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Wilkes-Barre Restaurants You Should Try This Weekend

Where to get delicious food around the city.

Whether stopping by for the day or planning an extended stay, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, offers visitors a variety of great eats, delicious drinks, and good times. As a long-time fan of W-B, I’ve discovered all the best spots. Whether you’re looking for a fancy night out on the town or something simple the whole family can enjoy, the Diamond City will deliver.

One fun fact about Wilkes-Barre is that it’s incredibly pedestrian-friendly. You can park downtown and easily walk to just about any restaurant on the list.

Plus, the food options are much more varied here than many people realize. You’ll find Japanese, Mexican, Turkish, and other fare from around the world. It offers the culinary cuisine of a major metropolitan area but with the charm and comfort of a small town.

group of people eating at a restaurant in Wilkes-Barre

No matter what you’re hungry for, Wilkes-Barre satisfies. Your complete guide to the best restaurants in Wilkes-Barre starts right now!

Best Restaurants in Wilkes-Barre

  1. Cafe Toscana
  2. El Rey Azteca Mexican Restaurant
  3. Cork Bar and Restaurant
  4. Gerry’s Pizzeria
  5. La Toiteca Mexican Restaurant
  6. Thai Thai Restaurant
  7. Anthracite Cafe
  8. Bank+Vine
  9. Breaker Brewing Company
  10. Istanbul Grill
  11. Mirakuya Japanese Restaurant
  12. Rustic Kitchen Bistro & Bar
  13. Shogun Japanese Restaurant
  14. Ruth’s Chris Steak House
  15. Nucleus Raw Foods
  16. Philly Halal Gyro
  17. Jonathans Restaurant

Cafe Toscana

1 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 570-208-1252

Featuring light, scrumptious Mediterranean dishes, Café Toscana is one of my top picks for lunch in Wilkes-Barre. Menu items include pasta, salads, soup, chicken, and veal. I suggest you try the homemade Ravioli di Asparagi.

Café Toscana is located in the middle of Public Square Park, found at the crossroads of East Market Street and North Main Street. It’s a convenient spot for anyone shopping downtown or attending a show at the FM Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.

Aside from the delicious food, they also boast an impressive wine collection, including over 20 white wines from Italy. It’s a fun, festive place perfect for a night out or a quick lunch.


El Rey Azteca Mexican Restaurant

681 Kidder St, Wilkes-Barre Township, PA 1870
Phone: 570-829-4900
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If you’re looking for authentic Mexican dishes, check out El Rey Azteca, located just west of the Wyoming Valley Mall. They offer a huge array of dishes for lunch and dinner, including burritos, enchiladas, fajitas, and more.

Siblings Gaston and Betsy Romero craft each dish from family recipes that have been passed down for generations. New items are added monthly, so no matter how often you visit, you’ll always find new foods to try. Aside from lunch and dinner, El Rey Azteca is also an awesome place to enjoy margaritas with friends.


Cork Bar and Restaurant

463 Madison St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
Phone: 570-270-3818
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Enjoy fresh salads and seafood at Cork Bar, which you’ll find at the intersection of Elm Street and Madison Street, between Sacred Heart Parish and Saint Mary’s School. While the menu is packed with delicious dishes, I recommend the New Orleans Crab Cake, a jumbo-sized dish fit for the most ravenous appetites.

The Cork Bar also has some of the coolest COVID-safe seating anywhere in the state. You can dine inside a private igloo that seats up to eight people. Each igloo is cozy, comfortable, and private. Note that reservations are required if you want an igloo, and they tend to fill up quickly, especially on weekends and holidays.


Gerry’s Pizzeria

496 Carey Ave, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Phone: 570-829-2919

If you’re in the mood for some ‘za, head over to Gerry’s Pizzeria, conveniently located at the intersection of Carey Avenue and Horton Street. They offer all types of toppings, including several vegetarian options. It’s one of the best Wilkes-Barre restaurants for pizza pie.

One thing I love about Gerry’s is the different sizes available. If I’m by myself, I’ll order a mini pizza, which is nine inches across and consists of four slices. But when I’m with a group of friends, we’ll get a large 16-inch pizza, which has enough slices to feed the whole gang.


La Toiteca Mexican Restaurant

200 Mundy St, Wilkes-Barre Township, PA 18702
Phone: 570-825-5001
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When I’m in the mood for Mexican food, La Toiteca is one of my favorite places to eat. While everything on the menu is delicious, I always recommend their fajitas; a mouth-watering treat served in a sizzling skillet.

La Toiteca is easy to find, too. It’s located just down the street from El Rey Azteca, near Spring Street. If you don’t feel like dining in the restaurant, everything they offer, including margaritas, is available to order online.


Thai Thai Restaurant

41 S Main St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 570-824-9599
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The Thai food here is so nice; they named it twice! You’ll find Thai Thai Restaurant between South River Street and South Pennsylvania Avenue, just a few blocks west of Coal Street Park.

They’re open for lunch and dinner. Some of my personal favorites from the menu include their Fried Tofu and Thai Fish Cakes. Each dish isn’t just delicious; it’s also a visual treat for the eyes.

One noteworthy aspect of Thai Thai is the huge vegetarian menu, which features spring rolls, tofu soup, and other meat-free dishes.


Anthracite Cafe

804 Scott St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
Phone: 570-822-4677
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When you’re in the mood for burgers and brews, head over the Anthracite Café, a casual and fun restaurant, and beer garden. You’ll find a wealth of comfort foods such as cheeseburgers, chicken wings, mac and cheese, and more.

If you’re a fan of microbrews, the Anthracite Café will seem like a little slice of heaven. Not only do they have a huge selection, but the knowledgeable staff is ready with recommendations. Every time I stop by, I end up trying something new!

Stop by on Tuesday for their two-for-one dinner special. You can get two entrees and an appetizer for just $28.


Bank+Vine

268 S Main St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 570-901-4040
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Sophisticated but unpretentious, B+V is an excellent spot for a romantic dinner, birthday celebration, or other special get-togethers. The menu features a variety of fresh seafood and vegetable dishes.

At the helm, you’ll find Chef Chad Gelso, a world-renowned chef and former Hell’s Kitchen contestant. He’s a pioneer in the concept of farm-to-table dining and has developed dishes that showcase local produce at the peak of freshness.

Bank+Vine is located in downtown Wilkes-Barre at the corner of East Ross Street and South Main Street. It’s one block north of the Post Office and about a block away from Bishop Hoban High School.


Breaker Brewing Company

787 E Northampton St, Wilkes-Barre Township, PA 18702
Phone: 570-392-9078
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The Breaker Brewing Company is one of my favorite places to grab a drink after work or on a weekend afternoon. They have 11 beers on tap plus a wide selection of cans and bottles. If you’re not sure what to drink, try their sampler, which offers 16 different beers in five-ounce glasses for just $16.

But more than great brews, they also have delicious dishes for lunch, dinner, and snacks, including Pretzel-n-Dip, Artisan Pizza, Mac and Cheese, and more. My personal favorite is the Minefire Turkey Panini, which is made with the restaurant’s own Minefire jam.

You’ll find Breaker Brewing along East Northampton Street, between Slattery Street and Spencer Street.


Istanbul Grill

40 S Main St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 570-822-0222
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Enjoy the traditional taste of Istanbul at the Istanbul Grill, located just south of the Susquehanna River near South Main Street and East Market Street.

Whether you’re already a fan of Turkish food or you’re interested in trying something new, you’ll find loads to like at the Istanbul Grill. Some of my favorites include the Lamb Shish Kebabs, the Chicken Adana, and Mediterranean Sea Bass (called Levrek).

When you go, don’t skip dessert. Their baklava, a traditional dish made with phyllo dough and ground walnuts, is one of my favorite treats in town.


Mirakuya Japanese Restaurant

695 Kidder St, Wilkes-Barre Township, PA 1870
Phone: 570-820-0901
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I’ve actually heard folks say Wilkes-Barre doesn’t have any good Japanese restaurants! Clearly, they don’t know where to eat because Mirakuya is a fantastic restaurant for sushi, sashimi, and cocktails.

The ambiance is authentic and exciting, with hibachi grills, authentic music, and more. If you’re looking to save, I recommend going on Tuesdays, when you’ll get a free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees. Parents will want to dine on Wednesday when the restaurant throws in a free kid’s meal for every two adult dinners purchased.

Mirakuya is located along Kidder Street, just one block west of the Wyoming Valley Mall. They’re open for both lunch and dinner. During the week, their hours are 11 am to 2:30 pm, and then 3:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Weekend hours are slightly different; they’re open from 11 am until 10 pm on Saturdays and from 12 pm to 9 pm on Sundays.


Rustic Kitchen Bistro & Bar

1280 Hwy 315 Blvd, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Phone: 570-824-6600
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When you want to impress your dining companions, take them to Rustic Kitchen, winner of Boston Magazine’s Best New Restaurant and Sante Magazine’s Best New England Bistro. They’re also the 2020 Traveler’s Choice from Tripadvisor.

Their Wilkes-Barre location seats over 250 people in four different dining rooms. Their Main Dining Room accommodates large groups, while their Private Wine Room allows you and your date the opportunity to spend time away from the crowds.  

They offer a wide range of classic favorites such as Filet Mignon, Chicken Marsala, and Beef Ravioli. Probably my favorite dish is the Chicken Parmesan. Of course, you can’t forget their Crispy Fried Calamari appetizers.

Rustic Kitchen is located within the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, just one block south of the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Convention Center.


Shogun Japanese Restaurant

1073 Highway 315 Blvd, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Phone: 570-270-9168
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Every March, a small group of friends and I hit up the Shogun Japanese Restaurant for the birthday special. If you visit within one week of your birthday, you get $10 off your dinner with the purchase of four entrees.

Their menu features an impressive selection of sushi and sashimi. Everything is delicious, but no matter what entrée I order, my meal just doesn’t feel complete without a bowl of Spicy Tom Yum Soup with Chicken.

Shogun is located near the 170B and 155, making it easy to get to even if you don’t live in town. It’s just a block east of the Laurel Run Creek by the intersection of Route 315 and Laird Street.


Ruth’s Chris Steak House

1280 PA-315, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Phone: 570-208-2266
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Ruth’s Chris Steak House is an American tradition with locations across the country, including this one on Route 315 near the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs.

Steak is what’s on the menu here. You can choose from 11-ounce filet, 16-ounce ribeye, 40-ounce porterhouse, and more. They also offer lighter fare such as stuffed chicken breast, garlic-crusted sea bass, and sizzling crab cakes.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably wondered what’s up with the weird name. In 1976, Ruth Fertel owned a restaurant called the Chris Steak House. Due to a legal issue, she had to change the name but wanted something her customers would still recognize.


Nucleus Raw Foods

67-69 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 570-550-1860
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When I first moved to Wilkes-Barre, I admit I was hesitant to try this place because I wasn’t sure what “raw foods” were. As it turns out, I was a fool for staying away! Nucleus Raw Foods is one of the best restaurants in Wilkes-Barre because there’s simply nothing else like it.

Their menu includes sandwiches, salads, vegetable dishes, chick’n, and more. Everything is organic, gluten-free, and prepared fresh at gentle temperatures – no deep freezing here! Additionally, they have an impressive selection of smoothies, including my favorite, the Kale Cheesecake smoothie made of banana, kale, cashew, and lemon.

They’re located along Main Street between Walnut Street and Vaughn Street. I often stop by whenever I’m running errands around town and need a quick energy boost. They’re open from 10 in the morning until four in the afternoon.


Philly Halal Gyro

94 S Pennsylvania Ave, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
Phone: 267-367-1729

Philly Halal Gyro is one of the best restaurants in Wilkes-Barre when you want a quick and tasty bite to eat for lunch or dinner. I usually go for the lamb over rice platter, but I’ve also been known to pick the chicken over rice or the combo pattern.

If you live in the area, you’ll be glad to know they also offer online ordering and local delivery. However, you do have to plan ahead as delivery is only available until six in the evening.

They’re between South Pennsylvania Avenue and South Wilkes Barre Boulevard near Northampton Street. You’ll find them right down the street from the Istanbul Grill.


Jonathans Restaurant

45 N River St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
Phone: 570-371-3463
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Last up is Jonathans Restaurant, a classic fine dining restaurant housed inside an old colonial-style brick building with massive white columns surrounding the front doors. You really can’t miss it. 

Inside is a cozy, sophisticated environment that’s perfect for a romantic dinner or even a large private event thanks to the variety of accommodations available and the spacious nature of the establishment.

I highly recommend the pork osso buco, but if that’s a bit too heavy, you can go with something equally delectable like the caesar salad or the French onion soup. 

Look for Jonathans on North River Street near River Common park, just east of the Market Street Bridge. 


Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking for fine dining or casual fare with the family, you’ll find no shortage of great eats throughout Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Of course, it’s not the only great town in PA for food. 

If you don’t see anything you like here, check out my guides on where to eat in Lancaster and Bethlehem for even more suggestions.Did one of your favorite restaurants get left off the list of where to eat in Wilkes-Barre? Make sure to leave a comment so I can check it out!

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Written by Erin B.

Erin lives in East Passyunk and enjoys checking out the local restaurants in South Philly and beyond. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.