Ok, we’ll admit it…we are foodies. We love to cook, bake, shop for, and seek out great food whether it’s at a local farm stand, gourmet shop or some little family-owned restaurant. But mostly – we like to eat. And we love to go to great restaurants. So we’ll skip the chains that you’ve been to everywhere. Here are our choices for the best eating around Lancaster County. These are not really restaurant reviews, but more a compilation of our opinions on what dishes we like and a sampling of some items on the menus. Restaurants are listed in alphabetical order. Check this page often as we are constantly on the lookout for good food in new places.

Fine Dining (But not necessarily fussy)

  • Belvedere Inn – Whether for a drink, dinner or to listen to Jazz on Friday and Saturday nights, or rooftop dining in the warmer months, it’s all good.. We really like the Scallop with Pasta and Red Thai Curry Sauce with macadamia nuts, and also the Veal Duo with the pumpkin polenta – yummy. You can explore almost all the rooms in this Victorian row house…a great destination when in downtown Lancaster. Open 7 days a week, about 25 minutes from the inn.
  • Birchrunville Store CafeSmall and in the middle of nowhere, you’ll feel like you’re in the French countryside…or maybe Italy. This restaurant is so romantic that you’ll fall in love all over again. You can bring your own bottle of wine. We liked the mixed baby greens with roasted figs stuffed with pancetta and Roquefort appetizer, and any of their fish offerings. There are usually so many specials that you’ll have a hard time deciding! The 45 minute drive is but a mere detail. But make your reservations early; Saturdays fill months in advance. They do not take credit cards, just cash or checks. See our blog for more information.
  • Bube’s Brewery – What a fun and interesting place – from the Biergarten outside in the summer, to the Catacombs restaurant housed in a cave 40 feet below street level, to the line-up of entertainment in The Bottling Works. But our favorite is dining at Alois’s where we’ve enjoyed mutli-course gourmet offerings. The restaurant is steeped in history…so be sure to ask for a tour of the building. They now brew their own beer and offer many special events, including a ghost tour. A trip to Bube’s for dinner is an event. Located in Mt. Joy, about 40 minutes from the inn.
  • Dan’s at Green Hills – A lovely drive through the country ends at this historic inn. Choose the fireplace room, the sunroom, or outdoors, among the sparkling lights. Wonderful seafood and sauces. Open 7 days a week for dinner; about 30 minutes from the inn – we guarantee no traffic on the drive there!
  • John J. Jeffries – Located in the restored Lancaster Arts Hotel in downtown Lancaster, this is a restaurant like no other. Beautifully restored and great architectural details in brick and recycled barn wood. The food is organic, from local farms and creatively prepared. They offer small portions in addition to normal. Great for celiac or vegetarian diets. Open on Sundays, patio seating available in the warmer months.
  • Judy’s On Cherry – Located in a restored warehouse in downtown Reading and serving an eclectic mix of Mediterranean foods – all wonderful. We’ve tried just about every appetizer and salad – and the Meze plate – grape leaves, roasted red pepper hummus with Morrocan orange salad, feta and yogurt sauce is one of our favorites. Nice selection of beer and wine, great foccacia bread. We recommend sitting at the Chef’s table to watch the action! Closed Sunday and Monday. About 25 minutes from the inn.

Casual Dining

  • Boehringers Drive-In – This drive-in restaurant has been family owned and operated since 1936! Located in Adamstown next to a creek, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a great burger and fries on a summer day. Shaded picnic tables provide the setting. It’s no longer a drive-in; you simply place your order inside (the place is run mostly by college kids) and then step back in line – and there is ALWAYS a line! They somehow remember who you are without any ticket or number. No credit or debit cards here, folks – only cash. I love their chocolate almond amaretto ice cream, my mom always preferred the lemon. Open Sundays. Grab your flip-flops and hurry – they are only open in the summer.
  • Tacos El Gordo –Authentic Mexican food in a small, super clean restaurant on Main Street in Ephrata. Lots of variety and nice yummy portions. 15 minutes from inn, open every day – take out or eat in.
  • Funcks – Casual and fun. Usually have entertainment on Friday nights. Great Selection of beers….. About 20 minutes away in Leola.
  • Doc and Bubba’s – This restaurant will make you feel like you are on vacation! Great outdoor space with a waterfall, cornhole games, bar. The outside deck is enclosed in the winter! Salads, sandwiches, burgers and more. Brand new in July of 2022. Just 12 minutes from the inn. Closed Mondays. If the lot is full, look for directions to off-site parking and the shuttle.
  • Gracies on West Main – Great for lunch – or if you just can’t get enough breakfast (they serve it all day). Their menu is as inspiring as their quotes on the chalkboards that surround the dining areas. The pulled pork, chicken, and bacon are all smoked on site. The desserts. soups, salad dressings and the jams – all home-made. One of the most creative places we love to eat. About 20 minutes away in Leola. Closed Mondays and Sundays at 3. Now open most nights for dinner.
  • Johnny’s Bar and Steakhouse – Located behind Kyma, a popular seafood restaurant, this New York style eatery is an interesting place for drinks and munchies. Bruce really likes the old movies that are playing on the TV’s, so if you have a movie nut, be sure you seat them facing away from the TV…if you want to have any conversation at dinner besides “shssh – this is the good part”. Try the Santa Fe Chicken Salad or the Ahi Tuna appetizer. The steaks are to die for. Open Sundays. About 15 minutes from the inn.
  • Katy’s Kitchen – This Amish-owned restaurant is just down the street from Sight and Sound Theater. It’s clean, inexpensive and good. Most meals are for hearty appetites…but be sure to leave room for their home-made desserts. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
  • Kyma Seafood Grill – Only about ten minutes from the inn, but you’ll feel as if you’re visiting the Greek Islands – vivid colors on the walls and stunning photographs of white houses. The pictures that are on display throughout the restaurant were taken by the owners. We loved the she-crab soup, broiled salmon and the crab-stuffed shrimp and filet combo. They also have an outdoor deck in the warmer months. Not a seafood lover? No problem – the steaks are just as good as their partner restaurant, Johnny’s – (see above). Be sure to notice the lights in the Martini room. Closed Mondays.
  • Lickity Split – If you are looking for a good lunch or early dinner, we love all the home-made goodies here. We love that they reused an historic building and that the sundaes are named for local folks or places. Try the Dill Pickle Soup or any grilled sandwich. The ice cream is terrific – if you have room. Open 11 to 7, but closed Sundays.
  • Lancaster Brewing Company – Casual, fun and lively restaurant in downtown Lancaster and they also have a taproom on Route 30 serving hand-crafted ales and lagers. The strawberry-wheat is my favorite. We’ve had lots of meals here – good pub fare! Bar is open until 2, restaurant until 10. For a great history of beer in Lancaster, read their history page.
  • The Peanut Bar – Casual, fun, noisy and good food. This is the place that first started the tradition of throwing peanut shells on the floor – in 1935! You can get anything here – from great Buffalo wings to New York Jewish Corned Beef on Rye to Vegetarian Lasagna. There’s a long bar in the front room, lots of deserts and plenty of waiters with personality. In Reading – about 25 minutes from the inn.
  • Shady Maple Smorgasbord – The biggest buffet in Lancaster County. Reasonable prices, good quality and plenty of food – a great way to see what you think of chow-chow, shoo-fly pie, dried corn and other Pennsylvania Dutch specialties. There’s something here for everyone – from their seafood nights to prime rib. Just three miles from the inn. The best part is that they never rush you – and you have your own table or booth. Closed on Sundays.
  • Spyro Gyros – This tiny restaurant in downtown Lancaster offers authentic Greek food and lots of salads. Casual and fun with free wi-fi at the bar. We recommend the Meze Platter – it’s enough for two with all your favorites – dynamite hummus, wheat pitas, stuffed grape leaves, good olives, Greek salad, lamb kabobs and spanikopita. Breakfast and lunch only – 717-397-3939.
  • Sukhothai – Fabulous Thai restaurant housed in an historic building in Lancaster. Lots of healthy choices, beautifully presented. About half an hour from the inn. BYOB(717-517-9422.
  • The Udder Choice  – Fun place to stop for burgers and sandwiches and, of course, ice cream. All the meats are roasted on site and soups are home-made. At lunch they usually have 9 soups to choose from – try the Pumpkin Apple Bacon or the Roasted Garlic Tomato. They have the greatest collection of antique ice cream scoops that we’ve ever seen. Just on the other side of Ephrata – about 15 minutes from the inn. (717-733-4300)

There are many other local restaurants – if you have a favorite that you think we should include, please let us know!

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