November 30, 2022

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A Delicious Weekend in Lancaster County, PA | Marilyn Johnson

5 min read

Lancaster County, PA, is well-known as a tourist destination. It has fast become a food lover’s paradise as well. While you may want to travel to Lancaster County to learn about the Amish and immerse yourselves in the culture, the food scene is reason enough to visit this Southcentral Pennsylvania region and city of Lancaster, PA. Here are only a few places you must visit in Lancaster County, PA.

Central Market

23 North Market Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-735-6890

Lancaster Central Market is a food lover’s paradise in downtown Lancaster, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

No visit to Lancaster, PA, is complete without a visit to the Central Market in the city’s heart. It is the country’s oldest continuously operated indoor farmers market (since 1730). With over 60 vendors, it is a food-shopping paradise! It has everything from meats, dairy, produce, sandwiches, baked goods, ice cream, candy/snacks, spices/seasonings, ethnic/specialty food, crafts/home decor, and so much more! An absolute must-visit and a top reason to put Lancaster high on your travel list. It rivals the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. These photos only scratch the surface of what there is to offer.

Lemon Street Market

241 West Lemon Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-826-0843

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Lemon Street Market in downtown Lancaster, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

Another spectacular food market to add to your list is Lemon Street Market in downtown Lancaster. Reminiscent of a co-op, the market focuses on natural, organic, and local foods. The market, which strives to be as non-GMO as possible, sells an extensive selection of sustainable grocery items and prepared foods with many vegan and gluten-free options. There’s also a coffee shop inside. The store is very organized and super clean. Opened in 2011, it has been going strong for nearly 12 years. Even though Whole Foods and Wegmans are in the area, it’s essential to support small, independently-owned markets where possible.

Double C Restaurant & Bar

220 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-874-4184

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Double C Restaurant & Bar in downtown Lancaster, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

If you’re looking for a casual restaurant with fantastic cocktails, an excellent local draft beer selection, and exceptional burgers, try Double C in downtown Lancaster. Opened in 2020, Double C is a friendly neighborhood spot focusing on local ingredients from Pennsylvania farms. The owner-partners, Chefs Sean Cavanaugh and Michael Carson, also operate sister restaurant John J. Jeffries and believe in sourcing and serving only high-quality food from local sources. The 50/50 (beef/lamb) burger I had was an extra large, juicy, well-seasoned burger. Probably one of the best burgers in the area. The menu also features a variety of small plates, tacos and quesadillas, bowls, and other sandwiches. Inventive margaritas, mules, and local wines round out the menu.

Burley Bar and Thistle Finch Distillery

417 West Grant Street, Lancaster, PA 17603 | 717-478-8472

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Thistle Finch Distillery & Burley Bar in downtown Lancaster, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

While there are many bars, lounges, and spots to catch a lovely nightcap in Lancaster, consider The Burley Bar at Thistle Finch Distillery. The small-batch distillery with a tasting room serving cocktails with PA-based spirits, beers, and wines has a speakeasy vibe. The distillery is in the basement, while the restaurant and bar are on the first floor. Entering through a back alley into a dark room, you’ll know you have arrived in a unique place to enjoy a bite to eat along with a libation or glass of local wine. Nosh, imbibe, and take some to go. Thistle Finch sells its vodka, gin, and whiskey on-site.

Stoltzfus Meats & Deli and Amos’ Place Restuarant

14 Center Street, Intercourse, PA 17534 | 717-768-7287

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Stoltzfus Meats & Deli and Amos’ Place Restaurant in Intercourse, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

Any visit to Lancaster County, PA, needs to include a trip to Intercourse, PA! Of course, you will see plenty of horses & buggies while driving on the rural roads, but a stop at Stoltzfus Meats & Deli and Amos’ Place Restaurant will blow your foodie mind! It is a mecca of PA Dutch foods. It has been around since 1954 and is still family-owned and operated. The store offers a massive selection of straight-from-the-farm meats such as beef, scrapple, bacon, pork chops, chicken, and much more. Prepared foods, homemade baked goods, and locally-made dry goods are aplenty. This market and restaurant are often busy with long lines, but don’t let that deter you from going. They keep everything moving quickly, so your visit will be a fun experience, guaranteed.

Bird-in-Hand Bakeshop

542 Gibbons Road, Bird in Hand, PA, 17505 | 717-656-7947

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Bird-in-Hand Amish Bakeshop in Bird in Hand, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

There are many Amish bake shops in Lancaster County, PA, but Bird-in-Hand Bakeshop is not just any bakeshop. It is in a barn converted into a large retail space. It has tons of homemade baked goods from pies, cakes, cookies, breads, cinnamon buns, whoopie pies, muffins, turnovers, etc. They also carry a large selection of canned goods, bulk foods, snacks, coffee/tea, and other products. There are also locally made Amish crafts, a large outdoor play area for children, a petting zoo, and a picnic area, which make a visit to Bird-In-Hand Bakeshop a fun and delicious destination.

Fox Meadows Creamery

2475 W Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522 | 717-721-6455

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Fox Meadows Creamery in Ephrata, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

Are you looking for the best ice cream ever? You’ll find it in Lancaster County, PA, and it doesn’t get much more farm-to-mouth than Fox Meadows Creamery in Ephrata, PA. The ice cream shop is located on the farm, with 85 milking cows on the property. With dozens of handmade ice cream flavors, the shop is often quite busy with long lines, but they keep the line moving. They also sell pints and gallons, some non-perishables, gifts, and souvenirs. Fox Meadows Creamery is a must if you’re visiting Lancaster County and want ice cream!

Grandview Vineyards

489 Grandview Road, Mount Joy, PA 17552 | 717-653-4825

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Grandview Vineyards in Mount Joy, PA.(Courtesy of Marilyn Johnson)

Grandview Vineyards in Mount Joy, PA, gets its name for a reason—the views from the tasting room and outdoor deck are breathtaking! First, it starts with the drive to the winery, which is mile after mile of bucolic and picturesque farmland and rolling hills—seriously gorgeous country! Your reward for getting there is high-quality wines you can enjoy indoors or outdoors, along with cheeseboards or charcuterie trays made by locally-owned Slice of Divine Charcuterie of Marietta, PA. The winery offers a variety of dry, sweet, and semi-sweet reds, whites, and rosés. Wine enthusiasts will love visiting Grandview Vineyards and want to take home a few bottles!

There’s so much deliciousness and so many fun things to explore in Lancaster County, PA. Go and experience the tourist spots like an Amish horse and buggy ride, and also take in the city by walking the streets – the Historic Lancaster Walking Tour is great! This article covers a tiny portion of what Lancaster has to offer in the food scene. No matter what, don’t overlook Lancaster as an excellent food travel destination in Pennsylvania.

Marilyn Johnson is a freelance food and travel writer covering the food and drink scene of Philadelphia, South Jersey food, the greater Mid-Atlantic area, and beyond. Email Marilyn at phillygrub@gmail.com with food and travel news. If you liked this article, throw Marilyn a coffee! Follow Marilyn on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.

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