Friday, December 29 2023 9:14

Best of the Best: Western Chester County

Written by County Lines Magazine

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

Morning: ButterScotch Pastry Shop

1406 Hollow Rd., Birchrunville
610-827-0900 /

Motor down country roads or take your horse and carriage to possibly the county’s most charming pastry shop. It’s quaint from every angle — the bridge to the door, cozy interior with fireplaces, old stove and kitchenware decor. On your first visit, dive into a latte and mini-Bundt butterscotch cake (yes, for breakfast). House-made butterscotch sauce drizzled over the top and sides fills the center well and flows onto the plate. On your second trip — there will be others — arrive early for croissants or bread pudding loaded with pecans. Even better, stay for another round or take home a pink box with scones and tiramisu.

Morning: Little Chef

152 Strode Ave., Coatesville
610-384-3221 /

There’s a little gem on Strode Avenue where a red door flanked by pretty flowers and a bench mark the entrance to a different era’s diner vibe and genuinely kind staff. Inside, a black-and-white tiled floor, booths and counter with swivel-top stools are the perfect backdrop for breakfast, whether at dawn or noon. The best: Pete’s Famous Mess. The large jumble is steaming with all the favorites — eggs, tasty home fries, Italian sausage with just the right spices, peppers, onions and melted cheese. The dish makes it worth getting out of bed,.

Noon: Epicurean Garage

570 Simpson Dr., Chester Springs
610-615-5189 /

Chef/owner Lee Krasley invites you in. At first, it’s all so tempting, so family-friendly. Choose the Cubano Garaje for lunch. Or maybe, sticking with the theme, the Garage Nachos, Garage Garden Salad, Garage Fries, Garage Meatloaf or, simply, The Garage — a barbecue burger with bacon, cheese and coleslaw. Everything — crisp chicken, beef brisket, jambalaya — is delish! The beer menu offers range, including Kingfisher Premium Lager from India and Chimay Grande Reserve from Belgium. Top off lunch with caramel apple galette or Philadelphia cream cheesecake, then sit back and admire the chic industrial brick interior.

Night: Bloom Southern Kitchen

123 Pottstown Pk., Chester Springs
484-359-4144 /

Go hungry because the food is irresistible. A Southern spirit now wafts from the kitchen in the former Old Eagle Tavern. Linger over the menu. Diners rave about the fried green tomatoes (in season). Other choices, start with fried cauliflower and smoked corn plus jalapeño hush puppies before sharing a bowl of New Orleans-style gumbo. Then try the classic and impressive fried chicken and waffle. Order it with a side of braised collards. Or choose shrimp and grits made with rich fragrant creole spices. For dessert, drool over pecan pie and beignets, and dream about an evening in the Vieux Carre.

Happy Hour: The Record Kitchen + Bar

206 Lincoln Hwy. E., Coatesville
484-784-5483 /

The Record, Coatesville’s newspaper from 1908, published its last edition in 1974. Now, front pages adorn the walls of the restaurant in the former office space along with signs of renewal. From the wood-fired oven, helmed by Chef Arthur Cavaliere, come delicious pizzas — $10 at Happy Hour along with draft beers for $4, wine for $7 and cocktails for $10, Tuesday through Friday. If you choose to imbibe at less happy hours, choose beer from Coatesville’s own Animated Brewing, as well as Guinness, Modelo and the like, and your food from ribs, wings or crispy calamari, all impressively served. Don’t miss the press-themed cocktails: Byline, Page Six, Editorial.

Happy Hour: Bierhaul Lagerhaus & New American Kitchen

341 Thornton Rd., Thornton
610-550-3440 /

Design your own Happy Hour at Bierhaul, where the lively bar feels happy every hour. Outside downtown West Chester, north of Glen Mills, is Bierhaul Lagerhaus & New American Kitchen. Gather some friends, enjoy the rotating two-dozen draft list, two dozen other beers in bottles and cans, a dozen wines and about a dozen very large cocktails. Food specials — pierogis, pizzas, prime rib, wings, mussels and seafood — are served weekly. And there’s live music on Thursday nights and Saturday afternoons. A fire burns in the fireplace. There’s gemütlichkeit all around!

Don’t Miss: Birchrunville Store Café

1403 Hollow Rd., Birchrunville
484-888-5216 /

Nestled in a hollow (yes, it’s on Hollow Road) surrounded by trees, find the Birchrunville Store Café. The former creamery, general store and post office has been one of the best restaurants in town … well, in the countryside. Menu items change often under the talents of Chef Francis Pascal, but it’s nigh impossible to go wrong. Inside or on the porch with stained glass windows, start with delicious lobster bisque or baby greens with fresh figs and Roquefort. Next, savor the herb-encrusted lamb loin. Don’t skip the signature dessert that one fan described as “heaven on a plate.” Make reservations far in advance of your special occasion and pick up wine that is worthy of a spectacular meal.

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