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Ephrata Diner

($) - Closed

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3687 Rothsville Rd
Ephrata, PA 17522 (Map & Directions)
Phone: (717) 738-7381
Cuisine: American, Diner, Breakfast
Neighborhood: Ephrata

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Additional Dining Info


Credit Cards Accepted


Good for Kids




Price Point
$ $ - Cheap Eats (Under $10)
$$ - Moderate ($11-$25)
$$$ - Expensive ($25-$50)
$$$$ - Very Pricey (Over $50)


Outdoor Seats


Open 24 Hours

Restaurant Description

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Top Reviews of Ephrata Diner

review_stars 11/06/2014 - Ray
I ate there with my son this past Tuesday morning. Pieces of cockroach in my cornbeef hash. When I showed the waitress the head and leg pieces of the bugs she offered to bring me a new one. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! When I refused to accept a new one the waitress with the nose piercings developed an attitude. She then proclaimed that "only nice people can eat there and that she had the power to ask people to leave." Filthy establishment and the waitress should be fired for her attitude. If you are a nice person who enjoys eating cockroach then this is the place for you, but otherwise stay away for your own health. They were reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture who oversees health inspections within thirty minutes.

review_stars 03/24/2014 - mike
We came in and sat for 10mins no one came to are table we had to go get someone and the place was empty only five other people and six waiters

review_stars 08/07/2013 - ephrata gourmet
Bottom Line: I wouldn't bring my mother here anymore

I have been eating breakfast here for about 5 years, and am considered a 'regular'. They make a good, honest eggs/potatoes/toast breakfast, although the coffee is.. well, the kind of stuff one might expect at a Diner. I have always found the service to be efficient and friendly. In past years when my family would visit, I would bring them here to eat a wholesome, if somewhat unimaginative, breakfast. I'd introduce them to the staff I knew.. it was that kind of place. They have an excellent pastry selection, if you are into that kind of thing.

However, I have noticed in the last 5-6 months that the place is going downhill.. fast.

Often there is garbage strewn about the parking lot, and not just an occasional bits of trash blown in from next door, but lots of it.

And in the early morning (5-6am) groups of (what can only be described as) Good Ol' Boys congregate at the entrance, physically blocking it, chain smoking cigarets and yes, spitting chew. That is just NASTY!

In short, just to get into the place i have to step over trash, ask a bunch of ol rednecks to move aside (which they usually politely do), step over piles of cigarette butts and brown spittle, and swim through clouds of second hand smoke. All this means that when i do finally get in, I am tracking in tobacco spit, and my clothes smell like an ashtray, which really diminishes the otherwise tasty aromas that emanate from the kitchen and the whole dining experience.

Finally, there is an increasing amount of really rude customers, who make inappropriate comments to food servers and other customers, some sexual in nature, and some downright racist... exposing the very worst (but thankfully aging and dying) of Lancaster County. When I and others have brought this to staff's attention, we get a shrug and inaction. You'd think that even if they don't care about customer experience, they would at least be concerned with one of their food servers suing them for inaction on harassment complaints. Just saying....

Easy fixes: move the smokers away from the door (hey, thats just respectful and healthy to your customers) and send someone out to sweep up the parking lot every few hours. And set some some standards on appropriate behavior. Is that so hard?

I dont know what happened 6 months ago, (maybe new management?), but this place is spiraling down to 3rd rate Dive status, really quickly.

review_stars 07/07/2013 - joy
I live in Ephrata and I have eaten at this diner many times, usually with no problems.. But we had an experience today that was not so great. The waitress, Amy, seemed annoyed right off the bat (we were a party of 8, 4 being kids) they never brought our highchair, my husband had to get it himself... Our coffee was cold, and when the waitress brought it out there were no spoons or creamer (every other time we have eaten here, the waitress always brings a bowl of creamer with the coffee). We had to sit at a big table so I understand if there was not silverware there right away, so we asked for spoons/silverware and she said she was 'waiting for it to come out of the dishwasher' yet when she finally brought it out, it was cold, and not warm like you would expect of something that 'just came out of the dishwasher'.

I asked for a cup of apple juice and a half of cup of water for my 2 year old. I opened the lid of the water to pour the juice in and the cup was filthy. Not just one or two specks of dust, it literally looked like someone had filled up a dirty styrofoam cup. (I took a picture with my phone, it is slightly blurry but you can make out the dirt.) When we asked for a clean cup, we got no apology, nothing, just 'sure' and when she brought back the new cup she had an attitude, like she was so annoyed that we asked for a clean cup. Since she never even took the dirty cup away, my husband took the cup to the girl at the front desk, and also mentioned that the waitress was unfriendly.. the girl said she would 'talk to the waitress." when the girl came back, she basically told us that the 'waitress' Amy, was the 'day manager' and that we must have misinterpreted her, and that she would never act the way we were describing, and they would give my 2 year old free dessert (which we did not get). Of course, we thought it was funny and slightly insulting and we most definitely did not 'misinterpret her' and she definitely WOULD act like that.. Because she did.. However, when Amy came back,she was trying harder to make sure we were happy, going out of her way to say the kitchen was running behind and that our food might be an extra few minutes.. and everything was fine.. Until my dad was eating a piece of sausage and pulled a hair out of his mouth. He lost his appetite and let Amy know about the hair, and he did not get charged for his meal. I dont know if it was just a coincidence, but the hair in the food after we already had a bad experience was the icing on the cake.

I almost forgot to mention that when we asked for 'kids meal' pancakes, she said they could not do those because they stopped serving them at 11. We have gone here several times, same day, Sunday, same time, and the waitresses have always given us the 'kids pancakes' and never mentioned an 11:00 time limit? Not a huge deal, she did get them their pancakes, but we thought it was odd that it was the first time anyone had mentioned that to us.

Also at one point she offered to get us more coffee, yet we waited about 20 minutes and had to remind her to bring us out new coffee.

I have worked in the food industry as well as the customer service industry so I have sympathy for waitresses who work hard on busy Sunday afternoons, and I also understand that mistakes happen, but the way that it was dealt with was just simply the wrong way to handle it. My mom went up to pay and told another lady up there that she was not satisfied with our experience, and the lady did take 10% off the bill, so that was a good gesture.

In spite of the bad service, I will say that the food was good. my omelette was great, no complaints in that department at all. But the lack of customer service killed the whole experience for me and if a 'manager' can't be friendly to customers, then maybe she should stick to managing and not waiting tables. We will not be going to the Ephrata Diner for our Sunday afternoon meals anymore.

review_stars 04/07/2013 - Jim Meade
Soups are the best in the state, one flaw which is the same in many resturants, the salt & pepper shakers have food from previous customers dried up and stuck to them, Bus Boys do your job.

review_stars 03/12/2013 - cranston snord
We're "semi local". Have a second house in the area. Food is always good. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Service is spotty. It ranges from excellent to fair. Ate there 03/12/13 at about 2:45 PM. Lunch specials went to 3:00 pm. No problem. Lunch special for me and all day dinner for my wife were excellent. Our server was busy doing side work before dinner, but did not check back with us during our meal. She did come back when she saw the empty iced tea glass but should have been more attentive.

review_stars 12/28/2012 - Kevin
The food is super good and the amount you get is really worth the money!! I have noticed there are new staff and they are amazing definitely a great place to take the family!! Hands down 5 stars!!

review_stars 08/04/2012 - Sue
I read all these bads things about the ephrata diner,and just had to write. The place is great, yes it has its faults just like any other place. If u want great service and alot of fun while ur dining, try 3rd shift. Ask for a server named kara, shes the best.

review_stars 08/01/2012 - a neighbor in Ephrata
I think the food here is generally pretty good, especially compared to someplace like Denny's. However, I've always experienced issues with service at the front register. For example, I just called for take out and she said, "you're going to have to call back in 5 minutes...(I've got people at the register"..or some reason like that). Symptom of the other issue of slowness at the register area, but how about at least saying something like "could you PLEASE call back in 5 minutes"?

review_stars 09/11/2011 - Deborah
Excellent food, delicious desserts, wonderful soup.
My only complaint is that a 24 hour restaurant SHOULD offer their entire menu after 9:00 PM. Lots of people eat dinner late, and may want more than just a sandwich, or may not be in the mood for breakfast that early.

KEEP YOUR FULL MENU AVAILABLE, EPHRATA DINER; you will draw in mega-business!

review_stars 09/07/2011 - Susan M.
Absolutely delicious homemade soups! The best soups in the area. .......I prefer a cup of soup before my meal and so often, soups are so thick you could stand up your spoon in them, or are mainly potatoes and broth. Not so, here. Someone has put thought and talent into his/her soup-making and I find them delicious! Worth a trip for the soups, only.

review_stars 10/15/2010 - debie
My husband and I have visited this restaurant over the last 5 years when we make out trek to Amish country and have never been disappointed. Service and food has always been delicious.

review_stars 06/07/2010 - Brandon
I really do like this place I honestly love it but it gets three stars because of service I have received there a few times. Depending on when I go in they have some type of new or horrible cook there and when he cooked for my fiancee the one time the food was horrible and she refused to eat any of it, instead of taking the food off the bill they only took half the price off! I had to pay both for my meal which was just okay and my fiancee's meal that she didn't even eat. I still go there at night because they have a great overnight cook but daytime just sucks there and I refuse to go at that time.

review_stars 06/02/2010 - Jackie
Great food and excellent service! Ask for Candi she is by far the best waitress! The reason I gave it four stars instead five is their take out is horrible, you never get what you asked for and you must check your order before leaving.

review_stars 04/01/2010 - ken hull
love this place good food good help clean too

review_stars 02/01/2010 - Karen
Excellent Food! Excellent Service! Very Clean! Real down home cooking at a reasonable price!

review_stars 12/15/2009 - stumpy1963
Wow food is great service is great a real down to earth place and now it gets better they are now open 24 hours.

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