From Pennsylvania farms to your table: The best places to source your holiday meal staples

Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market (Photo: CC/Atwngirl)

By Kalena Thomhave

November 9, 2023

This holiday season, ditch the big box store’s shriveled green beans and canned cranberry sauce and keep it local.

Pennsylvania is bursting with family farms and other small businesses that put heart into their crops, baked goods, and other provisions. And you can support them by whipping up a farm-to-table spread for your loved ones.

Once you’ve secured your holiday dinner’s main dish (a Thanksgiving turkey, for instance), it’s time to make a plan for all the other deliciousness. We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite Pennsylvania purveyors of food for feasts, whether we’re talking vegetables, fruits, bread, desserts, gravy, or whatever else you may need for your meal. Many of these establishments also sell sustainably raised turkeys. Here’s to your Pa.-made holiday.

Western Pa.

Allegro Bakery for baked goods – Pittsburgh

This Squirrel Hill neighborhood institution has been baking fresh bread and pastries for the community for years, and barely changed its baked goods menu when the shop went plant-based in 2020. On a usual day at Allegro Bakery, you can pick up treats like blueberry danishes and cookies alongside a perfect sourdough loaf — if they haven’t already sold out, that is. But Allegro is serving a special menu for the holidays. You can order classic apple or pumpkin pies, dinner rolls, chocolate cherry sourdough bread, a potato garlic herb focaccia, or pumpkin loaf for your Thanksgiving table. Plus, keep an eye on Allegro’s socials to learn when challah will be available for Hanukkah — or grab the delicious, and almost always available, rugelach.

Meadville Market House for vegetables, baked goods, drinks, and more – Meadville

Having been open year-round since 1870, the Meadville Market House is the oldest continuously run market house in the state. You can visit this indoor market to pick up some of the necessities for your holiday table, like root vegetables and other produce from local farms such as Fat Hawk Farm or apple cider from Soergel Orchards.

Central Pa.

People’s Provisions for vegetables, baked goods, drinks, charcuterie, and more – Elliottsburg

People’s Provisions brings together the bounty of greater Perry County growers and producers. It even has what it calls an “online farm stand,” which allows customers to make online orders for pick up at the shop. While produce and local goods are always available at the brick and mortar store, People’s Provisions has a number of holiday specials. For Thanksgiving, you can use the online farm stand to order apple crumb pies, pumpkin pies, or brioche rolls from Moon Howler Bakers; apples, pears, and cider from Three Springs Fruit Farm; potatoes from Chicano Sol Farm; and elaborate charcuterie boards from People’s Provisions itself. People’s Provisions recommends pre-ordering for Thanksgiving by Nov. 12.

Oak Grove Farms for vegetables, baked goods, drinks, and more – Mechanicsburg

This family-owned farm has a farm market with a cornucopia of vegetables like squash, sweet onions, turnips, and collards — all perfect for your holiday dinner, whether you’re cooking for Thanksgiving or Kwanzaa. But Oak Grove Farms also sells specialty items from local producers too, like pickles (perfect for a pre-dinner spread) and coffee (perfect for your post-dinner pie). Speaking of pie, the farm has a full bakery making several different flavors of pies (apple, cherry, pecan, and more) as well as breads. What we’re trying to say is you may be able to source the ingredients for your entire holiday meal at Oak Grove Farms.

Hollabaugh Bros., Inc. for fruit, vegetables, baked goods, and more – Biglerville

Pick up your holiday essentials from the Gettysburg-area farm market by Hollabaugh Bros., Inc., which in early November was still selling fresh potatoes, apples, pears, squash, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and turnips — which are all ideal for holiday classics like mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, roasted root vegetables, and fruit pies. If you’d rather not bake yourself, Hollabaugh Bros. is also selling its own pies, pumpkin roll, cornbread, dinner rolls, and more.

From Pennsylvania farms to your table: The best places to source your holiday meal staples

Historic Meadville Market House (Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region)

Southeast Pa.

Riverwards Produce Market for vegetables, fruit, baked goods, and more – Philadelphia

Shop for your farm-to-table holiday meal in the heart of Philadelphia at Riverwards Produce Market, which has two storefronts: one in Fishtown and one in Old City. You can choose from a slew of local produce and other fun treats. You may want to, for example, pick up winter squash for roasting, bread from Lost Bread Co. for the perfect gourmet stuffing, apples from Three Springs Fruit Farm for your pie, and herbs for everything.

Frosted Fox Cake Shop for baked goods – Philadelphia

While the Frosted Fox Cake Shop is well known for its cakes throughout the year, did you know that you can also get specialty pies from the cake shop during the holidays? For Thanksgiving, you can pre-order apple crumb pies, pumpkin pies, sweet potato pies, pear ginger pies, and pecan pies from this beloved Mt. Airy dessert shop. And if you really can’t see yourself ordering anything but cake from the Frosted Fox, you can even pre-order a pumpkin cake. Be sure to submit your order for Thanksgiving before the shop closes pre-ordering on Nov. 18.

Lancaster Central Market for vegetables, fruit, baked goods, drinks, and more – Lancaster

A number of local farms are dotted around the rolling hills of Lancaster County and the surrounding region. But instead of driving to each individual farm, why not just visit the historic Lancaster Central Market. This market is the oldest public farmers market in the entire country, and its vendors include Amish merchants selling cranberry relish as well as local farmers hawking the freshest of fruits and vegetables. Pick up ingredients for green bean casserole and candied yams, alongside Crowded Foods’ homemade stocks and gravy.

From Pennsylvania farms to your table: The best places to source your holiday meal staples

Lancaster Central Market (Lancaster Central Market)

Lehigh Valley

Pappy’s Orchard and Bakery for fruit, drinks, baked goods, and more – Coopersburg

Pappy’s Orchard and Bakery, a third-generation family-run orchard and bakery, has long been growing fruits and baking pies for the surrounding community. You can pick up some fresh apples at the orchard if you’d like to do the baking yourself, or you can outsource it to Pappy’s. The bakery has a wide selection of baked goods to choose from—you can pick up treats like coffee cake, challah, garlic knots, and cookies. And, of course, you can order a special pie. The problem will be choosing a pie: do you want apple, pecan, shoo-fly, or something a little different.

Allentown Farmers Market for vegetables, fruit, baked goods, drinks, and more – Allentown

The Allentown Farmers Market, located in the Allentown Fairgrounds, is something like a one-stop-shop for your local Thanksgiving meal. With more than 50 vendors in this indoor market, you’ll be all set to prepare a feast for the ages. Stop by Red Barn Produce for your veggies; Amish Village Bake Shop for your breads, pies, and pumpkin roll; and Adam’s Salads for gravy and cranberry relish.

NEPA

Pocono Organics for vegetables, baked goods, and more – Blakeslee

This organic farm in the Pocono Mountains sells fresh produce year-round, so it’s an ideal stop as you gather ingredients for your holiday meal. Offerings, of course, change with the seasons, but in early November Pocono Organics was selling a selection of vegetables including winter squash, eggplant, peppers, and microgreens. You can also order parts of your Thanksgiving meal from the farm, like cranberry apple chutney, cornbread muffins, gravy, and dessert (pecan pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie, and more).

Village Farmer and Bakery for vegetables, baked goods, and more – Delaware Water Gap

Village Farmer and Bakery sells locally-grown produce at its farm stand, and while you should pick up some veggies so you can craft a holiday meal beyond pie, you should also absolutely allow yourself to go wild with the number of pies you buy from Village Farmer. The business promises more than 30 flavors of pies baked every day. Seasonal offerings for your holiday table include sweet potato, apple, apple crumb, pecan, pumpkin, pumpkin cream cheese, and many more.

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