2024-2025Featured

Lancaster City

Diyo Fusion 

Lancaster City has become known for its dining scene, notably the many ethnic restaurants that now exist. From Asian to Italian, from French to Latino, no doubt you’ll be able to expand your palate by visiting the city. One such restaurant is Diyo Fusion, which opened late last year and is owned by Mohan Pradhan, whose home country is Nepal.  

From Diyo Fusion (clockwise from top left): Naan bread; Momo (dumplings filled with minced chicken) and Achar dipping sauce; and marinated chicken served with Diyo rice (infused with mint, peas, carrots and raisins) and Timur-seasoned potatoes. It’s all served with a refreshing beverage made from hibiscus.

Ten years after opening his wildly popular restaurant, Himalayan Curry & Grill (one visitor called it the “greatest hits of Indian food”), Mohan decided to expand and pay tribute to his Nepalese homeland. Diyo Fusion made its debut in Ewell Plaza in late 2023. Like Himalayan, it gained an instant following. 

Mohan, who has been a chef for nearly 30 years, left his native Nepal in the mid ’90s and settled in Canada. In 1998, he moved to New York, and four years later, arrived in Lancaster, where he worked for an Indian restaurant for nearly 20 years. 

Like most ethnic and regional cuisines, Nepalese food is a blend of flavors. Mohan, who describes Nepalese food as a “fusion of Indian and Chinese fare,” credits fresh herbs for the milder flavor that results. “Fresh herbs are essential,” he notes. 

At Diyo Fusion, he is particularly proud to offer Momo, a signature Nepalese dumpling dish that entails ground/minced meat that is steamed and served with a sauce called Achar. He points out that the dumpling concept developed in Nepal. As often happens, classic dishes such as Momo evolve, and Mohan reports that today it can be made from any combination of ground meat, vegetables, tofu, cheese and other ingredients. 

That premise led to Diyo Fusion’s concept of allowing guests to “design” their own meals via a cafeteria-style serving system. In addition to Momo, the menu offers bowls, wraps, Sekuwa (a chicken dish) and more. Beverages made from papaya, hibiscus and other fruits/florals are available.  

The restaurant’s décor also pays homage to Nepal via artwork and other items that Mohan sources during his trips home. 

For more information, visit diyofusion.com. 

A Little History 

Lancaster was part of the Penn’s Woods Charter (1681) and mirrored William Penn’s vision of welcoming people of all religions, thus it attracted European immigrants from such countries as Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England and France. (Churches denoting all denominations dot the city, with many offering very historic and interesting graveyards.) Originally called Hickory Town, it was later renamed Lancaster in honor of John Wright’s hometown in England. James Hamilton laid out the town in 1734. It became an incorporated borough in 1742. During the American Revolution, Lancaster served as the nation’s capital for one day on September 27, 1777. It became a chartered city in 1818. 

Photo of Downtown Lancaster by Jordan Bush.

Famous historical figures associated with Lancaster include the first President to hail from Pennsylvania, James Buchanan; the House of Representatives’ Civil War-era abolitionist, Thaddeus Stevens; Andrew Ellicott, who helped to map out the Lewis & Clark Expedition; Dr. Edward Hand, who crossed the Delaware with Gen. George Washington; artist Charles Demuth, who was at the forefront of the American Modern style of painting; F.W. Woolworth, who launched his first store here; Milton Hershey, who began his candy-making career in Lancaster with caramels; and Olympian Barney Ewell, who won gold and silver medals (track) at the 1948 games. 

Out & About 

Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, dining out or the arts, Lancaster City offers it all. Be sure to visit Lancaster Central Market, which is regarded as the oldest publicly owned and continuously operated farmers’ market in the country (centralmarketlancaster.com). The Fulton Theatre, which was built on the site of a pre-revolutionary jailhouse, underwent a complete renovation in the late ’90s and now offers top-notch Broadway-style entertainment (thefulton.org). 

If art interests you, Lancaster is filled with a wide range of galleries and museums. The Demuth Museum pays homage to ground-breaking artist, Charles Demuth, who was at the forefront of the American Modern movement (demuth.org). To see the work of Lancaster’s modern-day artists, visit the galleries on Gallery Row, including Red Raven, Liz Hess and Frieman Stoltzfus. A good way to explore the galleries is during First Friday festivities, which are held evenings during the first Friday of each month (visitlancastercity.com). 

If period architecture interests you, be sure to visit Wheatland, the home of President James Buchanan from 1848-1868. While the exterior is reflective of Federal styling, the interior rooms mirror the Victorian era. Wheatland shares the property with LancasterHistory, which offers exhibits, a gallery and a genealogy/research center (lancasterhistory.org). 

Children will enjoy visiting the North Museum of Nature and Science (northmuseum.org) and The Lancaster Science Factory (lancastersciencefactory.org). 

Events surrounding the abolishment of slavery come to life at Bethel AME Church, where Living the Experience conveys its role in the Underground Railroad through a reenacted and interpretive program (bethelamelancaster.com).      

Other Dining Suggestions 

As we said, Lancaster City is home to a wide range of restaurants, brew pubs, cafés and even a food hall! 

Belvedere Inn 

Located in a period (1860s) building, the restaurant underwent a makeover ahead of its 25th anniversary in 2023. The menu is thoroughly modern, the bar is friendly and there’s weekend entertainment in Crazy Shirley’s Lounge. Note: Vescor Restaurant Group also owns C’est la Vie (French bistro), Josephine’s (focus on seafood) and 401 Prime (modern steakhouse). Belvederelancaster.com. 

Bistro Barberet 

Chef/owner Cedric Barberet was the winner of a dessert contest on Food Network. But before you indulge in the restaurant’s delectable desserts, savor the French-inspired menu. Barberetlancaster.com.   

Annie Bailey’s Irish Public House 

Inspired by Irish pub hospitality, Annie Bailey’s offers traditional Irish fare, as well as modern American cuisine. Needless to say, the beer and whisky selection is phenomenal. Anniebaileys.com. 

LUCA 

Rustic Italian cuisine – courtesy of wood-burning ovens – is the star attraction at this restaurant that makes its home in what was once a warehouse, epitomizing the adaptive-reuse building concept. The bar is known for its extensive Amaro selections. LUCA also operates Pizzeria LUCA at The Crossings at Conestoga Creek. Lucalancaster.com. 

Yorgo’s 

Classic Greek fare is on the menu at Kefi, Yorgo’s beautiful second-floor dining spot. If steak or seafood is what you crave, they are on the menu, as well. The first floor is home to a bar and pub-style menu. Yorgoslancaster.com. 

The artwork at John J. Jeffries echoes its emphasis on honoring Lancaster’s agricultural heritage.

John J. Jeffries 

Seasonal, sustainable and farm fresh define the menu at this beautifully appointed restaurant that is located at the Lancaster Arts Hotel. Johnjjeffries.com. 

Lombardo’s has remained family owned since it was founded in 1946.

Lombardo’s Restaurant

Family-owned since 1946, Lombardo’s is now being led by a third-generation family member who fully renovated the building and added contemporary Italian fare to family favorites. Lombardosrestaurant.com. 

Decades 

Old-school video games, a bowling alley, a friendly bar, décor from House of Cards and a fun menu now fill what was once the cavernous Stahr Armory. Decadeslancaster.com. 

Plough 

Located at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, local, seasonal, organic, farm fresh and sustainable define the ingredients that comprise Plough’s menus. Ploughrestaurant.com. 

Southern Market, which dates to 1888, is now a modern food hall.

Southern Market 

Designed as a farmers’ market by architect C. Emlen Urban in 1888, Southern Market is now a beautiful food hall whose vendors literally offer a taste of the world. Southernmarketlancaster.com. 

Flora’s 

The Latin-fusion menu offers a taste of such places as Colombia, Peru, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Puerto Rico. The restaurant also serves as an art gallery, as the work of Abner Gonzalez fills its walls. Florasrestaurant.com. 

Issei Noodle 

This popular restaurant recently relocated to a much larger location. The menu is a fusion of Vietnamese and Japanese cooking and specializes in ramen. Isseinoodle.com.   

In the mood for a burger? Head for Cabalar Meat Co.

Cabalar Meat Co.

Who doesn’t crave a burger now and again? If a burger is on your mind, Cabalar’s are the best! Cabalarmeatco.com. 

Passerine 

This café, restaurant and bottleshop is a celebration of fresh ingredients and regional food. The bottleshop is stocked with items such as cider and wine that have been sourced from cideries and wineries on the East Coast and Appalachia. Cafepasserine.com. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *