City Market & Café, located right on the Memorial Highway in Dallas, Pennsylvania, is one of the Back Mountain’s newest hotspots. Offering everything from specialty groceries and fresh sandwiches to craft beer and everything in between, there’s something for everyone.
Mike and Mara Valenti are the proud entrepreneurs behind City Market & Café Back Mountain. This isn’t their first adventure into the food business—they are also behind Valenti’s Restaurant in Exeter, Pa, where they have been serving fine Italian food for seventeen years.
In fact, it was their restaurant that inspired them to bring City Market & Café to the Back Mountain in the first place. Because Valenti’s Restaurant has such a strong customer base located in the Back Mountain, Mike and Mara decided to bring Valenti’s to the Back Mountain. Residents of the Back Mountain and visitors alike can now find their restaurant-quality food, such as soups and sauces, even closer to home.
Since opening in December 2016, City Market & Café has remained unlike any other business in the area. They continue to offer a wide variety of specialty items including freshly made meals-to-go, baked good, imported cheeses, and high-quality oils and vinegar that can’t be found in just any grocery store.
Mike and Mara were truly inspired to begin this new business venture when they found out the former Connor’s Grill Room was for sale. For them, this was the perfect location and the perfect opportunity to make this a reality.
In finding the perfect product selections for City Market & Café, the Valentis traveled all over for inspiration. Some of their stops included New York City, where they visited Eataly and Café Duke, and Philadelphia where places like Di Bruno Bros really clicked with them. They also frequented local markets and spent their free time researching brands that were lacking in the area.
Taking various bits and pieces of everything they found, they managed to compile the best of the best and brought it right here to the Back Mountain. In filling the gaps in the local market, they have also succeeded in creating a market and café that would just as easily fit in with the hustle and bustle of the Philadelphia and NYC streets.
At City Market, variety is key. Here you will find a mix of local brands you are familiar with as well as those you may have never heard of. City Market & Café currently offers local creamed honey from The Good Hive apiaries in Northeast Pennsylvania, ice cream from Blue Ribbon Farm Dairy in West Pittston, gnocchi from Gina’s Pizza & Pasta in Wyoming, and fresh apples and cider from Brace’s Orchard in Dallas.
Besides the local fares, you can also find brands and products that aren’t so easy to find locally. Some of these include specialty cheeses from iGourmet.com and pasta products from Talluto’s.
If you’re looking for a taste of Valenti’s, their fresh-prepared dinners of the day are the way to go. These meals are prepared daily by staff right at City Market & Café. They are ideal for busy parents and families who want healthy, restaurant-quality food at home but don’t have the time to make it themselves from scratch.
For more food options that are both fast and fresh, City Market & Café also offers fresh deli sandwiches made to order using only the highest quality ingredients. Students from Misericordia University and Penn State Wilkes-Barre can enjoy a 10% discount on any deli sandwich!
While their meals to-go are certainly convenient to take home with you, you can just as conveniently sit down and enjoy your meal at one of their many tables. Whether you’re looking for a quiet lunch away from the office during the work week or a nice Sunday breakfast with friends, City Market can host your meals all day.
And if you have any dietary restrictions, City Market can also accommodate a number of specialty diets. Their goal, after all, is to reach everyone in the community. They offer vegan-friendly food products, vegetarian options, and plenty of gluten-free options, as well, including pasta and pretzels. They can also feature any deli sandwich on a gluten-free roll.
If you’re looking to take something home for the holidays, City Market is already putting together holiday gift baskets, including beer baskets, and have specialty chocolates, gift certificates, pies, and meat and sandwich platters available.
Sarah is a content writer and social media assistant with a BA in literature/creative writing from Wilkes University. When she’s not spending her days at work writing, reading, and drinking coffee, she’s usually at home reading, writing, and drinking coffee. She also devotes a fair amount of time to HGTV, drawing, and doting on her dog. As a creator, Sarah believes in emphasizing personality through design and DIY projects.