November 1, 2021
As the owners of the Historic Smithton Inn, a Bed and Breakfast in Lancaster PA, occasionally a guest from New York City would ask us, “Where can we go for some good Italian food?”. My old response used to be, “HOME!”. But that’s no longer the case we have some fantastic Italian restaurants in Amish Country!! There are Italian restaurants in or near Lancaster PA that absolutely rival any restaurant found in NYC or around the world. Here’s our list of the 14 Best Italian Restaurants in Lancaster PA. It includes everything from High-End Italian eateries to family owned neighborhood restaurants dating back to the 1930’s:
Nonna Rosa is a family-owned restaurant located in Akron, PA. From the moment they opened their doors in 2019 the locals realized the great quality of their food. Suddenly lines formed out the door of patrons waiting for a table. The staff prepares everything in house: fresh pasta, homemade sausage, sauces made from scratch and Nonna’s delicious Meatball recipe!. Definitely save room for a Cannoli.
Lombardo’s is located in downtown Lancaster and has been a local favorite for years and years. Recently the newest generation of the Lombardo family took on a major renovation of the building, transforming it from a ‘kitchy’ Italian restaurant that screamed 1950s to a hip and trendy venue with a fantastic bar area, piano bar lounge & multiple dining rooms. While lighting and atmosphere are fantastic, the food is even better!
LUCA is a wonderful, unique restaurant reviewed multiple times by a New York Times food critic and has garnered praise each time! The restaurant is set in a former neighborhood grocery store. The architecture and décor of this casual-rustic Italian restaurant sets the scene for a special meal. Dishes are prepared in a wood-hearth or Neapolitan oven and their menu is farm-driven, making everything fresh and delicious.
Caruso’s is a family owned award winning pizza restaurant with 7 locations in or near Lancaster PA. Although each location has the same name, they are all independently owned, and recipes can be tweaked from one location to another. The original Neffsville location opened in 1982. In addition to delicious pizza, you can find burgers, wings, salads, subs, calzone, Stromboli and pasta dishes here as well. Caruso’s offers dine-in, curbside pick up and deliver (for an additional fee).
Discover a taste of the Italian countryside at Osteria Avanti in Leola, PA. The Inn at Leola Village’s restaurant takes great care to provide a warm and elevated atmosphere for guests seeking refined Italian cuisine. Osteria Avanti’s menu is carefully crafted with nostalgic flavors for an unforgettable dining experience.
Located inside the Lancaster airport, you can take in the runway view while dining on delicious homemade Italian dishes. Their massive outdoor space includes a large sunshade, fire pit, and covered bar area. With plenty of outdoor heaters, this is alfresco dining at its best. They host terrific live music most weekends and even on the occasional weekday!
Pasquale’s is a BYOB pizza shop and restaurant that’s been family owned and operated since 1997. Their pizza dough is fresh-made and their meats are hand trimmed… just a few of the little details that contribute to their delicious food and fabulous dining experience. When you’re ordering, keep in mind that their portions are VERY generous!
Ciro’s tagline is “Old World Recipes with a Contemporary Flair”, which should give you a pretty good idea of what’s in store when you dine at this hip & popular Italian Restaurant. Owners Tony and Angelo Ciro will welcome you as if you’re family and will serve you homemade dishes inspired by Mama Giovanna’s own recipes.
Valentino’s is a 4th generation family-owned neighborhood restaurant since 1937! Founded by John and Anna Valentino. What’s awesome is that they still serve Anna’s same homemade meat sauce recipe today. The restaurant is a “Cheers-style” bar where everyone knows one another, and you can definitely make some new friends if you’re visiting for the first time.
Chef Nino has been serving up Authentic Sicilian cuisine for the past 46 years!! Guests can dine on delicious sandwiches, personal flatbread pizzas, homemade soups and desserts. The menu is a tip of the hat for those who appreciate great food, made with top notch imported meats and cheeses from Italy and with locally grown seasonal ingredients! You can even take home some delicious foods from their on-site Italian Market and Specialty Food Store.
Judy’s on Cherry is a self-proclaimed “hearth-fired Euro Cafe”. They offer Mediterranean-inspired fine dining fare in the heart of downtown Reading. At Judy’s you’ll bask in the warm glow of vaulted wooden ceilings, gorgeous decor and relaxed, comfortable service. Judy’s hearth fired oven turns out everything from freshly baked focaccia bread to crispy, gourmet pizzas, pastas and tapas-like small plates.
In 1936, Mom Chaffe fulfilled her dream of owning an Italian Restaurant when she opened “The Cellarette” in a quiet residential neighborhood in West Reading. Over the next 20 years, the restaurant expanded and thrived as a local favorite. Mom Chaffe passed away in 1956 and new families took over the restaurant and continued the tradition; evolving the kitchen, service & décor, but never the quality food & unique experience!
For one of the best HIDDEN GEMS around, give Victor Emmanuel a try! Victor Emmanuel is a is a members only Italian club serving the finest in authentic Italian foods in Berks County for over 100 years. You’ll have to pay $10 (cash) to become a member, but it’s totally worth it!
The locals refer to this restaurant as “Trat-Frat” and they’ve earned a reputation as one of the best Italian Restaurants in all of Central Pennsylvania. “The Phantom Diner” food critic for Central PA Magazine had this to say about his experience, “I have no reservations about naming it among my five favorites of the past 25 years.” The servers are knowledgeable & friendly, the menu is short and creative, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting!! No matter how far you have to drive to try Trattoria Fratelli, it’s worth it!
Now is the time to flee the city and find peace and serenity in the countryside, and Lancaster is the perfect place for that! Our gorgeous Bed and Breakfast Ephrata PA offers all you desire for your rustic getaway. Between a historical building, charming amenities, and a top-notch location at the heart of the Amish country, the Historic Smithton Inn awaits you!
Browse our guest rooms and pick your favorite! The decor of the Yellow Room features beautiful antiques and handcrafted furniture, and even a private bathroom with a frameless glass rain shower and a working fireplace! Wake up in the morning feeling as refreshed as ever and follow the smell of coffee downstairs, where a delicious homemade breakfast awaits you.