Friday, December 29 2023 9:14

Best of the Best: Malvern

Written by County Lines Magazine

Recommendations for best places to eat locally — morning, noon, night and more

Morning: Malvern Buttery

233 E. King St., Malvern
610-296-2534 /

Order your coffee or favorite cup. Then make a beeline for one savory dish and one sweet. Our faves are the Buttery’s quiche and — among the tempting selection of pastries, buns, scones, croissants and more, all from scratch — the “cruffin,” the perfect cross of croissant and muffin. The two most notable cruffins: tantalizing chocolate and hazelnut or the tart and sweet with lemon curd and cherry jam. Hurry before they’re gone! Or try the Buttery’s quiche, creamy with sundried tomatoes and spinach or loaded with cheese and bacon. Then sit back to breakfast at a sunny table.

Noon: Classic Diner

352 Lancaster Ave., Malvern
610-725-0515 /

Nothing is quite as satisfying as a good diner. And few do the upscale version as well as the Classic Diner. Its menu is extensive, from eggs at breakfast to burgers, classic sandwiches and assorted salads for lunch. Grilled chicken, salmon, crab cake, tuna or filet can be added to salads. Waffles and pancakes can be supercharged with bacon crumbles, chocolate chips, whipped cream, nuts or berries. Eggs can be scrambled, poached or served over hard or easy, with cheeses and meats added, and everything from white bread to an English muffin to a sesame bagel. And the “stickiest” buns. A mainstay on the Main Line since 1995.

Noon: Tonino’s Pizza & Pasta Company

235 Lancaster Ave., Malvern
610-240-9566 /

The Scotto family prides itself on 40 years’ experience, beginning in Baltimore. Nonno Tony, the father, 10 years ago moved the family — Benny, Vinny, Massimo and Antonella — and their business, Tonino’s — to Malvern’s Lincoln Court Shopping Center, where they serve 18”, 24” and huge 30” pizzas (about 20 specialty pizzas), an assortment of semolina pastas and oven specialties, such as eggplant parmigiana and lasagna, as well as seafood, chicken, veal, paninis and subs. Everything is homemade. Diners rave. One declares its pizza is the best in Pennsylvania!

Night: Restaurant Alba

7 W. King St., Malvern
610-644-4009 /

Restaurant Alba has over 125 wines in its cellar. And that’s just the beginning of an inventive culinary experience. You can start with a wood-grilled bruschette — for example, grilled fig, whipped feta and honey. Or an antipasto like the fried eggplant, then a salad of roasted beets, whipped goat cheese, pickled grapes and almonds. Next feast on your choice of pastas — squab and foie gras ravioli or gemelli with wild mushrooms. For secondi, trout with pistachios, monkfish picatta, ribeye or suckling pig. Chef/owner Sean Weinberg and wife Kelly were among the early restaurateurs committed to local, seasonal cooking and continue under that banner.

Happy Hour: Brick & Brew

400 E. King St., Malvern
484-320-8688 /

We love heading to Brick & Brew around Happy Hour, even though there’s no special menu, to enjoy their everyday rotation of 14 beers on tap, wines or an imaginatively named cocktail — a Marilyn Monroe, perhaps, or a Capone. Looking for something stronger? Create your own flight, choosing from bourbons, whiskeys, tequilas and scotch. From the kitchen, order burnt ends, prosciutto fries, fried pickles, oven-fried wings or Moroccan meatballs. For more, feast on one of the handhelds, salads, wood-oven pizzas and featured dishes. Take in the planked wood and brick surroundings that are at once rustic and modern.

Don’t Miss: Dixie Picnic

215 Lancaster Ave., Malvern
484-320-8024 /

Make today a picnic day! With recipes from the owners’ Southern relatives, Dixie Picnic offers popular Bette’s boxed lunches with a choice of sandwich, side, deviled egg and dessert — an “upcake” — upside down so you get twice the icing. You can’t go wrong with a carrot cake upcake. For authenticity, select the Goldrush pimento cheese sandwich with Virginia ham or the bestselling chicken salad with pecans and grapes. Eating in? Go for the Georgia BBQ pulled pork with sweet potato fries. Don’t be surprised if even patrons with Delco “hoagiemouth” accents finish dessert with a Southern drawl.

Our Favorite Resources