Dining Around Delco: A Day Out in Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore is a bucolic borough in the south-central area of Delco—one of our county’s many charming small towns. Perhaps best known as the home of Swarthmore College, the history of this community goes back to 1864; before then it was technically part of Springfield Township. A drive down the leafy roads will take you past historic homes, a bustling SEPTA station and the stately buildings of the college. 

Swarthmore’s small-but-mighty dining scene is made up of unique restaurants, cafes and hidden gems to keep you full and happy from morning until night. Spend a day wandering around (the College has a great art gallery and a beautiful arboretum, and there are fun shops along Park Ave. and Dartmouth Ave.) and pop into any of these spots for a fantastic meal:



Fuel up for the day with breakfast or brunch at one of Swarthmore’s cafes or coffee shops. For a home cooked hot breakfast, you’ve got two tasty choices: Vicky’s Place and Antonia’s Family Restaurant

Vicky’s, a cute little breakfast counter, is open every day but Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and has all the morning classics covered, as well as plentiful lunch options. Order a veggie-packed omelet made with farm fresh eggs, a full stack of chocolate chip pancakes, or a healthy bowl of oatmeal. If you love a deal, check out the Early Bird Special, offered from 8-10 a.m., Monday through Friday. Just $9.99 will set you up with two eggs, two hot cakes and two strips of bacon! 417 Dartmouth Ave, Swarthmore; (610) 328-2453.

For a slightly more diner-esque experience, Antonia’s is the spot. There is a lot squeezed onto its breakfast menu, from egg sandwiches and wraps, to fruit-topped French toast, to corn beef hash. The prices can’t be beat, and the friendly service and kids’ menu make it a great place to bring the family. 615 S. Chester Rd., Swarthmore; (610) 543-1271.

Prefer a grab-and-go breakfast situation? Pop into Hobb’s Coffee, a favorite with Swarthmore students and faculty, for a latte and bagel or yogurt parfait. 1 Park Ave., Swarthmore; (610) 541-0122.

A relative newcomer to town, Pastry Pants has won its neighbors over in no time with decadent, scratch-made baked goods. Try a cinnamon roll, almond slice or brown butter chocolate chip cookie, and your cravings will never know what hit them. Note: Pastry Pants is temporarily closed while it’s moving to a new retail location at 10 Park Ave. in Swarthmore. Its opening date will be sometime in late May.



320 Market Café, with locations in Swarthmore and Media, is probably most famous for its fantastic pico de gallo and house-made tortilla chips. But there’s so much more to try at this gourmet market/bistro. Grab a seat in the comfy dining area to enjoy prepared foods purchased on the retail side, like pasta salad, sandwiches and local cheese and crackers. Or order a pizza from the menu and enjoy it with a craft beer or organic wine from its extensive selection. 713 S. Chester Rd., Swarthmore; (610) 328-7211.


For a fresh meal with Mediterranean flair, head into Aria, a no-frills eatery specializing in cuisine from Afghanistan, Greece and the Middle East. A gyro with grilled lamb, salmon kabobs with Greek salad and chicken curry with basmati rice, grilled tomatoes, tzatziki sauce and pita are all great options. 405 Dartmouth Ave., Swarthmore; (610) 543-2701. 


Happy Hour

Take a break from the day with happy hour at Village Vine Bistro, a welcoming wine bar with eclectic decor and a strong beverage program. Happy hour runs from Tuesday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m., when you can enjoy discounted snacks and drinks. If you enjoy adventurous wines, be sure to ask your server or bartender for recommendations from its wine list. 6 Park Ave., Swarthmore; (484) 471-3997.


Ship Bottom Brewery, which operates its main location in Beach Haven, NJ, also has an outpost in downtown Swarthmore called the Ship Bottom Blendery & Barrel House. Secure your spot at the bar, or head to its outdoor patio for some sunshine, and enjoy a flight of its craft beers, including refreshing pours like Beach Patrol Hefeweizen and the LBI Pale Lager. 5 Park Ave., Swarthmore; (610) 467-5804.



Swarthmore Pizza has been family-owned and operated since 1981, and is beloved by locals for its wood-fired pizzas, loaded cheesesteaks and wings. Larger plates include Italian-American favorites, like chicken parm, lobster ravioli and baked ziti. There’s also a full bar, so you can pair your pizza pie with a cold brew or glass of wine. 601 S. Chester Rd., Swarthmore; (610) 543-3474.

If you’re looking for a fine dining experience, reserve a table at the Broad Table Tavern in the Inn at Swarthmore. One of Delco’s farm-to-table restaurants, this chic spot serves up elegant plates from breakfast through dinner. The menu deftly balances approachable bites, like crispy Brussels sprouts and smash burgers, with considered dishes, like roasted beet terrine, North Atlantic Sea Scallops and fresh pasta. 12 South Chester Rd., Swarthmore; (610) 543-7500.

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Want to know more about everything Delco? We’re more than just your source for good eats — we’re your source for where to stay, what to do and more in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. We’re Visit Delco, PA, and we’ve got you covered from Philly to the Brandywine. Find us at 1501 N. Providence Rd., Media, PA, 19063; (610) 565-3679 or online.