One of my favorite things in the world is going out to eat at a nice restaurant. I love taking a few hours and enjoying 4 courses of food along with a glass of wine or two and spending time with my husband, family or friends. When we were first married we were two young people living cheaply in a one bedroom apartment and both working, this meant a much larger disposable income than we have now. As a result that first year or so of our marriage we enjoyed eating out at least once a week, and at all of our favorite places. I think that year was when we really became “foodies.”

Here’s a wikapedia definition of the term: “Foodie is an informal term for a particular class of aficionado of food and drink. Although the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, foodies differ from gourmets in that gourmets are epicures of refined taste who may or may not be professionals in the food industry, whereas foodies are amateurs who simply love food for consumption, study, preparation, and news. Gourmets simply want to eat the best food, whereas foodies want to learn everything about food, both the best and the ordinary, and about the science, industry, and personalities surrounding food.”

This is the perfect definition of us. We are not professionals, but we love learning about and eating food. With that in mind, you will find local and non-local restaurant reviews here from time to time. Lancaster, Pennsylvania offers many wonderful restaurants and we have been to quite a few. I’ll give you my opinions of the food and the service from the “foodie” perspective. To start things off, here is a short list of some of my local favorites. For more detailed reviews, take look under the Restaurant Reviews category.

Lancaster Favorites:
Belvedere Inn – The Belvere has a wonderful menu. It combines local Lancaster ingredients with and elegant and modern flair. The building is one of the oldest establishments in Lancaster and is filled with character. It’s cozy atmosphere is a perfect date restaurant but be sure to make a reservation, seats are hard to come by.

Annie Bailey’s Irish Pub – Annie Bailey’s is the quintessential Irish Pub. The interior takes you right back to Ireland along with their perfectly poured pints of Guinness. Their menu includes all the traditional Irish pub fair along with mediteranean menu than changes frequently. Be sure and check out their beautiful patio if the weather is nice.

Iron Hill Brewery - Iron Hill has a special place in our hearts. Eric and I met while attending the University of Delaware. Iron Hill’s first restaurant was opened on main street in Newark, DE within walking distance of the University. As college students Iron Hill was one of the best places to eat. We were overjoyed when the resturant expanded and opened a location in Lancaster. You will find a large menu with speicals than change daily. They have an extensive beer menu (my favorite is their rasberry wheat beer, trust me girls its amazing) and a wonderful restaurant area along with a large bar. Favorite dish: cheesesteak eggrolls.

Haydn Zugs - Haydn Zugs is located in East Petersburg, Pa and right around the corner from our house. We walk by it daily when we walk our dog and their owners always give our dog treats when we pass by! The building used to be a general store and dates back to the mid 1800s. Now it lures customers in with its delicious new american menu and reputation for wonderful seafood. Haydn Zugs has hosted us for a few special occasions. Be sure to make a reservation.

John J. Jeffries - Located in the Lancaster Arts Hotel in downtown Lancaster, John J. Jeffries uses completely organic and stustainable ingredients in its wonderful farm-to-table menu and wine list. The atmosphere is quiet and relaxing and also features outdoor seating in the warmer months. The menu is ever changing based on the local ingredients available and you’re sure to walk out satisfied.

Gibralter - Gibraltar is probably our favorite restuarant in Lancaster. It’s located across from Franklin and Marshall College and is known for its seafood selections however my personal favorite is their braised shortribs. Be sure to leave room for dessert their menu is extraordinary.

Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie - Rachel’s is one of the cutest and most delicious restaurants in Lancaster. Located downtown, it offers indoor and outdoor seating just like a typical Parisian cafe. The menu consists mostly of crepes; savory crepes, sweet crepes, breakfast crepes and daily special crepes. This is truly a taste of Paris with images from the city all over the walls and tables; even the music is French. Be sure and try the nutella mocha with your crepe and check out the cute nutella gifts for sale next to the cash register. Rachel’s doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait, especially if you’re heading over for brunch on the weekends.