Plate of French toast with fresh cut strawberries and blueberries

Cafe Esperanza

Exterior of Cafe Esperanza at 105 W. Greenwich Street in Reading, PA

Of all the new restaurants that opened in 2021, Café Esperanza stands out.

First, the café is a non-profit, first envisioned by the congregation at Hope Lutheran Church on the opposite corner of Front and Greenwich Streets in Reading. And from concept to opening day took a decade of work.

The café and coffee shop has everything you expect – a selection of coffees and caffeinated beverages, breakfast and lunch options, comfortable seating and a cool vibe. It also has off-street parking, a rarity in the city (thanks to Hope’s parking lot). But it’s what’s missing that sets it apart from every other eatery in Berks County.

Cafe Esperanza order counter

Look at the menu board, and you’ll notice that there are no prices. That’s because Café Esperanza is unique among Berks County restaurants – unique among Pennsylvania restaurants, for that matter – as the region’s only pay-what-you-can café.

What does that mean? Exactly what it sounds like. Whether you have $10, $5, $2, or nothing, everyone is welcome to a meal at Café Esperanza. No one is turned away.

Table full of empty water glasses with a sign that reads "Coffee is the Best Idea Ever"

But don’t confuse Café Esperanza with other charities. This is a real café. When I walked in for breakfast on a Thursday morning, there were a couple other patrons there. I walked up to the counter and ordered a chai latte and French toast. (Unfortunately, I was then told they were out of chai, so I settled for a hot chocolate instead).

The only difference was that instead of being told how much I owed, I was asked, “how much change would you like?”.

A white coffee mug with the words "Si Yes Oui" sits on a wooden coffee table next to a planter

I walked back to the front of the dining area and took a seat on a sofa by the window. My hot chocolate arrived a short time later. It was very good, but hot chocolate always is. One thing to note: like all good cafes, customers have a choice of whole milk or non-dairy options for all drinks.

While the drink was good, the French toast was just about perfect. The presentation was better than most restaurants – three thick slices of French toast, dusted with powdered sugar, served on a plate with fresh strawberries and blueberries. The plate, itself, was served on a wooden board with a small cup of syrup.

A plate of French toast dusted in powdered sugar with fresh-cut strawberries and blueberries from Cafe Esperanza in Reading, PA

Best of all, it tasted as good as it looked.

The bread used for the French toast had a nutty flavor to it which I enjoyed greatly, and despite the fact that it required a knife and fork to cut, it was melt-in-your-mouth good. And the fresh fruit on the side made it a healthy meal (right?).

For me, though, it’s not just that it was a great meal, but it is a worthy cause as well. Yes, I probably paid double than what I would have for the same meal anywhere else, but I paid that knowing that one or two others who need a meal can get one.

And you can’t put a price on that.

BCE Rating
Food: Very Good
Service: Excellent
Ambiance: Excellent
Value: Priceless

Café Esperanza
105 W. Greenwich St
Reading, PA 19601

Breakfast & Brunch Cafes & Coffeeshops
Fastnacht sitting on a blue plate next to an empty box that says Stoudt's Bakery

Where to Find Fastnachts in Berks County 2022

Fastnachts are a Berks County tradition, enjoyed each year on Fat Tuesday – known locally at fastnacht day. The specialty donuts have already started arriving at bakeries across the county, and many local organizations will once again be hosting fastnacht fundraisers. Here is our list of confirmed places to find fastnachts in Berks County in 2022:

Fastnacht Fundraisers

Mt. Penn Fire Company
The Mt. Penn Fire Company is hosting its 54th Annual Fastnacht Sale on February 26. Full details have yet to be announced. In 2021, the cost was $10 per dozen.

Historic Joanna Furnace
The Hay Creek Valley Historical Association will be hosting a fastnacht sale on March 1. The cost is $10 per dozen. Pre-order by February 23.

Bakeries, Farmers Markets

Brook’s Cafe
Fasnachts are back at Brook’s Cafe in Douglassville. The restaurant will have fastnachts for sale along with fastnacht-inspired specials like the fastnacht burger available for a limited time.

Dutch Maid Bakery
Both locations of Dutch Maid Bakery – the Temple bakery and the Fairgrounds Farmers Market – have fastnachts available. According to their Facebook post, the cost is $1.25 each, six for $7.25, or a dozen for $12.50.

Frecon Farms
Frecon Farms will once again be offering fastnachts from their bakery this year. The cost is $8.99 for a half dozen and $14.99 per dozen. Pre-order for pick-up on Frecon Farms’ website.

Kimberton Whole Foods
Kimberton Whole Foods in Douglassville is also offering fastnachts from Frecon Farms. They will be available through Tuesday or until they are sold out.

Kirbyville Farm Market
The Kirbyville Farm Market (Route 222 south of Kutztown) is once again offering fastnachts, homemade from the market’s bakery.

Nesting Box Farm Market & Cramery
The Nesting Box in Kempton is selling fastnachts from The Buttered Crumb, a bakery in Lehigh County. Deliveries are limited so they may not be available every day.

PA Dutch Farmers Market of Wyomissing
Becca’s Gourmet Coffee & Donuts at the Wyomissing Farmers Market is offering fastnachts three ways: plain, glazed, and powdered. The cost is $6.95 for a half dozen or $12.95 for a dozen.  

Plum Creek Farm Market
For the first time, Plum Creek Farm Market is offering fresh-baked fastnachts. Pre-orders are available on their website with pickup available on Tuesday, March 1.

Shady Mountain Market
Another farm market in the area offering fastnachts (along with other delicious baked goods), Shady Mountain Market is located on Dryville Road outside of Fleetwood.

Twilight Acres Creamery & Bakery
Twilight Acres in Stouchsburg is advertising that they have fastnacths available along with their selection of traditional donuts.

Weaver’s Orchard
From now until Fastnacht Day, Weaver’s Orchard near Morgantown is serving homemade fastnachts both plain and powdered.

Dining Guides
A brick wall with three shelves lined with old time railroad gear and coffee mugs

Brakeman’s Cafe

A brick building with a sign that says Brakeman's Cafe

Berks County’s main streets are lined with incredible restaurants. Penn Avenue in West Reading and Main Street in Kutztown come to mind. Boyertown has both Philadelphia and Reading Avenues with stores and restaurants along both. But delicious dining can be found off Boyertown’s main streets, too, as we discovered on our visit to Brakeman’s Café.

The café is located along Washington Street, across the street from the Colebrookdale Railroad’s passenger station (a brakeman being an old-time railroad worker). We visited on a cool November day – too cool to take advantage of the ample outdoor seating – and were lucky to find a table during the Saturday lunch rush.

A brick wall with three shelves lined with old time railroad gear and coffee mugs

Brakeman’s is the quintessential coffee shop. First, it has a cool vibe. Entering through the front door, you’re surrounded by historic railroad equipment in the brick-walled room. Yes, the décor is unique, but it feels like a coffee shop.

A large brick fireplace with an old-fashioned saddle hanging above

So, too, does the dining room, with its mix of tables all within proximity of the large fireplace. The dining room’s décor is less focused on the railroad and more focused on Boyertown history with old photos of downtown lining the walls.

Two glasses of iced tea on a table

While my typical coffee shop order includes a chai tea latte, Julie and I decided to give a try to their specialty lemonades – one Arnold Palmer and one guava lemonade. I really enjoyed my Arnold Palmer (half tea, half lemonade). It was just the right amount of sweet to be refreshing and still complement the meal.

A pork sandwich on a kaiser roll with melted cheese

Our lunch arrived shortly afterward. For me, it was the Italian pulled pork sandwich.

Instead of BBQ sauce, the sandwich was topped with pesto aioli and Provolone cheese. It was a delicious combination. The pesto aioli permeated throughout the sandwich and every bite had a nice bit of sharp cheese, all of it pairing perfectly with the melt-in-your-mouth pork.

Passing over the chips, I opted for the broccoli salad on the side. I always enjoy broccoli salad, especially one that was as creamy as this. It’s a nice change-of-pace from chips and other “snack food” sides.

Turkey Apple Wrap from Brakeman's Cafe

Julie was also a big fan of the turkey and apple wrap. It was filled with sliced turkey, cheddar cheese, sliced apples, mixed greens and a cranberry aioli.

Not quite a “Gobbler”, it still had the turkey and cranberry flavors that blend so well together. The sliced apples provided additional sweetness (adding to the sour-sweet cranberry) a much-needed crunch. And the cheddar was the right choice of cheese to bring it all together.

Two halves of a PB&J sandwich stacked on top of each other

While there’s not a “kids’ menu” so to speak, the PB&J serves as such, and Jakob was more than happy with his. It was a basic sandwich, but the multi-grain bread was a nice touch, and they didn’t skimp on the filling. Our finicky four-year-old was happy, and that’s all that mattered to us.

It was a winning meal all around. With tip, it cost us about $45, not a bad total for three meals considering we splurged on the lemonades.

Yes, Boyertown’s main streets are filled with great restaurants. But on this day, we were glad that we veered right and found our way to Brakeman’s Café.

BCE Rating

Food: Very Good
Ambiance: Very Good
Service: Very Good

Brakeman’s Café
56 S. Washington St
Boyertown, PA 19512

Cafes & Coffeeshops Lunch & Dinner Reviews
Hive Mixed Green Salad

Where to Find Vegetarian and Vegan Food in Berks County

Whether you follow a meatless diet, are observing Lent, or are just looking for a plant-based meal, Berks County has you covered. Here’s a list of Berks County’s vegan restaurants and vegetarian dining options.

Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants

A bowl of edamame, quinoa, chickpeas and cranberry from the Greenhouse Cafe

Greenhouse Café – Wyomissing

Located in the Bell Tower complex in Wyomissing, the Greenhouse Café serves plant-based breakfast and lunch items along with baked goods and café drinks. Greenhouse also opens for dinner service on Wednesdays and Fridays with rotating specials.

Hive Queen Bee Smoothie

HIVE – Kutztown

Open limited hours – Fridays and Saturdays only – HIVE is the go-to for plant-based brunch lunch in Kutztown. In addition to bowls, salads, and meatless burgers, HIVE has a small market with take-home kits and Vegan Treats desserts.

BBQ Jackfruit sandwich with side salad and dressing

Firefly Café & Outpost – Boyertown

When it first opened, Firefly Café was a full-service restaurant. Since COVID, the vegan café is takeout-only with limited hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Enjoy vegan breakfasts (meatless breakfast sandwiches and toasts) and lunch (like beyond burgers and vegan mac n cheese). In addition to the café, Firefly also runs the Outpost, a vegan market where you can buy a variety of plant-based foods.

Vegetarian Mango Chicken from Chen Vegetarian House

Chen Vegetarian House

In West Reading, Chen Vegetarian House serves meatless versions of familiar Asian and Chinese dishes like General Tso’s chicken, orange-flavored beef, and teriyaki duck.

Note: Chen is temporarily closed from January 10 through April 30, 2022.

Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly Options

Flatbread sandwich with spinach, avocado and tomato

Andy Pepper’s

For a breakfast and lunch-only joint, Andy Pepper’s in Limekiln has one of the most diverse menus in Berks County. And that includes plenty of vegan options, including oatmeal pancakes for breakfast, and vegan sausage, beyond burgers, and vegan chicken for lunch (the Phonie Joanie and Thin Lizzy are vegan while other sandwiches can be made vegan). The café also offers a range of homemade vegan (and gluten free) desserts.

Exterior of Farmhouse Kitchen Organics in West Reading

Farmhouse Kitchen

West Reading’s Farmhouse Kitchen offers a menu built on organic ingredients that also includes a number of vegan dishes. The menu changes seasonally but always includes salads, bowls, veggie burgers, and vegan baked oatmeal.

A vegan black bean and sweet potato burger with side of chips from Good Life Organics in Reading PA

Good Life Organics

Another organic cafe, Good Life Organics offers a range of vegan foods on the menu. These options include juices, bowls, salads, and sandwiches.

Fresh fruit aisle of Kimberton Whole Foods in Douglassville PA

Kimberton Whole Foods – Douglassville

While Kimberton Whole Foods doesn’t offer hot meals (except for soups), the store offers a variety of prepared meals that are vegan-friendly (like bean burritos, salads and quinoa burgers) along with a market full of plant-based foods.

Rangoli Indian Street Food Samosas

Rangoli Indian Street Food

Berks County’s Indian restaurants all offer vegetarian and vegan options, but Rangoli offers an entire menu section titled Vegetarian Village, with many of the options, like dal and chana, available in vegan versions.

For more Indian food choices, check out Laxmi’s Indian Grille and Nirvana Indian Bistro in Wyomissing.

Dining Guides
waffles topped in blueberry compote and breakfast potatoes

Squawk Cafe – Wyomissing

Exeterior of Squawk Cafe in Wyomissing

Normally, I try to wait a while before checking out a new restaurant, but when I found out the Squawk Café was opening on January 14, I just couldn’t wait to try it.

Though I have never been, I’ve heard good things about the original Squawk Café at B2 Bistro, and knowing that the new café was being run by the original team, it sounded like a recipe for a great new spot. (Note: the new Squawk Café is in no way affiliated with B2 Bistro or its café by the same name).

The new location is unique, inside the office building that houses Riverfront Federal Credit Union. It’s amazing how the lobby has been fully transformed into a café. What was a reception desk is now the order counter and coffee bar. And off to the left side, a large space has been converted into a dining area with around 30 seats.

Empty tables and chairs in the dining area of Squawk Cafe in Wyomissing

Only about a half dozen seats were taken – a table of four and a table of two – when I arrived and claimed my spot by the wall.

The café was running with a limited menu for their opening day. The breakfast burrito I had seen on the menu was unavailable so I switched it up from savory to sweet and ordered the blueberry waffle stack with a side of breakfast potatoes and a chai tea latte.

First out was the chai tea latte. I was, admittedly, a little disappointed with the chai because there was no sweetener. For straight-up chai tea, it was really good. I’m just used to sweeter varieties. (Next time, I’ll be asking for a little vanilla).

A stack of four waffle triangles topped with blueberry compote

What didn’t lack sweetness was the blueberry cinnamon waffle stack.

The stack was technically two stacks, each with four waffle triangles layered with cream cheese, all topped with blueberry compote.

It was every bit as good as I hoped. The cream cheese and the compote were sweet, but not too sweet to overpower the waffles. It was sweet enough though that I didn’t need the maple syrup that was served on the side.

The only issue was that the plastic knife struggled to cut through the waffles. But that was a minor inconvenience while eating such a delicious dish.

A disposable clamshell filled with potatoes tossed with diced peppers and onions

My side of potatoes was just as satisfying. I opted for the add-on of peppers and onions. The potatoes were about as crispy as any I have ever had. And the peppers and onions were a nice add-on. As a bonus, it comes served with a cup of aioli for dipping. It was good, but like the maple syrup, it was unnecessary.

I definitely over-ordered, though. The blueberry cinnamon waffle stack would have been plenty on its own. I didn’t regret the potatoes, but with them, I wasn’t hungry until long after lunch.

And with as much as I ordered, my final bill was more than $20. I can’t say that any individual item wasn’t worth the price, though.

The best part for me is that the new Squawk Café is only a couple blocks from my house so I’m sure I will be back sooner than later. Maybe then I’ll get that breakfast burrito.

I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

BCE Rating
Food: Excellent
Service: Very Good
Ambiance: Very Good
Price: A Little Pricey

Squawk Café
2609 Keiser Blvd
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Breakfast & Brunch Cafes & Coffeeshops
A view of the open kitchen, surrounded by a bar with stools at Judy's on Cherry

Where to Eat During Berks Jazz Fest 2022

Berks Jazz Fest returns to Greater Reading April 1-10, 2022 and nothing goes better with live music than great food. Here is Berks County Eats’ guide to where to eat during Berks Jazz Fest:

Dinner (and Brunch) with Live Music

DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton Reading – Cheer’s American Bistro

Downtown Reading’s DoubleTree Hotel features one of the city’s best restaurants, Cheer’s American Bistro. With multiple venues, the DoubleTree is going to be a busy place, and a great place for dinner if you can snag a table. In addition to nightly shows, the DoubleTree is also hosting Jazz Brunch on Sunday, April 3 and 10 in their Grand Ballroom.

Jimmie Kramer’s Peanut Bar

Reading’s most famous restaurant, the Peanut Bar hosts the traditional kick-off event for Jazz Fest, a lunchtime concert (this year on Friday, April 1 at 11:30 a.m.). Tip: The Peanut Bar has its own parking lot behind the restaurant on Cherry Street – no need for a parking meter.

The West Reading Motor Club will open in fall 2019 in the former A to Z Vacuum in West Reading

The Nitro Bar
West Reading

Known for its live music, West Reading’s Nitro Bar is hosting three concerts during Jazz Fest: Cullen and Company on April 5; Dirk Quinn Band on April 6; and Non-Zero Sum Guitar Trio on April 7.

More Great Restaurants Nearby

The exterior of Canal Street Pub features a large sign with their logo: a bridge over the Schuylkill River

Canal Street Pub & Restaurant

Canal Street is a favorite for craft beer lovers. It’s also a favorite spot during Jazz Fest.

Saucony Creek Franklin Station Brewpub Interior

Saucony Creek Franklin Station Brewpub

Saucony Creek’s Reading location is just a few short blocks away from the DoubleTree and a great option for a meal and drinks before the show.

A view of the open kitchen, surrounded by a bar with stools at Judy's on Cherry

Judy’s on Cherry

Judy’s on Cherry, one of Reading’s premier finer dining spots, has hosted Jazz Fest events in the past. Along with its sister restaurant, the Speckled Hen Cottage & Pub, it makes a great place for dinner and drinks before or after concerts at the city’s venues.

Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe

A staple of downtown Reading featuring authentic Caribbean cuisine, Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe is a great place for breakfast or lunch in the city.

Lang Restaurant in Reading, PA

Lang Restaurant

Enjoy authentic Vietnamese food at Lang Restaurant in Reading. Lang is located on 6th Street, just a block south of the Santander Performing Arts Center which is hosting a number of events during Jazz Fest.

Looking for more options? Check out our Berks County Restaurant Directory to see all 550 local dining options in Reading and Berks County, Pa.

Dining Guides Uncategorized
Sal's Pizza Style Stromboli Pizza

Our Favorite Pizza in Berks County

In more than eight years of Berks County Eats, we have tried some of the best pizza in Berks County. While there are still plenty more to go, these five are the favorites we have found so far:

Nonno Alby’s Brick Oven Pizza – West Reading

Best Pizza: Nonno Alby's

Nonno Alby’s was really the first restaurant to bring artisan, brick oven pizza to Berks County, and they still do it better than anyone else. The namesake Nonno Alby’s pizza is probably my favorite around.

The Original Mama’s Pizza – Sinking Spring

The Original Mama’s Pizza has two locations – Sinking Spring and Wyomissing – and neither have ever let us down. Their traditional pies are very good, but we also like their stuffed slices for a quick lunch or dinner.

Romano’s Chicago Style Pizza – Reading

Deep-dish pizza is not the norm in Berks County so when I found Romano’s in 2014, I was very excited. Their Chicago-style pie did not disappoint and remains a favorite of ours to this day.

Sal’s Pizza Style – Birdsboro

Sal's Pizza Style Stromboli Pizza

Sal’s is your typical neighborhood pizza place, but with exceptional service and the one-of-a-kind pizza Stromboli that everyone should try at least once. The restaurant has new owners as of January 2022 but Sal has been helping them during the transition so we expect to see the same quality moving forward.

Mangia – Mohnton

Brick oven pizza with red sauce ladeled on top of the cheese

Mangia is one of one of our favorite restaurants in Berks County period. While we usually get dinners on our visits, we have always enjoyed their pizza – I especially like their brick oven pies like the red and white and margherita.

More Great Pizza in Berks County

Bella’s Subs and Pizza, Wyomissing: Located practically next door to Mama’s (see above), I haven’t had Bella’s near as much, but I always have enjoyed it – especially the grandma pizza. Read Review

Paradise by the Slice, Wernersville: A multi-time award winner for their pizza, Paradise by the Slice definitely has earned the accolades. Read Review

P&J’s Pizza, Womelsdorf: P&J’s was our go-to pizza place when I was growing up in western Berks and still a go-to for our family when we visit (the sandwiches are excellent, too). Read Review

TommyBoy’s Pizza & Cafe, Kutztown: TommyBoy’s not only has good pizza, but they have “bigger-than-your-face” slices. Read Review

Russo Gourmet Foods Market, Shillington: Russo has some of the best Italian food in Berks County (which is why they supply so many other places) and the thick-crust pizza slices available in the market are very good, as well. Read Review

Want more? Browse all of our pizza reviews here.

Have a favorite pizza place in Berks County we need to try? Let us know by emailing

Dining Guides
The interior of the sunroom dining area with high top tables and cushioned benches at the Greenhouse Cafe

Our 10 Favorite Restaurants in Berks County

I get asked all the time, “What’s the best restaurant in Berks County?” The truth is, it’s impossible to choose “the best” restaurant – how do you compare great barbecue to fine dining? But with more than eight years and 400 reviews under my belt, I definitely have my favorites. Here are 10 that are on the top of my list. All of them are on the list for different reasons, but those are the reasons we keep going back.

Andy Peppers – Limekiln

I can’t say enough good things about Andy Pepper’s. The tiny eatery shares a building with the Limekiln Post Office and is out of the way for most people, but worth the visit for their inventive – and always delicious – breakfast and lunch.

Austin’s Restaurant and Bar – West Lawn

chicken florentine pasta from Austin's

This is a long-time favorite of ours. In our experience, Austin’s always puts out consistently good food – including some of my favorite ribs – with seasonal specials that never disappoint. And because the restaurant’s servers work as a team, you can get anything you need quickly.

Exeter Family Restaurant – Exeter

Best Diner: Exeter Family Restaurant

One of our favorite diners in Berks County, especially for breakfast, Exeter Family Restaurant has become a favorite of ours. We’ve tried a lot of dishes on their large menu and have never had a complaint about the food or the service (or the price).

Fork & Ale – Douglassville

A white brick wall painted with a yellow fork and the words "Fork & Ale"

This is a restaurant and bar that has impressed on every one of our visits. Fork & Ale serves what can best be described as elevated bar food – burgers and sandwiches that are just done a little better and hearty dinners that have a fine dining flair to them.

The Greenhouse Cafe – Wyomissing

The interior of the sunroom dining area with high top tables and cushioned benches at the Greenhouse Cafe

I have liked the Greenhouse Cafe since it opened, but in 2021, the Greenhouse Cafe earned a place as one of my favorites, thanks in large part to the restaurant’s Soup CSA where I enjoyed 10 different soups across 10 weeks. But it’s more than just the soup that lands it on my list. It’s the ambiance, the service, and the fact that it is the best plant-based restaurant in Berks County.

The Knight’s Pub at Stokesay Castle – Reading

Stokesay Castle – and specifically the Knight’s Pub – is a uniquely cool venue. It straddles the line between pub and fine dining, and what I appreciate most is that it is family friendly. Julie and I have dined at the Knight’s Pub for date nights and we’ve taken our pre-schooler along for a family meal. And the food and service is always excellent.

Let’s Taco Bout It – West Reading

Photo of a banner hanging on a storefront that says "Let's Taco Bout It" with image of two cartoon tacos in a wrestling match.

Let’s Taco Bout It is a family favorite, especially for my son. At two-and-a-half years old, his favorite food just might be Let’s Taco Bout It’s version of Mexican street corn. And we are all big fans of the restaurant’s “Luchadors,” oversized mash-ups of tacos and quesadillas.

Mangia! Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria- Mohnton

A margharita pizza (pizza topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil)

Mangia has been a family favorite. For a while, it felt like we were visiting every week. They have an extensive menu of pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas, but what sets Mangia apart for me is two dishes: the Pasta al Parmigiano Reggiano and Cacio e Peppe. These dishes are prepared tableside with pasta tossed in cheese wheels imported from Italy.

Nonno Alby’s – West Reading

Photo of a pizza topped with cured ham, shaved cheese and arugula

Nonno Alby’s has delicious wings and burgers, but the pizza is what lands Nonno Alby’s on this list. The restaurant’s artisan wood-fired pizzas are our favorite in Berks County. I’m particularly fond of the namesake Nonno Alby’s pie with sauteed rapini, Italian sausage and red pepper flakes.

Savory Grille – Macungie

A photo of a room with a stone wall one on side and a long dining table with wooden chairs

Our favorite fine dining in Berks County can be found at the Savory Grille. Though this country inn has a Macungie address, we are happy to say it is within Berks County’s borders. Savory Grille serves top-tier foods and their patio dining area can’t be beat.

What are your favorite Berks County Restaurants? Share your favorites with us by email at or on our Facebook page at

Dining Guides

Food News: March 2021

March was a busy month for Berks County restaurants as we saw closings, openings and re-openings, and learned of a few new restaurants coming soon. In case you missed any of it, here’s a look back at the Food News for March 2021:

Restaurant Openings:

10 & 23 Tacos

A new food truck is now serving tacos at the corner of Routes 10 and 23 in Morgantown. 10 & 23 Tacos opened for business on March 18. Currently, the food truck is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays serving tacos, quesadillas, burritos, flan, and more.

Chef David’s Food & Friends

Chef David’s Food & Friends opened its doors on March 17. The new Wyomissing spot offers grab-and-go meals, made-to-order breakfast, family-style dinners, and more. Chef David’s is located in the former Relish the Deli-sh at 105 Evans Avenue.

Bogey’s Pub at Golden Oaks

The Pub at Golden Oaks Golf Club – now Bogey’s Pub at Golden Oaks – is now under new management. The pub is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Restaurant Reopenings:

501 Grille and Tavern
Mount Aetna

The 501 Grill and Tavern in Mount Aetna, which was closed since early 2020 because of COVID precautions, reopened on March 5 with a new chef.

Bally Hotel

After nearly a year, the Bally Hotel reopened on March 3. During the COVID-19 closure, the owners took the opportunity to renovate the restaurant and give it a clean new look.

Oakbrook Brewing Company

Oakbrook Brewing Company closed its dining room in December when increased COVID-19 restrictions were placed on restaurants. After three months, the brewpub reopened on March 19. Currently, Oakbrook is open Thursday through Sunday, though the owners said it could and would expand once a few more staff positions are filled.

Restaurant Closings:

Sign reading "Klinger's of Fleetwood Dining Room Entrance"

Klinger’s of Fleetwood

In early March it was announced that Klinger’s would be closing its Fleetwood location at the end of the month after the owners decided not to renew the lease. Klinger’s on Carsonia and Klinger’s at the Airport were unaffected by the decision and continue to operate as normal.

Exterior of Smokin' Brays BBQ

Smokin Brays

After five years at their Hamburg location, Smokin Brays closed its doors in March 2021. “Keith is retiring and I have been unable to find a cook to replace him,” was the reason stated on the restaurant’s official Facebook page. The building, including the restaurant and attached residence, are currently listed for sale.

Customer ordering at a counter with a sign that says Sunrise Grille

Sunrise Grille

The Sunrise Grille at the PA Dutch Farmers Market of Wyomissing, which was listed as temporarily closed for several months, is now officially closed. The restaurant’s owners were planning to reopen in March 2021, but instead made an announcement that the restaurant would permanently close. The stand is currently open, and no replacement has been announced as of yet.

Coming Soon:

Fox’s Country Tea House
Projected Opening: April 2021

Berks County is getting a new tea house as Fox’s Country Tea House is scheduled to open soon along Route 422 in Stouchsburg. According to their official Facebook page, Fox’s will offer a “variety of teas, home made tea sandwiches, soup, salad and deserts…as well as a variety of simple breakfast selections.” The Tea House will be located in the Stouchsburg Business Center at 4023 Conrad Weiser Parkway. The business’ opening is scheduled for April 10.

Great American Creamery
Projected Opening: Summer 2021

A new ice cream parlor is coming to downtown Reading in summer 2021. That’s when the Great American Creamery is expected to open at 645 Penn Street. According to the creamery’s Facebook page, Penn State Berkey Creamery ice cream will be served. The location near the DoubleTree and Santander Arena is home to multiple businesses, including Cafe de Columbia, Salsa Burritio and the Reading Science Center.

Liberty at Dryville
Projected Opening: Spring/Summer 2021

The Liberty at Dryville is the newest venture from the owners of the Liberty Taproom and Liberty Ale House. The former Dryville Hotel closed in November 2019, with the owners retiring and selling the business to the group behind Liberty. There have been on recent updates on a tentative opening date.

Messy Pig BBQ & Catering Company
Projected Opening: Spring 2021

The Messy Pig BBQ is set to open a brick-and-mortar location in Womelsdorf in the coming weeks. Messy Pig has been touring the region as a food truck since 2018. The business belongs to the former owner of Darrylz, which operated in Stouchsburg from 2018 until the summer of 2019. The new location is 109 E. High Street in Womelsdorf. No other information has been shared as of yet.

Sweet Street Baked
Fairgrounds Farmers Market
Projected Opening: Spring 2021

Cafe Sweet Street has announced a new concept, coming soon to the Fairgrounds Farmers Market in Muhlenberg Township. Sweet Street Baked will offer “cookies, breads, sweets, and fresh coffee” according to the official Facebook page. No opening date has been announced as of yet.

News of Note:

  • When it reopens this spring, the Red Plate Diner in Wernersville will be operating under new ownership. No reopening date has been announced yet.
  • Also reopening under new ownership will be the Stonersville Hotel. The sale was announced in February, and the new owners have been posting updates from the restaurant’s renovation on social media.
  • 3rd and Spruce Cafe will also have owners – and a new name – when it reopens this spring as 3rd and Spruce Drafthaus. The restaurant has not yet announced an opening dates, but has indicated they are booking private parties after May 1.
  • The Greshville Inn announced that it is closing April 2 after the owners finalized a deal to sell the restaurant.
  • CJ Hummel’s in Lenhartsville is temporarily closed for renovations and Easter break. The restaurant and line-dancing bar is scheduled to reopen on April 6.
  • The annual Berks Pepper Jam, scheduled for June at the Pat Garrett Amphitheater, has been cancelled for 2021. The event producers announced the event would return in 2022.

Upcoming Events:

West Reading Restaurant Week
April 6 – 17

Thirteen restaurants have been confirmed to participate in the Spring edition of West Reading Restaurant Week, set to kick off April 6. Area restaurants will be offering special menus and prices throughout Restaurant Week. Visit the official event Facebook page for more details: West Reading Restaurant Week | Facebook

Dine Local Photo Contest
April 1 – 30

Zuber Realty is sponsoring a Dine Local photo contest. Visit one of the 14 participating restaurants in the Berks-Mont region and take a selfie and be entered to win up to $100. The contest runs throughout the month of April. Richard A. Zuber Realty | Facebook

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