Culinary Schools in Erie, PA: Culinary Arts & Cooking Colleges

Culinary Schools in Erie

Erie, Pennsylvania has a dining scene that mirrors its state of affairs. From regional comfort classics like "Greek Sauce" and pepperoni bread to high-end Asian fusion and gluten-free New American, Erie stays true to its own tastes and lets culinary innovation evolve organically. This lakeside community is also home to a number of colleges and universities. Students who attend Erie culinary schools gain a real appreciation for local flavors while learning from chefs who represent the full spectrum of what it means to be a restaurant cook.

Famous restaurants in Erie

Although Erie is Pennsylvania's fourth-largest metropolitan area, in terms of cultural significance, it can feel a bit second-tier next to cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. But even in the absence of fame, the culinary experience in Erie is what you make it. With plenty of influences from the state of Pennsylvania, Erie has something to offer everyone when it comes to food.

  • La Bella Restaurant: At La Bella, it's all about the details. The pasta is perfectly al dente, the steak is seared just right, and even the bread is delicious. La Bella's menu trends heavily Italian with house favorites such as eggplant manicotti and risotto but doesn't shy away from deviation in the name of deliciousness, to which flavor bombs like the pomegranate brie chicken and gluten-free chocolate cake can happily attest. Diners slake their thirst with…well, with whatever the like, thanks to La Bella's generous BYOB policy.
  • Lavery Brewing: Something has happened to American beer over the past thirty years, and that something might be summed up as the collective realization that our go-to, mass-produced, watery lagers were but a feeble shadow of beer's awesome potential. Fast-forward to the present where craft brews have made serious inroads with beer drinkers, and that Belgian-style blonde ale is spoken about with a reverence once reserved for fine wines. Small-time breweries and gastropubs like Erie's own Lavery are now almost as ubiquitous as they are beloved. Lavery's entries into the craft beer scene represent a number of brewing traditions and styles, from rye stouts to imperial French ales. Thirsty patrons can pair their pints (or 6-glass flights) with equally remarkable food, such as the lemon-arugula ravioli sandwich or the house charcuterie plate.
  • 1201 Kitchen: 1201 Kitchen's distinctive fusion menu was born out of Chef Dan Kern's love of Latin and Asian cuisines. An Erie native, Kern saw an opportunity to bring a unique culinary perspective back to his hometown when he took over the restaurant in 2007. Since then, 1201 has drawn steady praise for its inventive marriage of Japanese and Latin American foods, with standouts like shrimp tempura with crispy Spanish chorizo and cilantro; miso-glazed bone marrow with a chimichurri of blistered poblanos; and the pork belly uramaki sushi roll.
  • Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro: With top marks on both Yelp and Tripadvisor, Pineapple Eddie is a proven favorite among Erie locals and out-of-towners alike. Since 2011, Haitian-American chef Jean Paul has delighted customers with his Caribbean-inflected Southern food. The menu is a celebration of hospitality and the American South. Dishes like crab cakes with plantains, steak with red beans and rice, and pineapple pound cake give diners a taste of Southern comfort food and showcase Jean Paul's Haitian roots.

Erie culinary career outlook

Though entry-level jobs in the food industry tend to be quite common, the job outlook tends to be better in larger metro areas. Though Erie is smaller than some of the other areas in Pennsylvania, the state itself shows some positive job growth in the restaurant industry. Graduates of culinary schools in Erie could also consider finding a job in one of the larger metros such as Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. Below is a sample of what to expect from culinary jobs in Erie.


Total Employment in Erie (2014)

Average Salary in Erie (2014)

Projected Job Growth Nationwide (2012-2022)





Chefs and Head Cooks




Restaurant Cooks




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014

If one thing has stayed the same in kitchens everywhere, it's that experience goes a long way. Erie culinary schools teach the technique, develop the creativity and foster the human connections necessary to make oneself marketable in today's food scene. Start by checking out the school listings below.


  • 1201 Kitchen, 2015,
  • Bakers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014,
  • Chefs and Head Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014,
  • Cooks, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014,
  • Erie, PA - May 2014 OES Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2014,
  • La Bella Restaurant, Yelp, 2015,
  • Lavery Brewing Company, 2015,
  • Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro, 2015,
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