- Food and Cooking
My Top 5 Favorite Coffee Shops of Lancaster County Pennsylvania
Best Places to Grab a Cup of Joe in Central PA
A few weeks ago, I did a quick search on Squidoo trying to find other people who have lived or traveled through Lancaster PA and maybe find a few new things to try. Imagine my surprise when there were absolutely no lenses about this great county!
Lancaster County Pennsylvania is in the heart of Amish country, with some of the richest growing soil in the continental United States. We have a vibrant and growing city center surrounded by gorgeous farm country, quaint towns, and one of the most convenient locations in the Northeast. We are only a few hours from almost all the major cities on the east coast. I tend to be a restless spirit and move quite often. However, I happen to love living in Lancaster so far.
So to remedy the complete lack of this great county on Squidoo, I want to start sharing my favorite places in Lancaster for everyone in hopes that you will visit this great area or share some of your own favorite spots! Today, let's focus on my favorite thing in the world: food. And let's start with my top 5 coffee joints in this great county.
All photos taken by me.
23 North Market Street
Lancaster, PA 17608
Mean Cup has a reputation. And by that I mean, they make coffee with personality. The coffee is good, but I go for the service. They offer good customer service in general, but they also treat their loyal customers like friends. After a hard morning at work, a friend of mine stopped in for a hot chocolate to soothe her irritated nerves. Since she was a regular, they noticed that something was wrong. Not only did they ask and sympathize with her, they gave her a special extra-hot vanilla laced soy hot chocolate, extras on the house. It’s the little things like they know how you take your drink and what you consider “special” that set them apart. Also, expect some great coffee cup art displayed on their counters.
Prince Street Cafe
Prince Street Cafe
15 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Prince Street is one of the busier coffee shops in the area, with a lunch and breakfast menu. Many people come here with their laptops to diligently work away on their school or office work. Their specialty drink menu is always one to watch as they come out with some fabulous new drink ideas. My favorite right now is the How Now Brown Cow that’s a latte made with rich, local chocolate milk. It’s delicious. They source as many of their ingredients locally as possible and have just added almond and coconut milk to their alternative milk options that already include soy – so if you’re vegan, lactose-intolerant, or just dairy conscious have no fear. Plus, when they ask if I’m back in for another How Now or chat with me over the espresso machine, you get a special place in my heart. Their catering is also good.
How about a little something sweet with that coffee?
Pennsylvania is known for whoopie pies, which are sweet cakey bits of heaven with a cream filling. Enjoy one of these authentic treats with your favorite warm drink.
145 North Duke Street
Lancaster, PA 17602
I meant to stop into Square One for over a year! It’s a few doors down from the library, but it’s not in my normal walking area, so it took me a long time to head over. I’m so glad I did! They make a mean latte. It’s one of the best I’ve had. Every cup comes with a little foam art design and a smile. Don’t come to Square One expecting a giant selection of specialty drinks, but come with expectation that you will get a perfectly made cup of coffee or espresso every time. They also have a beautiful building with rustic wood seating throughout and a back or front patio to enjoy your drink. Make sure to look at the art as they feature talented local artists.
Chestnut Hill Cafe
Chestnut Hill Cafe
532 West Chestnut Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Chestnut Hill is one of the best kept secrets of Lancaster. It’s tucked away on a residential street surrounded by quaint city Brownstones and trees. It’s a small, funky little coffee shop that has a good selection and makes tasty food. This is not your fast-paced Starbucks or even Prince Street CafÃ©. People come here to relax and enjoy their food or drinks while they work or read the paper. It’s got a lot of regulars since it’s situated near housing and I love that I can walk up the block to get something quick. The owners and employees are always sweet. I feel like I’ve found a special place every time I walk in the building.
1 North Market Street
Elizabethtown, PA 17022
On the main drag through the small college-town of Elizabethtown, you’ll find Folklore taking up a corner of the central four-way light downtown. This cool renovated building has much of the original fixtures and offers an artsy background to study or chat. They offer food and coffee or espresso drink and tea. The servers are nice and there’s always a special touch to their ordering or serving process. They offer indoor and outdoor seating, tables, couches, and a place for local flyers. Also, I just learned that the Mars Company has a factory a few blocks away, which is why the entire downtown sometimes smells like freshly baked brownies.
Need to get around the county? Get a map!
Here's your best bet to get to all the best coffee cafes and anything else worth visiting while you're in Lancaster County. It's down to a street level for the easiest navigation and is great for getting your bearings downtown where GPS just can't do it justice while walking around.
40 East Main Street
Lititz, PA 17543
From the name, you would hope that they know their way around chocolate. They don’t disappoint. Hot chocolate isn’t made from a powder – it’s made from chunks of real chocolate melted in your choice of milk or milk substitute. Add your favorite flavor if you’re feeling funky, and stick around for some grub. They have lots of options including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. Or you can take your hot chocolate to go and wander around downtown Lititz, a town that’s quaint and a favorite of such celebrities like Sting.