Major Shopping Areas
Laurel Mall in the Hazleton area features seventy stores, with three regional/national department stores. The Wyoming Valley Mall in Wilkes-Barre Township features more than ninety stores, ranging from large department stores, national chains, local specialty stores, and an intriguing food court. The exciting Arena Hub Shopping Center is located adjacent to Wyoming Valley Mall. In the past two years, this rapidly growing shopping area has added numerous, new, nationally recognized retail stores – like Panera Bread, Old Navy, Babies R Us, Ashley Furniture, and Country Junction. Other smaller shopping plazas are scattered throughout the county, on both sides of the river. The downtown areas of Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Pittston, and Nanticoke, as well as Berwick, are home to many unique shops, including boutiques, antiques and accessories. These important downtown retail areas offer barber and beauty shops, men’s and women’s clothing, fine jewelry, galleries and arts and crafts, and everything in between. Boscov’s maintains an impressive, flagship department store in the heart of Wilkes-Barre. Not far from the Wachovia Arena is one of the region’s best supermarkets – Wegmans. Its selection of breads, cheeses, olive oils, deli items, and prepared foods rivals the finest specialty stores in Philadelphia or New York.
Visitors from throughout the Mid-Atlantic region travel to Luzerne County to explore the fine selection of interesting and unique items. Locally made pottery, crafts and works of art can be found in a number of shops. If you are into antiques and collectibles, we know you will be delighted with the selection available at various locations throughout the county.
As would be expected from a community near the intersection of two major Interstate highways, Luzerne County offers every automobile dealership (new and used), all the national discount chain stores, (including a new Wal•Mart Superstore near the Wachovia Arena), business specialty stores, automotive and building supplies, electronics, and numerous famous brand name outlet stores.
Because of the ever-increasing economic and business activity throughout the county, and because so many tourists and visitors have found so much do in and around this beautifully scenic mountain and valley community, our restaurants are thriving. Luzerne County is a great place to entertain family, business associates, and your favorite friends.
Because the immigrants that settled this region brought such an incredible diversity of cultures and foods with them, you’ll find many of our exceptional neighborhood restaurants delightful reminders of the cultural heritage that made this great part of Northeastern Pennsylvania such a complex melting pot. Now, almost a century after massive immigration ended, our churches, social halls, and small restaurants, cafés, and taverns continue to preserve the heritage of our founders; they are serving wonderful foods that evoke a time before automobiles, telephones, cell phones, the Internet, or pizza delivery.
Our newer restaurants, diners, taverns and delis also offer the foods we have all come to love – Thai, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Mexican, French, and Japanese. You’ll find exciting small restaurants and delicatessens tucked away in every corner of the county.
It is not every community that can claim a cuisine that is “home grown,” but just north of Pittston in Old Forge you’ll find the acclaimed “Best Pizza in the World” – Old Forge Pizza. How to describe this peculiarly wonderful pizza? First of all, it is rectangular, glistening with olive oil, dusted with herbs, either red (barely cooked tomatoes and a secret combination of cheeses) or white (two crusts, no tomatoes, enough cheese to kill you, and no ricotta allowed). There are more than a dozen pizza restaurants in a town of about 8,500; all attempting to become known as the “primo” designer of the “best pizza.”
A Sampling of Restaurant Options in Luzerne County
If you’d like your facility added to this list, contact the Luzerne County Public Information Officer.
Along with an ever-increasing number of well-known national chain restaurants (Damon’s Grill, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, Lone Star Steakhouse, Applebee’s, Red Lobster, and Ground Round are examples) Luzerne County also offers discriminating diners an absolutely delightful selection of taverns, cafés, restaurants, and bistros. For example: Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant in Pittston, The Blue Comet Diner in Hazleton, Grico’s Restaurant in Exeter, the Left Bank Bistro or Café Rouge or Isabella’s in Wilkes-Barre, Gelpia’s in Kingston, Grotto Pizza in Harvey’s Lake, Overbrook Restaurant in Dallas, Poppi’s in Hanover Township, Salerno’s in Luzerne, The Brass Rail in Ashley, Theo’s in Kingston, and the Bear Creek Café in Bear Creek. Of note, in 2004 the Damon’s Grill in Hazleton across from the entrance to PSU-Hazleton was recognized as the #1 Damon’s Grill in the country.
Residents often argue about who makes the best ice cream, but the fabulous selection at Hillside Farms Dairy in Kingston Township is always high on every ice cream lover’s list. The Lion Brewery is the largest regional and contract brewery in all of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Tours are available on Saturday afternoon. For the home chef, our numerous supermarkets provide everything from the basics to organics to specialty items. Gourmet shops entice shoppers with exotic fare. Orchards, farmers markets, and seasonal produce stands provide a bounty of goods during our growing season and beyond.