6 reasons Harrisburg Restaurant Week is worth the trip downtown

There’s been a lot of grumbling of late about the cost of dining in downtown Harrisburg, and it’s been coming from both sides of the plate. To be clear, the issue at hand is the cost of parking, which has resulted in a noticeable attendance drop at both happy hour and evening dinner at many of the restaurants and bars located downtown.

If you count yourself among those who’ve turned away from downtown dining in recent months, the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District’s annual Harrisburg Restaurant Week(s) returns just in time to remind you of the diverse culinary landscape that is the Capital City.

Today marks the kickoff of the 2014 Harrisburg Restaurant Week, so we thought we’d take a moment to dole out a few reasons why completely writing off downtown Harrisburg for dining is, well, just plain dumb. If When you go, tweet about it with the #HbgRestWeek hashtag.


1) Free Parking

Yes, you read that correctly. For the duration of Harrisburg Restaurant Week – which, by the say, is September 8-12 and 15-19 – the HDID is hooking you up with free parking in the River Street Garage from 5-9 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

2) The 10-day forecast

So we’re still technically in the summer season, but it’s been feeling downright autumnal these days. A quick look at the 10-day forecast shows some great weather for strolling around town. Or, you could always give the Harrisburg Bike Taxi a try…

3) There’s a whole lotta “new” in town

Have you checked out Harrisburg’s new whiskey and farm-to-table gastropub at the reconceptualized Stock’s on 2nd yet? What about the elegantly casual Cafe 1500? There’s a whole lotta “new” in town these days, and Restaurant Week is your opportunity to have you a taste.

Cafe 1500 (file photo | Emily Mallis)

4) THE FOOD!!!!!

Of course, what’s a restaurant week preview without spotlighting the food?! From the sage paparadelle at Bricco to Home 231’s local pork sirloin to the salmon sliders at Cafe Fresco, there is no shortage of culinary masterpieces for you to try. And at a mere $30 for three courses, this is a deal that should not be overlooked. Review all of the menus here.

5) The Restaurants

Speaking of food… The 11 restaurants participating in this year’s Harrisburg Restaurant Week offer a nice cross-section of the eclectic culinary scene that’s been steadily evolving downtown. The only problem is, with 11 restaurants and 10 days, you’ll have to either make a really hard decision on which to leave out – or, plan on eating dinner twice! This year’s participants are: BriccoCafe Fresco (Center City)Cafe 1500Carley’s RistoranteChar’s at Tracy MansionThe Firehouse RestaurantHome 231Mangia QuiMcGrath’s PubSammy’s Authentic Italian Restaurant and Stock’s on 2nd.

6) Dessert

This could technically fall under reason #4, but let’s face it, dessert seldom gets the attention it deserves. Fortunately for you, decadent delicacies like Baileys chocolate chip cheese cake at McGrath’s, tiramisu from Carley’s, french toast bread pudding at Cafe 1500 and Home 231’s molten chocolate cake are all part of the deal.


Harrisburg Restaurant Week runs September 8-12 and September 15-19 at select restaurant locations in downtown Harrisburg. While each participating restaurant features a special Restaurant Week menu with three courses for $30, each will also have the regular menu available. Click here for more information.


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Posted in Dining Scene, Eat – Harrisburg

Mike McMonagle is a late-to-bed guy who tries daily to be an early riser. He drinks coffee, beer, whiskey and water regularly. He moonlights as a singer/songwriter by the name of Mike McMonagle. He makes photos sometimes, usually of his cat, or of puddles. Mike is the former digital editor for Fly; he left in 2015.

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