To say I like spicy foods is an understatement. A few years ago, I participated in the jalapeño eating contest at the Bowers Chili Pepper Festival. And dozens of servers have heard my favorite line, “I’d like an order of your hottest wings.” After making this request at a brewpub in Lancaster, the bartender told me she’d never seen anyone “power through” the plate of wings like I did. Sitting down for wing night at The Pike Café and ordering ten wings in their “tough guy” sauce, I expected I might end up hearing a similar comment from this bartender too. Instead, I finally met my match.
The “World Famous” Pike Café is a sports bar located in the heart of Northeast Reading. Their food menu is big, and their drink menu is even bigger. The wings come from nearby Bell and Evans Organic Farm in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County, and they are cooked extra crispy. Sitting at the bar on wing night (which is every Monday and Wednesday), each round we ordered was delivered in what felt like less than five minutes. For those not interested in the wings so hot I couldn’t finish them without taking a break to eat a few parmesan peppercorn, they have a list of 18 choices, including a delicious spicy honey BBQ and a unique garlic sauce that reminds me of Chinese food. Like any good sports bar, the Pike also has burgers, pizza, wraps, and salads, along with finer dining options like lobster, pasta, and steak.
The beer list is perfect for a group of people with mixed taste. If you want a big name beer at a low price, they’ve got that. If you want something unusual, like a double IPA from Avery or a Russian Imperial stout from Rogue, they’ve got that too. They also have one of the largest lists of specialty cocktails I’ve seen, especially in Berks County.
It’s an easy drive from the restaurant to the Sovereign Center, which is why the Pike is often named the official place for dinner before or after a show. And with Reverb just half a block away, it seems like the obvious place to go when seeing a concert at that venue.
In case you still need proof that the Pike is worth visiting, just talk to my friend from Robesonia. He hates cities in general, and this includes Reading. He doesn’t like driving in cities, or hanging out in cities. They make him nervous, and the things they have to offer usually don’t interest him. Yet he calls the Pike Café his favorite restaurant and considers it worth going there several times a month!
The Pike is located at 930 Pike Street, and they somehow have a large, well-lit parking lot, even in the middle of a densely residential area. They are open 10am-2am on weekdays and 11am-2am on Saturday and Sunday. The kitchen serves food until 11pm Sunday through Wednesday, and until midnight Thursday through Saturday, so you can get food here later than most other bars in town. Like them on Facebook to keep up with daily specials and more.