The Ten Best Restaurants in Harrisburg

Published: September 21, 2014

As a peak performance coach, I meet with hundreds of clients each month, and one of the most common questions I get from the executives and small business owners, who come to meet me for the first time is, "What is the best restaurant in Harrisburg?"

Personally, I tend to dodge such questions, because it really depends on one's personal tastes, the type of atmosphere they're after, and the purpose of the meal. Are you looking for a place to share an intimate dinner with someone special, or for a place to have that power lunch or dinner meeting? My answers would vary depending on each of those factors. 

I suppose if I were only going to eat at one restaurant every night, I would have to give some serious consideration to that question, but instead, I like to share with them (and now with you) my "Ten Best Restaurants in the Greater Harrisburg area".

So if you're tired of the same-old same-old, or plan to visit our capitol city on business, you might want to check out some of these terrific restaurants.

  1. #10 - New 2nd Wok

    (106 N 2nd Street, Suite 106; Harrisburg, PA 17101 - 717.920.0900)

    If you enjoy Asian food, cooked from fresh ingredients, with authentic flavours and beautiful presentation, then New 2nd Wok is a great place to begin your sampling of Harrisburg's eateries. 

    The ambiance is simple and not at all fancy. Closer to a New York Take-Out restaurant, servings are generous, and they offer delivery. We've found it to be a great spot for casual business lunch, or just to grab some great take-out, for those nights when you're bringing work home with you.

    Their website is: http://www.new2ndwok.com/

  2. #9 Ceoltas Irish Pub

    (310 N 2nd Street; Harrisburg PA 17101 - 717.233.3202)

    Beginning with the authentic ambiance in this amazing three-story bar and restaurant, which was shipped here from Ireland, Ceoltas makes you feel like you've time-traveled to an earlier time across the Pond, on the bonnie banks. 

    Tempting appetizers and mouth-watering entrees to accompany one of the city's best selections of ales and beers make this the perfect place for a family get together or intimate dinner with someone special.

    Ceoltas is a popular destination for wedding rehearsal dinners and any celebration dinners, which adds to the warm and friendly atmosphere. 

    Find them on the web at: 

    http://www.ceoltasirishpub.com

  3. #8 Café Fresco

    (215 N Front Street; Harrisburg, PA 17101 - 717.236.2599)

    Probably one of the more elegant and intimate spots on Harrisburg's restaurant row, with an ambiance that feels more like New York or Los Angeles, than conservative Harrisburg, I consider Café Fresco to be the best spot to meet up with friends for tapas and drinks. 

    They have a terrific selection of wines, and a menu that features a predomanantly Asian flair. The White Miso Salmon and Crispy Szechuan Chicken are show-stoppers. And the service is friendly and efficient. 

    Check them out at: http://www.cafefresco.com/

  4. #7 Sapporo East Sushi

    (4612 Carlisle Pike; Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 - 717.303.0333)

     

    This destination sushi bar started in nearby Cockeysville, Maryland. And now, two decades later, is bringing the same fresh tastes, all hand selected daily from the famous Baltimore fish market, combined with a nice selection of fresh, healthy Japanese dishes. 

    Having first tried many of these dishes in Japan myself, I can say that Sapporo delivers the "real deal" and a friendly, attentive staff, with a clean, inviting atmosphere. 

    You can find them online at: http://sapporoeastsushi.com/

  5. #6 Mount Hill Tavern

    (2120 Colonial Road; Harrisburg, PA 17112 - 717.540.6840)

    Under the creative influence of Chef Jason, this gorgeous historic eatery began as a tavern in the early 1800s. It's one of the top spots for wine tastings, political fundraisers, and other "dining events", and has such mouth-watering culinary delights as Sicilian Calamari with Steak, Crispy Smoked Gouda, Swordfish Meatballs and Duck Ragout. 

    They partner with local farmers, and include a healthy living marketplace on premises, where you can get some of the finest organic, locally-grown produce in the Susquehanna Valley.

    Visit them soon at: http://www.mounthilltavern.com

  6. #5 Carley's Ristorante and Piano Bar

    (204 Locust Street; Harrisburg, PA 17101 - 717.909.9191) 

    For genuine rustic Italian specialties, including homemade pasta, tempting veal dishes, and a variety of seafood specialties, Carley's delivers the old-world flavour in an authentically rustic environment. 

    Just off restaurant row, it's friendly staff and soft piano bar atmosphere makes this a great spot for dinner meetings, romatic nights out or just a stop for some great Italian food. 

    They're online at: http://www.carleysristorante.com

  7. #4 Bricco

    (31 South 3rd Street; Harrisburg, PA 17101 - 717.724.0222) 

    Often selected among the top Mediterranean restaurants in Central Pennsylvania, this Tuscan-inspired eatery, under the direction of chef Bill Collier delivers soulful Norther Italian, Greek, and Spanish foods that are truly an epicurean delight. 

    Bricco represents urban dining at its finest, and offers a fantastic wine selection. Definitely a great spot for power lunches, meeting with important clients over dinner, and the perfect place to unwind at the end of the week. 

    Find this restaurant at International Place on Chestnut Street and Third, or visit: http://briccopa.com

  8. #3 Mangia Qui

    (272 North Street; Harrisburg, PA - 717.233.7358)

    From the Alps to the Islands… Chef Qui-Qui Musarra brings one of the most dynamic and incredible menus that combine old-world cooking methods, and the finest tastes from Sicily, Piedmont, Trentino and Campania. 

    Qui Qui uses only fresh, locally-grown, farm-raised produce and meats, and serves dishes that stand up to the scrutiny of any "foodie" (like me) in terms of authenticity, cultural respect, and healthy eating.

    Their extensive wine list includes some extraordinary ancient varietals, reserve bottlings and food-friendly selections.

    Perfect for Sunday brunch, and a popular luncheon location, you can find out more at http://mangiaqui.com

  9. #2. Firehouse Restaurant

    (606 North 2nd Street; Harrisburg, PA 17101 - 717.234.6064)

    Located in the historic Hope Station Firehouse (the second oldest standing firehouse in Pennsylvania), and built in 1871, The Firehouse regularly wins awards for excellence, including several People's Choice and Readers' Awards, and with good reason.

    With a broad selection of tempting appetizers, like Duck Cakes, Hungarian Stuffed Peppers, and some of the best Ahi tuna with ginger sauce you'll ever try, to a selection of perfectly prepared steaks, chops and seafood,the Firehouse is a Harrisburg landmark. 

    Great for those nights when you just don't feel like cooking, or when you want to get together with co-workers after a long day, this rustic restaurant is also popular for wedding receptions and bridal showers. 

    Find them online at: http://thefireh.w13.wh-2.com/

  10. #1 Stocks on 2nd

    (211 North 2nd Street; Harrisburg, PA 17101 - 717.233.6699)

    "Farm to Fork. Barrel to Glass." That's how this Harrisburg eatery refers to its sophisticated, vibrant upscale-yet-casual fusion dining spot. Located right in the heart of Harrisburg's restaurant row, Stock's on 2nd brings the British gastropub to this side of the Pond. 

    The talented chef and culinary staff sets a goal top provide 90% of their product sourced from local cattle farms, fisheries, and farms, and they do an incredible job of creating some of the finest food available, at the best prices on restaurant row. 

    The style inside is rustic, with Amish-made tables, and accessories from local farms and barns. 

    A Harrisburg landmark, Stock’s on 2nd continues to receive prestigious accolades and awards representative of their pursuit of delicious fine food, great service and their love and dedication to Harrisburg. Their accomplishments include the Mimi Brodeurs’ Five Fork Review, to the annual Simply the Best Awards for the Best Martini Bar, the Best Power Lunch, the Best Business Dinner, the Best First Date, and the Best Happy Hour.

    Without a doubt, this is my favourite eatery in the 'Burg, and one visit will have you agreeing with me, I am sure. 

No matter what your personal preference, you can be confident that any one of these ten best restaurants in Harrisburg will be a delightful, tasty and friendly experience.