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Lena’s Cafe

Lydia Schimansky
Lena’s! This place is hard to miss with the huge signs all over the building. Lena’s has a parking lot in the back for customers only.

Lena’s Cafe, located on 8th Ave, is the home of the best home style Italian food in Altoona.   The atmosphere is like taking a walk back in time:  paneled walls, vinyl booths and banquet style tables and chairs, but don’t be put off by the lack of ambiance.

Lasagna with meatball.

After a brief wait, we were seated at a booth.  Our drink order was quickly taken by a server who was brisk and to the point but efficient and very familiar with the menu.  I then ordered the lasagna, which is only served Thursday through Sunday, with a salad with house dressing.

The salad is your old school iceberg lettuce with a small amount of red onions and tomatoes, but the dressing…..that’s the magic.  I suspect it’s a vinegar and oil mix, but it’s tangy and vibrant and the perfect addition to an otherwise plain salad.

Salad. (Lydia Schimansky)

Now for the star of the show, the lasagna.  It’s wonderfully simple, yet decadent.  It’s a generously portioned piece for $12.99.  The layers of pasta are filled with a creamy, whipped ricotta cheese mixture then smothered in their red sauce with a meatball on the side.  The sauce is a smooth, tomato base with hints of garlic. It’s subtle and expected in all the right ways.  The meatball was fork tender and made me wish I had ordered a second one.  This lasagna is comfort on a plate.

Chicken parmesan and noodles. (Lydia Schimansky)


As if this isn’t enough, included with your entree, is a bread basket filled with soft, pillowy white Italian bread.  The ideal mop for all that leftover sauce on your plate.

Bread and butter. (Lydia Schimansky)

They offer many more things such as, soup, sandwiches, salads, pastas and more! If you leave here hungry, that’s your own fault.  You won’t be disappointed. Lena’s is simple, good food at fair prices.

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About the Contributor
Lydia Schimansky
Lydia Schimansky, Reporter
Hey! My name is Lydia Schimansky I am a reporter here for Livewire. I am also apart of the girls volleyball team here. Outside of school, you can catch me sleeping, watching Netflix or playing with my dog.

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  • A

    AudrianaMay 14, 2024 at 11:32 am

    I absolutely LOVE Lena’s! Me and my mom go there all of the time 🙂

  • M

    McKenna KoeckApr 30, 2024 at 10:36 am

    I love Italian food! Maybe I will have to check it out. Home style food is always the best. It seems like such a cute little place. Nice gallery Lydia!