The restaurants I choose during my travels are much more than restaurants. If my family and I are about to spend an entire evening somewhere it usually needs to be an experience that will be remembered rather than just a place to fill our tummies.
I focus on this for every place we visit and Hershey is no different. To get the juiciest info from local perspectives I either check out different blogs and websites for that area, but mainly I contact the tourism boards. If you think about it, the people who work there have to be local and have to really know and love their area of expertise. From all my years of travel experience they have always been the absolute best resource (unless you know someone personally who lives in the area you are visiting).
Rick, from Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, was my go-to guy. Not only was he super helpful, he really got what I was looking for especially when it came to where to eat.
Why Fenicci’s Restaurant is as Much of Hershey as Hershey Park
Everyone visiting Hershey, Pennsylvania focuses mainly on the Hershey Amusement Park and Chocolate World plus other attractions that all revolve around Hershey. Hershey wasn’t the only one that put this place on the map. Sure he was the biggest influence, but other really fun places need a huge shout-out as well.
And I don’t know about you, but dinner to me is a really important part of traveling and I mainly gravitate to local’s favorites and restaurants that have a story to tell. Fenicci’s, Rick’s main recommendation, was exactly what I had in mind. Plus, the outdoor seating sealed the deal for me.
Our visit to Hershey was extra special. This was more like a family reunion with my parents and brother and his girlfriend. We don’t get to do much extended family travel these days, so I wanted it to be great. My parents are huge foodies, but will only really remember a restaurant for the actual experience of everything that goes along with it.
And Fenicci’s didn’t disappoint. First of all, Phil and Kveta – the owners, and my family totally hit it off due to tons of similarities. Kveta’s mom (who was visiting) speaks fluent Russian since she also came from the old Soviet Union. Phil and Kveta are planning on coming to Guatemala for six months during the off season and my family and I live in Guatemala. Phil is extremely gregarious and my parents LOVE socializing with the owners (its their thing).
I loved the outdoor seating and their organic garden where a lot of their herbs and veggies come from for the meals.
Food Galore with a Bit of History and Fun Facts
Why is Fenicci’s Restaurant a historic spot and not just a restaurant?
Fenicci’s of Hershey has been around since 1935, under the DeAngelis name.
This is the oldest freestanding restaurant in Hershey.
Mr. Reese (of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and more) actually had one of his first candy factories in the basement of this very building
They still use all of the original recipes that were brought over from Italy to make their sauces.
Their famous Upside Down Pizza was introduced to Hershey in 1947.
- Huge portions
- Over the past 15 years, they were able to raise over $400,000 to help the Penn State Children‘s Hospital and the kids of this community.
Our Food on Display
We ordered the most famous and tastiest dishes. Obviously, we couldn’t skip out on the Upside Down Pizza, meatballs and lasagna. But to start off we also went for the Calamari dish.
The HUGE salad. We actually didn’t know it was going to be huge, we just went for the salad. They aren’t kidding that they are known for their insanely large portions.
My favorite was the Rosemary Chicken in cream sauce. I’m more of a cream sauce girl.
And, with Phil’s proud recommendation from his organic garden, he brought out the Ghost Pepper chicken wings. Ghost Pepper is considered one of the most spiciest and hottest peppers in the world. I think my dad, brother and oldest son were the only ones brave enough to try it. The guy sitting at the next table, who was a regular of the restaurant, came over to us and said he’s never seen anyone actually order this dish before and was beyond impressed that my ten year old gave it a go.
After dinner we either could’ve ordered dessert at the actual restaurant, but in the same parking lot, also belonging to Fenicci’s is a sweet ice cream parlor. The kids started to get restless so we decided to head over there for more ice cream. Ice cream in Hershey and Lancaster flow like water. I have never eaten so much ice cream in my life.
My kids don’t mind, I think they can survive on ice cream.
Information for Visiting Fenicci’s
I would highly recommend reservations. Especially if you want to sit outside. During the busy season and weekends the place gets super packed.
Address: 102 West Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, PA 17033
Price: $5 – $30
Monday -Thursday 11 am- 1 am
Friday & Saturday 11 am- 2 am
Sunday noon- 1 am
Hershey’s Oldest Restaurant – Fenicci’s Review