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We’re celebrating the bakers, makers, brewers, and restaurateurs who are bringing the tastes of the season to the City of Lancaster. Grab some friends and have a seat at one of the many tables featured in this story and enjoy the fresh bounty of local cuisine. Some of our favorite meals are meant to be shared. This summer we’re toasting, tasting, and celebrating all of the delicious flavors our City has to offer.
Here are 22 foodie destinations you have to try this summer. We’ll save you a seat.
Indulge in a beautiful view of Lancaster City on the rooftop lounge while enjoying a refined selection of drinks and refreshments. The third floor lounge offers late night casual dining and entertainment—also the perfect location for your next private event. New for the summer season: unwind on the weekends with rooftop brunch.
Our Pick: The thick sliced French Toast and an Elderberry Fizz.
Discover a unique blend of French, Asian, and American cuisine at Checkers Bistro. An exceptional staff and talented culinary team work together to create an inventive seasonal menu showcasing their commitment to using local ingredients and purveyors. Don’t miss their acclaimed wine selection and unique cocktail and beer menu. Cheers!
Our Pick: The Peking Duck Tacos at happy hour and the Eggs Norwegian and a Bloody Mary for brunch.
The Belvedere Inn is a revered foodie destination in Downtown Lancaster, known for its delicious contemporary American cuisine and elegant dining. Enjoy savory appetizers, lunch specials, and entrées or stop by for a cocktail after work on our outdoor second floor patio. Plus enjoy live jazz in the upstairs piano bar.
Our Pick: The Belvie Bread, Lobster Bisque, and Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad.
Discover Annie Bailey’s Irish Public House—Lancaster County’s favorite authentic Irish pub. A pub for all ages, tastes, and gatherings, Annie Bailey’s represents the warm, inviting nature of Irish culture through a modern lens. Their blend of tradition, character, and quality lands Annie Bailey’s at the crossroads of sophistication & approachability. The award-winning beer selection, shelves-on-shelves of whiskeys, weekend brunch, live entertainment, and outdoor deck make Annie Bailey’s a perfect summer destination.
Our Pick: The Prosciutto and Cantaloupe Bruschetta.
Cafe One Eight exists to present the genuine art of hospitality, create quality food and relationships, and make a difference in the local community. When you walk through their door, it’s easy to feel welcome with their smiling service and delicious food and drinks.
Our Pick: The Avocado Toast or the Summer Yogurt Parfait with a draft Kombucha.
Characters offers lunch, dinner, and Saturday brunch, as well as private parties in their event space: Windows on Queen. Chef/Owner Meghan Young and her staff strive to make a personal connection through the food and service to the customers and the community through efforts like Celebrity Bartending Nights that raise money for local charities and non-profits.
Our Pick: Grass-fed Burger Night on Tuesdays and Tacos & Margaritas on Wednesdays.
New in 2018 on the corner of Lemon and Prince. Amorette sets the benchmark for fine dining and sophisticated service for South Central Pennsylvania and beyond. The menu features refined, eclectic cuisine with French and Asian influences, created by Michelin-trained chefs, and executed to perfection.
Our Pick: Duck Breast, Asparagus Agnolotti, and Rabbit Loin.
Explore Cork & Cap Restaurant, where each dish is made from scratch. They serve lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch in a memorable, casual-hip setting. Relax in plush leather banquettes alongside restored brick and stone walls, lounge in the rustic bar area, or sip drinks with friends on the patio around Urban Place’s signature smokestack.
Our Pick: Summer at the Smokestack—backyard barbecue on the patio Thursday to Saturday through August.
Splits & Giggles corner cafe is a treat for the whole family. What started out as ice cream has become so much more, with homemade savory snacks, delicious beverages, and daily specials, all with the feel of a mom and pop ice cream shop.
Our Pick: The Giggles Parfait and Mary Had A Little Ham Panini.
Upohar—meaning “gift”—is a social impact food business serving distinctive global fare, and specializing in vegan, vegetarian, and naturally gluten-free food. You can taste different world flavors not only at their restaurant, but also at markets in Lancaster and the Upohar food truck.
Our Pick: The Moroccan Vegetable Tagine and the Sanbusa.
Citronnelle is a chic and intimate little French BYOB located right in the heart of downtown. Their dishes are classically prepared, yet modern, with global influences from Asia and Africa. Citronnelle, which is French for lemongrass, is synonymous with fresh, local, natural—and often organic— ingredients.
Our Pick: The pasture-raised Wagyu Beef Carpaccio and the Lemongrass Soufflé.
Rachel’s offers fresh, made-to-order crepes of all kinds, from delicious breakfast crepes to hearty lunch and dinner crepes and sweet dessert crepes, as well as real fruit smoothies, homemade soups, and fresh salads.
Our Pick: The Oyler Crepe and the West End Smoothie.
East King Culinary, a little takeout Bottega and caterer, embodies so much more than meets the eye. Owner and Chef Antonia Hinnenkamp wants her guests to feel like they are getting much more than “take away” food. Her sandwiches, soups, and desserts are beautiful, artisanal, seasonal—and made with love and support for local economies.
Our Pick: The Grilled Asparagus, Brie, Tomato, and Prosciutto Sandwich on locally-made MiLi’s Bakery and Anita Bakes breads.
Pioneers of authentic Vietnamese cuisine in Lancaster City, the team at Sprout prepares fresh spring rolls, French bread sandwiches, entrée salads, soups, rice platters, and a variety of noodle dishes—in addition to a large selection of homemade desserts—all in a casual, relaxing, and fun atmosphere.
Our Pick: The Vermicelli Rice Bowl with sautéed lemongrass chicken and egg rolls.
Commonwealth on Queen features breakfast, brunch, lunch, and sweet treats made daily, in addition to being a popular event venue for intimate gatherings. Commonwealth also offers catering for all occasions from office breakfasts to bridal brunches, and rehearsal dinners to large corporate events, featuring custom menus made from scratch.
Our Pick: A Savory Breakfast Tart and Milk & Honey Latte.
Souvlaki Boys is dedicated to bringing Greece’s delicious “street food” to America. Mike and his team have a passion for the food and hospitality of their Greek roots and a desire to share it with Lancaster. By using healthy ingredients, prepared fresh and from scratch, they serve the authentic taste of Greece’s ‘street food’ for lunch, dinner, catering, and special events.
Our Pick: The Zeus Pita and Fresh Cut Fries.
Iron Hill is a craft brewery with a scratch kitchen that showcases fresh-brewed beer and New American cuisine with distinctive local flavors. With a love of the craft and a passion for community, they’ve become the go-to place for gathering and celebrating with others.
Our Pick: Korean Barbecue Glazed Chicken Wings sweet spicy sauce, scallions, sesame seeds, kimchi-style slaw.
Cabalar Meat Co. is a whole animal butcher that sources local fully-pastured and grass fed animals. You can stop by and have your meats butchered right in front of you and pick up some delicious cheeses and other accoutrements in the grocer section. If you’re hungry for breakfast or lunch, stop in for delicious hand-carved sandwiches and homemade sweet treats.
Our Pick: The Biscuits and Gravy and the famous Cabalar Cheeseburger.
Rolled Cold Creamery has brought a brand new dessert experience to downtown Lancaster. More than just an incredibly unique way to enjoy ice cream, Rolled Cold offers the fun experience of watching the staff handcraft pure Lancaster County ingredients into an exceptional dessert.
Our Pick: The fresh Strawberry or Caramel Pretzel rolled ice cream.
Seasons has a passion for fresh olive oil and high quality vinegars that shines in all that they do, whether it be educational classes, partnering with local restaurants, or chef-driven cooking demonstrations. Stop by to experience the tastes of what is offered, and learn how to incorporate them into your own recipes at home.
Our Pick: The Agrumato extra virgin olive oils—whole fruit, chilies, or herbs, crushed simultaneously with fresh harvested olives.
Offering more than 140 spices, 80-plus exclusive hand-mixed blends, 21 naturally-flavored sugars, an array of salts from around the world, and more than 40 exotic teas, Spice and Tea is focused on providing high quality products and accessories for home cooks, chefs, and tea lovers in an old-world spice traders’ atmosphere.
Our Pick: The assortment of flavored sugars. Also, try the brand new tea bar with iced and hot tea.
A butcher and sandwich shop, Freinschaft boasts a wide variety of products—from freshly butchered meats and artisan style sandwiches to convenient take-home prepared foods, along with specialty cheeses and a plethora of unique pantry items.
Our Pick: The local Rotisserie Chicken and prepared foods.
For even more delicious places around the City, check out our Fig Table restaurant guide that features behind-the-scenes photos, menus, interviews with local chefs, and more.