Best of Central Bucks
Where to dine, shop, chill, and explore.
by Bill Donahue

Central Bucks County combines the best of all worlds—pastoral beauty, cultural and historical significance, and the finer things that come from living in or near some of the most sought-after communities in southeastern Pennsylvania.

From Warrington and Jamison in the south, to Chalfont and New Britain in the west, to Pineville and Lahaska in the east, to Plumsteadville and Lumberville in the north, Central Bucks has it all: excellent schools, exquisite culinary destinations, fantastic shopping, tranquil wild places such as Ralph Stover State Park and Peace Valley Park. It’s no wonder people flock to the area, to live, work, and play.
Editor’s note: Readers might notice a dearth of Doylestown establishments on this list, and that’s by design. While we love Doylestown, the beating heart of Central Bucks, keep your eyes peeled for our “best of Doylestown” feature later this year.
Alessio’s Seafood Grille and Italian Restaurant in Warrington specializes in fruits de mer, or lobster, Alaskan king crab, and Cape Cod clams, among other kinds of seafood. It also cooks up some seriously good wood-fired pizza; we’re particularly big fans of the crisp-crusted margherita. Of course, you could always combine the two with, say, the “Joe’s Favorite”: a margherita pizza topped with all kinds of goodies, including fresh rock shrimp.
Everyone should go to The Black Bass Hotel in Lumberville at least once. The only trouble with that logic is that one visit is likely to result in second, third, and fourth visits, if not more. While the historic Black Bass is on the National Register of Historic Places, there’s so much more here than history—namely, well-appointed guestrooms, gorgeous artwork, and a restaurant lauded for its elevated menu and sweeping views of the Delaware River.
Whether you’re in need of home décor or professional interior design services, visit Black-eyed Susan in Holicong to inject your home with a touch of sophisticated style. The team led by Susan Taylor works with each homeowner to explore all their design options and then conceives, develops, and installs interiors perfectly suited to the home and the client. Good news for readers with homes down the shore or in the mountains: Bucks County may be Black-eyed Susan’s homebase, but the design team has been known to take the show on the road, so to speak.
Located in Buckingham Green, Buckingham Pizza serves up immaculate pies of the Neapolitan variety. Whether you prefer the standard cheese, a white pizza, or one of the gourmet options, Buckingham Pizza has mastered its art form. The menu at this understated standout includes much more than pizza, of course, but if you’ve ever had their perfect pies, you’ll understand why we have yet to order anything but slices.
Heading to Bucks County River Country in Point Pleasant every summer has become a years-long tradition for many local families and friend groups. Grab an inner tube, board a retrofitted school bus headed north on River Road toward the drop-off point, and descend a short staircase so you can “put in.” You spend the next few hours lazing down the Delaware River, enjoying the pleasures of sunshine, open water, and that’s about it. It’s a simple formula that doesn’t change much from one year to the next, and that’s what makes it so awesome.
Entrepreneur Karen Thompson has built a small retail empire in Bucks County, which has since expanded across the river to Princeton and Cape May. It all began with a sole intimate-apparel shop in Peddler’s Village: Lace Silhouettes Lingerie. The roots of Thompson’s flagship store stretch back more than 30 years, offering a multitude of sizes and styles for special occasions as well as everyday use. Its particular stock-in-trade: expert bra fittings.
The Lahaska Bookshop has everything a community bookstore should have, with the added benefits of an A-plus location in the heart of one of Bucks County’s most beloved shopping destinations. Led by the same folks who operate the Doylestown Bookshop, the Lahaska Bookshop is one of the many charming boutiques at Peddler’s Village. Whether you prefer science or sci-fi, biography or poetry, Lahaska Bookshop is a shining monument to the written word.
Known colloquially as the NBI, the New Britain Inn in (you guessed it) New Britain is the kind of place you could drive past 100 times and each time say, “I wonder if that place is any good.” Allow us to solve that mystery for you: Yes, it’s good—very good, in fact. The draught list is extensive, and the food menu has numerous standouts: the fish tacos, the Nashville hot chicken, and the Guinness burger with candied bacon. Aside from the food and libations, the NBI just has that Cheers-y kind of vibe that makes it feel like “my place.”
The Pineville Tavern’s reputation as a culinary destination extends far beyond the Philadelphia suburbs, thanks in large part to its appearance on an early season of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. History buffs will appreciate the building’s heritage, which dates back to the first half of the 18th century. The menu is the real star, though. The lineup of American favorites includes a signature dish that made a big splash during its time in the DDD spotlight: snapper soup.
Few places in Bucks County are as wild as Ralph Stover State Park, home of the climbing haven known as High Rocks. Sure, it’s got well-tended trails for hiking and biking, as well as pristine views of Tohickon Creek, but it just feels so far removed from the rest of the world. The many unattended bluffs overlooking the creek (or crick, in Philly-ese) are perfect for reading a book, jotting down notes in a journal, or simply basking in the beauty of a magical place.
Central Bucks has just about every quality-of-life designation one might expect, as well as a few unexpected treasures. One of them is Vampa, a one-of-a-kind museum located on the same grounds as one of the area’s most unique roadside antiques shops. Vampa’s focus: vampires and the paranormal. Opened in 2023, right along the 202 corridor between Doylestown and Buckingham, Vampa features vampire-killing kits, occult-ish sculptures, and an authentic exorcism chair, among other attractions. Vampa doesn’t indulge in spectacle or jump scares; rather, it aims to explore the meaty middle ground between folklore and faith.
If you’re a beer lover who appreciates suds that push limits, test boundaries, or are just a little off the beaten path, then you’ll appreciate the wares being crafted by Warwick Farm Brewing in Jamison. Sure, Warwick Farm pours its share of New England IPAs and American lagers, but it also delves into offerings one might describe as more distinctive. The Peach Oasis fruit beer, the Bourbon Barrel Pecan Stout, and the Tropical Shandy are just a few examples of an exhaustive tableau.
Besides the standouts already mentioned, the following institutions, professionals, and service providers add to the unique character of the corner of the world known as Central Bucks: Bacco Bistro (, Buckingham Friends School (, Bucks Country Gardens (, COMPASS RE Realtor Deana Corrigan (, Des-Carr Doors (, and Gibson Family Law (
Peddler’s Village photo by P. Boger for Visit Philadelphia
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, May 2024