The Unofficial Official Company Guide to Our Hometown
By Genn “with a G” in HR
We’re happy to have you on the team. We put our heads together here at the home base to create this helpful guide to help you get settled into Scranton.There may not be as much going on here as there is in a big, fancy city like Philly, but it has its charms. Scranton has become quite a diverse place but if you go back not too very far you’ll find mostly Irish and Italian influence. Keep going back and this was a hardcore coal-mining town. There’s a tour and everything. More on that later in What to Do, but you know what coal turns into with enough time and pressure, right? Yep, diamonds.
Downtown is really up-and-coming. You’ll find the city square there and the main hub for bars, a few restaurants, and boutiques of all types. Also downtown, if you like Broadway shows and concerts, The Cultural Center—a historic Masonic temple from the 1920s—is the place for that. The Village People, or some of them anyway, are playing there this summer. Last year you should have seen Barb at that show. After a couple of margaritas she really gets over her, um, shyness.
WHERE TO EAT
Henry’s on Clay 1600 Clay Ave.
Henry’s is a fantastic new addition combining a trendy look and classic breakfast and lunch fare, with some exotic options—like a hummus platter. It was started by two young local sisters and is more like something you’d find in New York, not Scranton. We love it.
Scanlan’s 317 Linden St.
A longtime downtown favorite lunch spot. Only during the day. Mrs. Scanlan still greets you to this day, and Paul’s chili should be entered into the national historic register or something as one of Scranton’s contributions to the culinary pantheon.
Coney Island Lunch 515 Lackawanna Ave
This is an outright institution that’s been a favorite since it first opened in 1923. A Scranton staple that serves the best hot dogs and chili. Go for the Texas Weiners. A bit messy, but that’s ok.
You can’t go wrong on your order here but office favorites are the open-face turkey, waffles, and rice pudding.
Chili’s 375 Wyoming Valley Mall
The Chili’s at the Wyoming Valley Mall just over the Lackawanna County line in Wilkes-Barre is where the crew likes to gather when we’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned Tex-Mex after work. Best margaritas in the area (so we need to keep an eye on Barb). Pro tip: Get the margarita of the month. I like strawberry.
Market Street Bar & Grill 223 W Market St.
The burgers are a standout but chef/owner Danielle Robb goes way beyond that, serving hometown classics with a twist in a corner bar environment located in the heart of North Scranton. Always try the specials, which are the most creative concoctions.
Casa Bella 330 W Market St.
Casa Bella doesn’t appear to be anything too special from outside or even when you step inside, but the food is outstanding. It’s an old-school Italian joint and some of the best pasta in town.
Glider Diner 890 Providence Rd.
This is everything you want in a diner—with classic red booths that have seated generations of Scrantonites. It’s no frills and the waitresses are straight to the point but the food is killer. You can’t go wrong on your order here but office favorites are the open-face turkey, waffles, and rice pudding.
Zummo’s Cafe 18 Marion St.
Perfect spot for a coffee break. This was once the site of the most popular penny candy store in town back in the day but has been revamped as a neighborhood coffee shop with good vibes. Also an ideal change of scenery to set up with a laptop and get some work done.
Cooper’s Seafood House 701 N Washington Ave
You’re greeted by a pirate manning a cannon in the parking lot, so you know you’re in for fun time. This place has got floor-to-ceiling nautical memorabilia—floor-to-ceiling—and even a replica whale hanging from the ceiling. You have the try the seafood bisque and the lobster mac and cheese is to die for. The upstairs lighthouse bar can be rented for client parties and this one Christmas we had our party there and the boys from Hammerhill were in and… I will tell you later.
WHERE TO DRINK
You know what I always say? “Work hard, play hard.”
Backyard Ale House 523 Linden St.
A go-to for a night out. With an indoor and outdoor area, it’s known for its wide range of beers and live music. One of the busiest spots downtown.
Ale Mary’s 126 Franklin Ave.
Located on the edge of downtown, Ale Mary’s is the best place to catch an Eagles or Penguins game. The food is your bar-food favorites with some fun, cheesy, fried, decadent twists that will have you heading straight for Uno Fitness the next day.
Poor Richard’s 125 Beech St.
Another great pub to cross off your list is the tucked away treasure Poor Richard’s Pub. Another Irish number known for its great beer, local atmosphere and food that no one is going to complain about.
Whiskey Dick’s 308 N Washington Ave.
This is the no-frills dive bar downtown that many of us go to for pregaming. It’s a tight bar with basic offerings but it’s easy, cheap and simple with the best deals like $3 mini-pitchers of PBR on Fridays and $2 Millers Saturday. Woot.
After a couple of margaritas she really gets over her, um, shyness.
Jack’s Draft House 802 Prescott Ave.
The chef from Scanlan’s opened up Jack’s in the Hill section. It’s a bit off the beaten path being in the middle of a residential area but it encompasses so much of what Scranton is. It’s extremely cozy and homey and “a hidden gem,” as they say. You’ll find yourself drinking beers with the owner and his family for hours if you find yourself up that way.
Harry’s 302 Penn Ave.
Harry’s is run by a young Scranton socialite. A happening spot with live music or jukebox blasting, ping pong tables, comedy shows, darts and tons more going on. Kind of place where everybody goes to with all their old friends when they get into town. Free popcorn machine.
The Bog 341 Adams Ave.
It’s a dark Irish pub with lots of old brick and a fun atmosphere. Brings out an artsy crowd sometimes but it’s always eclectic. It’s a no BS place and always an actual good time with the best bartenders, good beer chalkboard and one of the coolest jukeboxes in town.
WINGS, PIZZA & HOAGIES
You may not know this, Scranton is actually home of the best wings, pizza, and hoagies on the planet. There is a trophy somewhere.
Every neighborhood in Scranton fights for the best in all of these categories and hosts nights dedicated to all types of specials. So it gets its own section here.
Green Ridge Pizza 2103 Boulevard Ave.
On a quiet block in a white concrete “box” that may look questionable but has one of the most cherished trays in town. (By the way, we order pizza by the “tray,” not the “pie,” if you order a pie they’ll either hang up on you or tell you to go back to New York.) It’s square with a crispy crust. Those who know ask for their pizza extra crispy with extra light cheese.
Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe 1040 S Washington Ave.
Tucked away in a strip mall in South Side is another of our favorite pies. The location may be peculiar but don’t let it turn you away. Alfredo’s offers both square and round pies but I recommend the square for the ultimate cheese experience. Don’t confuse this with “Pizza by Alfredo” which tastes like a hot circle of garbage.
Nicholas’ Pizza Shop 1358 N Washington Ave.
Home to a small round pizza that you order by the stack. They are most known for their buffalo chicken pizza (two birds, one stone, here) as well as their steak and cheese and taco pizza.
There is a hot pile and a medium pile separated by the roasted red pepper pile.
Hanks Hoagies 224 Woodlawn St.
Old school deli in Greenridge. Quick, cheap, simple Italian hoagies that everybody in the neighborhood grew up on. Must get your Middleswarth chips on the side.
Cara Mia’s 210 E Drinker St.
This Dunmore spot has some of the best hoagies in the area with a wide range of options. It’s one of the busiest lunch spots and closes early so be sure you plan ahead. The chicken parm is going to blow you away. You can also grab a tub of vodka sauce to-go.
Catalano’s 130 S Main Ave.
Italian deli in West Side that stacks their hoagies on the counter for $5 each. There are a hot pile and medium pile separated by the roasted red pepper pile. Paul Catalano and his family opened this gem in 1962 and it’s a local go-to for a quick lunch hoagie. The counter hoagie is the most simple and delicious Italian hoagie ever.
Kelly’s Pub 1802 Cedar Ave.
You’ll find us at wing night every Wednesday. Also don’t miss the cheese and gravy fries. It’s a bit on the far side of town but worth the drive.
Nina’s Wing Bites & Pizza 602 New York St.
Best wing bites period. Make sure you ask for blue cheese but this neighborhood stop is a must. You still have four more nights of wings to fill after this.
Zaleski’s Clubhouse Cafe 934 Beech St.
Has some killer wings and is a real contender for the throne of best wing sauce alongside Kelly’s. Zaleski’s thing is boneless wings. Boneless wing night is every Tuesday. That’s two dinners a week done for you.
There are several great boutiques in downtown Scranton, but most shopping is done at the Viewmont Mall (where there is a very good Applebee’s) or the strip malls surrounding it. You can also head up to The Shops at Montage Mountain near Montage Mountain Skiing, where you’ll also find a Cinemark and the Yankees AAA baseball stadium.
Most of us here workout at Uno Fitness or the local YMCA or Crunch. Heard there was a crossfit gym opening downtown, though, but I don’t know anybody who does that and if they did, I’m sure we’d have heard about it.
WHAT TO DO
About the Lackawanna Coal Mine Tour thing I mentioned earlier, this is a real thing. Visitors board a coal mine cart and go down several hundred feet into the retired mines and are walked around on foot by a local guide. If you’re looking for something else to do, well, eating and drinking come to mind.