Friday, December 29 2023 9:14

Best of the Best: Media

Written by County Lines Magazine

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

Morning: Bittersweet Kitchen

18 S. Orange St., Media
610-566-1660 /

Early birds and late risers alike flock to this cozy little spot on Orange Street for all-day breakfast. While you may encounter a bit of a wait, especially on weekends, it’s made a little sweeter with Philly Fair Trade Roasters coffee or cold brew and a stroll through downtown (you’ll get a call when your table’s ready). Indulge in decadent crème brûlée pancakes with a burnt-sugar top or challah French toast stuffed with cream cheese and topped with bourbon-caramel sauce, or opt for something savory — like the Bittersweet Breakfast platter (eggs, buttermilk biscuits, potatoes), breakfast enchiladas or rotating omelet selection. Then take home a fresh baked pastry for later!

Noon: Dim Sum Mania & Tom’s Dim Sum

Dim Sum Mania: 17-19 E. State St., Media
610-557-8757 /
Tom’s Dim Sum: 13 E. State St., Media
610-566-6688 /

Dim Sum Mania

Walking down State Street, you might think you’re seeing double — two dim sum restaurants right next to each other? Like all good food, there’s a good story behind it. Three years after Chinatown’s beloved Tom’s Dim Sum opened a Media location, the eponymous Tom (Tom Guo) split with his partners, opening Dim Sum Mania two doors down. Both are known for Shanghai-style dim sum, with expansive menus of small, sharable dishes — think soup dumplings, scallion pancakes, turnip cakes. Though local foodies and critics alike have taken sides in the dim sum duels, we believe that both are great choices for an afternoon feast.

Night: Ariano

114 S. Olive St. Media
610-892-6944 /

Turn down a Media side street to find a distinctive orange building that would be right at home in an Italian village. The building and everything inside — including hand-hammered copper tables and a stunning curved bar — was built by owner Anthony Bellapigna and his father, Otino. On the second story, admire the gorgeous ceiling mural depicting Ariano Irpino, the Bellapignas’ hometown in Italy and restaurant namesake. Though Ariano may be best known for wood-fired pizzas, you can’t go wrong with their Old World-inspired entrees (chicken Milanese, paella, pan-roasted filet). Complete your meal with a handcrafted cocktail and Italian gelato made onsite.

Night: rye byob

112 W. State St., Media
610-263-7832 /

With a warm, inviting atmosphere and adorned with local art, rye is a great spot for a night out with a group of friends or family. Their seasonal menu focuses on small plates, encouraging diners to sample and share dishes. Fall menu highlights included salmon with squash stew, scallops with ginger fried rice, and dishes featuring their acclaimed house-made pasta (pappardelle with mushrooms and cream, lumache with vodka sauce and Grana Padano cheese). All year round, expect New American fare made from scratch, with an emphasis on local and sustainable ingredients.

Happy Hour: Pinocchio’s Restaurant

131 E. Baltimore Ave., Media
610-566-7767 /

Since 1955, Delco’s first pizzeria has been known for its tasty pies and Italian fare. But these days, it’s also known for its award-winning Beer Garden To Go, so you can create your own Happy Hour. Pinocchio’s has become a go-to place for local beer lovers, who savor a selection of over 1,000 specialty beers — 200 of them coming from craft and international brewers. Mix and match six-packs, or fill up your growler or crowler from their 25 rotating drafts. With new cans and bottles arriving every weekday, there’s always something new to try — and reasons to come back for more.

Happy Hour: Two Fourteen

214 W. State St., Media
724-904-9139 /

As the neon sign in the entryway proclaims, there are “Good Vibes Only” at Media restaurateurs Loïc Barnieu (La Belle Époque, Sterling Pig) and Mike Hackett’s (House) New American restaurant and cocktail bar. Gather friends during Happy Hour, 4 to 6 p.m., for $2 off beer and wine, plus $12 cocktails, including the fan-favorite Media Mule. Small bites are two for $14, including a cheese plate, chicken wings with truffled Parmesan and signature 214 sauce, as well as seasonal dishes. Any time of night, enjoy seasonally inspired cuisine — though some mainstays, like the 214 wagyu burger with bourbon bacon jam, are available year-round.

Don’t Miss: The Towne House

117 Veterans Sq., Media
484-445-2041 /

For over 70 years, The Towne House has been a Delco landmark, home to many a birthday dinner or wedding reception. Today, it’s a go-to dining destination with five unique dining rooms, each with its own menu and theme. Try the braised lamb shank or overnight Guinness short ribs at the farm-to-table Towne House, sample traditional Irish cuisine (shepherd’s pie, fish and chips) and over 300 whiskeys at The Shebeen, enjoy seasonal drinks and casual fare in Idlewild’s open-air courtyard, sip innovative cocktails at the speakeasy-inspired Colony Cocktail Club or host an event at The Towne Hall. No matter which you choose, this Media staple is sure to satisfy.

Don’t Miss: La Porta

1192 N. Middletown Rd., Media
610-358-5104 /

Though it’s a bit of a drive outside downtown Media, La Porta is well worth the trip. Philly’s Chef Peter McAndrews (Paesano’s) brings authentic Italian cuisine to the suburbs in this inviting spot with a rustic, Old World feel. Drawing inspiration from across Italy, the menu consists of wood-fired pizzas, pasta dishes (cacio e pepe, sweet potato gnocchi), Italian entrees (stuffed eggplant, Italian meatloaf) and a robust selection of daily specials. Pair your meal with a glass of wine and the sound of live music nightly, and you’ll be glad you made the drive.

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