Founded in 1741 on Christmas Eve by members of the Moravian Church, Bethlehem, also known by its nickname “Christmas City,” became a center for colonial and mid-19th century industrialization, was home to the second-largest steel production company, Bethlehem Steel Corporation, and hosts several annual music festivals, including the Bethlehem Bach Festival and Musikfest. It’s also home to Christkindlmarkt, a festive outdoor Christmas market.
Bethlehem has several restaurants specializing in classic American cuisine. However, several establishments offer international dining options, including Italian, Levantine, Malaysian, and Greek dishes. These Bethlehem restaurants have their unique atmospheres, and you’re bound to find something to enjoy since most are within walking distance.
However, you might have this question on your mind: which restaurants should I look out for? Luckily, I compiled a list of the best restaurants in Bethlehem you consider visiting for the best dining experience. That way, you can spend less time getting lost and more time sampling the best food Christmas City has to offer.
Best Restaurants in Bethlehem
- Jenny’s Kuali
- Tre Scalini
- Bethlehem Brew Works
- Edge Restaurant
- The Bayou
- The Bookstore Speakeasy
- Olive Branch
- 1741 on the Terrace
- Social Still
- Twisted Olive
- Yianni’s Taverna
- Blue Grillhouse
- Apollo Grill
- Copperhead Grille
- Emeril’s Chop House
102 E 4th St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Are you in the mood for Malaysian food? If so, then check out Jenny’s Kuali, located on East 4th Street in Bethlehem’s south side. Run and operated by Jenny and Roy Lim, this eatery is one of the best Bethlehem restaurants for locals and visitors looking for vegetarian menu options. They also encourage BYOB for any weekend occasion.
Jeny’s Kuali serves several healthy dishes with fresh ingredients. I recommend trying their Dim Sum, Beef Rendang, Chicken Szechuan, Prawn Mee Soup, and Nasi Goreng. Don’t forget to try their Thai, bubble, or Malaysia black tea to complement the spicier menu options.
221 E Broad St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Located off East Broad Street, minutes away from the Lehigh & Keystone Valley Model Railroad Museum and Friendship Park, Tre Scalini is an upscale Italian restaurant with a rustic and warm feel. Chef Santo creates dishes inspired by his Sicilian upbringing. They also incorporate “Bring Your Own Bottle” dining, so it would be wise to ask how much they limit and permit.
Tre Scalini offers indoor and weather-permitting outdoor dining for its patrons. In addition, they offer several delectable Italian dishes, including Rigatoni Alla Norma, Linguine Tarrantina, Tre Scalini Bolognese, and Spaghetti Alla Gricia. They also offer daily meat and fish dinner specials, making it ideal for a night out every Tuesday through Saturday.
Bethlehem Brew Works
559 Main St #101, Bethlehem, PA 18018
This local brewery is another go-to spot where to get food in Bethlehem. Located off the corner of Main Street and West Broad Street, Bethlehem Brew Works has a lively atmosphere for any occasion. This is an ideal spot to make your trip to Bethlehem worthwhile, from having a quick bite after a busy week or enjoying happy hour.
I recommend their smoked meatloaf sandwich, chicken cheesesteak, Pig Iron pulled pork, and Brewer’s Meatloaf. They also have vegetarian options, such as their cauliflower burger or High Gravity mac & cheese. Their Maya June and Espresso Zinger martinis are a sweet addition to any meal.
322 E 3rd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Don’t know where to eat in Bethlehem if you’re in the mood for authentic Italian food? Thankfully, Molinari’s might be the place for you. Nestled between East 3rd Street and Polk Street, this upscale eatery offers high-quality pasta and pizza. They also have an extensive wine and spirits menu.
Their daily-made in-house pasta includes baked rigatoni, bucatini, and canestri. In addition, I recommend Molinari’s Margherita, Funghi, or Sicilian pizza, each cooked to perfection in a wood-burning oven. I also recommend trying their grilled octopus or Calabrian shrimp as a starter and Fever Tree Ginger Beer or Le Baladin Cola to complete your dining experience.
1740 Seidersville Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Bolete is a restaurant specializing in American fare, located on Seidersville Road, near the merging crossroads. Chef Lee and his team create scratch sauces, pasta, and stocks for their daily dishes and use the most up-to-date burner stoves to ensure quality. Its upscale yet rustic atmosphere makes it the perfect place for a relaxing meal or drink at their full bar.
I recommend their halibut ceviche tacos or gazpacho as a first course and Maine lobster roll, Bolete’s Kreeky Tree Fried chicken, or deep-dish pizza as a second course. Try their apple cobbler or strawberry cheesecake profiteroles if you have room for dessert.
74 W Broad St Suite 220, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Located on West Broad Street, in the heart of downtown Bethlehem, Edge Restaurant is another restaurant I recommend checking out during your next trip to the city. It has an upscale casual atmosphere and a wide selection of wines for you to sample. In addition, Executive Chef Timothy Widrick creates several Asian and French-inspired dishes with bold flavors.
Edge Restaurant has extensive lunch and dinner menus. I recommend their Thai chicken curry, vegetable and jasmine rice bowl, and penne pasta. They also offer happy hour every Monday through Saturday from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Finish your night off with a house-made sorbet or hummingbird cake for dessert.
702 Hawthorne Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18018
The Bayou is one of the best Bethlehem restaurants if you want to experience a unique take on New Orleans cuisine. Located on the corner of Hawthorne Road and East North Street, this chic and rustic restaurant offers a comfortable dining experience for its visitors.
Whether you stop by for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch, The Bayou has several dishes that entice your taste buds. I recommend their bayou burger, crab-stuffed shrimp, jambalaya, bayou omelet, and cast-iron pierogies. Don’t forget to try their specialty cocktails, such as Cucumber Fizz, Blue Bayou, or Voodoo Juice. The Bayou also offers catering for any occasion.
The Bookstore Speakeasy
336 Adams St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
The Bookstore Speakeasy, located off the corner of Adams Street and Fourth Street, is a go-to restaurant you should visit if you want to eat in a vintage setting. Its atmosphere recreates the speakeasies of the 1920s, complete with Prohibition-era cocktails and live jazz every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They also offer private events for dinner, brunch, and cocktail gatherings.
Their dinner menu consists of small, shareable American fare. I recommend trying the black truffle fries, chicken skewers, Bourbon-glazed salmon, and assorted cheese board. In my opinion, their best cocktail options include Peanut Butter Bourbon Fizz, Green Daisy, Grace O’Malley, and The Casablanca.
355 Broadway, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Olive Branch lies nestled between Broadway and Carlton Avenue. It’s a casual yet elegant restaurant specializing in Levantine and Middle Eastern cuisine recipes passed down for generations. It also serves homemade pastries and freshly brewed Arabic coffee, making it the perfect spot for lunch or dinner.
I recommend trying Olive Branch’s Grilled Samke Harra, lamb burger, Shawarma, and falafel platter with Middle Eastern fries, rice, Fattoush salad, or a kebab skewer (beef, chicken, or lamb) as a side dish. Their go-to beverage options include Arabic or American coffee and herbal tea. Don’t forget to ask about their daily dessert options.
1741 on the Terrace
437 Main St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Located in the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, overlooking Main Street, 1741 on the Terrace offers New-American cuisine served in a stylish and elegant environment. They offer 90-minute breakfast, lunch, and dinner dining options and menus for high-quality beer, wine, and cocktails.
The best items on their menu I recommend include French toast for breakfast, BBQ pulled pork for lunch and grilled filet mignon for dinner. I also recommend trying their Moravian Manhattan, RumPearStiltskin, or Rose Bud cocktails. They also offer a late-night Friday and Saturday menu from 10 PM to 11 PM, including hummus with pita, Hotel B cheesesteak, and margarita gluten-free flatbread.
530 E 3rd St, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Another one of the best restaurants in Bethlehem includes Social Still, found within the south side on East 3rd Street. Social Still combines sophisticated dining with a colorful and industrial backdrop with its complementary distilling equipment. If you’re in the mood for a mid-day or late-night meal, it’s open every Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 10 PM.
Social Still specializes in creating premium spirits and cocktails, such as Social Gimlet, Smooch Cosmo, and Cucumber Lemon Drop. Their top dishes I recommend include Nova Scotia salmon, southside chili cheese dogs, and heirloom tomato tart. Finish your evening with in style their carrot cake or Thai-style rice pudding.
51 W Broad St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
If you’re walking past West Broad Street, consider stopping by the Twisted Olive for your next lunch or dinner. Chef Steve Kershner specializes in creating international dishes that keep every visitor’s dining experience fresh. He’s also cooked for several famous icons and was voted “Leigh Valley’s Favorite Chef” in 2009, 2011, and 2014 by Style Magazine.
Some international dishes Twisted Olive offers include Italian, Thai, Spanish, and Moroccan. My favorite dishes of theirs include grass-finished ribeye, grilled veggie pizza, pork belly salad, and pan-roasted barramundi. Don’t forget to check their drink menu for fig and fennel bourbon, red or white wines, and seasonal draft beers.
3760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Yianni’s Taverna qualifies as one of the best Bethlehem restaurants because of its traditional Greek and European cuisine and vibrant yet simple aesthetic. It’s located on the corner of Old Philadelphia Pike and Seidersville Road. They also host private parties and offer catering services.
Some Greek dishes that caught my attention include moussaka, pastitsio, chicken gyro, and grilled European sea bass. Yianni’s hosts happy hour Tuesdays through Friday from 4 PM to 6 PM and lets you choose three dishes from their menus. They also offer half-tray options and an extensive wine and cocktail menu. My favorite cocktail selections include strawberry and paloma.
4431 Easton Ave, Bethlehem, PA 18020
If you’re interested in sampling the best steakhouse menu options Bethlehem has to offer, then the Blue Grillhouse is one destination you shouldn’t miss. It’s on Easton Avenue, a short distance away from the Pharo Garden Centre. It has a sleek and modern atmosphere and a covered outdoor patio.
Their most popular menu options for lunch and dinner include grilled steak burger, pan-seared duck breast, and porterhouse Angus steak. In addition, they offer BBQ glazed chicken breasts, huevos rancheros, and stuffed French toast if you want to stop by for Sunday brunch. You can also browse their martini, cocktail, and dessert menu to spice up your night.
85 W Broad St, Bethlehem, PA 18018
Apollo Grill, located on West Broad Street, has a comfortable, friendly, and sophisticated atmosphere for visitors interested in quality American entrees. They raised over $350,000 for several downtown charities. Apollo Grill hosts happy hour every “Therapeutic Thursday” from 5 PM to 7 PM, with a celebrity bartender twice each month.
Apollo Grill’s menu includes a wide selection of wine, beer, cocktails, and entrees. I recommend selecting their udon noodles, sesame-crusted Ahi tuna, and New York strip. They also offer Saturday brunch. Other special events they host include Historic Bethlehem Restaurant Week and Lobster Week. Don’t forget to join their Wine Club to receive three exclusive wine bottles per month for three months.
5737 PA-378, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Are you looking for a restaurant specializing in sports dining? If so, check out the Copperhead Grille, located on Route 378, off the corner of Preston Lane and Old Bethlehem Pike. This upscale sports bar offers quality American fare in a lively environment for any sports lover.
I recommend trying their pork baby back ribs, Chimmi Baconfest Burger, and blackened fish tacos. If you have room for dessert, try their seven-layer chocolate cake or funnel cake fried Oreos. They also have vegetarian and low-gluten menu options to match your dietary needs. Join their frequent dining rewards program for food or beverage discounts and access to members-only events.
Emeril’s Chop House
77 Wind Creek Blvd, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Last but not least on my list of where to eat in Bethlehem is Emeril’s Chop Shop, located in the Outlets on Wind Creek Boulevard. It has a modern upscale atmosphere that makes it stand out from traditional steakhouses. It also won Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” in 2019 for its extensive wine and cocktail menus.
In my opinion, their best entrees include sweet potato ricotta ravioli, Wagyu striploin, and Australian lamb chops. I also recommend their crabcakes or escargot as a starter and their tiramisu or peanut butter pie for dessert. Their Rosy Grapefruit and Mango Crush cocktails complement any menu option.
As you can see, Bethlehem offers several a wide selection of places where you can enjoy your favorite dishes and try new ones. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new favorite after considering the choices I narrowed down on this list.
Don’t see any of your favorite restaurants on this list? Please comment below and let us know about your favorite Bethlehem eateries and your favorite specialty dishes. I’d love to check them out!
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