Lancaster has long prided itself on being a welcoming city to people of all races, ethnicities, and nations of origin. From refugees to college students to everyone in between, everyone can find a home in Lancaster and a community willing to accept them with open arms. Part of the beauty of having people hailing from so many areas is that they bring their home fashion, art, and cuisine and share it with their new neighbors. With organizations like Assets PA and Community first fund, some of our culinarily-gifted friends have been able to open restaurants and share their gifts of spices and treats with even more Lancastrians. If you want to grow your repertoire of ethnic cuisine, here’s some great places to start:
Island Food: Two brand new places offer excellent and authentic meals from the islands in the caribbean. Callaloo made a huge splash as Lancaster’s first Trinidadian restaurant located on Lemon and Mulberry. Between its delectable cuisine and aesthetically mesmerizing branding and designing in the actual restaurant, Callaloo has quickly become a local favorite. Caribbean Wave opened a mere few months ago as well boasting tried-and-true Jamaican favorites. Owned and operated by two old friends, the establishment offers spicy and flavorful Jamaican foods make by true-blue Jamaican people.
Puerto Rican Food: Lancaster’s Puerto Rican population has brought with it bright and well-loved dishes from Spanish rice to Coquito to everything in between. Old San Juan is perfect for a fine-dining experience, complete with fruity cocktails and bright music. For something more casual, stop into La Cocina or El Triangulo. Finally, food trucks are making a comeback, and lots of them brag of home-cooked freshly-prepared favorites from Latin and South America. Don’t turn your nose up at these authentic and delectable dishes just because they’re on wheels!
East African Food: A more obscure but equally unique and finger-licking good –literally — cuisine, East African food, particularly food from Ethiopia, is characterized by its one-of-a-kind spices and injera, a spongy sour bread which is used to scoop up the other foods on the plate in lieu of utensils. Specialties from Ethiopia include lamb, lentils, and chicken, all flavorfully seasoned and served on a large platter with lots of injera. Almaz and Awash are the two main stops for such delectable foods.
Asian Food: From the easternmost parts to the western-most parts of Asia, Lancaster has some cuisine for you. The Himalayan restaurant on Orange and Queen boasts food from the mountains. Sprout, Issei Noodles, and Suko Thai offer phenomenal noodle, soup, and vegetable combos directly from Thailand. Best local sushi places include Sakura and Chop Sushi. And how could we forget Silantra, voted a favorite of the people of Lancaster for years on end.
For a one-stop shop of all your favorite global foods, visit Lancaster Central Market on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays to experience food from all over the planet, including but certainly not limited to Greece, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, India, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Italy, and Germany.