Best of Chester Springs, Exton and Malvern

Bruschetta: Restaurant Alba 

Five seasonal selections put the focus on local, farm-fresh produce, meat, cheese and honey. Each substantial slice of grilled bread makes a hearty appetizer for one. Try all five for just $17, and call it a meal.

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7 W. King St., Malvern, (610) 644-4009,

Classic Cocktails: Vickers 

This former stop on the Underground Railroad houses an impressive drink selection perfect for traditionalists who expect a properly prepared drink. Enjoy an Old Fashioneda Rose Collins, a Sidecar or a Gibson in the gorgeously appointed bar area. Or imbibe alfresco in Vickers’ outdoor garden.

192 E. Welsh Pool Road, Exton, (610) 363-7998,

Crêpes: Duling-Kurtz House 

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Take a midday break and linger over a relaxed lunch in one of Duling-Kurtz’s quaint period dining rooms tastefully adorned with Early American antiques. Delicate crêpes packed with savory lobster and lump crabmeat—a menu staple for decades—are topped with a not-too-rich lobster-Brie sauce.

146 S. Whitford Road, Exton, (610) 524-1830,

Food Mash-Up: Red Star Craft House 

The Far East meets Philly with Red Star’s cheesesteak dumplings, a plate of doughy, beefy bites artfully drizzled with an inventive sriracha-ketchup, wasabi-aioli sesame sauce. Quell the heat with one of the 30-plus rotating beers on tap.

146 Exton Square Mall, Exton, (610) 524-5893,

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Fra Diavolo: Limoncello Chester Springs 

A heaping bowl of linguine serves as the base for generous portions of sautéed shrimp and lump crabmeat swimming in a just-spicy-enough marinara. The Mingrino family’s gracious hospitality adds a homey touch to the bustling dining room.

499 E. Uwchlan Ave., Chester Springs, (610) 524-3112,

Vintage Beer List: The Flying Pig Saloon 

Go for the beer, not for any glamor. Old school to the core, the Pig offers a solid menu enhanced by a well-priced, top-notch draft list, hard-to-find vintage-cellared beers and rare bottle-conditioned ales. 

121 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 578-9208.

VickersRose Collins//photo by tessa marie images

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!