Downtown Lancaster is home to more than 90 unique dining locations, the majority of which are independently owned and operated. Enjoy restaurants that feature local, farm-raised poultry, organically-produced meats and farm-raised shellfish, and menus that feature innovated fare that emphasizes seasonal items.
Aside from traditional dining, you’ll also want to satisfy your sweet & savory taste buds. Downtown Lancaster is home to a growing number of bakeries and candy shows that produce mouthwatering candies. Pick up some sweet candies at Miesses Candy Shop and Factory Tour, if you’re a coffee or tea aficionado, stop at Cross Keys for a wide assortment of flavors. For those who prefer salty treats, you’ll definitely want to check out Hammond Pretzel Bakery – voted #1 hard pretzel in Lancaster County Magazine for the past 21 years. Of course the ultimate stop for any foodie is Lancaster Central Market.
And don’t forget to treat yourself to the handcrafted ales and lagers at Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, Lancaster Brewing Company. Grab lunch or dinner inside a working microbrewery where all of the beers are brewed on-site and you are welcome to schedule a tour.
Founded as a country village in 1754, Intercourse is a quintessential Amish community, where buggy hitching posts stand in parking lots and farming is the talk outside general stores. You’ll find top-notch foods that are favorites locally and around the globe.
For a true taste of Pennsylvania Dutch delights, spend a few hours at Kitchen Kettle Village. This village has 39 shops, cafes and sampling opportunities your tastebuds can’t ignore. Visit the Jam & Relish Kitchen to watch Amish and Mennonite women work to “put up” more than 5,000 jars of jams, relishes, and other goodies every day. Sample everything from apple butter to pickled beets.
Next, try your skill at hand-twisting pretzels with a free tour and sampling at the Intercourse Pretzel Factory. Try authentic German-style pretzels fresh from the oven with a recipe twist that makes them extra special. At Stoltzfus Meats & Deli, discover an old-fashioned butcher shop with farm-fresh meats and cheeses. Pick up some famous Dutch scrapple or grab a quick lunch of a Pennsylvania Dutch hot sausage sandwich—a county fair staple.
Lastly, at Intercourse Canning Company, you’ll find - and sample! - gourmet salsas, sauces, pickles, relishes, jams, jellies and Amish peanut butter, plus gourmet coffees, homemade dip mixes and more. It’s the food culture that makes the village of Intercourse so unique. Traditions are held dear, and foods are prepared simply and heartily—where the natural flavors take priority.
Stroll down the street in Lititz, and you’ll think you’ve wandered right into a scene of a Norman Rockwell painting. Founded by the Moravians 250 years ago, Lititz is home to treats known around the world and that warm, inviting feeling that’s so common in Pennsylvania Dutch Country.
Strolling along Main Street, you’ll see the enticing chocolate fountain in the window of Café Chocolate. Here, all dark chocolates are imported from sustainable cocoa farming communities in Africa and Central America, and each has a rich, deep taste you won’t find at the corner store! Wander to the Sturgis Pretzel House, America’s first pretzel bakery, where Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels are still baked in stone ovens, just as they were 145 years ago. Take a tour of the bakery, and try out the twisting process to become a “pretzel chef.”
Just a few steps away, satisfy your sweet tooth at the Wilbur Chocolate Candy Americana Museum and Factory Store. Wilbur Chocolate, made famous by its Wilbur Buds, produces more than 170 million pounds of superior chocolate every year. Watch skilled candy makers hand-dip marshmallows into chocolate or create nut-filled creations for the perfect gift. Stop into the Candy Americana Museum for a look at candy making from years past and taste some of those delicious Wilbur Buds. Further explore downtown Lititz and you’ll discover everything from a gourmet herb shop to an historic tavern dating back to the 1700s. Food is an integral part of life in Lititz.
Continue your drive, and you’ll land in a chocoholic’s paradise, where Milton Hershey built his chocolate empire that still reigns today. With Kiss-shaped streetlights and the ever-present scent of chocolate in the air, there’s no doubt you’ve arrived in Hershey.
As you make your way through town, the familiar brands of Hershey’s, Reese’s and more appear along the sides of factory buildings. Your first stop is the Hershey’s Chocolate World Visitors Center, where you can take a Factory Tour ride about the chocolate-making process. From there, become an “official” employee at the Hershey Factory Works, where you can select your very own Kisses or “Hersheyize” your own desserts.
Next door, HERSHEYPARK offers rides, games, shows and more – all centered on those friendly Hershey Product Characters! Mingle with the Hershey’s Chocolate Bar, the York Peppermint Pattie and your other Hershey favorites! The newest ride for 2006 even features this Foodie Town’s theme with the Reese’s Xtreme Cup Challenge – the ride that takes on the debate of peanut butter vs. chocolate. Hershey isn’t just for the kids and kids at heart. There’s luxury for chocoholics as well. Step into the chocolate spa for a cocoa massage, chocolate fondue wrap or strawberry parfait scrub. After dinner, relax with a chocolate martini and mouth-watering desserts.
Explore Retirement Living in Lancaster County
Come explore the many benefits of living in a continuing care retirement community and find one that fits you best.find out more
On October 4 & 5, head to the Downtown galleries to celebrate ArtWalk - a free, contemplative adventure through the city's bustling arts community.find out more