'Daily Show' Comic Michael Kosta Escapes to the Delaware Water Gap for Coffee, Hiking, and Home-Cooked Soup
"When I moved to New York, there's so many wonderful things about the city. But I was missing a connection to nature, and that's what I got out of this area.”
By Opheli Garcia Lawler and Michael Kosta
Published on 8/18/2022 at 12:00 PM
Exploring the area on my bike, a 2011 Triumph Bonneville T100 | Photo Courtesy of Michael Kosta
Michael Kosta is a correspondent for The Daily Show with Trevor Noah on Comedy Central. The show and its spin-offs received seven Emmy nominations this year. When he’s not on TV, Kosta is touring as a stand-up comedian. He has upcoming shows in Kansas City and San Diego. He lives with his wife and daughter in Brooklyn. They love escaping the city to take in nature at the Delaware Water Gap.
I'm glad New Yorkers don't seem to know about the Delaware Water Gap as much. It scares me to share it because I don't want everyone going up there. But it is genuinely where we go for a day off. We have a two-and-a-half-year-old, so it depends on how she sleeps. But we are in the car by 9 or 9:30. Our first stop is to go through Chinatown.
There's a wonderful dichotomy of driving through Brooklyn and Manhattan, in particular Chinatown—going through one of the tunnels, getting into Jersey and eventually crossing the Delaware River into the Delaware Water Gap. It's like within 90 minutes you have seen almost all of America. You've seen diversity in buildings and architecture and land and nature and people. I really take a moment to enjoy the sudden change from city to country, and I enjoy that the opposite way as well.
Digman Falls | Photo by Ryan Paul Marchese/iStock/Getty Images
"I get one of their croissants. I get a muffin. There's no reason for me to get two things, but I will 100% get two to save one for later."
But our first stop would be the town of Milford, Pennsylvania. It’s a small, cute town off the highway. There's some beautiful history there—they claim it's where the conservation movement started. I don't exactly know if that's true or not, but just the fact that they have pride in conserving and protecting land is interesting and important. We get our morning coffee at this place called Better World Cafe. Great products, great tactile toys for kids, and wonderful books. You can buy your kombucha symbiotic culture there, and you can get non-alcoholic liquor. You can get fresh croissants. It's just a very eccentric, wonderful little shop that I wish every town in America had.
I get one of their croissants. I get a muffin. There's no reason for me to get two things, but I will 100% get two to save one for later. I joke with my wife that every time I'm in there, we spend $45. I don't know how the hell that happened. But she'll get a cappuccino. I like their lattes. Of course, every cup is sustainable.
Photo Courtesy of Spoonful Soup & Eats
"In New York, you just kind of forget the power, the beauty, the relentlessness, the consistency of nature. The waterfall does not stop. It is just slowly wearing away Pennsylvania granite. And I find it beautiful. It grounds me."
Up next is a hike. There’s Dingman Falls, there’s Raymondskills Falls. One of the biggest draws of this area, which was so new to me, is the waterfalls. There's amazing hikes of all different levels. We can go very hard, where you jump in the water at the end. Maybe it's because so much of my life is in Brooklyn. In New York, you just kind of forget the power, the beauty, the relentlessness, the consistency of nature. The waterfall does not stop. It is just slowly wearing away Pennsylvania granite. And I find it beautiful. It grounds me. You end up standing next to some strangers from all over the world, just enjoying this moment of nature. I grew up in Michigan surrounded by a lot of nature. I was in LA forever, which is very easy to be connected with nature, and when I moved to New York, there's so many wonderful things about the city. But I was missing a connection to nature, and that's what I got out of this area.
One morning, I asked my wife to drop me off at like 8 a.m. at the McDade Trail, and I just walked the trail by myself in the freezing cold and finished in the town of Milford and met everybody for a late lunch. Maybe it's my job, maybe it's me, but walking alone along the Delaware River—a very historic river, a river that's really really important and symbolic through American history—was just really grounding and inspiring and beautiful. And I was the only one there. I walked for seven and a half hours. I think I saw 20 deer and I saw one guy. That's pretty rare to experience, and I still think about it all the time.
Hotel Fauchére Front Porch | Photo Courtesy of Hotel Fauchére
"It is delicious. It is families and it's post baseball games with people who have dirt on their cleats. It's totally accepting."
Midday lunch for sure is at this place called Spoonful Soup and Eats in Milford. It’s very small. We eat on the patio. Really delicious homemade food. I was always complaining that in America s'mores are just corn syrup, Hershey's chocolate, and some marshmallows made by a giant company. I walked in there and they had homemade graham crackers, homemade chocolate, homemade marshmallows. They make this Michigan cherry bread pudding. They've got a delicious tofu curry. They're very true to who they are and what they like to cook. If we're feeling fancy, afterwards we go to Hotel Fauchére. There is a patio and drinks and a chill vibe, outdoor ceiling fans. I mean, is there anything better than sitting outside and having electricity?
Then we go to Prime Time Meats. It's kind of hidden. No marketing. The same people are always working there. The meat is delicious, and they advise you. In Brooklyn, I go to the butcher and somehow spend $200 and I don't even know what I got. I always feel like I need to hurry up. It's the complete opposite of that experience. At Prime Time, I feel very much like I can take my time. It’s just a really great, smaller-town butcher that used to be in every town.
The cherry on top of the whole day is Len & Jo’s. It is 70 years old. The youngest waitress has at least 35 years of experience waiting tables. The wallpaper has got to be original. The pizza is thin. It's the way my mom made it in the house. It is delicious. It is families and it's post baseball games with people who have dirt on their cleats. It's totally accepting. To me, it feels like a comfortable family spot. Besides that, the food and the pizza are absolutely excellent. We will eat a pie and then buy a frozen one and take it home and put it in the freezer for another time. It's a definite go-to spot.
Places to Eat & Drink
Things to See & Do
Dingmans Falls, Delaware Township, PA
Raymondskill Falls, Dingman Township, PA
McDade Recreational Trail, East Stroudsburg, PA