Emil's offers authentic Italian food in a pleasing atmosphere that people describe as "unique" and "historic". Their moderately priced menu is considered a fantastic value. Emil's is a quiet establishment. Patrons report that service is slow but good. It features a full bar with a good wine list. The dining room is often cramped. Some customers complain about slow service, food quality, and poor service.

Known for its fantastic value and its authentic cuisine.

Recommended:
spaghetti, lasagna, sausages, meats, salads, bread, soups
Hours:
Open today 11am — 11pm
Monday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Tueday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Wednesday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Thursday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Friday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Saturday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Sunday  11:00am — 11:00pm
Details:
Lunch, dinner, table service, delivery

Meal times

  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Late night
  • Dinner only

Services

  • Table service
  • Take-out
  • Delivery
  • Catering
  • Reservations accepted

Features

  • Private room

Drinks

  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Liquor

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Reviews

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First reviewed by Sparty

The real thing

Emil's is a great place. As an Italian-American raised in New York, I know what's good and that's Emil's. None of these pseudo-ethnic chains can come close to the quality there. Their cuisine is not gimmicky and the service is no-nonsense. I eat there on a regular basis. Other places would kill for their lasagna.

smartin108

Not Anymore

I am joining the ranks of disappointed reviewers. Emil's was my favorite birthday-boy dinner for many, many years, back in the 1970s-80s. But my childhood memories are of a far better restaurant than Emil's is today. Now Emil's serves food that is a parody of Italian culinary ideas, only it's sad (not funny). They use cheap ingredients and entrees look and act microwaved. It isn't hard to tell these days you know.

The service lately is hit or miss. I heard "guess I'm not going home early" once when I arrived.

I do recall a couple bright spots, so I give a couple stars.

I hope beyond hope Emil's can pull up and put a distinctive mark on the eastside map again soon. Do not expect anything worth the trip until and unless that happens.

patricknagle

Sub par food.

Me and my life partner went to Emil's for lunch today and the only word to describe it was disappointing. The service was just ok, we stood around for a few minutes waiting to be seated before we decided to just seat ourselves. We ordered salads with our meals and the lettuce was old and kind of browning at the edges. Also the bread was not very fresh. Waters were not served with our ordered beverages. The marinara on my life partner's spegetti was pretty shitty. my lasagna was ok, but wasnt very hot upon consumption. The waitress was nice enough, i dont think she was in charge of the freshness and quality of the food. The insides were quant but tacky. Over all i would not recommend this restaurant.

Good food slow service

Emil's is a great place with good food. It is better than Olive Garden. My husband and I are new to the area and we found Emil's on a fluke. It was really good but the service was kinda slow. We still frequent there, because the food is worth it. Two thumbs up!

Skye

Terrible

Tonight I went on a date with my fiancee to Emil's because I've heard good things. I was wrong. Tonight, I ordered the Adult Chicken fingers and received my order in a very untimely manner (and seeing as there was no more than 20 people, it was the beginning of the ridiculousness). When I received my order, the chicken was a very odd texture and I didn't receive the full meal I ordered. I didn't receive the salad or the bread but just french fries. I expected the waitress to come back asking me if I wanted the soup or salad and come with the bread but it never happened. When I went to pay, we asked about it and did not even receive the curiosity of having the wait staff believe me. They instead broke out into an argument of whether or not the meal came with what I said it should have. Very unprofessional. Finally, the waitress snottily asked if I would like to take salad and bread home. I replied it wouldn't be the same warmed up at home. She then rolled her eyes, asked the bartender if $2 was enough of a discount. He nodded. I never received an apology. I won't be returning. Mediocre food, terrible service

Great Italian Food!

Emil's is absolutely one of the best Italian restaurants in the Lansing area. We also love DeLuca's but for lasagna....we have to go to Emil's.
It's an old restaurant with lots of history and charm and excellent homemade pastas and sauces. They are even open on Sundays, which DeLuca's is not. (Love them both!)

LansingGuy

Longing for days gone by

My wife and I had our first dates at Emil's in the late nineties. We loved the cozy, dimly lit atmosphere and the rich, generously portioned dishes. However, about three years ago we noticed that the food was getting progressively worse. Since then, we've only returned four times. Tonight was the last.

Combined, we had two beers, about 20 oz. of pasta and I, with my broiled cod, had about 4 oz. of fish. In all, with tip (the service was still great) we spent $43. It was watery, underdone, cheaply produced and wholly lacking in the quality that once drew us to Emil's whenever we had a little extra money to blow on dinner.

I want very badly to write a good review for this place. It's an historical site in Lansing and I love spending my money locally. The service has always been spot-on and, again, many of my best memories are tied in with it. But I can't give a damn about a restaurant that doesn't seem to give a damn anymore. Emil's: I'll be patiently waiting for you to get your act together. Until then, I guess it's Bravo.

bertd

What I needed!

So sick of chain "Italian" restaurants. Not at all family oriented and have no class. Just trying to push more items on me and make more money. At Emils I feel like family. I feel great about what I am eating and knowing that it is home made. Not fake chain corporate fake food. All these bad reviews are from people who think Olive Garden and Bravo are Italian restaurants. Yeah they have great soup and salad but nothing compares to Emils Alfredo Pizza or their daily specials. Emils is the true Italian restaurant of Lansing Michigan. Cant wait for some Chicken Diablo when I am home.


Going there for 30 years, great place

We had our rehearsal dinner there 29 years ago--it was our favorite restaurant back then as college students. Food was good, and it was reasonably priced, with a low-key family type atmosphere with no pretensions.
It still doesn't have any pretensions, and we still go there. Never had a problem with service, and the food is solid. Not brilliant cuisine but it's tasty. Rich, of course. LOVE their bean soup.
It's a neighborhood family restaurant, and we appreciate it for that reason.

peony

nothing special, but ok

The only reason I will still go to Emil's on occasion is that it's in the neighborhood and I have some fond memories of the all you can eat spaghetti nights. The food is really heavy, Americanized Italian and you can tell the ingredients are not all that high quality.
Often the service leaves something to be desired.
Ok if you feel like some cheap spaghetti and a place to have a drink with a friend, but nothing spectacular, which is too bad.

worked for me

Have been ordering from Emils for years and never had a problem. Then one night a pizza was given that was missing toppings and sauce in places and burnt in others. I talked to the managr and he deffinatly took care of me and addressed it with the cook. Ever since the food that comes to out has been like always... perfect.

wyntertalamasca

I grew up coming to Emil's

I'm sad to give a poor review to Emil's. I know the original owner passed and can only assume the change in quality is due to change in management. The chicken diablo my girlfriend ordered was overcooked and overbreaded. My clam chowder was like milk and potatoes with very little clam, very bland. The worst offender was the Mediterranean Seashells: tiny grilled salad shrimp, bland and flour-y cheese sauce, freezer burn on the 3 shells, suspect "crab" meat all for over $15. The sausage and pepper sandwich or dinner is generally good. The atmosphere is nice but it doesn't make up for inconsistent service and generally poor quality of food. I'll miss you Emil's, I'll check in in a year and see if you've gotten your act together :(

jlovesfood

Disgusting

Everything about my experience at Emil's was horrifying!! The server was rude and sloppy, but to make matters worse, the food was truly inedible. I was served slimy, probably expired ham, stale bread and a processed cheese slice as part of my meal. I could go on, but the memory of it is again making me nauseous. Take my word for it, DON'T EAT AT EMIL'S.

lansingnoob

not what it used to be....

Went to Emils today and the past five years we have eaten here the food has been good homecooked Italian. Something happened to this place and it's not good. They were out of butter for the bread, alfredo sauce was yellow and gritty and tasted like they used spoiled butter, lasagna meat tasted strange and the price for the special 12.95 was not worth the poor quality! Glasses and sliverware were scummy and had filth and residue all over them. So sad to see a nice restaurant go down hill. Will be going to Bravo from now on because the price is well worth the quality of food there.

Annonomous

horrible

My family and i went there about a week ago our servers name was julia.It was the worst service i have ever had she was rude when she gave us our food she slammed it down right in front of us.She rarely checked on us.Not Just the service the food was horrble.It was not worth paying 50 dollars for i will never go back to Emils


rip off

I ordered from Special Delivery. S.D. called me to say Emil's was out of something with my order. I've been ordering from them for 13 years through S.D. No More

lorene

Authentic Italian Restaurant

My husband and I dined at Emil's on May 23rd and Brenda was our waitress. The food, the service and the ambiance was the best. It was very authentic and you could tell the sauce was homemade. And, the salads were served cold which is the way they should be served and not just an iceberg lettuce with one tomato slice! It had a mixture of spinach and romaine. We plan to make another trip soon to Lansing and look forward to dining at Emil's once again!

snowdog99

Sad Italian Food in a Sad City

Trying to find decent Italian food in Lansing is like trying to find homegrown pineapple in Antarctica. Emil's is sadly no exception. The entrees invariably taste like heated-up frozen food (Stouffers does a better job), and the service is sub-par. I've seen this place go down the tubes over the years, and it is no longer an establishment I wish to frequent.

Wonderful Home Made Italian Food

I was going to Emil's for years, and had a wonderful time... met my wife there.. for our Night out... once a week...Had the Deablo, was awesome... my wife had the Veggi Las., and we started off with the Anti Pasto ...SOOOO GOOD, went to Esatwodd Last week to brovo's, and spent a ton.. and left Hungry, went to Emil's, and was so STUFFED, AND HAD FOOD TO TAKE HOME...,,, what a great old fashion, romantic, really passionate about the food, and great wine list.. for the Peaple that had wrote bad things about Emil's... please ignore, what a great, wonderful, great food, service, wine, drinks, Been going there for Years.. So love it...

jschu77

Traditional Restaurant has little to offer.

My wife and I went to Emils expecting some authentic Italian cuisine, instead we got food that could have been made by an 8th grade Home Ec. class. I ordered the antipasto app. to start with. All the relish food (peppers, olives, etc.) was all served at room temp and shriveled up, looking like it had been sitting around for at least the whole day. The cheese was old looking too. Main dishes weren't any better. When we told the waitress, she said that there was nothing that she could do.

pollyhannah

Simply the Worst

Many years ago this place was great...what a shame it has turned into the worst Italian Restaurants in Lansing. We went at 6 on a Thursday night, the service was non-existent as the waitress assigned to our area was busy talking with the old men at the next table.. eventually someone gave us some water and eventually a manager stopped and told us the sad tale of woe the waitress was experiencing at the next table(the least he could have done is bring us water and a free appetizer for our inconvenience)...NOT OUR PROBLEM! Eventually a surly waitress was assigned to us and we finally got some water! After a time we got the worst excuse for Italian Bread I've ever had...I could have bought better stuff in a day old bakery! Apparently the kitchen chefs have no idea how to cook Chicken Picatta...it is suppose to have a VERY LIGHT breading (if any) and a wonderful lemon sauce on it. I could not see the chicken for the heavy breading and could hardly pick out the lemon flavor...the salad was ordinary and the meals were WAY OVER priced. Looking for a good Italian restaurant in Lansing...DO NOT go here, head to DeLuca's on Willow

michelemybell55

I can't believe these reviews!

There is only one Emil's in Lansing, correct? Because the awesome food I keep seeing described is not what we received. My steak tasted like it was injected with water and my canned green beans were luke warm. My boyfriend had krab meat alfredo. Why was this meal $15? It wasn't even real crab! I could've made the exact same thing at home for $5. We were completely cramped and our server was slow. The only thing this place has going for it is the pizza, and they're too far away to deliver. We won't go back.

My Very Favorite Place to Eat!

I love Emil's. My boyfriend and I go regularly and my dad always requests that we go when my parents come to town. It's the best little mom & pop place. AMAZING food, the best I've ever had. It's a small place and get's busy on the evenings and weekends. They treat everyone like a regular and I never leave hungry or dissapointed.

aaspartan

Good cheap food

Ok, so I have been going to this place for 20 years or so and it has been one of the most consistent restaurants in town. The menu really hasn’t changed that much in 20 years. This is a very good comfort food place, lots of carbohydrates and a full bar, no exotic Italian food here. If Lansing had a local mafia this is where they would eat. What Emil’s is not is an exciting place to go to don’t go there on your first date, the service can be pretty spotty at times. One day you will be treated like family and the next time you will be treated like an annoyance. Don’t risk it with a first date you won’t like it. All that said I think this is a great “Italian American” restaurant.

conkli12

ok food, bad service

Some of the food here is really great (e.g. the artichoke hearts with horseradish sauce, the bread), but most is just a little better than okay. Also, service varies incredibly. Sometimes, it's perfectly adequate, but other times it's incredibly amateur ("hon, if you could just hand me that plate I might be able to make room for that bread basket," etc.). If you want diner service in a unique setting for restaurant prices, go to Emil's. If you want better pizza and pasta in a better ambience with better service, go to Spagnuolo's instead.

Oh, yes, they also food poisoned me the last time I was there.

Awesome for carryout

Emil's has the best eggplant primavera anywhere. I've gotten it for ages, and it's consistently amazing. Their minestrone is excellent as well. The entrees cost less at lunchtime and are great for takeout if you work downtown--just be sure to call ahead so you're not kept waiting. I don't know much about their other entrees because I love the eggplant primavera so much. The one thing that irritates me about the place is the salads, which are made with iceberg lettuce and are just mediocre.

hank

price and quality

On the classic theory of advertising, price and quality determine consumption choice. Hard to beat Emil's here. We have good big chains in town (Olive Garden, Carraba's, and Cuchina Bravo) but nothing so cookie cutter can create the sort of checkered tablecloth ambience and down home feeling as an old eating establishment like Emil's; one that has been well maintained and improved over many years. Great deals: the daily special or the vegtarian sub. Order grilled Italian peppers on the side as a nice compliment to many dishes. Lemon Ice is wonderful here--we get frozen strawberries on it. Appetizer menu has expanded--and I like the variety of olives in the olive sampler. The mussels aren't worth it (try Claddaugh's for a deal on steamed mussels--though they've started counting, too). If you've got a meat eater who likes Italian food try the sausage and peppers. If you've got a meat eater who doesn't accompany you for Italian food try the terrific ribs: We've long thought them to be the best in town.

kladd27

Food is Great, WAY TO CRAMPED

I love Emil's, the food is so great, but, it is an old restaurant, and I cannot believe they don't exceed the fire code in that place. You are so cramped at a booth for four that you cannot move your arms! And the booth across the "aisle" is about 4 inches from your booth! But the food will keep me coming back for more. Wait staff could be friendler, she had a bit of an attitude.

One of Lansing's best

The food here is great; plus, on Mondays and Tuesday you can get all you can eat spaghetti for less that $6.00. The service can be a little slow, but the food is well worth the wait. It's a great place to take your family or go on a date.


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