.

          1. I lived in South Bend Indiana many years ago and remember a small but tight Jewish Community and availability of Kosher food. Know nothing about it now, but you may want to look at


            3 Replies
            1. re: chazzer

              The son-in-law of an acquaintance works at a pizza store in South Bend, so I know one exists.

              1. re: chazzer

                By the time you hit South Bend you're only 2 hours from northern Chicago.

                1. re: zsero

                  2 hours without traffic - probably closer to 3-4 hours to hit skokie