Waldameer Food Question

As posted in JoshM's trip report, I am planning a 3 day trip with my family to the parks area. We will be in a cottage outside of the park, within 2 minutes walking distance.

My question is: What is the food quality in the park? I may bring an grill and cook, but what to avoid this with so many food stands in the area. I am really no concerned on price either from what I have heard about the park. I also am not looking for gourmet food.

How would you rate quality from other parks? Knoebals is my best with Kennywood as a second. CP is another story, I could eat that for three days if I did not spend the price for it. I am not looking for Knoebals and Kennywood quality, but would like to be a little above CP.

Also, I did not include the Orlando park, since they are in a leuge of there own..

Waldameers food is no where near the quality of Knoebels or Kennywood. It's not as expensive as CPs, but it's no better either (except for the apple fries).

There are grills at the park. Just take charcoal and cook your own food up.

For me, Waldameer is better at the snacks/desserts (Butterscotch Sundaes, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and deep fried apples) - their meal food leaves a little to be desired.

Goto Sara's just down the road towards Presque Isle right after the Ravine Flyer Bridge - excellent hot dogs/burgers and do not miss the onion rings.

Jeff's avatar

As much as I dig the park, I agree with Lori. It's just not very good. That was a surprising disappointment when I visited last year. I don't recall a ton of other options around the area either, but I also didn't venture off the path between the park and I-90.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Josh M's avatar

If you enjoy lots of sandwich/burger choices, and good micro-brews. I recommend the Brewerie at Union Station. We had an excellent experience there, and the setting is pretty cool as it occupies the old train station downtown. Prices are reasonable, and it's only about a 10 minute drive from the park.

Josh M.

Two other western PA parks with good food are Idlewild and DelGrossos. Idlewild food is generally Kennywood quality (no surprise here, they are owned by the same company). DelGrossos is also good especially the Pizza and Potato salad. The jury is out on Lakemont since they are reorganizing their food operations (hopefully for the better). Conneaut Lake is using an outside vendor this year instead of their regular food operations.

If I woud have a suggestion for Waldameer it is to upgrade their food operations. This is a win-win situation. The park gets bigger percaps and the visitors get better food options More choices would also be appreciated as the park grows including a cafeteria facility similar to KWs Parkside Cafe.

Arthur Bahl

Thanks all for the heads up on the food quality. It does sound like I may need to bring my portable grill. I also have a full kitchen.

One last question on food for anyone familiar with the area. Are there any restaurants fro breakfast in the area? I looked for a Wafflehouse and IHOP. There are non of those in close proximity.

eightdotthree's avatar

There is a Perkin's and Eat N' Park nearby for breakfast.

There is Sara's for lunch which is a 50s style diner with good hot dogs, burgers, fries, ice cream etc.

Sara's is not very good at all in my opinion. People tend to flock there just because its the closest to the beaches. You can find better prepared fast food at McDonald's than at Sara's. I only go there for their ice cream products which are a polar opposite to their food quality.

There is also a Cracker Barrell a couple exit down off of 90.

Mamoosh's avatar

Not to put politics into the mix but Cracker Barrel has a long history of gay and racial discrimination in its hiring/firing practices and has been sued many, many times for such practices. I refuse to spend money at the chain because of this.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

My inner gay black man is outraged, but my outer white straight man thinks, "Mmmm. Cracker Barrel." ;)

Jeff's avatar

I just think, what a bunch of fatty, crappy food. And scores of racist and homophobic old people.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I think you're discriminatory towards older people...and homophobics and racists...and fatty foods.

Hating a hater is still hate. Don't become part of the problem. ;)

The More You Know
(and now you have the little tune stuck in your head too)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar,
Mamoosh's avatar

I need to correct my previous statement of avoiding Cracker Barrel. I have visited quite a few of their establishments...but only to use the bathroom :)

^ Didn't Larry Craig say the same thing? :)

So who has the list of who it's OK and not OK to hate this month?

I wonder if Larry Craig has improved that wide stance? ;)

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

AJFelice said:
Sara's is not very good at all in my opinion. People tend to flock there just because its the closest to the beaches. You can find better prepared fast food at McDonald's than at Sara's. I only go there for their ice cream products which are a polar opposite to their food quality.

While you're entitled to your opinion - I would strongly disagree. And it appears many others would too:



Plus you can't get Smith's hot dogs at McDonald or any kind of onion rings for that matter (let alone freshly made ones)

Raven-Phile's avatar

While we're boycotting restaurants, I'll step in and say that Chick-Fil-A is #1 on my "avoid at all costs" list.

Why Chick-Fil_A, just curious. I never go there.

Also, I think I know were that Cracker Barrel is. I think it is near Splash Lagoon off of Peach St. There alsi is an Eat-N-Park and Bob Evans in the area. (At least when I was there 3 years ago).

I only have been to Cracker Barrel twice. Was not bad and was not great. (Ironically one of them was leaving CP last year). I did not know they had the history of this.They did however have the original cherry Pop Rocks that I cannot find anywhere else. I wish they would have had the orange and grape too.

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