17 Best Restaurants in Lebanon, PA
This article is written by local contributor Laura Martinez & edited by the Travel Lens team.
I live in Lebanon, a charming city in Lebanon County, southeastern Pennsylvania.
This historic city, which serves as the county seat, has a rich history dating back to the mid-18th century.
It was once home to one of the country's largest steel producers.
I love exploring the city's historic sites, scenic nature spots, parks, and natural attractions.
Our revitalized downtown area is filled with various dining spots, shops, and beautiful architecture, perfect for a leisurely stroll and sightseeing.
We also have a vibrant arts and culture scene, with art galleries, community theater, and dozens of public art pieces to admire.
Of course, one of my favorite things to do is to sample the diverse dining scene in Lebanon.
From hearty American dishes to local takes on international cuisines such as Italian, Central American, and Asian, there's something for everyone.
In this article, I'll share some of the best restaurants in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, that you must try when you visit our lovely city.
Gin Mill Restaurant & Tavern
I recently checked out the local scene at the historic Gin Mill Restaurant & Tavern.
Having served the area since the 1930s, this modern neighborhood restaurant serves classic American dishes such as steak, sandwiches, and ribs.
It also offers a rotation of two dozen craft beers from various breweries.
I took a look at its current tap list and decided on a pint, which I enjoyed with some flavorful wings and a smoke-out sampler with brisket, rack ribs, chicken, garlic mash, and cornbread.
I also tasted some Korean pork dumplings, East Coast calamari with garlic aioli, and deviled eggs.
The drinks menu also includes cocktails and wine.
I caught happy hour with friends and tasted the sweet and spicy homemade Angus beef jerky.
Gin Mill Restaurant & Tavern is along East Cumberland St.
The atmosphere is really cool with an old tavern vibe. I'm sure when it's not 25 degrees, the outdoor seating is great.
They had a slew of craft beers in all groupings with about 15 on tap and others in bottles and cans.
I had a Belgian Strong Ale Mason, which the server-bartender poured for me.
He was just on point for everything and you could just tell everyone was enjoying their time here.
I had a brisket and blue cheese sandwich that was really tasty.
The fries were lightly battered and I got some Sriracha to dip them in. This is a great combo and just a good kick up.
Indulge in award-winning Italian food at Trattoria Fratelli.
This lovely restaurant offers traditional Italian dishes in an atmosphere great for a date night or an intimate gathering with friends.
It also has a wine cellar and a full bar to take care of your drinks.
I recently took my 99-year-old mom to Trats for Mother's Day, and we had a fantastic time!
The service was marvelous, and the atmosphere was friendly.
I even asked for a small cake for my mom, and they happily obliged.
My daughter works as a server here, which makes it even more special for me.
Start with a delicious cocktail, antipasti, and salads.
Sample dishes from the pasta menu and main courses, which change with the season.
Complete the dining experience with gelato or sorbetto and enjoy the rest of the night with specialty drinks.
Let's be honest, the Lebanon area is not much of a foodie destination.
However, Trattoria Fratelli is a standout exception.
The "Who's Who" of Lebanon is typically there, and that's because the food is high quality and delicious.
They even make their own pizzas!
Mannino's Pizzeria & Restaurant
Mannino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant specializes in home-cooked Italian dishes.
This family-owned Italian restaurant offers an extensive menu of pizza, pasta, subs, and other Italian specialties.
Besides traditional pizza, I tried their specialty pizzas with a variety of toppings, white pizza, and stuffed crust pizza.
I also had a bite of the delicious meat lovers' stromboli and spinach calzone.
For dinner, I dug into a chicken parmigiana and my partner had the shrimp alfredo.
We paired our meals with savory sides such as fried zucchini, onion rings, and garlic knots.
If you’re coming with your little ones, they have a kids' menu featuring grilled cheese and other sandwiches.
Mannino’s Pizzeria & Restaurant is located along East Cumberland St.
On my visit, I found the restaurant to be small and cozy, with a few tables for dining in.
I ordered the Chicken Parmesan with linguine, and my partner had the stuffed shells.
The 2 dinners came with a choice of soup or salad.
We both chose the salad, which was fresh, and the tomatoes tasted freshly picked!
The Chicken Parm was perfectly breaded and cooked with a marinara to die for. The stuffed shells burst with flavor.
Any time I try a new place, I want to save room for dessert.
They have zeppoles (made on premises), cheesecake, chocolate triple tier cake, and cannolis (also made on premises).
I couldn't resist the chocolate cake, and it was amazing.
The Downtown Lounge
The Downtown Lounge. is a restaurant grill and sports bar has been offering great food, drinks, and a lively atmosphere since 1979.
I enjoyed their prime rib sliders, gruyere burgers, and other mouthwatering dishes from their unique menu.
The Korean tacos and lobster mac n’ cheese were especially tasty.
For seafood lovers, they serve lobster bisque, kicked-up clams, mussels marinara, and Romano cod.
I gathered some friends and we had a few cold beers and delicious buffalo wings while tuning in to the night’s football match.
This spot hosts weekly events such as trivia nights, karaoke, and live music, which are always a blast.
You can find the Downtown Lounge along Cumberland St.
It's not a trendy, hipster place, but rather a dive bar with a ton of heart.
Drinks are cheap, it's usually packed, and everyone is super friendly.
If you're looking for an upscale, trendy, tapas gastro pub filled with hipsters drinking foo foo cocktails, then this ain't it.
This is a local bar filled with local people of diverse backgrounds.
The Red-Headed League Public House
Visit the Red Headed League Public House for some tasty pub fare and great atmosphere.
This restaurant serves American fare, such as wings, burgers, and smokehouse dishes.
It also features various food specials throughout the week.
I came on pizza night and enjoyed the signature wood-fired pizza with delectable cheese toppings.
The slab bacon and barnyard breakfast on burger night is also a must-try.
I often catch happy hour with friends and sample craft beers on tap with yummy nachos and tacos.
And I always save some room to taste classic sweet treats such as cheesecakes and brownie sundaes.
The Red-Headed League Public House is located above the Lebanon Farmers Market along South 8th St.
It's a gem in the area, and the service is usually excellent.
La Placita de Lebanon
I always enjoy authentic Mexican flavors at La Placita de Lebanon.
This restaurant offers an extensive menu of classic Mexican dishes and specialties.
One of my favorites is munching on crispy nachos with beans, chorizo, sour cream, guacamole, and cilantro.
I've tried their house specialty enchiladas, made with tender chicken, green salsa, lettuce, and cheese, and they are absolutely delicious.
On my last visit, I opted for the breakfast option of eggs and chorizo, which was super satisfying and filling.
The menu said it would come with four tortillas, but I received five, which was a lovely surprise.
Sometimes, I also enjoy a bite of beef steak or grilled steak torta, a traditional Mexican sandwich with hot peppers.
To complete the experience, I usually grab a bottle of Mexican soda in refreshing flavors such as mango, pineapple, sangria, and agua de coco.
After dining, I often check out the grocery store onsite, where I can get Mexican food to enjoy or cook back at home.
La Placita de Lebanon is conveniently located along Cumberland St.
Misago Bistro Sushi
Misago Bistro Sushi, I must say, has delightful Japanese flavors that do not disappoint.
The restaurant offers an extensive menu of sushi, sashimi, and other classic Japanese dishes.
I started with the delicious miso soup and sampled traditional appetizers such as gyoza, steamed edamame, and fried tofu with sauce.
For my main course, I decided to try a variety of flavors by ordering ala carte rolls and hand rolls.
I also couldn't resist trying some of the chef’s special rolls, including the famous fire crunchy roll with shrimp and the Tai roll with smoked salmon.
The sushi was fresh and flavorful, and I was thoroughly impressed.
Although I'm a sushi fan, I noticed that Misago Bistro also offers a tempura and katsu dinner menu for those who prefer deep-fried vegetables, shrimp, and breaded chicken or pork.
They even have a kid’s menu offering chicken katsu, beef teriyaki, and shrimp tempura, which is perfect for families.
Misago Bistro Sushi is located along West Cumberland St., and I found it to be very conveniently located off Rt. 422.
I appreciated that they have an online shop where you can order for pick-up, and they even use a QR code system for dine-in orders during busy times.
The restaurant was clean, the staff was friendly, and the prices were very reasonable.
Embarking on a culinary journey at Quesa Dee’as was nothing short of a gastronomic revelation.
Nestled amidst the vibrant locale of Cumberland St. in Lebanon, PA, this quaint Tex-Mex hideaway crafts an enticing tapestry of flavors that enthrall the senses and warm the heart.
The Baja fish tacos I sampled were an exquisite symphony of taste and texture - every bite imbued with the freshness of the sea, nuanced with gentle spices that imbued the palate with a lingering aftertaste.
As an intrigued onlooker, the San Antonio crunch burrito across the table caught my eye, its hearty portion promising a fulfilling, flavor-packed dining adventure that awaits my future visit.
Companionship added to the dining delight when we shared the Texas pulled pork sandwich and enchiladas.
The sandwich, teeming with tender pork infused with a smoky dance of southwest herbs and spices, is a must-try for the carnivorous aficionado.
The enchiladas, complemented with cilantro lime rice and southwest chipotle beans, offered a harmonious mélange of flavors that simply felt like home.
Quesa Dee'as isn't one to forget the health-conscious, as I noted an array of enticing vegetarian options, including veggie quesadillas and burritos.
From my experience, I trust they would be prepared with the same culinary finesse.
In sum, Quesa Dee’as is a vibrant beacon of southwest cuisine, charming guests with its comforting ambiance and captivating them with culinary prowess.
A visit here isn't just about food - it's an all-encompassing dining experience that I eagerly anticipate repeating.
The Timeless Café
I recently gathered with friends on a breakfast date at The Timeless Café.
Set in an inviting space with a warm atmosphere, this lovely local restaurant serves fresh breakfast meals and lunch dishes made with high-quality ingredients from its local partner farms.
The Timeless Café is called so because of the many antiques displayed throughout the venue, creating a quaint ambiance.
There's a parking lot on the side, and for 25 cents, you get 30 minutes of parking. The service was prompt and friendly, making our experience even more enjoyable.
We ordered the baked French toast, a bacon, egg, and cheese on a croissant, aged cheddar hash browns, and a caramel latte.
The French toast was quite filling, thick, and loaded with fresh fruit.
It was so yummy but filling that I recommend sharing it with 2-3 friends.
The bacon, egg, and cheese croissant was absolutely cooked to perfection.
The egg was cooked thick and square, which I usually prefer scrambled, but it was yummy nonetheless.
The aged cheddar hash browns were delicious too.
Overall, I highly recommend The Timeless Café for a visit.
Enjoy French toast and delicious breakfast sandwiches with hardwood smoked bacon or honey-baked ham.
Order a comforting bowl of the season’s soup and get your greens in their fresh salads.
Power up with coffee or indulge in a cup of hot cocoa.
You can find The Timeless Café along South 8th St.
Pupuseria Orquidea is a local restaurant that specializes in Salvadoran cuisine and serves other authentic Central American dishes.
I tried the stuffed corn cakes called pupusas, El Salvador’s national dish, and the flavor was fantastic.
They were served with a tart cabbage salad that cut through the richness nicely.
I've only had pupusas a couple of times in the past, and these were easily my favorite.
I also enjoyed a comforting serving of traditional Sopa de pata.
In addition, I got empanadas, fried yuca, and tamales.
If you’re craving seafood, I noticed that shrimp ceviche, fried tilapia, and garlic shrimp were on the menu as well.
Pupuseria Orquidea is located along Cumberland St.
The menu has a wide variety of choices, and the guy behind the counter cheerfully recommended some great items.
I also got a side of rice and beans (tasted fine, huge portions), a glass of guava juice (which my son loved), and plantain fritters filled with a sweet custard.
The fritters were fantastic. All the food took about 20 minutes to make after ordering, which assured they were fresh.
I was very happy with all the food items, and the friendly service puts this place over the top.
Sabor Criollo “La Casa Del Mofongo”
Sabor Criollo “La Casa Del Mofongo” is a small, homey restaurant that serves delicious Puerto Rican cuisine.
Located along Jonestown Road, it's easy to overlook, but trust me, you don't want to miss this gem.
The menu offers a variety of hearty and savory meat dishes and rice, but the star of the show is definitely their mofongo.
I tried the mofongo with beefsteak, and it was out of this world!
They also offer it with fried chicken or garlic shrimp, which I'm eager to try next time.
The portions are very generous, and the prices are quite reasonable.
Another dish I indulged in was the flavorful slow-cooked roast pork with tostones con pernil.
It was absolutely mouthwatering.
They also serve various meat sandwiches, such as Cubano and Jamon y queso, which I've heard great things about.
Although I don't speak Spanish, the staff was more than willing to explain all the dishes to me.
In addition to the mofongo and tostones menu, they offer sandwiches and various options in a heated display, which seems to change frequently.
The restaurant has a cafeteria-style setup, with tables to sit and eat.
They also have a pretty busy take-out business, which is great for those nights when you just want to enjoy some delicious Puerto Rican food at home.
My culinary journey in Lebanon, PA, would be incomplete without a visit to the beloved local spot, Gus Deraco’s.
This unassuming sandwich haven serves up some of the most delectable Italian sandwiches, exuding flavors that take your palate on a tour of Italy, right in the heart of Pennsylvania.
The morning welcomes me with their enticing breakfast options.
The egg and cheese hoagie, with a choice of sausage, ham, or bacon, is a comforting start to the day.
The pancakes, omelets, and French toast too, hit just the right notes of warmth and satisfaction.
For lunch, it's almost a ritual to relish their super Italian toasted sub or succumb to the sheer indulgence of a cheesesteak hoagie.
Each bite is an explosion of perfectly balanced flavors, while the generous portions ensure a hearty meal every time.
However, the true coup de grace is their homemade desserts.
There's an unsaid rule to always save room for a sweet encore post meal, and believe me, it's a rule worth adhering to.
Moreover, the friendly and welcoming staff adds to the charm, enhancing the overall dining experience.
Whenever I have Chinese food cravings, I always head to Chen’s House.
This restaurant has a casual dining atmosphere where I can enjoy Chinese and other Asian classic dishes.
I usually start with some fried wontons and steamed dumplings, which are always delicious.
To warm up, I often go for a comforting wonton soup or chicken noodle soup.
I love checking out their lunch specials menu, and my favorites are the beef platter with broccoli, sweet and sour pork, chow mien, and Szechuan shrimp.
Of course, I never miss the fried rice and egg roll.
If I'm in the mood for something healthier, they serve steamed vegetables, chicken, and shrimp.
Chen’s House is conveniently located along Cumberland St.
I've been going to Chen's House for years, and their food is always excellent.
One of the dishes I often order is the Cantonese chopsuey with pan fried noodles.
I haven't ordered sushi lately, but when I did, it was great and they had lots of options.
I would recommend this place to anyone.
The service is always friendly, the restaurant is clean, and the food is tasty.
My personal favorites are the beef broccoli and sesame chicken.
Although it's mostly for takeout, there are a few chairs to sit, but I've only seen someone eating there a couple of times in the past five years.
Sharky’s Pizza is local favorite serves classic and specialty pizza, salads, sandwiches, calzones, and a wide selection of side dishes.
I couldn't resist trying their famous classic cheese pizza, and it did not disappoint.
The next time I visited, I decided to go for the supreme pizza, which was loaded with toppings and absolutely delicious.
I also had the option to create my own pizza with my choice of toppings, which is great for those who like to customize their meals.
To accompany my pizza, I ordered some chicken tenders, wings, and potato side dishes such as curly fries, chili cheese, and buffalo fries.
Everything was cooked to perfection and really hit the spot.
Sharky’s Pizza is located along South 8th St., and I've found it to be a great spot to grab a quick and satisfying meal.
The restaurant is always clean, and they have decent organic and vegan options as well.
I once tried their Fiesta Bowl with Tofu and no rice, and it was really good.
The service is always on point, and my orders have always come out correctly.
Have a satisfying meal at the local spot Heisey’s Diner.
This family-owned dining spot serves classic All-American fare from breakfast to dinner, featuring burgers, sandwiches, steak, chicken, seafood, and pork.
I recently stopped by Heisey's Diner for an early dinner and was happy with my visit.
The inside is kind of narrow, but easy to move around. I was seated upon entering and many other tables were open as well.
I really like the interior design which is appealing to look at.
The menu had a lot to offer, and it's awesome to see the variety they had.
I ordered a Double Cheeseburger cooked medium rare, which was pretty good for a dining style.
On another occasion, I came for breakfast with some coworkers.
They ordered the biscuits and gravy, one other person got the hungry man breakfast, and I got the two eggs with onion, peppers, and scallop potatoes, and two sides of bacon.
The bacon and apple juice were the highlight of this excursion.
Enjoy hearty meals from the quick luncheon menu, such as shrimp in a basket, a hot beef sandwich, and a chicken patty with fries.
Indulge in a dinner platter of broiled filet mignon or beer-battered haddock.
Its menu also has salads, vegetarian’s platter, and some healthy wraps.
Heisey’s Diner is located along North Highway 72.
William Penn Bar & Restaurant
William Penn Bar & Restaurant, I must say, has absolutely delicious food.
Since 1928, this corner spot has earned renown for its breakfast fare and flavorful hot dogs.
My trip to Lebanon wouldn't have been complete without trying its famous hot dog with chili and onions.
I also tried their hearty breakfast meals, such as eggs, home fries, sausages, bacon, and toast.
It quickly became my favorite breakfast spot in town, with great vibes and awesome people. The food was always fresh and satisfying.
William Penn Bar & Restaurant is located along Cumberland St.
They've made many renovations over the years, including pool tables, a dart board, and an updated TouchTunes system.
The drinks are strong and reasonably priced, and the bathrooms were just renovated and are always kept decently clean.
The service at William Penn Bar & Restaurant is excellent.
Every bartender and bouncer is friendly and welcoming, making it my go-to spot whenever I want to hang out with friends.
Franz’s Tavern & Restaurant
Head to Franz’s Tavern & Restaurant for a satisfying meal of ribs, seafood, burgers, and cold beer.
This neighborhood spot serves hearty and flavorful American fare in a casual atmosphere, making it one of the best restaurants in Lebanon.
During my visit, I dug into slow-cooked barbecue ribs and a seafood royale of lobster tail, shrimps, and scallops.
The portions were big and the prices were reasonable.
I also tried some tasty items from the sandwich menu, including a meatball sub, pulled pork barbecue roll, and a beer-battered haddock sandwich.
My favorites were the mushroom cheesesteak and the crab cake sandwich.
The service was excellent, and I appreciated their policy of not cooking steaks any more than medium.
You can find Franz’s Tavern & Restaurant along South 5th Avenue.
If you're in the area and looking for a great, no-frills restaurant with delicious food and generous portions.
As someone who lives in Lebanon, I can confidently say that this city is a destination worth exploring for its rich heritage, vibrant arts and culture, charm, and natural beauty.
The diverse dining scene here never ceases to amaze me.
From hearty American ribs and Italian sandwiches to unique international flavors, I've had the pleasure of trying various cuisines at the exciting dining spots around town.
I highly recommend anyone visiting Lebanon to indulge in the best restaurants our city has to offer!