Best of Main Line and Western Suburbs: Best of Towns

From Ardmore to West Chester we have your best picks from the Main Line.




2014 Best of the Towns: Ardmore

Barbecue Kings Barbacoa’s Robert Hayes and Guy Buonadonna  Lines out the door testify to the unique deliciousness of Barbacoa. Ask the
owners for their secret, and they’re happy to spill it: marinating, followed by slow roasting. Chicken is the hands-down favorite, with pulled pork and St. Louis-style ribs a close second and third. The sides are lso fantastic. How do they make those sweet-potato fries so addictive? 64 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, (610) 642-0600, www.barbacoaud.com.

Beer to Go The Beer Shoppe  Lower Merion residents don’t have to go far to browse hundreds of labels in their quest for the ultimate mix-and-match six-pack. 44 Greenfield  Ave., Ardmore, (484) 416-3594, www.ardmorebeershoppe.com

BYOB A la Maison Bistro Classic French cooking makes this neighborhood favorite one of the best bistros in the region, with impeccable steak frites, boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin and bouillabaisse. The fact that it’s a BYOB sweetens the deal. 53 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (484) 412-8009, www.alamaisonbistro.com.Hummus Mediterrannean Grill's Shawarma. Photo by Steve Legato.

Gourmet Market Carlino’s Specialty Foods Carlino’s unparalleled inventory includes deli meats, sausages, crusty breads, oil-cured olives, dried figs, sun-dried tomatoes, handmade pasta, sauces, over 40 olive oils and balsamic vinegars, sweets, and more. Take away house-made meals, or easily assemble your own. Catering is also available. 2616 E. County Line Road, Ardmore, (610) 649-4046; 128 W. Market St., West Chester, (610) 696-3788, www.carlinosmarket.com.

Sandwich Hummus Mediterranean Grill’s Shawarma The ultimate shaved-meat sandwich starts with marinated, slow-cooked chicken thighs, which are layered with lamb fat and seasoned with turmeric and cumin, then packed into a pita with hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage and house-made tahini. 18 Greenfield Ave., Ardmore, (610) 645-9500, www.hummusardmore.com.

Thai Siamese Princess This family-run restaurant is steeped in cultural pride—and it shows in the food. Try the Pattaya Princess, made with duck, shrimp, calamari and veggies in black-bean sauce. Save room for the mango sticky rice. 36 E. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 896-2755www.siameseprincessrestaurant.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Berwyn/Paoli

Bar Bites TJ’s Restaurant & Drinkery Well before the craft-beer craze invaded our region, TJ’s was pairing great brews with excellent gastro-pub fare. For starters, don’t miss the mahi-mahi tacos, lamb sliders, and chipotle crispy-chicken mac-and-cheese. 35 Paoli Plaza, Paoli, (610) 725-0100, www.tjseveryday.com.

Best-Kept Secret Tiramisu This inviting, softly lit neighbor-hood bistro specializes in captivating Roman-Jewish cuisine. Marquee menu items include spiedino Romano (brochette of prosciutto and mozzarella in anchovy sauce), matzagna (lasagna with béchamel and artichokes) and orata marechiara (striped bass with white wine, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil). Come hungry—and bring friends. 720 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 906-3299, www.tiramisuberwyn.com.

Nectar's braised pork belly with Viking Village dayboat scallops. Photo by Steve LagatoCake Sweet Jazmines CIA-trained Kim Davis Cuthbert knows how to juggle taste, texture and creative flair. Often imitated but never duplicated, her sweet-potato cake is among the most moist and flavorful confections on the Main Line. 15 Bridge Ave., Berwyn, (610) 644-1868, www.sweetjazmines.com.

Excuse to Skip Lunch Alfredo Italian BYO You’re gonna need to save room for dinner if this BYOB is in your immediate future. Fill up on the house-made mortadella meatballs and the bruschetta trio (eggplant caponata, ricotta with honey, and prosciutto with mascarpone and apple). After you’ve taken a short breather, hearty classics like eggplant parmigiana and cioppino await. 668 E. Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 640-2962, www.alfredobyo.com.

Innovative Menus Nectar Nectar’s Far East décor may scream upscale sushi joint, but some of the best bites are modern American. A longtime farm-to-restaurant proponent, chef Patrick Feury spotlights Lancaster-raised chicken, Fire River oysters, Skuna Bay salmon and more with strikingly unique preparations. 1091 E. Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 725-9000, www.tastenectar.com.

Place for Kitchen Gear Trove General Store  Whether it’s heritage cookbooks, scented candles or tableware, Trove’s Charlotte Bonner and Foster Zeh celebrate a rustic aesthetic without sacrificing beauty or quality. 82 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli, (484) 320-8626, www.trovegeneral.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Bryn Mawr

Bar in a College Town Garrett Hill Ale House  This craft-beer hall and restaurant serves 90-plus variations of bottled beer and 20 rotating draughts. It also boasts an impressive menu of traditional comfort food and a hearty Sunday brunch (for those who may have enjoyed their Saturday night a bit too much). 157 Garrett Ave., Bryn Mawr,  (610) 519-0500, www.garretthillalehouse.com.Gullifty's alligator tacos. Photo by Steve Legato

Brunch Tango Main Liners, rejoice! The boozy brunch is back in a big way. Tango’s contemporary American menu offers classic breakfast options, an assortment of salads, and heartier fare, including jambalaya and wild-mushroom ravioli. But the best part is the all-you-can-drink Bloodys, mimosas, Bellinis and sangria for just $14 with an entrée. 39 Morris Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 526-9500, www.tastetango.com.

BYOB Restaurant Cerise  Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior. Cerise offers amazing homemade pasta and perfectly executed seafood dishes. Brunch favorites include delicious Nutella crêpes and a great Spanish-style strata. And we always love a restaurant that puts some thought into its children’s menu. 1011 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr,  (610) 527-4400, www.restaurantcerise.com.

Chef Specials Sola BYOB  Executive chef Stephan Stryjewski’s ever-changing menu allows for plenty of new and exciting culinary experiences. Contemporary American highlights include Hawaiian butterfish and braised short ribs. Among the innovative specials: seared foie gras, skate cheeks and roasted rabbit loin. 614 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr,  (610) 526-0123, www.solabyob.com.

Everyday Restaurant Gullifty’s This Main Line mainstay’s makeover gets two thumbs-up. The updated décor and menus add sophistication while maintaining the family-friendly appeal. Old favorites now compete with alligator tacos, duck flatbread and other more offbeat dishes. And the great kids’ menu still satisfies even the pickiest eaters. 1149 E. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr,  (610) 525-1851, www.gulliftys.com.

Tacos Verdad Restaurant & Tequila Bar  Chef Nick Farina’s overstuffed gems include the signature beef taco, with ground wagyu, queso, dates, jalapeños and fresh pico de gallo. Be sure to sample the strawberry-habañero guacamole, pickled jicama and sage aioli. Also check out Farina’s new food truck and Fishtown’s Union Taco. 818 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 520-9100, www.verdadrestaurant.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Chester Springs/Exton/Malvern

Anticorporate Coffee Experience Wellington Square Bookshop  At Wellington, coffees, teas, chocolate-dipped biscotti and more are served with author events, writing classes and poetry readings. Packed bookshelves add to an easy ambiance that’s rare at most of the overbrewed franchises. 549 Wellington Square, Exton, (610) 458-1144, www.wellingtonsquarebooks.com.

Carolina-style pulled pork from Something Grilled. Photo by Steve Legato.

Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Something Grilled  Start with the sandwich, its insides smoked low and slow for more than 13 hours, and served on a spongy LeBus roll. Then try the homemade cornbread, slathered with cinnamon butter. 260 N. Pottstown Pike, Exton, (484) 879-4130, www.somethinggrilled.com

Chain Pizza With a Difference Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Hand-tossed, then heat-blasted in an 800-degree oven, the pies at Anthony’s aren’t too thin or overly fussy. Toppings like cauliflower, broccoli rabe, sliced eggplant, Italian sausage and baby meatballs provide ample coverage for the sauce-laden, fresh-dough base. 123 E. Swedesford Road, Exton, (610) 594-1900, www.acfp.com.

Cheap Beer on Tap Cedar Hollow Inn Chef Stephen Guiseppe’s modern American dishes are enticement enough, but the rotating selection of always-interesting draft beers is another good reason to visit—especially on Thursdays, when the bar offers $3 craft pints. 2455 Yellow Springs Road, Malvern, (610) 296-9006, www.cedarhollowinn.com.

Happy Hour Tapas Limoncello Ristorante Embrace the crowds, snag a bar stool, and indulge in an array of small-plate appetizers. We recommend the braised- short-rib-stuffed ravioli and the grilled sausage sliders. 499 E. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs, (610) 524-3112, www.limoncellocs.com.

Healthy Options  Ron’s Original Bar & Grille  If owner Ron Inverso is calling it healthy, it must be local, natural, and hormone and antibiotic free, with no MSG, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. His gluten-free offerings also fit the bill. 74 E. Uwchlan Ave., Exton, (610) 594-9900,
www.ronsoriginal.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Conshohocken/Manayunk

Brunch Drinks Jake’s and Cooper’s Wine Bar An extensive wine-and-beer selection and a $5 drink menu make those decadent lobster omelets and thick slices of honey-almond French toast go down even easier. 4365 Main St., Manayunk, (215) 483-0444, www.jakesrestaurant.com.Jake's mango margarita, strawberry spritzer and English mojito. Photo by Steve Legato.

Coffee Shop Volo Coffeehouse This cozy spot serves fragrant La Colombe blends, loose-leaf teas, and fresh-squeezed orange juice, along with a welcome assortment of pastries, sandwiches and soups. 4360 Main St., Manayunk, (215) 483-4580, www.volocoffeehouse.comhttp://www.volocoffeehouse.com

Enticing Concept  401 Nirvana Conshohocken’s former 401 Diner now serves traditional American diner food until 2:30 p.m., when it morphs into a modern Indian restaurant offering a well-above-average lamb vindaloo, fish masala and more. 401 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (484) 351-8029, www.401nirvana.com.

Fine Dining With a Side of Fun Blackfish  Chip Roman lightens the mood at his much-lauded, seafood-centric BYOB with themed dinners. Past events have included a seven-course Downton Abbey feast and A Christmas Story-style leg of lamb (think lamp) with Chop Suey Palace duck. 119 Fayette St., Conshohocken, (610) 397-0888,  www.blackfishrestaurant.com

Main Street MVP Yanako’s Moon Krapugthong  A leading advocate for emerging Manayunk businesses and a strong supporter of charitable causes, Krapugthong has made Main Street a local destination with her noodle dishes, teriyaki dinners, bento boxes, and 18-foot sushi bar helmed by chef Agus Lukito, a proven master at the notoriously difficult culinary art. 4255 Main St., Manayunk, (267) 297-8151, www.theyanako.com

Newcomer  Taqueria Feliz  There was a lot of excitement when chef Tim Spinner and co-owner Brian Sirhal opened their third restaurant in über-competitive Manayunk. So far, they’ve delivered, with scrumptious no-nonsense tacos, enchiladas and tortas. The wildly colorful décor and giant drinks enhance the good-time vibe. 4410 Main St., Manayunk, (267) 331-5874, www.taqueriafeliz.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Downingtown

Brunch Amani’s BYOB Executive chef Jonathan Amann’s fresh, seasonal brunch is a great way to start the weekend, covering both the savory (smoked spring-onion soup, braised Berkshire pork belly, rock shrimp omelets) and the sweet (dark-chocolate Belgian waffles) with equal finesse. The duck-fat home fries are downright decadent. 105 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (484) 237-8179, www.amanisbyob.com.

BYOB  The Orangery at Glen Isle Make plans as early as possible to save your place Thursday-Saturday. There’s just one prix-fixe seating at 6:30 p.m.. Italian specialties include manicotti-style crêpes stuffed with ricotta and spinach, salmon rolls with an herb frittata and cream cheese, and chicken scaloppini with capers in a lemon sauce, served with fennel in cream. Bring your appetite, along with your bottle. 130 S. Lloyd Ave., Downingtown, (484) 401-5554,
www.orangeryatglenisle.com.Grapevine Cuisine's veggie mousaka. Photo by Steve Legato.

Family-Friendly Restaurant  Stella Rossa Ristorante  Stella Rossa’s extensive, shareable main menu will easily tempt young palates. Split the meta e meta (half pizza, half Stromboli), or try the classic salmon Toscana, baked with peppers, onions and white beans in lemon-wine sauce. Nice weather means alfresco dining—and a beautiful view of the Brandywine River. 20 E. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (610) 269-6000, www.stellarossaristorante.com.

Happy Hour  Station Taproom Eclectic small plates and a changing craft-beer list (with $3 pints) put the “happy” in happy hour at the Station. Try the truffle fries, the mussels in red curry, the Sriracha edamame, and the poutine (crispy fries topped with fresh mozzarella curds and brown gravy). Snag a signature pulled-pork sandwich for just $5. 207 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown, (484) 593-0560, www.stationtaproom.com.

Pizza Caln Pizza and Pasta At this family-owned pizzeria, the dough is made daily. Pasta specials typically feature fresh seafood. Select from thin or Sicilian crust, and load on the toppings. 3919 E. Lincoln Highway, Downingtown, (610) 269-7960, www.calnpizzaandpasta.com.

Worth-the-Hype Newcomer Grapevine Cuisine Grapevine’s from-scratch recipes are rooted in northern Greece. Don’t miss the htipiti (a divine dip served with feta and spicy peppers), the pastitsio (layered pasta, ground beef, crushed tomatoes, grated Parmesan and béchamel) or the lemony, creamy avgolemono soup, with shredded chicken and a bit of egg. Save room for the fresh-baked sugar cookies. 84 W. Lancaster Ave., Downingtown,
(610) 269-1304, www.grapevinecuisine.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Kennett Square

Burgers Two Stones Pub The Kennett Square outpost of this local chain is packing ’em in. Along with a fantastic draft-beer selection, Two Stones offers an impressive variety of burgers, including the sublime Hudson Valley Farms foie gras, with goat Gouda and apple-wood-smoked bacon. 843 E. Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, (610) 444-3940, www.twostonespub.com.

Two Stones Pub's double stacked turkey burger. Photo by Steve Legato.Coffee Shop Philter Daily specials include four pour-over coffee blends crafted with direct-trade beans from Maryland’s Ceremony Coffee Roasters. Philter’s Chris Thompson uses top-of-the-line brewing gear to create the perfect cup. Don’t leave without trying an espresso shot. 111 W. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 444-7687, www.philtercoffee.com.

Gourmet Food Hub The Market at Liberty Place An eclectic array of vendors offers an amazing variety of gourmet food under one roof. Start the morning with a wheatgrass shot from Nourish Juice Bar & Cafe, nosh on a crêpe from Yo’R So Sweet for lunch, then grab a glass of wine at Paradocx Vineyard’s on-site bar. 148 W. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 925-3411, www.themarketatlibertyplace.com.

Hoagie Sam’s Sub Shop There’s a reason why Sam’s has been a local institution since 1946: Its Italian hoagie is nothing short of epic. But feel free to build your own. Chances are, after 68 years in business, they’ve accommodated every whim and craving. 329 E. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 444-3580. 

Mushroom Soup The Kennett Square Inn Kennett’s earthy claim to fame gets its just due at this circa-1835 landmark. Made with fresh mushrooms grown nearby, it strikes the perfect balance of creamy and savory. 201 E. State St., Kennett Square, (610) 444-5687, www.kennettinn.com.

Tacos La Peña Mexicana Taqueria At La Peña, the filling makes the taco: marinated, slow-cooked beef, pork and chicken that pack an authentic, spicy punch. 609 W. Cypress St., Kennett Square, (610) 925-2651.

2014 Best of the Towns: Media

Appetizers Stephen’s on State Happy hour’s $5 apps include succulent prime-rib egg rolls and cheesesteaks, loaded nachos, and smoked chicken quesadillas. The jumbo wings and cheese fries also pair well with one of Stephen’s craft beers. 105 W. State St., Media, www.stephensonstate.com, (610) 891-8900.

Breakfast Sandwiches Custom Bagels  Choose from more than a dozen bagel varieties daily, or build a sandwich with a made-from-scratch yeast roll. 15 S. Olive St., Media, (610) 891-6761, www.custombagels.com.The morning rush at Seven Stones Cafe. Photo by Jared Castaldi.

Brunch Azie At this festive buffet in a bright, contemporary setting, fabulous sushi shares the spotlight with tangy miso-Hawaiian butterfish, salmon olive tapenade and more. Kids love the crab-and-cream-cheese spring rolls and the custom omelets; parents can enjoy a mimosa or one of the many craft beers. 217 W. State St., Media, (610) 566-4750, www.azierestaurant.com.

Coffee Seven Stones Café Serving La Colombe coffee, espresso, lattes and macchiato in a relaxed yet hip setting, Seven Stones provides the best mid-morning break in the borough. 24 S. Plum St., Media, (610) 627-2077, www.sevenstonescafe.com.

Dining Spot for Kids Front Street Fountain With its soda-shop counter and chalkboard walls, this retro eatery is a kid’s dream. The hot dogs, sandwiches and salads satisfy kids and parents alike, and the ice cream keeps everyone coming back. It’s always a packed house after story time at the library across the street. 1 W. Front St., Media, (610) 565-4130, www.frontstreetfountain.com.

Takeout Beer Stop Pinocchio’s Beer Garden to Go The personalized service from Tim Volikas and his staff will delight both craft-beer aficionados and suds neophytes. Make your own six-pack, or fill a growler. Headed to a BYOB? Tell them where you’re dining, and they’ll recommend the perfect pairings. 131 E. Baltimore Ave., Media, (610) 566-7767, www.pinbeer.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Narberth

Beer Experts The Greeks Next Door The vast selection here exceeds 900 beers, and the knowledgeable staff is a bonus. Half-price growlers are a draw on Mondays. 237 Haverford Ave., Narberth, (610) 664-1960, www.thegreeksnextdoor.com.

Fresh Lunch Options Homemade For a fast, flavorful sandwich, think hots (brisket, eggplant Parm), colds (chicken salad, a classic Italian), creative burgers, and four chicken-cutlet variations. Salads, too. 106 N. Essex Ave., Narberth, (484) 270-8328, www.homemadeinnarberth.com.

The Greeks Next Door in Narberth. Photo by Jared Castaldi.International Delights Coco Thai Bistro Standouts from this BYOB’s diverse menu include sweet coconut soup, Thai beef skewers, and the ginger-tilapia hot pot. Everything is made to order, and vegetarian is always an option. Try the homemade ice cream. 231 Haverford Ave., Narberth, (610) 667-7634, www.cocobistro.com.

Party Pickup Stop The Cheese Company  We opted for a French plate with Morbier, Bûcheron, Brie, Bleu d'Auvergne and Saint-Nectaire. Or go light on the cheese with a Mediterranean-inspired arrangement of stuffed grape leaves, marinated artichokes, mixed olives and feta. The shop also does gift baskets of all types. 217 Haverford Ave., Narberth, (610) 667-3663, www.thecheeseco.com.

Pastries Le Petit Mitron The traditional assortment here includes breakfast pastries, biscuits, cookies, candies, cakes and much more. Their buttery almond croissants and rich éclairs are old school in the best sense. 207 Haverford Ave., Narberth, (484) 562-0500, www.lepetitmitronpa.com.

Spicy-Food Mecca Carmine’s Creole Café Act Two New Orleans native John Mims doesn’t shy away from heat. In fact, it defines his menu, from the blackened shrimp rémoulade with Tabasco pickles, to the shrimp-and-crawfish étouffée and she-crab bisque, to the andouille-sausage-and-shrimp jambalaya. 232 Woodbine Ave., Narberth, (610) 660-0160, www.carminesacttwo.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Phoenixville

Baristas Soltane Breads and Spreads From quickie cortados to leisurely pour-overs, Soltane’s staff handles coffee with the utmost care and a well-informed appreciation for its history. 138 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 933-1819, www.camphillsoltane.org/breadsandspreads.

Beer Scene VIP Steve Armstrong, Armstrong Ales  Home-brewer-turned-pro Steve Armstrong offers eclectic, craft-brewed blends in his tasting room and by the growler. Malty, fruity, hoppy, floral … It’s all there. We’re partial to his Scrupulous Lupulus IPA. 1000 Hollingsworth Drive, Phoenixville, (484) 639-7607, www.armstrongales.com.

Bread Sweet Water Baking Company  Baked in a brick oven at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, with help from students with developmental disabilities, this crusty stuff has a delightfully chewy texture. It’s available at the Camphill’s on-site café, plus local stores and farmers’ markets. 1601 Pughtown Road, Kimberton, (610) 935-1060, www.camphillkimberton.org/bakery.

Nightlife Scene Bistro on Bridge More is better at Bistro on Bridge. A massive craft-beer list, fun cocktails, a tasty contemporary menu, happy-hour specials, a daily (and super-hot) ghost-wing challenge, karaoke on Wednesdays, live music on Thursdays, pub crawls, tap takeovers, season-specific good times … We’re pretty sure we missed something. 210 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-7141, www.bistroonbridge.com.Bridge Street Chocolates in Phoenixville. Photo by Jared Castaldi.

Sweet Escape Bridge Street Chocolates Chocolate-covered blueberries, red-velvet truffles and spicy chocolate bark are just a few of the decadent goodies crafted with obvious enthusiasm by the talented Gail Warner. 158 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-8100, www.bridgestreetchocolates.com.

Thai Thai L’Elephant Chef Nui Kullanna’s version of traditional Thai cuisine is replete with eye-catching modernist touches and French technique. Dishes like mi krop with salmon roe, young peppercorn cat-fish, and roasted duckling with sweet tamarind and mango are nothing less than captivating. Dare we say she has reinvented Thai cuisine? 301 Bridge St., Phoenixville, (610) 935-8613, www.thailelephant.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: Wayne

Bartenders 333 Belrose Bar & Grill  Eating bar-side is never a downscale experience at this Main Line favorite, thanks to a friendly, top-flight staff, great cocktails like the Shea Grey (Finlandia pink grapefruit vodka, Cointreau, and a splash of white grapefruit juice), an extensive wine list, and a mod-continental menu that never disappoints. 333 Belrose Lane, Wayne, (610) 293-1000, www.333belrose.com.

Beer Distributor The Beeryard Check out these numbers: 2,172 beers, 141 varieties, 681 breweries in 53 countries. If we did our math correctly, you’d have to drink almost six beers a day for a year to sample everything. 218 E. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-3431, www.beeryard.com.

333 Belrose's Bud Shea. Photo by Jared CastaldiCoffee Gryphon Cafe It’s all about variety at Gryphon, whether it’s the chocolaty, malty Home Brew Blend, the fruity Peru Cajamarca, or myriad variations in between. 105 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-1988, www.gryphoncoffee.com.

Mexican Matador Restaurante Big flavors find their way onto small plates at Matador—like lamb chops stuffed with herbed goat cheese, chorizo quesadillas, chicken with dried fruit and mole, and ceviche. Kick off your meal like a regular, with guacamole (made tableside) and a guava margarita. 110 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-6282, www.matadorrestaurante.com.

Restaurant Experience Teresa’s Next Door  Tell us something we don’t know: Teresa’s has superb food, an extensive beverage selection, and a knowledgeable staff. Our favorite triple threat: fried artichokes, drunken mussels with fries, and a toothsome sugar waffle. 124 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 293-9909, www.teresascafe.com.

Sushi O-toro The sashimi is outstanding, but it’s the sushi rolls that truly set this place apart. If you must pick two, try the Sunflower and the locally inspired Louella. 629 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 254-0777, www.o-toro.com.

2014 Best of the Towns: West Chester

Bar Side Bar & Restaurant From chocolate-roasted stouts to hoppy IPAs, you’ll always find a new beer to love at this downtown staple. The cosmopolitans are note-worthy, as are the $3 craft beers during happy hour. 10 E. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 429-8297, www.sidebarandrestaurant.com.

Burgers Billy Burger and Bakery Bill McConnell’s classic patties are being fervently consumed by a growing legion of devotees. Folks swear by the Black Angus beef burger, the Carnivore, and the Philly cheesesteak burger. 2 N. Five Points Road, West Chester, (610) 431-3100, www.billyburgerandbakery.com.Baco Taco's Vegging Out Taco. Photo by Steve Legato.

BYOB Roots Cafe At Roots’ new location, dinner is prepared three nights a week based on what’s available from CSA shares. Delicious, locally sourced dishes include a deviled-egg trio, chorizo meatballs, and smoked-trout carbonara. 133 E. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 455-0100, www.rootscafewc.com.

Healthy Eating Baco Juice & Taco Bar This hip new meeting spot serves smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, and hearty breakfast fare like quinoa porridge and house-made granola. There’s even a walk-up window. Try the signature Baco Juice—orange and carrot juices with ginger. 8 W. Gay St., West Chester, (610) 436-4177www.bacojuiceandtaco.com.

Tacos Más Mexicali Cantina Already known for its killer margaritas and a pulsing roof deck, Más has turned its focus on the food in recent months. The result is its new “Mexicali Fresh” concept, embodied in mixed taco trays that are perfect for sharing (or the big appetite). We’ve overindulged in the traditional shredded chicken —so juicy it’s downright sloppy—and the battered cod topped with Baja slaw. 102 E. Market St., West Chester, (610) 918-6280, www.masmexicali.com.

 

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