17 Local Comfort Foods to Satisfy Your Cozy Cravings

It's OK to eat your feelings. FOOD

Staying home this winter? Cozy up with quintessential comfort foods like chicken pot pie, ramen, grilled cheese, poutine and more.

The draw of comfort food is always strong in cold weather, and even stronger lately given the state of affairs. It’s OK to eat your feelings sometimes. Honest. And no matter what your appetite, somewhere within a short drive of your home, you’re likely to be able to satisfy that craving.


1. Chicken Pot Pie

Dan’s Bar-B-Qued Chicken at the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market makes their chicken pot pie right on the premises, so it’s as fresh as can be and they come in large and small sizes, depending on the crowd you need to feed. As far as chicken goes, Dan’s has been serving up rotisserie chicken, wings and ribs since 1955, so you know it’s going to be delicious.


2. Baked Lasagna

It’s an indisputable fact that lasagna is comfort food. It’s also an indisputable fact that the homemade fare at DiMaio’s will never leave you hungry. The lasagna is just layers of tomato, mozzarella and ricotta cheese in a savory meat sauce. Lasagna is a lot of work; order theirs instead!


3. Chicken and Waffles

Depending on which Bayou location you frequent, you’ll get a sweet or savory rendition of chicken and waffles, whether that’s at dinner or brunch. In Easton, it’s served on the sweet side, with honey butter and pickled fruit, and in Bethlehem, with plain butter and pickled fruit. Either way, you get a bourbon maple syrup, so you can’t lose.


4. Burnt Ends

There’s something satisfying about the burny bits of anything you cook—it’s where all the savory goodness gets concentrated. That’s also true for the point, or end of the smoked beef brisket: it’s where all the best things about smoky barbecue flavor and texture are concentrated. Point Phillips does a brisk business in the burnt ends of brisket; they’re offered every Thursday, with two sides, and often sell out. You’ve been warned!


5. Crab Fries

Sure, you can order their French fries, but if you can order the Market fries, please do. They’re just the right consistency, freshly cut and topped with an amazing crab aioli with herbs and Old Bay and crab. Not a visit to 3rd and Ferry goes by without ordering them.


6. Burger

When chef Jeremy Bialker put peanut butter on a burger around the time Two Rivers Brewing Company first opened, it raised eyebrows. And now it’s an award-winning signature item. Locals can’t get enough of the Peanut Butter Bacon Cheddar Burger—maybe it’s the way the peanut butter offers another dimension of umami along with the beef and smoky bacon, contrasting the pickled red onions and chili gastrique.


7. Pizza

You ought to be able to have pizza at your favorite beer joint, and the Tavern on Liberty offers a notch above what you’d expect, on both counts. The 10-inch gourmet Fresca personal pizza is on point: Roma tomatoes, basil and asiago, mozzarella cheeses. Thin enough, with a crispy crust.


8. Tacos

Bring all your taco-based cravings to Mi Pueblito, a little roadside spot where the tacos are creative, plentiful and often on sale (Taco Tuesday, naturally). You’ll also find other faves, such as quesadillas, tostadas, nachos and more, all loaded with fresh toppings and tons of flavor. Remember, Mi Pueblito is cash-only.


9. French Onion Soup Dumplings

Chef Steve Kershner struck on some bit of culinary genius when he took the concept of French onion soup—itself a comfort food—and streamlined it for Twisted Olive, packing the flavor into the broth and dumplings. French onion soup will never be the same again—nor will dumplings.


10. Milk Rolls

This bit of Japanese deliciousness is exactly what it sounds like: slightly sweet, totally soft and completely delicious. Notch Modern Kitchen & Bar’s milk rolls are served alongside the fried chicken, but chef Tyler Baxter says the kitchen makes crostini out of them for the kimchi hummus, and they’ve been doing flatbreads with it occasionally for specials. So, there’s more than one way to indulge in your milk-rolls love.


11. Lobster Bisque

Marblehead Chowder House calls this “the aristocrat of soups,” which you can get here for a reasonable price—this is especially great when you consider the market fluctuation of lobster! It’s creamy and has visible pieces of lobster—ask for a shot of sherry.


12. Grilled Cheese

Everything at Mitzi’s is some iteration of comfort food, but let’s talk about the grilled cheese. Why have one or two cheeses if you can have four? That’s the case for this sandwich dubbed Greg’s 4-Cheese Grilled Cheese. And if you’re going to pack it with American, cheddar, Swiss and provolone, the bread needs to be substantive Texas toast. Tomato bisque comes on the side because why would you want it any other way?


13. Poutine

Take your potato craving to The Flying V and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day. Start with the classic—gravy, crispy fries and Wisconsin cheese curds—and come back another time for the Montreal.


14. Ramen

Using the same modus operandi as their restaurant Bolete, Erin Shea and Lee Chizmar’s noodle joint at the Easton Public Market incorporates fresh, local ingredients into every bowl. Once you’ve slurped the standard Mister Lee’s warm bowl of noodles in a mushroom-pork dashi, with local greens and a 60-minute egg, you’ll leave the packaged dried noodles—and their powdery seasoning packet—in the dust. Seasonal offerings are great, too.


15. Cheesecake

The Mama’s Cheesecake at Sette Luna is the lightest, most amazing cheesecake you will ever eat. It’s a 100 percent, top-secret family recipe of owner Josh Palmer’s and the cheesecake dissolves in your mouth—-it’s that ethereal. Order this after pasta, share with a loved one and don't regret a single bite.


16. Carrot Cake

There’s carrot cake, and then there’s the carrot cake at Top Cut. This is a towering, three-layer confection, with so much carrot flavor (starting with roasted carrots!), topped with candied pecans, and a vanilla cream cheese icing to hold it all together. It redefines a classic.


17. Pudding

Forget everything you know about pudding that comes out of a box. Go to Khanisa’s and try the banana pudding. Or any of her family’s puddings. Or get a pudding sundae with a waffle. But how many times do we have to say pudding before you believe us?!


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