This Friday and Saturday, downtown Reading hosts the fourth annual Reading Fire + Ice Festival. The weekend features ice carvers, fire performers, live music and of course, great food.
Want to know where and what to eat this weekend? Here’s our guide to all things edible at the Reading Fire + Ice Festival:
Outside-In: Pancake Breakfast
On Saturday morning from 8 to 11 a.m., the Genesius Theatre is hosting a pancake breakfast at the Outside-In (6th and Penn Streets). In addition to a great breakfast, the event includes some of the stars of Genesius Theatre’s productions will be on hand to sing Broadway hits while you dine.
The Abe Lincoln: Chili Cook-Off
On Saturday afternoon (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the Abe Lincoln hosts one of the weekend’s most anticipated events: the chili cookoff. Each year, Berks County’s best restaurants and home chefs compete to take home the top honors. Both a Judged Winner and People’s Choice Winner will be chosen.
Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe
One of the city’s best restaurants, Mi Casa Su Casa brings its food to the festival’s concessions area. We love everything at the Cafe, but we really hope they bring some empanadas to the event.
Uncle Paul’s Stuffed Pretzels
Uncle Paul’s is one of the most awarded mobile concessions in the region, recognized with “Best” awards at the Taste of Hamburg-er Festival in each of the last five years. Their stuffed pretzels have also been featured on Spike TV’s Frankenfood and Food Network’s Carnival Eats.
The Smith Homestead
If you have Instagram, you have to follow the Smith Homestead. You can get lost scrolling through photos of their cinnamon rolls. Or you can try one at the concessions area at the Fire + Ice Festival.
Like Uncle Paul’s, Helmut’s Strudel serves stuffed street food, this time with a German twist. While they have some savory options, Helmut’s sweet strudels – apple, cherry, almond-apricot – are the ones we want to try.
We’ve never had a chance to try anything from the Bountiful Feast food truck, but the menu sounds fantastic. Their website lists chicken and pineapple kabobs, as well as a Costa Rica Chicken Sandwich (with imported salsa). Yes, please.
Sammy’s Steaks and French Fries
Sammy’s is synonymous with mobile concessions in Berks County. Name a fair or festival and you’ve likely seen the Sammy’s Steaks wagon serving their signature steak sandwiches.
Venture outside the festival to find some of downtown Reading’s best dining. There’s Marvel Ranch, the quintessential greasy spoon restaurant. Bar-B-Q Delight, a new Indian restaurant recently opened on South Fourth Street. For a more upscale meal, Cheers American Bistro at the Doubletree is a great choice. And of course, there’s the Peanut Bar, a true area landmark.
So what are you eating? Share your Fire + Ice photos with using #BerksCountyEats and tag @BerksCountyEats on Facebook and Instagram.