C'est La Vie

4.8
361 Reviews
$30 and under
European
Casual Fine Dining…with Character
Life is made of the places you go and the people with whom you go there. C’est La Vie is a bistro that invites you to enjoy the small things in life, in the company of good friends. Our inviting, playful atmosphere along with our delicate yet satisfying cuisine makes for a place truly like no other. We invite you to experience everything C’est La Vie has to offer — and watch the world go by with us.
Artisanal, yet casual, and above all deeply enjoyable — that is the philosophy at the heart of our food. At C’est La Vie we craft both large and small plates meant to excite the senses and appeal to a wide range of tastes. As another way to pay tribute to life in Lancaster, we source our ingredients from the rich community of local farmers, butchers, and more. Discover our frequently changing menu.
What 361 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined 12 hours ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful! Would highly recommend for food and service!

KP
vipKenP
Philadelphia
27 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service very good food very friendly staff always to go to

TJ
TimJ
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

A great evening in our Lancaster city downtown gem.

c
cjmargerum
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Entertained some out of town guests at our favorite spot! Food was delicious and our service was fantastic! We love the outside dining here it’s just lovely. Highly recommend!!

H
vipHerb
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Servers were very friendly and helpful. Coq au Vin was fabulous. Friends had salmon and related that it was delicious.
Overall - a grand experience. We definitely will return.

CR
vipCRR3rd
Philadelphia
8 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The food was fine, not the best French Onion Soup. The soup's broth was very weak on flavor, somewhat watery as though it had been watered down to make more soup. The Boeuf Bourguigon was short on beef with a sauce the seemed to have been artificially thickened. The cocktails were well prepared and the desserts also well prepared. Cautiously navigate the menu and don't depend on the server's opinions.

SD
vipSarahD
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

felt rushed through my meal. Lovely setting. Anniversary was not recognized by staff.

NY
NYC2021
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great time and the food and drinks were delicious!
Casi served us and she was amazing as always!
Thank you!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

The food was honestly not that impressive, I was expecting it to be much better but it didn’t stand out. The drinks were good, but very small for the pricing. Our server was great and super nice but you could tell they were understaffed as it took a long time to get our bill/menus and drinks. Beautiful ambiance.

RR
vipRRJDining
New York Area
18 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome! Excellent location, atmosphere, service, food and value!!

MM
MikeM
Richmond
8 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

No issues with food and/or service. The table location for seating outside was also spot on. We sat outside and enjoyed a nice evening with great sax music provided by the restaurant’s hired musician. Enjoyed all aspects of our visit to this restaurant.

LM
vipLloydM
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Great place

C
Carebear
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The smoked seafood charcuterie was delicious! The Impossible Burger and Pinot noir were great too. We sat outside and it was a delightful spot for dinner and drinks on a nice sunny day.

RS
RonaldS
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Outside dining is extraordinary. Shrimp and salmon pasta was not up to par but the balance of the entrees were excellent.

TN
vipThomasN
Philadelphia
11 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This could be my new favorite restaurant. Great menus, excellent service, and more than pleasant atmosphere. A great addition to the Lancaster eating scene.

GA
GeneralAdmiral
1 review
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Everything was very good. Hunter was excellent. We will definitely return. Thank you.
Ned Grove

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on June 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful time! Food was excellent, conversation was awesome.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere and friendly environment. Good food.

YA
YashA
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent, excellent and excellent.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always have a great meal with great drinks. Amazing staff makes the experience extra special.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

First lunch here after a definite 5 star dinner here in late April. Service was great. Reservations & seating smooth. It was packed on Memorial Day weekend, no tables available Saturday at 1pm. I like their menu variety & like that they offer a cauliflower crust option on their pizzas. It’s a thin crunchy crust & you will not even know it’s cauliflower. I had the Central Market pizza of the day which was a crab pizza! I only got it because I never had crab on pizza before. It was good, lots of cheese & black olives on top & definitely crab on there, but it wasn’t outstanding or extremely flavorful, but I enjoyed it. My friend loved her BLT croissant which came with shoestring fries. My disappointment was our Bloody Mary’s which were $14 each with Ketel One & garnished lovely & they did give us extra bleu cheese stuffed olives upon request…but the mix had zero flavor. It tasted like watered down thin plain old tomato juice. No seasoning. Often restaurants ask if you want mild, spicy etc, but we were not asked. We had specifically booked because it was hard to find a place with a full bar at lunch that made Bloody Mary’s. Hopefully they work on those because their fancier cocktail menu looks great. Be nice to have a great Bloody Mary on the weekend cocktail menu too. Our server was prompt & courteous. Desserts were tasty & presented well. I had the raspberry pistachio macaroon & my friend had chocolate decadence.

C
Cjm12
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved everything about it! The food, ambiance, service, it’s all great! Thanks for making it a wonderful night for us!

BD
vipBobD
Philadelphia
9 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful evening, we took friends who had never been there before. Our server, Hunter, did an excellent job of reviewing the menu with our friends and made some excellent suggestions. We enjoyed the evening at a pace that was delightful and the food was, as usual, delicious.

m
missym
Pittsburgh
7 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Second time we have been there and it was fantastic!!

FC
vipFoodieCouple
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tired parent date night that felt like we were taken back to al fresco dining in France!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Loved the location and ambiance. Service, food, & drinks were excellent as well. There was a young saxophone player outside by our table playing which, being that we were on a “date night” was lovely. The only ding was the desert. It was the tiniest piece of cake we’ve ever seen, and to be honest it wasn’t great. We’d go back for sure, we’ll just skip desert next time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Can't top the casual elegance! Perfectly prepared, approachable food presented by a personable staff in a quintessential Lancaster setting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the atmosphere and menu. Always a fantastic experience. Dean and Justin are the perfect hosts.

N
Not2la8
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Seems like the burgers were ok for the kids but the salads were uninspired. The seating area is very nice outside near Central Market and service was good.

C
vipCruvertwin
Philadelphia
91 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A delicious outside luncheon. We split an amazing salad with fried avocado…. so good, and an amazing crab pizza….yum. Everything was fabulous! Can’t wait to go back.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bernie is the best

KE
KEDines
1 review
Dined on May 20, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

C'est La Vie is a lovely outdoor cafe with a variety of interesting choices, from appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches (mostly hot) to pastas and entrees. It's right across from Lancaster's Central Market - so, a great stop either before or after on Market Days (when it is likely to be more crowded and noisier) or a quieter, more leisurely lunch downtown. No street traffic, which is a plus. Tableside umbrellas and buildings provide shadow from the sun. The service is excellent.

M
vipMardel
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Loudness was so bad that evening, as a motorcycle group reved up their engines all night long on King Street.

MH
MaryH
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We could not have been more pleased, it was the best overall experience in a very long time, the food was great, the ambience perfect and the staff made the experience. I will be returning as often as possible!!!

AA
AnneA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a great experience last night! Kasi was a fabulous server and our food was outstanding! I recommend the crab cakes! We will be back!

JE
JeanE
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Enjoyable- I was amazed by how good the fried avocado 🥑 was on the salad..delish!! I'm never disappointed!!!

V
Valerie
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food. Great outdoor ambiance. Service was great too.

XS
XanderS
New England
2 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Graduation dinner

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SH
vipSherylH
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on May 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great as usual! Love the outdoor seating, and food and service were excellent.

KT
KathleenT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food !!! Best Mussels I ever had. Great service.

FAQs

C'est La Vie is rated 4.8 stars by 361 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.