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Apr 26, 2013 06:44 AM

Best of Everything near Lancaster for Two Deserving Retirees!

Hi Chowhounds!

My amazing in-laws are finally retiring (31 years as a Philadelphia police officer for him and 20 years of cleaning other people's homes for her). They are moving to the Lancaster area (technically Mountville is their town) this weekend. This is the first time they will have lived outside of Philly. I want to help them acclimate to their new home and hope you can help!

They are going to need quality go-to places to everything - pizza, breakfast, coffee, wine, beer, sandwiches, casual dinners, nice dinners, sushi, chinese food, butcher, bakery, etc. I'm sure I'm forgetting some categories.

I know it's a long list, but I would so appreciate it if you would post all of YOUR favorite places in the area. Thank you!

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  1. Gettysburg Pretzel Factory (hope that's not too far. Are they closer to Akron?)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chowrin

      As sballard says Central Market is full of good butchers and bakerys.
      However, if they can't make market s Clyde Weaver in East Petersburg is probably a closer drive for meat and cheese(they are also on Market but with a smaller stand)

    2. Bump!

      So far we've found Isaacs sandwiches and El Serrano - both were great!

      1. Some of my favorite places:

        Carmen and Davids Creamery in Lancaster. Best ice cream I've ever had.

        Rooster Street Provisions in Elizabethtown. Amazing artisan house cured pork products.

        Ma(i)son, in Lancaster. Favorite high end restaurant that also happens to be BYO. Also very much like Gibraltar and John Jeffries for higher end dining.

        Harvey's BBQ: Mount Joy BBQ place. Very casual, very tasty!

        The Central Market in Lancaster. I don't get there as often as I would like, due to their limited hours, but if I was retired, I'd be there at least once/week.

        My favorite pizza is the Grandma's Pizza at DiMaria's in Mount Joy.

        For chinese and sushi, I enjoy Cafe East, which is near Mountville on Centerville Road.

        My favorite Vietnamese is Saigon Cafe.

        Those are some off of the top of my head. I'll give it some more thought.

        5 Replies
        1. re: sballard

          I'll also cast my votes for Ma(i)son and John Jeffries. Ma(i)son exceeded my expectations in so many ways.

          I've just about given up trying to find decent Chinese in Lancaster. Is Cafe East really worth a try?

          I do, OTOH, really enjoy the pho at Saigon Cafe.

          1. re: CindyJ

            Have you tried Yang's on Lititz Pike? Or Tony Wang's on Lincoln Highway (across from Tanger)? Both are excellent, with Yang's being our absolute favorite.

            Cafe East is nothing to rave about, standard take-out Chinese that most enjoy just fine.

            1. re: sean_f

              I've been to Tony Wang's a few times, and each time I was underwhelmed. We used to like the Asian Bistro just down the road from Tony Wang's, and were sad to see it close.

              1. re: CindyJ

                Lol, we're talking about Chinese American takeout food, yes? The idea that any of these type places could serve up something more than "underwhelming" is baffling (imho).

                Sichuan Chinese food, well that's another story.

            2. re: CindyJ

              For me Cafe East is consistent, and has a nice variety of offerings from different regions. I like that I can get a Sushi app, then Chinese or Japanese or even Thai influenced main course. It doesn't blow me a way, but when I crave Chinese it hits the spot. I've never had a dish there that I thought was "bad", and have found it to be very tasty. I think my favorite dish is their mango chicken. I find it to be very kid friendly as well, so that helps.

          2. Mountville doesn't have much going on in terms of quality, and you would have to head east and not west (nothing in Columbia). There's not much business and some of the eateries and bars are a bit rundown with a tougher crowd.

            -Grand Central Bagel in Centerville (next to Isaac's that you've already found) is great for coffee and bagels.
            -Symposium is okay for a casual dinner at the bar. Not the best food since the menu is so vast and clearly everything is frozen, but there's usually the burger special and some other things that are decent. Again, more for casual sitting at bar.
            -Avoid Loxleys, food is terrible even if it is nice to sit outside.
            -Venice Pizza is actually a really good pizza shop, but my favorite over there is Ruffino's in Centerville Shopping Center.
            -Same shopping center has Cafe East, which has great Chinese but just okay sushi.

            The rest is downtown Lancaster where you'll find much more selection. Agree with other posters that Central Market is the best market anywhere...and you'll have no trouble getting great meats and produce (grass fed and organic if you so choose). There are a ton of great restaurants, as well as cafe's, for both casual dining and fine dining. Search other threads, most of these are already mentioned.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sean_f

              Also, on Rohrerstown Rd (not far from El Serrano) is the large Stauffer's of Kissel Hill. Lancaster based grocer that has fantastic meats, produce, cheeses, etc. Long history and really fantastic hometown feel.