One of the joys of working at Lancaster County magazine is seeing the results of our “Best of Lancaster” Readers’ Survey before anyone else does. There are times when we say, “Wow, we didn’t expect [name of restaurant/business/doctor] to get so many votes!” There also are times when we say, “What do you mean [name of restaurant/business/doctor] isn’t in the Top 5?!” We are constantly surprised by what voters pick – and don’t pick – as their favorites.
Because the “Best of Lancaster” Readers’ Survey is a true READERS’ survey, we don’t mess with the results when your preferences don’t mesh with ours. (Of course, to avoid conflict of interest, the Lancaster County magazine staff doesn’t participate in the survey.)
But this year, to celebrate the survey’s 25th edition – and after all the votes have been tallied and recorded – a few of us on staff agreed to share some of our favorites:
Sue Long, editor:
- Dinner: I can’t choose just one! The Belvedere, FENZ, Greenfield Restaurant & Bar and Ciro’s are my faves.
- Pub/Bar: The bar at the Stockyard Inn. Great burgers. Delish martinis.
- Fitness/Sports Club: Hempfield Rec Center. The aqua-aerobics instructors helped me to lose 50 pounds. Thanks Deb, Louise, Mindy, Tara and Wendy (and Rafie).
- Shoes: The Bon-Ton. Donald J. Pliner is my foot fetish!
- Garden Center: Groff’s Plant Farm near Quarryville. It’s so worth the drive!
Stephanie Musser, account representative:
- Beer Selection: Spring House Brewing Co. Mint Chocolate Chip Stout – a beer that tastes like dessert!
- Baked Goods: Achenbach’s Pastries. We’re trying out the Vanilla Long John Cake this year for my son’s birthday party!
- Ice Cream: Lapp Valley Farm. Creamy ice cream in a fresh waffle cone? I’m in!
- Fair/Festival: Oregon Dairy’s Family Farm Days with my little boys!
- Fine/Custom Jewelry: Parkhill Jewelry. Great selection with friendly, small-town service.
Melissa Kashner, assistant editor:
- Farm Market/Pick-Your-Own: Brecknock Orchard. Try the homegrown apples right now; come back next season for peaches, blueberries and black raspberries.
- Coffee/Tea Shop: Cross Keys Coffee & Tea. Want a fast yet sophisticated cup of coffee or tea, but without the pretense and price? Head here.
- Fashion Accessories: Ten Thousand Villages. The selection is fair-trade, affordable and fabulous.
- Fair/Festival: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. Fall wouldn’t be complete without pastries from the Greek bazaar.
- Word That Best Describes Lancaster County: Historic. It’s mind-boggling how much this area has shaped the United States and even the world.