Dienner’s Country Restaurant
Lancaster County boasts a lot of restaurant options for those visiting the area. One of the common restaurant styles that you will find throughout the county is the Pennsylvania Dutch style buffet. This has become an expected staple and a tradition amongst the people who are long-time visitors to the area. Pretty much everyone who travels to Lancaster County has at least one or more “favorite” buffets that they like to frequent. While I don’t know exactly how this tradition started in the area, I do know we have our fair share of favorites as well. One of those favorites for us is Dienner’s Country Restaurant.
The atmosphere of Dienner’s is what one would expect from a smaller Pennsylvania Dutch Restaurant. The food is the focus. The rest of the place is a bit more no-frills. That being said, the walls are adorned with lots of Pennsylvania Dutch themed pieces of art and decorations, many of which are available to purchase next door at the King’s store. The restaurant is not huge, so this makes it less intimidating than some of the massive buffet restaurants found in Lancaster County. The disadvantage here is that there is usually a wait. The other aspect to keep in mind is, because it’s a Mennonite business, they have short hours every night, with the only “late” night being Friday, when they seat people until 8 pm. They are also closed Sunday’s, which is pretty standard throughout Lancaster County. Rating: 3 out of 5
I’m not sure how your kids are, but my son loves a good buffet. He likes the experience of being able to go up and see the food so that he can pick out what he is going to eat. And since they have a large number of dessert options, this place is like heaven. I would also say that the pricing for kids at the buffet is solid. Children 2 and under are free. Kids 3 and older (up to 11) are only $1 per year of age. I would say that the only real challenge for kids is that it is popular, so you are almost always going to have some sort of a wait during peak meal times. So, depending on the kids, you will want to be prepared with distractions for those longer waits. They do use a pager system to let you know the table is ready and the range on it is far enough that you can take the kids outside and even into the stores that are across either parking lot. That is a help. Rating: 4 out of 5
Dienner’s offers a full menu as well as a buffet option. However, every time we have ever gone to Dienner’s, which has been many, we only ever get the buffet. They offer similar buffet menus at lunch, and offer a nice breakfast buffet that we enjoy. It’s an incredibly nice buffet that offers a lot of the “classic” dishes you would expect from a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Restaurant. If you’re looking for a huge variety, this would not be the place, but it does have a majority of the food items most would want. They offer a fully stocked salad bar which includes the best chicken corn soup that I have personally ever eaten. The main course includes choices of roast beef, ham, baked chicken and more. This is along with some of the expected sides like real mashed potatoes, buttered egg noodles, mac & cheese, lots of vegetable options, as well as a few other things I am probably forgetting. For dessert, they have a third buffet with cakes and puddings and the like, a full pie cabinet, and a soft-serve ice cream machine with a few toppings. Included in the toppings is one of my personal favorites, sprinkles.
The quality of the food that Dienner’s offers is in my opinion above average for the most part. The mashed potatoes are real mashed potatoes, not powdered. The roast beef in gravy is some of the best I’ve eaten. The noodles are very much the traditional brown butter egg noodles that one would expect. Again, the soup is also some of the best that I’ve ever had. There are a few areas that could be a little better. The desserts are average for a buffet of that caliber. Overall though, I’m always incredibly pleased with the meal we get there and Elias always finds something to enjoy before zeroing on the dessert. Rating: 4 out of 5
The prices of Dienner’s Buffet are a win in my book. For a buffet in general, the price is pretty good. However, when you rank Dienner’s amongst the other popular Lancaster County Buffets, there is a clear price leader. At $12.55 for an adult Dinner buffet, Dienner’s is significantly cheaper than the alternative options. The kid’s pricing, as I mentioned earlier, is also really great. Keep in mind that dinner on a weekend is the most expensive so that price is only lower on weeknights, with lunch and breakfast coming in even lower. The price structure may be partially due to the fact that the buffet is a little smaller than some of their competitor’s, but when you compare the price for the quality, you really can’t go wrong. Rating: 4 out of 5
From our perspective, Dienner’s Country Restaurant is a place that should definitely be checked out if you’re in Lancaster County area. We really enjoy the food and the price. Whenever we’re traveling in the area, it’s on our shortlist of options of where we might want to go eat and, in some cases, only eliminated because it isn’t the closest one. Distance isn’t always a factor, as there have been a few times we’ve gone out of the way just to eat there. Long story short, this is definitely one of the places we would put on our “favorites” list for the area. Overall Rating: 4 out of 5
Have you been to Dienner’s? Share your favorite food in the comments below!