Checkers Bistro

4.2
1416 Reviews
$30 and under
International
It’s a Beautiful Day at Checkers Bistro!

Checkers Bistro opened its doors to Lancaster in 2006, located on the corner of James and Mulberry, offering a beautiful and intimate corner eatery. In 2014, relocating to the slightly larger historic Champion Forge complex, it retained every bit of its charm, comfort and standards of excellence.

Join us for every celebration! We are the perfect spot for every occasion from birthdays and graduations to romantic anniversaries or a reunion of old friends. For a quiet business dinner, we offer intimate banquets to meet in.

Our welcoming and knowledgeable bartenders are proud to serve up interesting, hand-crafted cocktails, beer and wine. Happy Hour from 4-6 includes a small plate menu and specialty drinks. Late Night, the bar is a perfect way to end a beautiful day with a nightcap.

Make “Everyday Delicious” at Checkers Bistro!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1416 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
79% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was excellent and the food and drinks delicious as always.

JB
JeffersonB
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the food every time I go I like it more and more
Thanks

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience as always. Used to the restaurant being full of happy patrons but these are unprecedented times. Excellent service and the food was great as always. They are doing a great job despite the challenges of the pandemic. No hesitation recommending an evening at Checkers.

TH
TonyaH
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience4

Used to be my favorite place to go in Lancaster, had the best coffee infused filet. Now steak and fries served in a platter that reminds me of Hoss’s for $35. Will not be going back.

NY
vipNewYorkerinPA
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great meal, great service. We will be back again, and again.

CS
ChrisS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great. I hope the full menu returns soon so I can try more of the outstanding food.

CZ
CeeZ
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Quiet, great food, pleasant wait staff. Very enjoyable experience.

LS
vipLarryS
Orlando
11 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great place. Limited menu and understand as restaurants are hurting. Not sure I agree of adding 20% gratuity into check as standard.

SS
vipSusanS
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2020
Overall3food2service1ambience5

We love Checkers but were disappointed. It took awhile to get a waiter to our table. It was mid-week and it seemed like they didn't have enough staff. We ordered a meal to go and it was forgotten. We had to wait until it was prepared.
I'm hoping this was not the new normal. I understand the pandemic has caused adjustments. I may stick to carry out for now.

CR
ChuckR
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2020
Overall2food3service4ambience3

Very disappointed that they were already out of their special by 6 PM. Menu is very limited which if you don’t have a smartphone you can’t even read. Our server was very pleasant. The fact that they automatically add 20% tip to your bill without even asking what tip you would like to leave is very offputting. We will probably not return any time in the near future.

MA
MARIANNEB
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Service too long , especially when my husband waited a second glass of wine : he had it when he finished his plate !
My main plate was like a small plate : just 3 scallops for 24$ !!!!
And at the end, we had the check with the tips included! No choice !
We were so disappointed.
We know other restaurants in Lancaster with better foods and service.

LS
LorenS
Philadelphia
12 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We have been here numerous times...this was the first time that I was disappointed in not only the service, but the food as well. Lancaster has too many top quality restaurants for me to pay the prices they are charging for the experience I had this time. I am sure I will give it a try and again at some point, but it will not be in the near future.

S
vipShellly
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was excellent. The food was delicious and there is a nice selection on the menu. We were there for lunch.

LS
LauraS
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was friendly. Food was amazing! Very clean place.

V
Visitor
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Be more explicit regarding automatically charging gratuity.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was my boyfriend’s birthday and our waiter surprised both of us with a dessert for him with a sparkler and happy birthday written on the plate. I didn’t even tell the waiter it was his birthday because my boyfriend didn’t really want a dessert but he got one for free anyway which was really nice. Overall, the food was amazing and the service was very friendly, patient and helpful. I highly recommend this place to anyone. This was our second time there and both times it was amazing.

LP
vipLizzyPoo021
Philadelphia
65 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service!

NY
vipNewYorkerinPA
Philadelphia
22 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience as usual. So happy to be back in our favorite restaurant. Food, service, cocktails all wonderful. They have great covid controls in place from scanning the menu to separate hands off utensil place setting. We will definitely be back.

S
Steve
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good drinks, delicious beet salads, and the entrees were perfect.

J
Jesco
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Will definitely be coming back here often! Great service and great cocktails. Menu is eccentric for the area!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2020
Overall5food5service2ambience5

Great food. Snobby server.

D
Disappointing
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

The food was ok, (soggy nachos - yuck!) the waiter wasn't friendly and did the bare minimum. He didn't introduce himself, so I have no idea what his name is. They also tacked on a 20% automatic gratuity which was wholly undeserved for the level of service we received. Normally I leave 20% and up for good service but that should be up to me. We were in town for the weekend and the other two restaurants we had dinner at did not have this fee, they also had better food and service Needless to say, next time we visit, we will not be back here.

SC
SharonC
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Menu is not the same. This used to be a very nice, upscale restaurant but it has changed for the worse. Our server did not make us feel as if we were her focus. She was not attentive at all.

RM
RickM
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience5

With the understanding that Covid-19 Limited the quality of service I feel the waitstaff was as courteous as they could be. With an automatic tip they made no effort to even be polite. Great food

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Baltimore
7 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2020
Overall3food4service5ambience3

Service & food were good.

Air conditioning not working & restaurant did not alert in advance of the situation.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall2food3service2ambience2

The food was good, but the menu was very limited. The air conditioning had been turned up and it was extremely warm inside. The restaurant did have fans running to help circulate the air. Understaffing was apparent, as it took 15 - to 20 minutes to receive your drink order and the poor staff were all running around trying to accommodate the patrons. Make sure to pay attention to the fine, small print at the bottom of the menu. They add an automatic 20% gratuity to your check. I have no issue with a 20% gratuity, but would prefer the autonomy to add my own tip. This must be a new policy at this establishment, as I have never been charged an automatic 20% gratuity before.

C
C2020
1 review
Dined on August 15, 2020
Overall1food1service3ambience4

There was a shortened list of available entrees because of COVID, we understood that, but, the dinners we wanted were out of stock. Now at 25% capacity, a restaurant should have enough food to feed its patrons. It also took longer than it should have to receive our drinks and silverware. The appetizers we had were all in the same sauce, the calamari tasted like it was fried in old oil, and the drinks were not good at all. We left after appetizers and had to go to another restaurant for dinner. It was not the best experience.

BM
vipBMAC
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Favorite spot - a Lancaster gem - does not disappoint

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is delicious and the staff is amazing! Chef Carmelo is a wonderful chef!

BB
BryanB
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience5

My wife an I love Checkers. This was our first visit post Covid mess. Food was excellent as usual. Our server was completely disengaged and not informative regarding bar questions. Overall, I would rate the service as sub par. What bothered me most, when we received the check, there was a 20% service charge on the bill. We were with another couple. 20% service charge on a party of four? The server never mentioned it and I did not see it anywhere on the menu as I recall. We were so happy to be out to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants this year that we would of given 20% at a minimum. But the server did not warrant it and never mentioned it which really turned me off. I would not recommend Checkers to a friend right now from that experience, but I have historically highly recommended it. I have shared this experience with a lot of our friends who also previously enjoyed Checkers.

MS
MelodyS
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience5

If you have not been to Checkers before, you may love it. However, the menu has been limited due to the present Circumstances (COVID -19 limitations in PA), so if you have been to Checkers before and know their regular menu, You will be disappointed. We went for my husband’s 50th birthday and were looking for a meal worthy of that type of celebration, not sandwiches and salads. He was planning to order the pepper crusted filet that we know so well. Unfortunately, we left before ordering due to the menu, which upset the server, and he did not handle it in a friendly way. We know he lost a table when seating is already limited, and we felt bad about it, but his attitude with us was not needed. We did leave him a tip for the inconvenience - actually twice, because we did not realize he had already charged a 20% tip on our drinks. Had that been our first time at Checkers, we would not go back due to the server. However, we know It was a weird circumstance. We know Checkers well and we WILL be back when it is not a special occasion, or when the regular classy menu is back.

C
Cindy
Charleston
7 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent, as always.
Social distancing was perfect.
We felt totally comfortable there.
Would definitely return!

SC
vipSamC
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience2

The food was all very good, and the service was friendly but very slow. The background music they were playing was unbearable elevator type music.

JC
JimC
Charleston
13 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We can always count on a great dining experience. The food is great and the servers were on the ball.

TH
TessieH
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Part of this may be your fault but the onion soup and an Italian dish were listed at $8 and $12(on your website) and the charge was $9.5 and $14 . A rather significant increase I am not sure about the others but we were recently in Florida and paid a lot less for a lot more. Also the onion soup was a big disappointment - the chesses and croutons were good but the broth lacked taste and was very watery. The bread and appetizers and main courses were very good as was their home made ice cream.

JM
JohnM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service. Thought a bit expensive for the overall meal

MA
MarkA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food. All 4 in our party were very pleased!! I had the Apple salad and coffee cured petite filet which was excellent. Others in my party had Caesar salad, diver scallops, & miso salmon. Highly recommend.

HS
HeatherS
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We went to Checkers Bistro for a light dinner. My daughter had the French Onion soup and I had the Lobster Bisque and the Beet Salad. Everything was delicious! The staff was super friendly and attentive. I would love to go back for an entree. The prices are a little high but I don't mind paying for good food!

j
justaguywholikesfood
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

I had called the restaurant on the Friday BEFORE I wanted a reservation. They were closed. I left my contact information as requested, but I never received a call back. I went online and booked through OpenTable and received a confirmation. One of the questions online was "is it a special occasion". I responded yes to birthday (actually two). When we have been there in the past for anniversaries, etc. , the staff always made mention of the event and usually provided a small dessert to the celebrant. Not this time. Also, the service was much slower than we had experienced in the past, even though we were there on a slow Monday night. We are patient, but the wait between courses was unsettling. Food quality was very good as usual, although my wife's filet was very undercooked for her liking and had to be returned for correction. Also, we had an inexperienced waitress who was pleasant, but somewhat challenged. Not our best experience, but not the worst, either.

EJ
EJenkins
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat at the bar for happy hour and it was delightful.

FAQs

Checkers Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (717) 509-1069.

Checkers Bistro is rated 4.2 stars by 1416 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.