When the cold winter days seem to be dragging on forever, find warmth in some of the Valley’s favorite comfort foods. And, click here to read more about great options for our gluten-free friends.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 regulations imposed by the state, restaurants have limited occupancy for indoor dining. If possible, takeout is encouraged.
Sweet Potato Fries
There’s nothing like having warm, sweet and salty food in the colder months…or any month for that matter. I love fresh-cut fries, but I love, love, love fresh cut sweet potato fries. Anytime I see them on a menu I always get them. My favorite by a landslide are the ones from Hellenic Kouzina. They are cut and fried to perfection and have honey drizzled on top, finished with a sprinkle of cinnamon. They are really more like a dessert, but who doesn’t love the idea of a side dish, for lunch or dinner, that’s more like a dessert?
Tea & Scones
When it’s cold and dreary outside I love ducking into one of the Valley’s warm, cozy tea parlors to indulge in hot teas and fluffy scones. Try Camellia’s Sin Tea Room for a full tea lunch complete with multiple courses of freshly prepared delights like savory soups, delicate tea sandwiches, and sinfully sweet desserts. Or, make a reservation for First Saturday Tea or Sereni-Tea Wednesday at The Rosemary House for oven-fresh scones, assorted sandwiches, bottomless tea, and other tasty tidbits. Either shop offers different menu options and lengthy lists of green, black, white and herbal teas waiting to be brewed for you.
Pats. Gino's. Tony Luke's. Campos. Jim's. All of these are famed Cheesesteak joints in Philadelphia, and everyone has their favorite. While I'll leave the debate for another time, the Cumberland Valley is home to a place that in my opinion rivals any of those in the city. I'm referring to Philadelphia Steak & Hoagies, located in Camp Hill. Whether it's traditional rolls or the Philly sports memorabilia, this place brings the flavor like many of South Philly's best. And much like you would find in Philadelphia, you better know what you want to order when you get to the front, including what kind of cheese you want. I prefer the "with wiz."
Coffee & A Crepe
If you’re looking for something to warm you up on a cold winter day, a Café Mocha and sweet crepe from Helena’s Chocolate Cafe & Creperie is the perfect pairing. The Café Mocha is made using a decadent hot chocolate and a shot of espresso. There are always interesting crepes combinations to try, but I prefer the classic with a sweet Nutella filling. After my visits to Helena’s, I leave feeling energized and ready to take on the day!
I believe that chocolate is a comfort food year-round. Adding a little chocolate after a meal or in the middle of the afternoon warms my soul and brightens my day. Chocolate doesn't always have to mean candy, although I am partial to a truffle or two from the Lindt Chocolate Factory Outlet. Chocolate also comes in liquid form like the warm and delicious hot chocolate from Square Bean or Cornerstone Coffee. And, finally, chocolate also tastes great as a baked good — for example, the chocolate coffee mousse cup from Pennsylvania Bakery. Pick whatever form of chocolate is your favorite and watch your day get better.
Breakfast Sandwich & Coffee
Winter weather makes it hard to jump out of bed and get excited for the day. That’s why when it’s blustery out, and I still need to get out the door for work, I like to treat myself to a delicious breakfast sandwich from Brew Crumberland’s Best in New Cumberland. My favorite is the sausage, egg, and cheese on a pretzel roll. They are so consistently good, and all the ingredients are excellent. The toasty, cheesy sandwich makes me forget the chilly temps. I also like to pair it with their house coffee or one of the seasonal flavors like Dutch Apple and Gingerbread. While I love breakfast sandwiches, you really can’t go wrong with the food choices. They make all their own baked goods as well. I love supporting a local business and added bonus — they have a convenient drive-through!
BBQ with a Side of Chocolate Chip Cookie
My comfort food would be a chocolate chip cookie any day of the week but I also have to say that Redd’s Smokehouse BBQ in Carlisle is by far one of my favorites restaurants. BBQ with a slice of warm corn bread and a side of mac and cheese (or bacon on a stick) is the perfect example of good comfort food. Their pulled pork tastes delicious. And while they don't offer chocolate chip cookies for dessert, they do have a warm chocolate lava cake. Chocolate chip cookies can be found nearby at one of downtown Carlisle's bakeries or coffee shops.