C'est La Vie

4.6
463 Reviews
$30 and under
European
Casual Fine Dining…with Character
Life is made of the places you go and the people with whom you go there. C’est La Vie is a bistro that invites you to enjoy the small things in life, in the company of good friends. Our inviting, playful atmosphere along with our delicate yet satisfying cuisine makes for a place truly like no other. We invite you to experience everything C’est La Vie has to offer — and watch the world go by with us.
Artisanal, yet casual, and above all deeply enjoyable — that is the philosophy at the heart of our food. At C’est La Vie we craft both large and small plates meant to excite the senses and appeal to a wide range of tastes. As another way to pay tribute to life in Lancaster, we source our ingredients from the rich community of local farmers, butchers, and more. Discover our frequently changing menu.
What 463 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.8
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

It was good

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience5

Everything sounded wonderful on paper but was mediocre in reality. Undercooked fries in dryest poutine I've ever eaten; thick American scallops not the subtle coquille st jacques; a bland undercooked risotto; etc. So disappointing and un-French.

That said, the interior design is stunning. Mix of old-school European glamour with modern accoutrements.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place! Highly recommend!

JS
JeffS
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Our third visit. Great drinks and nice ambience. Service is top-notch. Food was inconsistent. Roasted cauliflower was ice cold and soggy. It was replaced but not different. Veal tenderloin was fantastic but polenta was dry, cold, and nearly tasteless. Salad was great as was onion soup. Previously food had been better.

CC
CeeCee
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall2food2service4ambience4

The food was not up to standards. No one at our table enjoyed their main course. Appetizers, cocktails, and dessert were enjoyable. There are many other options located close by that are much better.

BD
vipBobD
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and ambience. Very welcoming environment, with outstanding food. The scallops were delicious and the baked Brie appetizer was very good.

l
luv2eat
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My first visit and it was a delight! My dining companion and I each had a significant cocktail. The were delicious! The baked Brie appetizer was beautifully presented. My coquilles saint jacques and his coq au vin were piping hot from the kitchen and wonderful!
I look forward to a return visit soon.

GM
GregM
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved our dinner. Our waiter was very attentive and friendly. After dinner we had drinks downstairs. Thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall2food5service1ambience5

Mother Daughter Date.
1:30 reservation, seated at 1:45 received our 1st drink at 2:20
Placed an appetizer order, waited 30 minutes for it. The server never came back. He wasn’t who delivered our drinks or our appetizer. We asked another server to get ours and he still never came back. Demanded someone take our order and then he finally came to check on us. He apologized for not being able to keep up.

JB
JoanB
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My family and I took my parents out for their birgthdays, and C'est la Vie was oerfect in every way. We sat outside and loved the energy of being right outside Central Market. The food and service was enjoyed by all ages 16-74 :)

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing in every respect!!!!

AR
AnthonyR
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner

JF
JeremyF
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Great location and service was very good, but I wasn't that impressed with the food.

TB
TheresaB
Philadelphia
14 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always always delicious! Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Absolutely love this place!

SM
SMCC
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love C’est la Vie and appreciate their ongoing effort to make great dining during Covid available! The pizzas we tried yesterday were great, especially the sweet corn bechamel. Our server, Michael, was the best!

J
July2015
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sat outside for lunch, plenty of space, food was timed well, tasted great and service was good as well.

DD
vipDebiD
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

lovely fall evening outside under the umbrellas with delish food and good service

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Atlantic City
3 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant but this was my favorite meal there yet. We had mussels, lobster pasta, and veal

KW
KenW
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and beverages, great ambiance and service.

O
vipOkay
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

Great service . Michael… sax player outside made it even more special !

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always our experience was absolutely wonderful! They never disappoint.

MF
MatthewF
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

It was a very good atmosphere! The food was very good and decently priced. Everything came out the way we ordered it and both the server and the busboy made the guest feel welcomed and valued! My friend that I came with said they will definitely be back as will I! Great job!

A
Avalon58
Atlantic City
6 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is tasty,moderately priced, and the outdoor dining I love. It makes me feel I am on vacation!

BS
BernadetteS
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter, Michael, was wonderful’

H
Harj
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience5

I was very excited to try the restaurant. The location and ambience were great. I was there for lunch and it was perfect. However, I wish the food was as good as the decor. Sadly it’s overpriced and underwhelming. My friend had the saddest wedge salad I have ever seen! My salad was a little better and the tuna poke was good but the portion size was tiny for the price they are charging. Not sure I would need to go back with all the other cute spots in Lancaster that has great drinks and better food for the price.

JH
JaneH
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The service was excellent, however, the food was only fair. The mussels, as always, were wonderful, but the risotto and croque were mediocre.
My previous dining experiences were very good.

ME
vipMarkE
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Gazpacho is outstanding. The summer berry salad was way over dressed. Soaked in dressing. Add chicken breast was seasoned and done perfectly.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall3food5service1ambience5

Food good, service not so good.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 26, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Always a great dining experience.

D
vipDash
New York Area
40 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Dined outdoors Wednesday night, brought friends. Pizza, Crab Cakes, Cassoulet and Boeuf Bourguignon were excellent. Appetizers disappointed a bit. Nice atmosphere. Gary's service was great; will certainly return.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second time I’ve been here and loved it just as much as the first. Everything was delicious and our service was excellent. We will definitely be back!

RR
vipRRJDining
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall4food5service1ambience5

My wife decided to try the BELVEDERE drink only to be disappointed after tasting it. The waiter sadly told us that despite it not working for us we would be charged regardless. Very disappointing considering we have dinned there multiple times and the TOTAL lack of effort to find a solution was quite upsetting. I will likely NEVER go back out of principal as I dine out multiple times every week and on the extraordinary moment where something I ordered was not satisfactory they always make an effort to find a solution.

MV
vipMaraV
Baltimore
36 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall2food1service5ambience3

Disappointing! I used to love Chef’s food at the original Josephine’s (although our last visit before he closed was not good) and I was looking forward to this restaurant. However, while our service was great and it has a nice atmosphere, the food was lackluster. The cassoulet had little flavor, the potato purée was dry and pasty and the chicken also lacked flavor and was a bit dry. The seasonal salad with berries was good. I am sorry to say that likely will not be back.

D
Disappointed
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience3

I ordered the French chicken and my boyfriend ordered the salmon. First off we were seated on an incline so initially my boyfriend almost toppled over until he moved his chair. The lighting under our umbrella wouldn’t work so we had to use our phones to look at the menu. Next, our server was not very attentive to our needs. We needed our water refilled and the food runner ended up doing it. Then our food came out which took forever and the middle of my chicken was cold. How does that even happen?! Tells me it was sitting there for a long time and then was maybe microwaved to warm it back up. That’s a food safety issue. The server offered for me to get another one so I did that. Our food was okay. I think for a lot of people in this area would be really happy with it but we have been to a lot of French bistros around the US and this was nothing special. When the chicken came out the second time it had a bone in it. It’s advertised as being a chicken breast but it was clearly a chicken thigh as chicken breast’s don’t have large bones like that. Took forever for us to get our check then and forever for the sever to even get the check. We went out as a special date night and left feeling really upset about the food and experience. We were expecting really great food, good service and a nice atmosphere. We didn’t get any of that. We won’t be stopping by again and I would not recommend this place to anyone unless their usual meal includes fast food, and even then the service is better. Very disappointed.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We love the staff at c'est la vie! They make every dinner there, enjoyable. Our 3 favorite people there are Austin, Kate and Shannon!

LC
LindaC
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We sat outside during a very busy market day but it was still quite pleasant. I think at night would be lovely.
I had the mussels appetizer which was tasty and the pear martini which I liked a lot. My friend had a glass of wine and the summer salad. Both were good but nothing exceptional.
Server was very attentive. My friend thought it was a bit pricey but all in all it was a good experience. I would recommend giving iC’est La Vie a try!

DS
DanS
Philadelphia
13 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Well worth the visit. Vegetarian risotto and a plant based pepperoni pizza were good. Nice selection of wine and beer. Waitstaff were great - friendly and attentive.

TT
TinaT
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very nice atmosphere for dining out, loved that. Our server and every worker we encountered was super friendly. Food and drinks were great. When it came time to dessert, when she asked if we wanted any, I had just overheard her at the other table telling them how long they had the table before the next seating, so I asked if we had time. She went and asked and came back and said we only had 5 minutes but we could get dessert to go. We declined, just wish we would have had more than an hour and a half because we were just enjoying the atmosphere and lingering and really wanted dessert! But we understand trying to fit reservations in, we would have just liked to know ahead of time. We would definitely go again though.

JM
JohnM
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent meal and great food!!
Soups were fantastic!!

BK
BonnieK
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Loved the outside tables. Great atmosphere. Excellent service. Food was nice.

FAQs

C'est La Vie offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (717) 299-7319.

C'est La Vie is rated 4.6 stars by 463 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.