Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, Lake George, NY – Last One Standing!

Lake George, NY

Howard Johnson’s Restaurant (9/16 $39.15)*
2143 U.S. 9, Lake George, NY 12845 (518) 685-3022

We will do our best to be objective with this review. We drove 80 miles one way to visit this Howard Johnson’s Restaurant – truly as their sign says – the “Last One Standing” in the World. We arrived around 2pm and were a little concerned as there were no other vehicles in the parking lot nor other patrons in the restaurant – but then again it was past normal lunch hours.

We looked at the salad bar before being seated to see what it was like as we often just order the salad bar. This one had two sides – one was a small salad bar with a choice of two soups, iceberg lettuce, spinach leaves and only a choice of cucumber, cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese for toppings plus a selection of four dressings.


The other side of the “Bar” – called their “Smorgasbord” offered several warm selections like beans, rolls, spaghetti (that hadn’t been stirred in awhile – spelled “congealed”) and another vegetable. It would not be an option for us.


We ordered from the lunch menu which came with the limited Soup/Salad Bar. The soup choices this day were minestrone and chicken noodle.


I ordered the HoJo burger which was actually pretty good ($12.95) ….


Niki opted for the Famous Baked Macaroni & Cheese ($12.95). The mac & cheese was laughable and looked more like cooked elbow macaroni stirred into a Cheese-Wiz type concoction (and tasted like it as well). The closest it came to being baked was maybe passing by an oven on the way out to our table.


We asked the cashier if they actually ever baked their macaroni & cheese and she acted quite surprised and offered to bring out the “Chef”.

When we were leaving the restaurant we met a couple just arriving that had driven over from Connecticut especially to have the famous fried clams that HoJo was also known for. They will have to wait another day to try them as the restaurant had already closed (at 3pm) for the day as we were leaving.

We enjoy eating out and finding new restaurants, especially the local “Mom & Pop” type in our travels. We can both still remember the Howard Johnson’s of our younger days and unfortunately this restaurant does not come close to what we remember. We have seen a couple decent reviews for their breakfasts – though $14.95 for a simple omelet seems a little on the high side. Maybe we came at the wrong time of day but then again what can you really do to breakfast.

We rate the restaurant at one-star (*). Very overpriced and not a good value for your dining $$$. We did have dessert at Martha’s down the road. Her hot fudge sundaes did make up for a lot.

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4 thoughts on “Howard Johnson’s Restaurant, Lake George, NY – Last One Standing!

  1. We just left Lake George NY on Monday 9/26. We are glad we “passed” on dining at Howard Johnson’s….it was tempting I must admit. Remembering the “good ol days” but 60+ years later I figured it would not be the same. When we viewed the menu at the campground we were staying at the prices convinced me to pass.

    As a matter of fact, we found many places in Lake George already closed for the season and those that were open we felt the prices were high so the only place we dined at was one we knew would be a sure bet for consistency and quality Olive Garden and we got the buy one take one dinner for $12.99 so we got two meals for the price of one!

    It is sad that Howard Johnson’s is now becoming just a good ol memory.

    One GREAT place we visited while in Lake George was Oscar’s Meat Market in Warrenburg, oh my, thanks to Rachael Ray for her recommendation of this place, we stocked up our freezer for our trip back to Florida and the meat was outstanding!


    1. Lake George dining is all a little pricey. Very few places stay open all year and the Summer tourist Season is very short. We Workamped in Warrensburg a couple of years and definitely agree with you about Oscar’s. Best meat around. Should you return to the area you should try The Harvest Restaurant which is actually not to far from Olive Garden. Great pizzas and excellent Italian food.


  2. I am glad I read this review. My wife and I were thinking about driving to Lake George from Utica N.Y. to eat at Howard Johnsons. When we were dating way back in the day in Plattsburgh, N.Y. we used to go and have Fried Clams at the Ho Jos in Plattsburgh. Oh well. If you go to Plattsburgh N.Y. I would suggest the Hungry Bear for breakfast and Arnies for just about anything.


  3. If you should come to Lake George take the dinner cruise on the Lac du Saint Sacrement. Good food, great scenery and a very good value is why we take it every other year or when friends come to visit.. We are in Plattsburgh at least once a week and will have to try Arnies before we head South. Thanks for the suggestions.


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