Best Fun Brunch
5812 Kennett Pk., Wilmington
302-656-9776 / BuckleysTavern.com
Remember when families took leisurely Sunday drives? We’re all for renewing that tradition especially when the drive takes you through Delaware’s chateau country and ends with a pajama brunch at this cozy historic tavern. Tables enjoy a basket of bakery goodies and meat platter with bacon, sausage, ham and scrapple, a local favorite. Entrées for adults include Belgian waffles, cinnamon swirl brioche French toast, sweet potato pancakes with pecan butter and maple syrup. Plus omelets, crab eggs Benedict, shrimp and grits as well as Buckley’s beloved burger. Kids love the smiley face pancakes. Do, do, do wear jammies—and save 50 percent on your food.
333 Belrose Bar & Grill
333 Belrose La., Radnor
610-293-1000 / 333Belrose.com
Business people as well as ladies and gentlemen who lunch find lots to love at this casual contemporary American favorite. There’s always a good variety of the four S’s (starters, soups, salads, sandwiches) in addition to entrées. No matter the season, diners swear by the calamari (sometimes spicy with a sweet chili glaze) and flavor-packed soups such as creamy corn and crab bisque. Other favorites: chicken salad sandwich and can’t-eat-just-one garlic parsley fries. Regulars check Facebook for daily specials and pray the turkey burger with house-made potato chips is on the list. On sunny days, the patio’s the place to sit and be seen.
Best Lunch Buffet
9 N. Walnut St., West Chester
610-436-6230 / LimoncelloWC.com
499 E. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs
610-524-3112 / LimoncelloCS.com
The reasonably priced lunch buffet at this family-run Italian favorite is a study in generosity. Midway through lunch, patrons begin planning a return trip, acknowledging it’s not easy to sample all those appealing dishes in one sitting. While the offerings change daily, there are always four hot dishes (two meats, a fish, a pasta), a few pizzas, some strombolis, more salads and about ten veggie dishes. Diners love the baked salmon with caramelized onions, Maria’s meatballs, chicken piccata, tilapia puttanesca and house-made pasta. Look for cheese ravioli, penne alla vodka and lasagna. On the lighter side: Insalata alla Dina (greens, pear, gorgonzola, candied walnuts), grilled eggplant, broccoli rabe. Go back for seconds.
Sweet Charity Event
28 W. Market St., West Chester
610-696-8211 / ChesCoCF.org
Calories don’t count at a fundraiser, right? That should be true. And another reason to sample the almost 20-some desserts at Chester County Community Foundation’s 12th annual Sweet Charity event. Really, 20-some desserts! What’s not to love? Go to support the Foundation’s outreach programs or to find out what will top last year’s winning treats: John Serock Catering’s Spiced Apple and Rhubarb Taco, General Warren’s S’mores Brownies, and Delightful Desserts & Culinary Creation’s Citrus Triple Play. Or you can say you’re there on March 21 to check out the healthiest dessert winner. There’s a prize for that, too.
132 W. State St., Kennett Square
610-857-7600 / NomadicPies.com
Since 2012, we’ve chased Molly Johnston’s Nomadic Pies truck from farmers market to farmers market for a bite of her sweet and savory creations. Now that she’s found a permanent home on Kennett Square’s State Street, we’re thrilled! Craig LaBan is a fan, too. Johnston makes all pies and quiches from scratch with an emphasis on local ingredients. “Like an orchard in a pie” sums up her fruit creations. While the pie menu changes with the seasons, favorites include caramel apple crumb, sour cherry, and peach raspberry; chicken pot pie; spinach, roasted red pepper and goat cheese quiche.
Best Drive-Thru Dinner
Farmer’s Road Drive Thru
210 A. Painters Crossing Village, Chadds Ford
610-558-2220 / FarmersRoadDriveThru.com
At the intersection of 202 and U.S. 1 in Chadds Ford—you’ve been trained to expect a McDonald’s. But you realize the drive-thru window, and maybe you, have matured when you choose a Green Dog—“all-natural grass-fed beef hot dog, avocado, watercress, rice cakes on whole-wheat bun” (can substitute vegetarian hot dog). Or an Apple Sandwich—local cheddar and American cheese, Granny Smith apple, raw honey, maple sourdough. Chef Ryan Sulikowski
and Courtney Rozsas (of Media’s Lotus Farm to Table) have masterminded the marriage of fast food and natural, organic and heart-healthy. Beat the traffic. Stop here!
Best Dinner at the Inn
9 Old Lancaster Rd., Malvern
610-296-3637 / GeneralWarren.com
At this elegant Colonial inn, working fireplaces and candlelight transform every dinner—from an ordinary Tuesday to a pop-the-question Saturday—into a special occasion. Time and again, diners return for American-Continental classics: beef Wellington, steak au poivre, snapper soup and crab cakes as well as Caesar salad and bananas foster, both prepared tableside. Lobster flatbread is a classic in the making, and the extensive wine list promises bottles to complement every dish. The full dinner menu is also available in the Warren Tavern, boasting a wood-burning fireplace, cozy tables and U-shaped soapstone bar. Weather permitting, the Spring House Terrace makes dining al fresco a treat.
Best Dinner at a B&B
699 W. Rosedale Ave., West Chester
610-436-5788 / Faunbrook.com
Atreasure like Faunbrook B&B—the 1860s home of Smedley Darlington, now with seven distinctive guestrooms—needs to be enjoyed by more than those lucky enough to stay there. So, we were delighted to see the series of seasonal Harvest Dinners—Strawberry Moonlight, Twilight Peach, Starlight Pumpkin, Cucumber Dinner—hosted on site. Drawing on her network of local artisans, owner Lori Zytkowicz coordinated local food, drinks and décor for a four-course dinner highlighting the featured ingredient, plus local libations, and an enchanting evening of Faunbrook ambiance. Can’t wait to see plans for this year!
Best Tea Rooms
A Taste of Britain
503 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne
610-971-0390 / ATasteOfBritainInWayne.com
Civility never goes out of style at this Wayne charmer, perfect for birthday lunches, Mother’s Day, private parties or a respite from busy schedules. Full afternoon tea includes tea sandwiches, mini pastries, a pot of tea and choice of scone with clotted cream, lemon curd and strawberry preserves. Each month brings a featured scone—coconut chocolate chip is a winner. Rounding out the menu are salads, soups, sandwiches and British comfort foods (chicken pot pie, beef cottage pie, Cornish pasty). Let A Taste of Britain cater your next event. Or pick up teas, biscuits and other British imports from the shoppe. So Granthamesque.
The Lincoln Room
28 W. Market St., West Chester
610-696-2102 / LincolnRoomWestChester.com
Lincoln’s Birthday, Mother’s Day, wedding or bridal shower, little princess birthday—many good reasons to seek out this special spot in West Chester. The Lincoln Room continues to offer cozy lunches, high tea and fondue Fridays in the lower level of the historic Lincoln Building. Who can pass up dainty sandwiches served on multi-tiered stands? Plus quiches galore (asparagus a fave), charming salads, hearty soups (try the butternut squash with heavy cream) and specialty scones with lemon curd and Devonshire clotted cream? And, of course, pots of perfectly brewed tea to warm your soul as you raise a pinkie to this oasis on busy Market Street.
Best Snacks & Apps
Bistro On Bridge
210 Bridge St., Phoenixville
610-935-7141 / BistroOnBridge.com
The outdoor space along Phoenixville’s Bridge Street, with comfy sofas and lots of tables, has been a magnet for folks looking to sample 130+ craft beers, 21 beers from rotating taps and specialty cocktails at Bistro on Bridge. The drink list is matched by a drool-worthy selection of snacks, apps and light fare. From the signature Bistro buffalo wings, to crispy ribs, duck nachos, risotto balls, bacon cheeseburger pizza, caprese panini and bacon truffle popcorn! Plus the on-trend Cubano egg rolls and Cubano sandwich (marinated pork, black forest ham, Swiss, dill pickle slices, mustard aioli, hot pressed Cuban bread). We want it all. And we want it now.
Best Doggie Dining
Appetites on Main
286 Main St., Exton
610-594-2030 / AppetitesOnMain.com
Take your pooch out for a treat and head for the patio at Appetites on Main where they’ve long been dog-friendly (also kid-friendly, but that’s a different category). For those who don’t want to keep Fido in the car while they enjoy a beer and great bar food, this is a doggie dining destination. A special doggie menu includes hot dogs (of course), burgers, chicken and prime rib and steak (with bacon!), so no more begging by your furry friend for your food. Water bowls provided, too. More spots on BringFido.com.