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Lancaster Eats: A freshman food guide to downtown Lancaster

Adam Foreman
Staff Writer

Need to escape the campus for a few hours? Experience some of the (affordable) restaurants that form the identity and culture of Lancaster. A Millersville I.D. gets you a free bus ride to the city and back, (use Route 16 and exit at the McDonald’s on the corner of Water & King Street).

The Fridge (pizza) – It’s kind of a hike, but if you want to grab a slice down town, you have to try The Fridge. Located at 534 North Mulberry Street, the fridge is open for lunch and dinner every day but Monday.

As noted on the website “We hand-craft each pizza using only the freshest seasonal ingredients available from local farmers and merchants. Voted Best Pizza in Lancaster City & 2nd Best in Lancaster County.”

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If you are of the appropriate drinking age, The Fridge also offers the one of the widest selections of craft bottles available individually or in a build your own six-pack, in Central Pennsylvania.

“Due to the economic down-turn, we both lost our jobs and were at a crossroads in life, that defining moment when you can go back to what is familiar and comfortable, or risk everything to follow your heart and finally do what makes you truly happy.” – Kevin Brown and James Futty, owners of The Fridge, on starting their business.

According to urbanspoon, 84 percent of enjoyed their experience and it received one $ out of four.

Rachel’s Cafe and Creperie is the place to go for quaint atmosphere, unique service and savory crepes.
Rachel’s Cafe and Creperie is the place to go for quaint atmosphere, unique service and savory crepes.

Rachel’s Café & Creperie (creperie) – Located at 201 W. Walnut Street, Rachel’s bright yellow building and black and white umbrellas stand out in this nice part of town. The atmosphere is new Lancaster, old France. The ingredients are fresh and local. The service is unique.. err ah quirky.

What is a crepe? It’s like a thin pancake. How do they serve it? Either sweet or savory, your crepe may be served like a sandwich or with Nutella. While you’re there also try a Spicy Mexican Nutella Hot Chocolate.

Rachel’s Café is a great place to grab a quick bite with friends while you’re vintage shopping on the 300 block or before a show at the Fulton Theatre while you’re on a date.

According to urbanspoon, 91 percent of guests enjoyed their experience at Rachel’s Café and Creperie and it received one $ out of four.

Himalayan Curry and Grill (Indian) – If you’ve never tried Indian food before, it’s about time. This is one of the best places to start. This author recommends going to this restaurant, located at 22 E. Orange Street, in the mid-afternoon during the week. *It would be beneficial to call for a reservation. They feature an amazing lunch buffet so you can try some of everything and its surprisingly affordable.
According to urbanspoon, 95 percent of guests enjoyed their experience at Himalayan Curry and Grill and it received two $$ out of four.

Willie James Soul Food brings Southern comfort food to downtown Lancaster.
Willie James Soul Food brings Southern comfort food to downtown Lancaster.

Willie James Soul Food (soul food) – My favorite part about my experience at Willie James was watching the crowd going into McDonalds from the storefront window while I enjoyed the largest portions, the sweetest tea and most decadent chocolate cake, for under $10.

Located a few feet from the bus stop, 113 West King Street, you can’t miss it. Willie James isn’t open very late, so try to get there for lunch and make sure you bring an appetite. The restaurant hasn’t been open long and isn’t well known, so think of it as Lancaster’s best-kept secret.

The un-featured entertainment, if you can hear it, is the banter from the kitchen. This brings the atmosphere full circle, paired with authentic southern comfort food; Willie James Soul Food will leave you in the highest of spirits.
According to urbanspoon, 80 percent of guests enjoyed their experience at Willie James Soul Food and it received two $ out of four.

Roburritos (burrito’s) – When you walk in to Roburritos, the first thing you notice will be the “hipsters.” Get over it. The art on the board and the drawings on the fountain soda machine are done by local artist, Bruce Banter, and if you’re lucky, he may take your order.

Located at 227 North Prince Street, Roburritos is across the street from gallery row. Open for lunch and dinner, this is a great place to get a meal before your class at the Ware Center.

The burritos are gigantic, made from fresh and local ingredients, and seasoned with custom line of the hot-sauce of your choice.

According to urbanspoon, 85 percent of guests enjoyed their experience at Roburritos and it received one $ out of four.

If you’re new to the area or been here your entire life, there is a lot to explore in downtown Lancaster. It’s free to get there and you can easily make it affordable. Basically you don’t have an excuse not to go. Seriously, get off of campus (but come back).