Lancaster County cuisine comes in at least three distinct flavors-classic, country and cutting-edge. And the ambience ranges from candlelight and soft music, a sommelier and a menu with words you can't pronounce to picnic tables on a wharf with Travis and Garth in the background. First-time visitors are often surprised to discover that prize-winning chefs don't always live in Manhattan and that memorable dining experiences aren't restricted to "Restaurant Row." Doesn't surprise us. But then, we live here.
From elegant to trendy, classic American to French bistro, you'll find something here to suit every palate. Jump-start your day with a cappuccino or latte, then lunch on a Rappahannock Burger or an oyster sandwich. Dinner? Why not try the pan-seared skate wing with potato gnocchi? Or the soft crabs, a regional specialty.
From the golden arches to the Colonel's original recipe, we've got all the standards, as well as a few places willing to "push the envelope." In White Stone, look for "the hot dog stand with an attitude," fast food the way fast food used to be back in the 50s (maybe even earlier, but we won't admit to knowing anything about that). Just watch for the red and white stripes.
Grapeseed oil? Wasabi paste? Fresh Mozzarella? We've got it. No need to leave the latest copy of Bon Appetit back in your city apartment. (But if you do, you can find a replacement here.) Lancaster County food purveyors are out there on the cutting edge with everything you need to prepare that great gourmet dish.
Or you can let them do it. You'll be amazed at the variety of ready-to-eat foods available here. And maybe even more amazed at how many of Lancaster County's convenience stores have moved into this niche. Don't overlook them when you're on a quest for something new and different. And remember, whether you find it in a gourmet market or a convenience store, no one will know you didn't cook it yourself . . . will they?
Personal Chefs and Caterers
Whether you need to feed a crowd or just want to make the right impression on that one special person, you'll find the experienced chefs and caterers you need right here in Lancaster County. Why spend the day in the kitchen when there's a river out there beckoning?
Eat your heart out, Seattle. Your trend-setting coffee bar scene has become a "big brand," look-alike facsimile of the original while here in Lancaster County we have "the real thing." Independent coffee bars where the owners are free to experiment. Cappuccino? Latte? Sure. Chai tea and smoothies, too. But be sure to check the chalkboard to see what custom creations the resident coffee chemist has come up with to keep you perkin' all day long.
From church suppers to community crab feasts, food is a featured attraction whenever people gather. And in Lancaster County, they gather often. Plan early to be part of the Rotary Foundation's fall Bay Seafood Festival, always a sell-out. Ditto for "The Northern Neck Entertains," a tantalizing series of dining "happenings" created by supporters of the Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury Foundation. Check the Calendar of Events on this website to find out what's cookin' in Lancaster County throughout the year.
Seafood always tastes better when you catch it yourself. (Why is that, do you suppose?) And there's plenty to catch here in Lancaster County. But if you'd rather leave the catching (and the cleaning) to someone else, there's certainly no shortage of seafood markets to keep you supplied.