Surrounded by the Pocono Mountains, the Endless Mountains, the Lehigh Valley, and the Susquehanna River, the city of Wilkes-Barre is going through a Renaissance these days thanks in large part to a booming tourism industry spreading throughout all of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
In the last few years, Wilkes-Barre has become quite the destination for new travelers. Some would say that the addition of Mohegan Sun Pocono is the reason behind this. Mohegan Sun Pocono is hands-down, the hottest place to be, and definitely one of the most exciting things to do in the area. A luxurious experience with everything you could imagine in a casino awaits at this spectacular getaway. Travelers come from Philadelphia, New York City and even Jersey City. A weekend in Wilkes-Barre is a getaway from the big city life.
If Mohegan Sun isn’t what you’re looking for, then consider spending a day at Seven Tubs recreation park. Hiking, camping and exploring nature is always a great time to spend your weekend. In addition to Seven Tubs recreation park, Wilkes-Barre is also surrounded by Kirby Park and Ricketts Glen State Park, both great family fun options.
With the surge in popularity has come a host of restaurants appealing to all taste buds. Here are eight of the best restaurants in Wilkes-Barre.
EL REY AZTECA
This establishment is proof that you should not judge a book by its cover, especially when it comes to restaurants. Despite an unassuming curbside appearance, this joint serves up some of the region’s best Mexican cuisine.
Owned and operated by siblings Gaston and Betsy Romero, the recipes have been passed down for generations. El Rey Azteca is known for its table-side guacamole and fresh chips. Locals swear by the Mayan Burrito, stuffed with homemade chorizo, pastor, vegetables, and all of the fixings.
THE CAFE: AN AMERICAN BISTRO
For a casual meal that will please everyone in your party, you would be wise to consider The Cafe: An American Bistro. Simply known as The Cafe to locals, this gem is a moderately priced restaurant featuring some of the area’s most varied cuisine.
Guests can choose from a myriad of dishes from seafood to pasta to sandwiches to salad. A full coffee bar is an ideal way to relax after the filling dinner. Those wanting to kick it up a notch can choose from one of the many alcoholic beverage offerings.
It is hard to believe that you can find authentic Turkish cuisine in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but Istanbul Grill delivers on its promise. The simple decor lends itself to the understated elegance of the food.
No longer do you have to travel to New York City to get a taste of Istanbul. Visitors to Istanbul Grill are invited to nosh on specialties such as kebobs and baklava.
As a hub of social activity in Wilkes-Barre, Anthracite Cafe attracts visitors with its vast beer menu. Boasting a variety of local and regional taps, the cafe also serves a full menu to go along with your beverage.
Deep fried macaroni and cheese and nachos are just a few of the choices that you can choose to complement your brew. Those wanting a more filling meal can choose from the vast entree offerings including fish and pasta.
If you are looking for the best margarita in town, look no further than Margarita Azul. Visitors come for the margaritas and return for the mouth-watering Mexican specialties such as chiles rellenos and chimichangas.
Be sure to leave room for dessert. The sweet dishes include an amazing Tres Leches cake and authentic sopapillas.
VAULT GRILL AND BAR
This is an ideal place if you are looking for upscale food in a casual atmosphere. The steakhouse menu will appeal to those meat and potatoes types while the lighter fish and vegetarian options will please everyone else in your party.
This historic building creates an inviting and exclusive vibe, deserving of the premium menu offerings.
This new entry to the Wilkes-Barre dining scene is already amassing a loyal following. But who can blame them? This cozy Italian restaurant is comfort food at its best. Although it does not look fancy from the outside, the interior of the space conveys an air of distinction.
The impeccable service follows through with this attention to detail, while also making you feel as if you are at home. A nice wine list complements the hearty Italian fare. Favorites include the penne in vodka tomato sauce and the creamy fettuccine alfredo.
THAI THAI RESTAURANT
This restaurant delivers an explosion of flavors to your mouth with its bold Asian tastes. The signature curries and the housemade noodles work well together and are a great introduction to this unique cuisine. Do not miss the cool taste of the green papaya salad to start your culinary adventure and be sure to wash it all down the genuine Thai iced tea. Whether you are a novice to Thai cuisine or you are a seasoned foodie, Thai Thai will be sure to impress.
From majestic views to outdoor recreational opportunities to endless entertainment options, the quaint city of Wilkes-Barre has it all. And the dining scene is no exception. Whatever your food fancy, Wilkes-Barre has got you covered! Bon Appetit!