Checkers Bistro

4.6
1105 reviews
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$31 to $50
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French American
The sophisticated and timeless Dining Room offers diners a warm and intimate space to enjoy Chef Carmelo's inventive seasonal menus. The dining room is divided in to 3 areas, the Wine Salon, the Stage and the Champions Room.

The Wine Salon is an elegantly appointed dining area that faces the glass-enclosed wine cellar.

The Stage is a raised area, longer than it is wide, facing a full-length wall of beautiful old casement windows.

The Champions Room is a private area that can be part of the restaurant flow or cordoned off for privacy.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
French American, Bistro
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Hours of operation
Mon–Sat 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
BAR
Mon–Thu 4:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 4:00 pm–11:00 pm
Happy Hour
Mon–Sat 4:00 pm–6:00 pm
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Phone number
(717) 509-1069
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Carmelo Mateo
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Catering
The Checkers experience doesn’t stop with our four walls – we can bring Checkers to you. Whether you’re looking to dine family-style from the comfort of your own home, or plan an elegant reception in a Lancaster venue, our off-site event menus feature the same pristine, seasonal ingredients farmed, raised and caught local purveyors. We’ll work with you to craft a customized event, seamlessly executing each detail from planning to party with the same warm hospitality and personalized service that are integral to the Checkers experience.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Charlotte Street
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Parking details
Parking is available in parking lots in both the front (off Charlotte Street) and the rear (off Harrisburg Avenue), along the street on Charlotte Street and in the Snavely Lumber’s parking lot, just a half a block up Charlotte Street.
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Public transit
Red Rose Transit Authority buses stop and pickup 1 block from the restaurant.
James Street is the closest public transport bus stop.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1105 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
4.6
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LL
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food (COFFEE CURED PETITE FILET and Diver scallops) and outstanding service by Laura.

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JL
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

The area where we were seated was freezing. The beet salad was underwhelming: cold beets with a couple minuscule drops of goat's cheese. Mains were fine but not worth the high prices.

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RR
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

What a shame to put such a nice establishment together and then have such a pathetic hostess! Second time we have been handled by this hostess and she once again was extremely dismissive and unprofessional. As we arrived on time she greeted us and then before finishing with us greeted the people behind us and took care of them. Then despite asking for a private booth she took us to a table located in the busiest location on the floor. As we requested a location other then that which was a direct opposite of what we requested on the Open Table reservation she told us we would have to eat quickly and be done in 45 minutes. A hour later the restaurant was still empty. We will now cancel future reservations!

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D
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

The waitress never introduced herself.
Dirty dishes were left on our table long after we had finished with them.
One of our party asked to have partnof her dinner boxed, to go. The waitress took her dish, but never fought it back out to the table. After 15 minutes of waiting, we had to leave.

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OT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 4

The ambiance and food were on par. Our waiter was very kind but inexperienced. It took us 1.5 hours to get our first appetizer and at that point the waiter admitted to forgetting our calamari. It arrived with our main courses. A three hour meal, with 2 kids under 10 and no apology or price adjustment on the bill. Inexcusable.

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L
Washington DC
103 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner as always was amazing. The food and service were beyond reproach. The Seafood Alfredo and Pasta Bolognese were delicious.

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JD
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We eat out a few times every week. First time at Checkers....was the best valued, nicest experience we've had in a long time! Great Hostess, service, food, menu, ambiance, etc.

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AT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a lovely evening, I met a good friend for my birthday dinner . The Christmas decor was up and it was really pretty inside .

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LC
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on November 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Checker's is one of our favorite restaurants in Lancaster! We go here for celebrations or fancy nights out. The menu is creative and delicious. The ambiance is chic, and the music is always at a great level (not too loud). Service is always very friendly.

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KN
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was great and service excellent. The lighting was very low - I would like it lighter. Maybe its my aging eyes as I am a senior in mid-70's. But I think other seniors might say the same.

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DL
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We were there on November 17th, and friends of ours gave us a gift certificate - we had never heard of Checkers before and were excited to try it. We live in Lebanon so it was about a 50 minute drive. Wow what a wonderful surprise! A beautiful restaurant, impeccable staff, delicious food! From the moment we walked in until we left - the total experience was top notch! We went with another couple (she & I share our birthdays), we were early and waited about 10 minutes for our table. Absolutely loved the complimentary wine, which we enjoyed by the fire, Server was friendly, knowledgeable and on spot. Everyone enjoyed their entrees and both us girls ordered crème brulee for dessert and to our delight they wrote Happy Birthday in chocolate on our plates and we each received a beautiful rose. Thank you again for the perfect birthday evening! Diana & Glenn and Vicki & Jack. PS - I use to be a server in fine dining and everything was top notch from start to finish! I wish I could remember our server's name. We do look forward to our next visit!

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ES
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Went for a birthday meal and feasted very well. Two people, we got cocktails, wine, appetizers, main meal, dessert and alcoholic coffees all came in for around $100. The Lobster bisque and Duck tacos were phenomenal. The steak was cooked perfectly. The roasted chicken was nice with the truffle sauce but nothing too memorable. I would have loved to see some some more color on the plate, maybe some sun-dried tomatoes. Overall, we've been raving about it to everyone and finding a date to come back!

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D
Philadelphia
32 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Always a great experience dining at checkers. Have been many times and will return many more!

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j
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Nice experience, but our server was not very attentive. We had to ask for bread., were rarely checked on in a timely manner to see if everything was satisfactory . Sever was very cordial, but either too booked with tables to cover or did not follow usual serving protocol. We had higher expectations for our $200 evening out ( 2 cocktails at the bar before seating, 2 meals and 1 bottle of wine)

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I took my daughter for a nice meal while she was home for college break. We were dressed more casually since we had been out shopping, but others were more dressed up. We arrived at 4:00, so felt appropriately dressed.

We were offered a small glass of wine while we were waiting (very briefly) for our table.

The server was excellent and timed the arrival of each course just right.

Overall, it was a relaxing fine dining experience.

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KD
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had an excellent server who was very attentive and graceful. Caesar salad was one of the best that I had, not overly dressed. I ordered the special dish of Halibut with risotto, unfortunately they had sold the last one. Ended up ordering Steak AuPovre that was undercooked. After a little more cooking, it was flavorable.

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D
Atlantic City
2 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We've had good meals at Checkers. This was not one of them. We felt neglected; like we did not matter because, as older, and therefore, obviously meeker customers, we would not complain if we were poorly treated. Sorry, we certainly did.

We arrived on time for a celebratory, birthday dinner. We waited a good 15 minutes, only to be escorted past empty tables. Staffing problem, perhaps?

We were seated in a romantic corner. Lovely, but it was so dark we needed flashlight apps on our phones to read our menus.

Our first course, a salad, arrived. It was okay. I expect better than okay here.

Then we waited.

And we waited.

And we waited.

I went off on a search for our waiter. Another waiter asked if she could help. I asked her to find our waiter and send her over. Then our meal arrived.

The plates had obviously been under a heat lamp for much too long. My meat was dried out and inedible. The poor potato dish on my plate was crusty rock hard. My wife's plate was not as dried out, but she was amazed that the scallop portion of her "Shrimp and Scallops" consisted of one scallop. Truth in advertising?

We put our knives and forks down and looked for our server. When we found her, we got a fairly robotic script. "What can I do to make this better for you?" She seemed astonished that sometimes, an experience can be so bad that there is absolutely nothing that can be done to undo an awful plate of food put carelessly put before you. She told us that she would send the owner to our table.

We waited ten minutes until we got up to leave, our plates basically untouched. As we left, the owner, or someone representing herself as such, asked if we enjoyed our meal. The server obviously had not made any effort to send management to our table. We briefed this woman on our disappointing experience, and expressed our willingness to pay any amount she felt we owed. She had lots of folderall about big parties slowing service, weren't there lots of shrimp on the plate.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always!

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CJ
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow. Amazing. Delicious. Unforgettable. The service we received was above and beyond. I arrived at Checkers early and they offered me a glass of wine while I waited for the rest of my group, which I graciously accepted. Once everyone arrived, our table was immediately ready. The service was perfect, not too fast and not too slow. This is the type of place where you enjoy your drink, food, company, and ambience. Great things should never be rushed. The food was amazingly perfect, none of us left anything on our plates. Finally, our after dinner drinks came out on a plate with a sweet message drizzled in chocolate syrup. What presentation and a delightful way to end the evening! I highly recommend visiting Checkers, you will not be disappointed.

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EP
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have been here 4 times and have never been disappointed. We make it a point to have dinner at Checkers when ever we are in the area for now on. A wonderful place to dine with out a doubt. From the abidance to the service and food you can not go wrong.

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DL
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was happy to find such a wonderful restaurant! My husband and sister and I thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance, excellent service and delicious dinner. We enjoyed the lobster bisque, French onion soup, wine, filet mignonette and salmon and I can highly recommend all those choices. I will definitely return as soon as I can!

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JO
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So good we went back the next night. Very enjoyable all around.

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d
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Tasty comfort food, excellent service and a pleasant surprise—my favorite British ale was on draft at a bargain price!

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KV
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, great food! I had a nice pumpkin beer I hadn't seen elsewhere before. They knew it was our anniversary so they gave us a beautiful rose and a small, complimentary dessert with a fancy "Happy Anniversary" in chocolate. The hostess was nice and made mention of the anniversary. Our waiter was helpful and attentive. We had a great experience overall, and I'm so happy my friend recommended it after hearing about it for all these years. I don't think we'll wait a whole year to come back!

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OT
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

Great service and atmosphere. Food was fine but didn't meet the level of service and atmosphere

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RC
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Well prepared and presented dishes in a very pleasant atmosphere.

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BA
San Antonio
4 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite place to entertain family and friends. Hors d'oeuvres are creative and tasty and the entrees are generous and zesty!

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D
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent experience, will definitely come back . Great ambiance, food, and service. Highly recommend Checkers.

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PH
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My husband and I visited Checkers to celebrate his completion of radiation treatments for cancer. I let the restaurant know that when I made the reservation and they went out of their way to make the occasion special. Our server, Cameron, was the epitome of friendly professionalism. It was a treat to be served by him. Our dinners were delicious and were complimented by two glasses of rosé on the house. We finished with great desserts and a handwritten note from Cameron wishing my husband well. We were impressed all around!

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JR
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great!
Service (Laura) was awesome!
Overall experience was great!

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OT
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The coffee rubbed filet was amazing, as was the duck tacos appetizer.
We went early (5pm), so it wasn't as crowded or noisy

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b
New York Area
83 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and even better service!

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DW
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were outstanding! We will be back!

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OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service from Laura our waitress she was very attentive. The food was amazing squid and pork belly was killer! The little extras around my wife's birthday from the glass of champagne to the candle on the dessert made the whole evening pretty special and unexpected. The birthday rose at the end on point! We will back!

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JJ
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

It was a beautiful space with great use of seating areas to create a semblance of privacy throughout the restaurant. The lighting was extremely dark for most of the night, but appeared to brighten throughout the evening. The food was good, I got the scallops, overpriced for the amount you receive but I guess that's standard. For dessert the creme brulee, it was good. The service was great and I recommend this restaurant for a romantic evening. I would go again but only if I had the budget to be fancy and not full

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l
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 5

This is one of our all-time favorite restaurants and consistently is excellent. However this time we had a server they did way below average. When he came up to the table he did not even say hello or his name he just ask what we wanted. And we had a hard time tracking him down for the rest of the evening. Even at the end of the evening I had leftovers boxed up and he never did bring them to me I had to go back to the prep station and ask for them.This is extremely unusual for Checkers. Their service has always been extremely outstanding

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D
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I wanted to take my wife out for a nice anniversary dinner. I found Checkers Bistro online. It was a wonderful evening for us away from the normal routine. Great food and service. My wife was very happy with my choice.

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PB
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was our first visit. The food was delicious, we enjoyed everything from appetizers to dessert. We will definitely come back and I will highly recommend to my friends and family. I wish I remembered our servers name because she was AMAZING. She was very helpful with making suggestions and answering our questions. Also our cocktails were excellent.
THANK YOU

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MS
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Its one of our favorite restaurants - and the atmosphere is terrific for talking and enjoying dinner !

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SB
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Entrees were great, service and atmosphere were great, but the dinner bread was hard as a rock!

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