Each year, the National Restaurant Association publishes it's annual What’s Hot Culinary forecast to identify upcoming trends. In November and December 2020, the Association conducted an online survey of 6,000 restaurant owners and operators asking them to identify their single most popular menu item in 2020. Here’s the Top 10 list of items for full-service restaurants (fine dining, family dining, casual dining) along with highlights of some local Cumberland Valley locations offering these pandemic “comfort foods”. Check out the full list of area restaurants.
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- North Hanover Grille, Carlisle: We've said it before and we'll say it again... order The Dickinson Burger. You won't be sorry. (Their wings are pretty good, too.) (pictured)
- CJ's American Pub & Grill, Shippensburg: CJ's Gourmet Burger (with bacon, of course) is always a great choice.
- Appalachian Brewing Company, Shippensburg & Mechanicsburg: The Original Harrisburger is a popular favorite but I'm partial to their Mushroom Swiss Burger.
Check out our Burgers, Dogs & Pie Oh My! blog for suggestions.
#2: Seafood Items
- The Watershed Pub, Camp Hill: The savory wood-grilled sustainable Long Island swordfish is the perfect seafood entry or sample their small plates including Fire-Roasted Eastern Oysters, Chesapeake Bay Rockfish Ceviche, Dutch Oven Steamed Mussels, and Maryland Blue Crab Dip. (pictured)
- Tavern on the Hill, Enola: Their seafood is delivered fresh daily and is skillfully prepared. Try the Fresh Seafood "Sto Furno" for a tempting taste of over-baked clams, mussels, and shrimp. (They are also known for their hot and juicy steaks.)
- Mt. Fuji, Carlisle: They offer an extensive selection of sushi for those who are looking for something more than traditional seafood options.
- Pizza Grille, Carlisle, Camp Hill, Lemoyne: With more than 25 specialty pizzas available at three different locations, there's a flavor available for everyone. (pictured)
- Jigsy’s Brewpub & Restaurant, Enola: Jigsy's is the home of old forge pizza served up in rectangular “
trays” by the "cut". The crust is lighter than typical thick crust and it is crispy on the bottom with a chewy center.
- Cork & Fork Osteria, Camp Hill: Take it to the next level with 8 specialty pizzas featuring unique flavors and toppings such as caramelized pears, pistachio pesto, red wine salami, and more.
Check out our Mouthwatering Pizza blog for more suggestions.
- 1794 The Whiskey Rebellion, Carlisle: Try the "1794 Wagyu Steak" sourced locally from Eleven Oaks Farm. Highly marbled and cooked to perfection.
- Black N Bleu, Mechanicsburg: The filet mignon, prime rib, or 18-ounce ribeye offer a hearty meat-filled meal. (If you love steak but your partner loves seafood, this is the perfect location for you. I'm partial to their Salt-Baked Trout.)
- Flinchy’s, Camp Hill: Try the "Hot Rock" where diners can choose to have their steak cooked on a hot volcanic stone at their table. (pictured)
#5: Chicken Items (excluding wings)
- Joey’s Chicken Shack, Camp Hill: Chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, chicken cheesesteak, pulled BBQ chicken, and more -- Joey's meets all your chicken needs. (Of course, they also have wings.)
- ROOOSTERs, Carlisle: Previously operated as Mrs. Stamm's, ROOOSTERs continues to use the traditional recipes that led Mrs. Stamm's to have a well-earned reputation as having the best fried chicken in town for over 50 years!
- QuickChick Shawarma and Grill, Mechanicsburg: Chicken options with a Middle Eastern twist including Chicken Shawarma and Chicken Kabob. (pictured)
#6: Breakfast Items
- Stevie’s Bistro, Camp Hill: Sweet and savory crepes (gluten-free!), omelets, and eggs benedict are all perfect options to start the day.
- Valley Bistro, Enola: You'll say "Yummy" after trying some of these decadent menu items: Holy Cannoli stuffed French toast, Sweet Cream Pancakes, Breakfast Pizza, or Shrimp and Cheesy Grits. (pictured)
- Market, Camp Hill: Market offers a nice selection of breakfast items include baked oatmeal, quiche, omelets, and Brioche French toast. Slightly different options are available for Saturday brunch.
Find more suggestions in our Top 10 Spots for Breakfast blog.
- Dolce Vita, Camp Hill: Order the old-fashioned Lasagna or try the Penne Puttanesca. You can't go wrong with any of Dolce Vita's pasta dishes. (pictured)
- Visaggio’s, Enola: Their formal menu features handmade pasta served to you in the traditional style of Old Italy.
- Vito’s, Camp Hill: The owner, who grew up in Italy, offers a wonderful selection of manicotti, baked ziti, ravioli, fettuccine, lasagna, and more.
#8: Mexican Food
- Taqueria Laurita, Carlisle: This small restaurant is known as the "food truck you don't have to chase" with traditional Mexican street food.
- Mid St8 Taco, Lemoyne: Located inside the West Shore Farmers Market, menu items include locally-sourced ingredients. "Taco Nirvana is Here." (pictured)
- Caffe 101, Boiling Springs: An extensive menu of Mexican cuisine, large portions, and a view of Children's Lake make this restaurant a must-stop location.
- George’s Subs, Carlisle: Hot and cold subs on a homemade roll made the same way since 1958. Try the "New England" subs. (We've heard that their milkshakes taste the same as the famous Farm Show milkshakes.)
- Isaac’s, Mechanicsburg & Lemoyne: This local southcentral Pennsylvania chain is known for their uniquely grilled sandwiches named after birds.
- Redemption BBQ, Shippensburg: To be honest, we are not sure why BBQ wasn't its own category on this list. The wraps and sandwiches from Redemption deserve a shout out as the perfect comfort food
#10: Chicken Wings
- Three Pines Tavern, Mt. Holly Springs: They have a well-deserved reputation as the "home of Pennsylvania's best wings." The variety of wet and dry rub flavors ranges from mild to smokin' hot.
- Fiddlers Bar & Grill, Carlisle: Located at Mayapple Golf Course, the best time to enjoy Mayapple Famous Wings is after a round of golf.
- Redd's Smokehouse BBQ, Carlisle: Again, if there was a BBQ category, Redd's would top the list, but since there isn't we need to mention them for their smoked wings (pictured).