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10 Restaurants Worth the Drive From Philadelphia

These must-try eateries are all within two hours of Philly

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Whether it’s a lack of AC or a surplus of dripping cups of wooder ice, summertime in Philly is a decidedly sticky affair. But that makes it the ideal season to hop in the car, roll down the windows, and hit the road in search of destination dining experiences. This lineup of road trip–worthy spots will lead to slurping oysters and sipping martinis against a backdrop of river views, knocking back some of the region’s best beers, and digging into a buffet of mind-blowing proportions, all within two hours of city limits.

Note that the map points are arranged geographically, not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bube's Brewery

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102 N Market St
Mount Joy, PA
(717) 653-2056
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Renaissance Faire enthusiasts, amateur sleuths, home brewers, and history buffs will all find something to love at this one-of-a-kind complex set in an 1800s brewery in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Microbrews are made and bottled onsite, murder mystery dinners are held several nights a month, and the underground catacombs — an intriguing candlelit mix of romantic and eerie — are home to both fine-dining dinners and raucous themed feasts complete with actors outfitted in period garb. Those who prefer to only dip their toes into the weird world of Bube’s can always just grab a drink and a burger at the Bottling Works bar or find a seat in the tree-filled beer garden.

2. Horse Inn

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540 E Fulton St
Lancaster, PA 17602
(717) 392-5528
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While the bulk of Philly’s best summer produce comes from scenic Lancaster County, there aren’t all that many spots to enjoy it in situ. That’s where Horse Inn comes galloping in. Located in downtown Lancaster, the lively pub might not have the most bucolic views. But the oft-changing menu reads like a who’s who of mom-and-pop farms. It’s full of seasonal gems, like the snap peas and radish salad with local goat cheese, along with hearty custom-blend burgers and buttermilk fried chicken. Drinks-wise, the selection is decidedly democratic with everything from $2 domestic cans to expertly crafted cocktails. The venue, around since the 1920s, has a throwback vibe with a hint of speakeasy charm — fitting, considering the site was at one point an actual speakeasy.

3. Shady Maple Smorgasbord

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129 Toddy Dr
East Earl, PA 17519
(717) 354-8222    
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Only Las Vegas buffets come close to matching the massive scale of this smorgasbord in rural East Earl, Pennsylvania, tucked into Lancaster County. Serving multiple busloads of folks a day, the 200 feet of edible offerings here include house-made Pennsylvania Dutch classics — like Cope’s corn, chicken and dumplings, and shoofly pie — along with a pan-American lineup of everything from smoked pork chops to oyster stew, prime rib, and kielbasa. Make a day of it with a trip to the downstairs gift shop, neighboring farmers’ market, and Amish department store.

4. Talula’s Table

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102 W State St
Kennett Square, PA 19348
(610) 444-8255    
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The Farm Table dinner at this Kennet Square institution requires some serious planning — as in, reserving months in advance, inviting eight to 12 of your closest friends, BYO-ing more than a few bottles, and if you’re smart, playing it safe and booking a couple of nearby hotel rooms for the night. But once all of those boxes are checked, you’re in for an elaborate, intimate, hours-long meal with a tasting menu that will leave you enamored with the bounty this fair state has to offer.

5. Philippine Smoked BBQ and Grill

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1700 Kirkwood Hwy
Wilmington, DE 19805
(302) 999-9920    
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Situated on an unassuming stretch across from a VA hospital, this local fave marries Southern barbecue with Filipino fare straight out of the isle of Cebu. The result is a pork-heavy menu that rounds up everything from Pinoy breakfasts classics, such as longanisa with garlic fried rice, to spare ribs and brisket, crisp lumpia, and sweet rainbow-hued halo-halo.

6. Forest & Main Brewing Co.

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61 N Main St
Ambler, PA 19002
(215) 542-1776    
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With so many great beer destinations in the city, it speaks volumes that legions of die-hard fans regularly make pilgrimages to this brewhouse in the ’burbs. Those in the know head out for pours of saisons brewed with foraged yeast cultures, vintage bottles from the cellar, and a well-rounded menu of pub classics made to complement the brewery’s raison d'être. During the warmer months, grab a prime table on the porch of this pastel Victorian just off the main drag in Ambler.

7. Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

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320 Rehoboth Ave
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
(302) 226-2739
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Dogfish Head’s motto — “off-centered stuff for off-centered people” — rings true at the brewery’s beachy Delaware flagship set just a few blocks from the Atlantic. (Unlike the rest of the list, this one will take you a smidge over two hours.) An eclectic selection of house-made beers and spirits distilled nearby are matched with an equally creative menu that works hot sauce into its mac and cheese and beefs up nachos with both IPA chili and spinach artichoke dip.

8. Hamilton’s Grill Room

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8 Coryell St
Lambertville, NJ 08530
(609) 397-4343    
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Just over the canal from the rowdy summer crowds in New Hope, this rambling indoor/outdoor riverside oasis exudes quiet class. In the warmer months, grab a seat in the garden, order an icy martini, and watch an al fresco griller put out elegant plates of oysters with Pernod and shrimp with anchovy butter.

9. Library II

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306 NJ-73
Voorhees Township, NJ 08043
(856) 424-0198    
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An Old West-style saloon doesn’t exactly jibe with the strip mall vibes of Route 73. But venture inside and you’ll discover strong drinks, serious steaks, and an impressive salad bar — all the essential ingredients of retro steakhouse perfection. Here filets and New York strips are ordered at a butcher’s window, cut and cooked to order, and served with unlimited trips to the salad bar and plump baked potatoes to boot. For the real deal Library II experience, head in on Fridays when live cover bands take over the bar area.

10. Charcoal

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11 S Delaware Ave
Yardley, PA
(215) 493-6394
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Mark and Eric Plescha have been quietly working their magic in an unassuming eatery on the banks of the Delaware for more than 20 years. Ambitious breakfast and lunch lineups make way for evening-time enchantment when the brothers flex their pasta-making muscles. The creative plates, like radiatori tossed with bacon bolognese with yolk sauce and sourdough bucatini, are available in half portions, so making a meal of out more than one is the way to go.

1. Bube's Brewery

102 N Market St, Mount Joy, PA

Renaissance Faire enthusiasts, amateur sleuths, home brewers, and history buffs will all find something to love at this one-of-a-kind complex set in an 1800s brewery in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Microbrews are made and bottled onsite, murder mystery dinners are held several nights a month, and the underground catacombs — an intriguing candlelit mix of romantic and eerie — are home to both fine-dining dinners and raucous themed feasts complete with actors outfitted in period garb. Those who prefer to only dip their toes into the weird world of Bube’s can always just grab a drink and a burger at the Bottling Works bar or find a seat in the tree-filled beer garden.

102 N Market St
Mount Joy, PA

2. Horse Inn

540 E Fulton St, Lancaster, PA 17602

While the bulk of Philly’s best summer produce comes from scenic Lancaster County, there aren’t all that many spots to enjoy it in situ. That’s where Horse Inn comes galloping in. Located in downtown Lancaster, the lively pub might not have the most bucolic views. But the oft-changing menu reads like a who’s who of mom-and-pop farms. It’s full of seasonal gems, like the snap peas and radish salad with local goat cheese, along with hearty custom-blend burgers and buttermilk fried chicken. Drinks-wise, the selection is decidedly democratic with everything from $2 domestic cans to expertly crafted cocktails. The venue, around since the 1920s, has a throwback vibe with a hint of speakeasy charm — fitting, considering the site was at one point an actual speakeasy.

540 E Fulton St
Lancaster, PA 17602

3. Shady Maple Smorgasbord

129 Toddy Dr, East Earl, PA 17519

Only Las Vegas buffets come close to matching the massive scale of this smorgasbord in rural East Earl, Pennsylvania, tucked into Lancaster County. Serving multiple busloads of folks a day, the 200 feet of edible offerings here include house-made Pennsylvania Dutch classics — like Cope’s corn, chicken and dumplings, and shoofly pie — along with a pan-American lineup of everything from smoked pork chops to oyster stew, prime rib, and kielbasa. Make a day of it with a trip to the downstairs gift shop, neighboring farmers’ market, and Amish department store.

129 Toddy Dr
East Earl, PA 17519

4. Talula’s Table

102 W State St, Kennett Square, PA 19348

The Farm Table dinner at this Kennet Square institution requires some serious planning — as in, reserving months in advance, inviting eight to 12 of your closest friends, BYO-ing more than a few bottles, and if you’re smart, playing it safe and booking a couple of nearby hotel rooms for the night. But once all of those boxes are checked, you’re in for an elaborate, intimate, hours-long meal with a tasting menu that will leave you enamored with the bounty this fair state has to offer.

102 W State St
Kennett Square, PA 19348

5. Philippine Smoked BBQ and Grill

1700 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE 19805

Situated on an unassuming stretch across from a VA hospital, this local fave marries Southern barbecue with Filipino fare straight out of the isle of Cebu. The result is a pork-heavy menu that rounds up everything from Pinoy breakfasts classics, such as longanisa with garlic fried rice, to spare ribs and brisket, crisp lumpia, and sweet rainbow-hued halo-halo.

1700 Kirkwood Hwy
Wilmington, DE 19805

6. Forest & Main Brewing Co.

61 N Main St, Ambler, PA 19002

With so many great beer destinations in the city, it speaks volumes that legions of die-hard fans regularly make pilgrimages to this brewhouse in the ’burbs. Those in the know head out for pours of saisons brewed with foraged yeast cultures, vintage bottles from the cellar, and a well-rounded menu of pub classics made to complement the brewery’s raison d'être. During the warmer months, grab a prime table on the porch of this pastel Victorian just off the main drag in Ambler.

61 N Main St
Ambler, PA 19002

7. Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats

320 Rehoboth Ave, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Dogfish Head’s motto — “off-centered stuff for off-centered people” — rings true at the brewery’s beachy Delaware flagship set just a few blocks from the Atlantic. (Unlike the rest of the list, this one will take you a smidge over two hours.) An eclectic selection of house-made beers and spirits distilled nearby are matched with an equally creative menu that works hot sauce into its mac and cheese and beefs up nachos with both IPA chili and spinach artichoke dip.

320 Rehoboth Ave
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

8. Hamilton’s Grill Room

8 Coryell St, Lambertville, NJ 08530

Just over the canal from the rowdy summer crowds in New Hope, this rambling indoor/outdoor riverside oasis exudes quiet class. In the warmer months, grab a seat in the garden, order an icy martini, and watch an al fresco griller put out elegant plates of oysters with Pernod and shrimp with anchovy butter.

8 Coryell St
Lambertville, NJ 08530

9. Library II

306 NJ-73, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043

An Old West-style saloon doesn’t exactly jibe with the strip mall vibes of Route 73. But venture inside and you’ll discover strong drinks, serious steaks, and an impressive salad bar — all the essential ingredients of retro steakhouse perfection. Here filets and New York strips are ordered at a butcher’s window, cut and cooked to order, and served with unlimited trips to the salad bar and plump baked potatoes to boot. For the real deal Library II experience, head in on Fridays when live cover bands take over the bar area.

306 NJ-73
Voorhees Township, NJ 08043

10. Charcoal

11 S Delaware Ave, Yardley, PA

Mark and Eric Plescha have been quietly working their magic in an unassuming eatery on the banks of the Delaware for more than 20 years. Ambitious breakfast and lunch lineups make way for evening-time enchantment when the brothers flex their pasta-making muscles. The creative plates, like radiatori tossed with bacon bolognese with yolk sauce and sourdough bucatini, are available in half portions, so making a meal of out more than one is the way to go.

11 S Delaware Ave
Yardley, PA

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