To best ensure the safety of our guests and staff, Lantern will now require that all guests over the age of 12 be fully vaccinated. Guests will be asked to show proof of vaccination (physical card or photo), and check in with our COVID contract tracing QR code. Face masks are required to enter the restaurant, and must be worn when not seated at the table, both indoors and outdoors, as mandated by Orange County Board of Commissioners.
Lantern is a marriage of Asian flavors and North Carolina ingredients sourced mainly from local farms and fisheries. It has been named one of "America's Top 50 Restaurants" and "best farm-to-table restaurants" by Gourmet Magazine, one of "America's 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences" by Food & Wine, and "Restaurant of the Year" in 2009 by The News & Observer.
- Surfaces sanitized between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Contactless payment available
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Contact tracing information collected
- Proof of vaccination required to dine indoors
Pork and Chive Dumplings
Whey fed pork, garlic chives
Salt and Pepper Shrimp
Fried jalapeños, coriander
Hot Chocolate Cake
mint chip ice cream
The food was inventive and very delicious. Miguel is personable and helpful. The staff is fairly professional. We will come again next time we're in town.
Everything overall was great! Always wonderful experience to go to Lantern!
I hated ordering on my phone in a nice restaurant. Really missed the interaction with a waitstaff. Timing of meal was off. Our entree arrived and we had nothing to eat it on…or with and it got cold waiting.
The food was outstanding! I highly recommend the heirloom tomato salad and the oysters! I only wish they had had more options for small plates so that a tapas style meal was more plausible without having to navigate sharing a large plate which was hard to divide up. Overall an excellent experience!
We loved the outdoor seating space almost as much as the food. The small plates were superb and the large plates were just as good. The wine list is a bit offbeat but don’t go to Lantern for the wine — their cocktails are excellent. Our waiter was exceptional; no hovering but he was always there when you needed something.
As always the food and service was excellent! Lantern is one of the finest restaurants where we live. We are always happy to enjoy a meal there!
Overpriced and every dish tasted like butter and salt
Iknow you are trying your best with the outdoor seating but I found it unrelaxing. But it cannot be helped, I suppose. We have been dining at Lantern for years and I keep waiting for a big change in the menu. The dumplings were fine...not great. The Bento box salmon had no real flavor and seemed soggy. My husband thought his spring rolls were ok. My daughter liked the smoked chicken quite a bit, so that was good. I was sorry I missed the coconut cake and my memories of a long ago Earl Grey creme brulle linger. Anyway--I am glad you all made it through the pandemic.
There was Oktoberfest next door (very loud music), which is not the restaurant’s fault, but did diminish the experience since it was outdoors.
Great service & food. Local vendor had outside event with loud music.
Pros: We love Lantern and have missed it being open. The food is amazing and we got to have our favorites, including the salt & pepper shrimp and the whole fish. The back bar outside area is so cozy and beautiful - we loved sitting out there.
Slight Cons: Using the app to order the food is a little bit awkward and might have lead to some delay between our appetizers and entrees, but we understand the reasoning behind it. The heavy stools at the long shared table get a little uncomfortable by the end of the meal, but not too bad.
We had five appetizers rather than a main course for two people we had oysters okra salt and pepper shrimp the Bento box with salmon and dumplings. Gus was our waiter and was great. The peach melba dessert was fabulous. My wife loved her june bug cocktail
The requirement to digitally order food on the phone was very frustrating and resulted in both my orders (one, for drinks and one for food were lost). I had to eventually ask only to find the kitchen was confused? The waiter did his best but was unaware of the delay. It was very frustrating and I think the restaurant should stick with giving the orders to the waiters.
Food and service outstanding, hopefully the inside area will be open soon
We enjoyed the outdoor dining on Franklin Street and the local food was delicious
We met some friends after a long time. The food was delicious for the most part but a bit overpriced. The okra was the best!
Wonderful experience, as always. This is the first time we've been to Lantern since before the pandemic, and found that not only have they not lost a step in their wonderful menu and ambience, but are on top of covid measures as well.
We brought our vaccination cards to be checked at the host station. I found it very reassuring to know the other diners were also vaccinated, and the staff is consistently masked. You will need to wear a mask if you wish to use the guest bathroom inside.
We were eating in the side courtyard which was cool and quiet, very romantic with the climbing vines on one wall and the moon above. The food came at well-timed intervals and it was delicious. We especially enjoyed our old favorite, the Salt and Pepper Shrimp, as well as the Tom Kai Gai soup.
Thanks, Lantern for a lovely evening.
wonderful experience as always - great food and drink and staff - the steak was wonderful and the fried spinach - desserts excellent
Lantern recently reopened so I booked what I thought was the back patio
It is so wonderful having Lantern back after the horrible Covid time. The food, the service and the ambiance were all perfect. You cannot go wrong with Lantern!
We had a LOVELY time at Lantern on Wednesday night. The system where you order through your phone is revolutionary and so, so easy. The servers were available if there were questions, and checked in on us appropriately, kept our waters full, but we were able to dine and enjoy ourselves without much interruption at all. Food was spectacular, as always. Drinks were delicious. The Fig/Caramel Sundae was such a wonderful way to end our meal. We can't wait to come back.
This was my first trip back to dining post-covid. Wanted it to be special as it was also my daughters' first Lantern experience. We were not disappointed. Lovely time, excellent service, outstanding food.
Lantern is by far our favorite place in the triangle. The best food around with the nicest people helping you. Staff is so knowledgeable. Interesting choices. The steak was done perfectly. The fried spinach with it is worth the trip by itself. We are going back next weekend again, cannot get enough!!
So excited that Lantern is open again for outdoor dining. The menu is done through QR codes and an online ordering system. All the food is delicious and cocktails are really special. I have eaten here twice in the past two weeks and it has been great every time. The only constructive piece of criticism is that they still have not completely figured out the online ordering system through your phone - both times I have dined here they have accidentally brought us food/drink that was meant for another table - these are just kinks they have to sort out because of the pandemic so this is completely understandable. I anticipate things will only continue to get better. Cannot wait to be back.
So great to have Lantern up and running. Outstanding food and service!!!!
Great flavors! Loved the patio seating! Excellent service!
Reliably fabulous! We love Lantern and return regularly.
We secured a patio table on a beautiful evening. Started with cocktails that were perfectly balanced. Then heirloom tomatoes salad and pea shoot and scallion dumplings. Both were delicious! We shared a red snapper served with tamarind. Perfectly prepared and succulent. Service was superb too. Perfect night out with an old friend. Thanks!
They were not seating at the really nice outdoor area you see on the website…but rather, at the tables on the sidewalk. That was disappointing, but it was the only disappointment. Each dish we ordered (bi bim bap, oysters, crab cakes, Japanese steak and chocolate cake) was amazing. Though you order via a QR code, the service was still top notch. They had unique (but not overpowering) flavors. I would absolutely recommend Lantern and will go back.
Amazing food and ambiance.
Def recommend the Lantern.
Great food. The tomato salad is terrific. Highly recommend.
Have always loved Lantern - quality and atmosphere endures
My favorite restaurant in the Triangle!
Lantern always excellent. Very glad that they have re-opened with outside seating.
We had a WONDERFUL time! The food was outstanding, and it was so enjoyable to sit under the awning and relax to the sound of the rain. This place is a MUST try!
Lantern has always been a favorite of ours. We were excited when they finally reopened. The food this time was good (on average), not great. Exceptional: pork and chive dumplings, corn chowder and coconut cake. Good: The Bi Bim Bop (sliced beef, sticky rice, egg, grilled vegetables and hot sauce on the side) a quality dish but it didn't really excite my wife or me. Disappointing: The salt and pepper shrimp, fried with shell on, including jalapenos and coriander. Our waiter, Stephen, was great... the perfect combination of being knowledgeable and just the right touch of personal warmth. His recommendation of the Cabernet Franc was spot on. However, our service experience was severely marred by having to place the order for each course from our cellphone. Who wants to interrupt a dinner conversation, let alone remember, to order each course from your cellphone? This is not a quick service restaurant at LaGuardia. Retrieving a menu via a QR code is great. But placing your order with the proper timing should be the job of the waiter... even if you have to wait a few more minutes because you're short staffed. Finally, if they know it's your wife's birthday and you're dropping $200 for dinner, perhaps comping a slice of coconut cake would be a nice touch.
Awesome food and service. Great job in a covid world
what can i say? i have tears in my eyes that lantern is back!!! it is like coming home to family. had a fantastic meal as always... the service, the innovative food, the incredible spices, the surprises, and the knowledge of the staff - really really enjoyed eating outside - the menu many be a little more "limited" that "normal" but it was just the best around - my only complaint (and it is really not a complaint) is that this is the first time since going to lantern since they opened i could not get a sakitini.... the second tear in my eye - just LOVE LANTERN!!!
Great to be able to sit down with real plates, etc at one of our favorite restaurants. Love those salt and pepper shrimp, but everything was great. Ordering off the QR code link pretty seamless, but prevented much interaction with our servers. Always a treat at Lantern!
It was just an amazing experience. Succulent food and great ambiance and service!
You can order delivery directly from Lantern using the Order Online button.
Lantern is rated 4.7 stars by 403 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.