Hershey, PA family-friendly eats
In June, we are planning a family vacation that takes us through Hershey. Our 20-month old and 5 yr old will be traveling with us, so we need places with a casual atmosphere and reasonably varied menu -- though not necessarily a kids' specific menu. Prefer local over chain restaurants.
Need a Sunday evening dinner spot as well as Monday lunch... or perhaps a Monday lunch spot somewhere just east of Hershey via 322 and the PA Turnpike. Heck, we would also be open to a great take-out lunch place where we can pick something up for a roadside picnic.
We took a similar trip in 2012, but my internet research shows me that a few restaurants have since closed or changed names. For example, we LOVED Breads & Cheese, but apparently that is now Bricker's Pizza. Is it any good? Are there any places in town that would be similar to Breads & Cheese in menu and quality?
Where can I get an amazing cup of (strong) coffee in Hershey?
What (if anything) replaced Campbelltown Cafe on Governor?
Is Chocolate Ave Grill still good? We liked it 2 years ago, but a lot can happen in 2 years...
What's the word on Soprano's these days? It is located close to our hotel.
Nothing is at the Cafe Cambelltown spot right now. But you can get great sandwiches at the Brass Rail Deli, not too far west on 322, also in Cambelltown.
In Hershey, I think that everywhere is surprisingly kid friendly. They know that families will have children with them when visiting the "Sweetest Place on Earth." We've been taking our kids to Devon Seafood Grill since my youngest was about 5 and they always catered very nicely to them. You may enjoy Chocolate Avenue Grill, as well. They have a large menu, and I enjoy the atmosphere there - relaxed, but nicer then the chains. There is now a barbecue place in town, Smoked. Honestly, I hear mixed reviews and haven't been yet. People either seem to love it, or come away disappointed after hearing the rave reviews.
I think Piazza Sorrento is better than Bricker's. I hear great things about Soprano's, but have never been. Fenicci's is popular, and I do like their "upside down" pizza, but I find the other Italian dishes too sweet for my taste.
You may also want to consider The Hershey Pantry for Monday. They are especially known for their breakfasts, but are open all day and do a nice lunch as well. It can be crowded with a long wait, as the place is not very large. The wait could be trying for a hungry toddler.
We love Trevi at the Hotel Hershey when the weather is good. The outdoor seating is great with wonderful views over the valley and park. There are enough options on the menu that our 8yo son is happy and so are we.
We must be cursed as all our Devon visits are plagued by an event that makes the entire meal a fail. My aunt and uncle eat there all the time and love it.
Yes, I ate at the Chocolate Avenue Grill last month and really enjoyed it. I had the almond crusted flounder with white chocolate buerre blanc and it was really delicious.
Checking in now that we are back from our trip. We had one night in the Hershey area, so one dinner (on a Sunday, which limited our options) and one lunch were covered. For dinner, we ordered Sorrento's pizza as take-out to eat in the hotel. It was ok, nothing special, IMO. The sauce was very tomato-ey and dare I say, kind of bland for my taste. We got onions and mushrooms as our toppings. Too bad they used canned mushrooms instead of fresh, but c'est la vie. Coming in late on a Sunday evening, we didn't have a lot of options.
The next morning (quickie breakfast at the hotel), we visited Hershey Gardens and ate lunch at their little outdoor Garden Gate Cafe, just outside the entrance. It was surprisingly awesome! Apparently, every year, the Gardens contracts with a different local vendor to run their cafe. This year, it was handled by DJ's Smoke Shack. Wonderful smoked bbq pork sandwich! Mac n cheese that is the real deal -- baked and flavorful, no kraft crapola. Homemade creamy coleslaw. My son got a hotdog that was actually grilled (and pretty good, as far as hotdogs go). DJ has a grill set up outside the little building. I loved my rotisserie chicken wrap w/ a lovely homemade slightly spicy chili sauce as dressing. What a nice find!