family lunch and dinner options around Eden Resort in Lancaster
Our first visit to Lancaster with a 4.5 year old, a 3 year old, and a 17 month old in tow. Any suggestions on where to eat? Any cuisine, any price point--our kids are good eaters. The only criteria is tasty, quality fare.
For the closest thing to PA Dutch, head a mile or so north on Oregon Pike to Oregon Dairy. Great place for kids as well since they have the ice cream parlor and "farm animal zoo".
Downtown is only a couple minutes away, and there are several options that would be happy to cater to children. Off the top of my head is Iron Hill (across from F&M), Rachel's Craperie, Pressroom.
Depending on when you are going to be there, if it's a Tues/Fri/Sat I highly recommend Central Market. There's also Carmen & David's for delicious ice cream that's right around the corner.
There's a burger joint called Jimmee's that's about a 1/4 mile away next to Stockyard Inn - the burgers are out of this world as are the shakes.
More upscale restaurants I'd be hesitant bringing the small children...though some people do. Alley Kat is a bar that has a fairly decent menu, I see kids in there all the time.
There are some ideas for you...all tasty fare and very good quality. Again, I'm probably more versed at the higher end establishments for high quality (Gibraltar, John J. Jeffries, Belvedere Inn), and I would certainly not label them Family Dining.
It's been a couple of years since we last stayed in Lancaster (at Eden, which we really liked) -- since the kids outgrew Dutch Wonderland and we moved up to Hersheypark -- but we always enjoyed Rachel's Creperie.
Great crepes and coffee too!
On the flip side, the Akron Restaurant and French Toast Factory up the road from Eden in Akron really sucked. This is a place I'd refer to as a "craperie." LOL
The Neptune Diner is also crap. Pure slop.
One more place to avoid: Lombardo's Restaurant. This is the kind of old-school red sauce Italian place I grew up with in Rhode Island, but this one is pretty bad. I got an antipasto that was laughable -- one of the ingredients was celery with the leaves still attached! It looked like something out of one of those "Bad food from your childhood" books.
There's also a Carrabba's across the street from Eden. We have enjoyed other Carrabba's but this one was mediocre at best.
You should be aware that if you head south into the city there is a major construction project going on at the major southbound roads that enter the city from the north. There are closed roads and detours galore. Angering locals, but could be incredibly confusing for visitors unfamiliar with the area or relying on GPS. Ask for advice at the front desk of the Eden (who will hopefully be up to date on the latest) if you choose to go into Lancaster City.
I couldn't agree more with Oregon Dairy. A great place to take kids as well as a great place to sample PA Dutch food. My advice is to order off the menu rather than get the buffet. Get ice cream as well and let the kids run around the play area.
Isaac's Deli is a local chain. It's not a NYC style deli, but does have good unique sandwiches, vegetarian options and generally something for everyone, my kids really like it there. I think the closest one to you would be off the Greenfield exit on Rt. 30 just east of your hotel. There is also one in Strasburg if you are taking the kids to the trains.
Otherwise, I think the best food is downtown, just be mindful of the traffic issues. I like all of Sean's suggestions: Iron Hill, Pressroom, and Rachel's. If you like Vietnamese, Rice and Noodles is right in the middle of the construction zone, but it still seems to be drawing crowds, so that tells you something. Downtown also has Thai : Sa La Thai, Sukothai, and Lemon Grass. My kids like Mexican and have been to Cocian Mexicana a few times. (It's conveniently close to the above mentioned Carmen and David's.)
CPD, I have limited recent experience with Lancaster city establishments and although we do not get to the city frequently. I like keeping up to date with what is considered good and is relatively new for when we do visit. I enjoy your perspectives and appreciate that you keep this board informed and current. On some general issues we may not agree but that keeps things interesting.