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Best of Harrisburg

WE asked. YOU voted.Here is Susquehanna Style’s list of the best businesses in Harrisburg according to our readers (plus a few of our staff favorites)!

Photography by Donovan Roberts Witmer unless otherwise noted

View the behind the scenes photos here!

Reader Favorites:

Harrisburg’s Best Caterer and Best Event Designer: The JDK Group

It’s quite clear that The JDK Group is passionate about what they do. This passion, paired with a talented staff and a multi-dimensional company, has led The JDK Group to the top position in their market—the “Best of Harrisburg.” This collection of event service companies—including wedding and event design, catering and party rental divisions—is constantly striving to stay on top of new techniques and trends to create delicious eats and drop-dead gorgeous events. Don’t believe us? Let their awards speak for themselves! In addition to numerous local honors, The JDK Group recently earned worldwide recognition from the International Caterers’ Association. The JDK Group’s team of imaginative event designers and skilled chefs is fully equipped to transform any size event into a sophisticated soiree. -H.W.
The JDK Group | One Bishop Place, Camp Hill | 717-730-4661 | thejdkgroup.com
Get recipes for The JDK Group's blueberry lemonade and watermelon granita from our cover here!

 

Harrisburg’s Best Bar/Restaurant for Cocktails: Café Fresco—Center City

Our readers love Café Fresco for cocktails, and we know why! With its swanky downtown atmosphere and innovative mixed drink menu, the 2nd Street lounge and restaurant is a perfect location for after-hours libations. Many of their martinis feature house-infused vodkas, such as the “Pineapple Infusion Martini,” with house-infused pineapple vodka and a splash of pineapple juice, or the “Strawberry Coconut ‘Skinny’ Martini”—with house-infused strawberry vodka, coconut water and organic agave nectar. Also not to miss are the mojitos—both the traditional, garnished with a stick of fresh sugar cane, and the passion fruit mojito, with a passion fruit nectar addition to the light rum, mint and lime. Next time you’re out and about in the ‘Burg, stop by “Fresco” to try for yourself! -H.W.
Café Fresco—Center City | 215 North 2nd Street, Harrisburg | 717-236-2599 | cafefresco.com

 

Harrisburg’s Best Burger: The Jackson House

It’s a family affair at Jackson House, the home of Harrisburg’s reader-voted “Best Burger”! Dave Kegris, owner and creator of their South Philly-style delicacies, works side-by-side with his sons Chris and Cory at this ever-popular lunch joint. Although the space is admittedly “no frills,” loyal customers come back again and again for Jackson House’s authentic, mouthwatering sandwiches. As for the burgers, each juicy ½ pound of lean beef can be dressed to order, but we particularly loved the namesake “Jackson”—complete with melted American, crisp smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and their signature sauce (a mayo-based Russian dressing) —and also the “Italian,” garnished with Philadelphia’s own sharp Provolone and roasted red peppers. Style Insider note: Tucked behind Harrisburg’s government buildings, this place fills up fast with civil servants on lunch break, so get there with plenty of time to order, or “fuhgeddabouit”! -H.W.
The Jackson House | 1004 6th Street, Harrisburg | 717-238-2730

 

Harrisburg’s Best Family Destination: Hersheypark

Locals know Hershey as “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” so it’s no surprise to us they voted Hersheypark as Harrisburg’s sweetest family destination as well! The legendary park sits on 110 acres and hosts more than 65 rides and attractions, including 12 roller coasters (our favorite is The Great Bear!) and more than 20 kiddie rides, ensuring a terrific time for little and big kids alike. In addition to the park rides, The Boardwalk at Hersheypark includes nine water-based attractions for those days you’d love to splish-splash at the beach, but would rather not drive to the shore. During your visit to Hersheypark, keep an eye out for the famous Hershey’s Product Characters, life-sized Hershey’s chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, and Kisses! -H.W.
Hersheypark | 100 West Hersheypark Drive, Hershey | 717-534-3860 | hersheypark.com

 

Harrisburg’s Best Performing Arts Center: Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts

When regional residents think of the Whitaker Center, they think of a sanctuary not only for the sciences, but for the arts as well. Housed inside is the Sunoco Performance Theater, a space constructed specifically for live music, theater, dance and more. Each of the 700 comfortable seats within the theater has an unobstructed view that is never more than 65 feet from the stage, which all but guarantees an enjoyable experience for the patron. State-of-the-art light, sound and technical equipment immerses the viewer in the show. In addition to the ambiance, the Sunoco Performance Theater provides an incredible selection of performances ranging from nationally touring acts to local resident companies. It’s no wonder that Harrisburg folk love this spot for an enchanting evening out! -H.W.
Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts | 222 Market Street, Harrisburg | 717-221-8201 | whitakercenter.org

 

Staff Picks:

 

Midtown Scholar Bookstore

The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is more than just a bookstore – it is also a community gathering place, a home for the arts and a family-run business all in one. As the largest academic used bookstore in Pennsylvania, Midtown Scholar stocks over 1 million books and has sold tens of thousands of books to students, professors and librarians in more than forty countries. In 2002, sparked by owner Eric Papenfuse’s dedication to urban historic preservation, the Midtown Scholar team restored a long-vacant and historic property as its retail bookstore. The business has since established itself as a regular meeting spot for groups who wish to discuss compelling and controversial works, as well as for those who just wish enjoy each other’s company with a cup of coffee, converse about life, and listen to music. In short, the Midtown Scholar Bookstore has plenty to offer for any and all inquiring minds! -E.D.
Midtown Scholar Bookstore | 1302 North 3rd Street | 717-236-1680 | midtownscholar.com

 

Arepa City Latin Eatery

If you’re looking to add some spice and flair to your palate, look no further than Arepa City Latin Eatery on Restaurant Row! Arepa City is the first Venezuelan restaurant in Harrisburg, and it offers  the country's traditional arepas and many other signature Venezuelan dishes. Arepas, known as “Venezuela’s own corn bun,” are a staple in Venezuelan meals—at Arepa City, they are gluten-free and prepared fresh daily, so you can enjoy some cultural cuisine without leaving the country! Open for lunch, dinner and late night meals, the Arepa City menu accommodates vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. For a unique dining experience, be sure to stop in to Arepa City to savor the exciting flavors of Latin America at the Susquehanna Style staff’s favorite Venezuelan eatery! -E.D.
Arepa City Latin Eatery
316 North 2nd Street, Harrisburg | 717-233-3332 | arepacity.com

 

Haar's Drive In

Hearkening back to the doo-wop days of the 1950’s, Haar’s Drive-In is a great way to experience the movies in the 21st century! Starting out as one man with a traveling projector and screen, founder Vance Haar has since transformed the Dillsburg business into an elaborate establishment. Haar’s Drive-In became a family-operated company, which is now run by its third generation, and has proven itself by withstanding the test of time—in 2012 Haar’s celebrated its 60th anniversary! In addition to experiencing the movies, patrons are also encouraged to stop in for a snack at the restaurant, which offers traditional movie fare like popcorn and peanuts, but also fresh-cut french fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, soft-serve ice cream and much more. Throughout the season, movies start at dusk and are sure to be a treat for families and friends alike. -E.D.
Haar's Drive-In | 185 Logan Road, Dillsburg | 717-432-3011 | haars.com

 

Miso Sushi and Grill

Nestled amidst the hustle and bustle of Jonestown Road is Miso Sushi & Grill, home of some of Harrisburg’s best sushi. Offering everything from traditional sashimi (fresh from the sea, of course) to contemporary “signature” rolls, Miso provides stellar Japanese cuisine—and always with a smile. Style staff favorites include the “Black Sand Roll”—spicy tuna and avocado inside seared tuna and avocado, then garnished with black caviar—and more recently, the “Robin Roll”—tuna, white tuna, salmon and cream cheese, lightly fried and topped with a spicy scallop. Also, don’t leave without trying the mussels, oven baked with their house spicy sauce (we’re not sure what is in it, but we’re in love). Not a fan of raw fish? Try the teriyaki, fried rice or our personal pick, the tempura! -H.W.
Miso Sushi and Grill | 4620 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg | 717-526-4088 | misosushibar.com

 

The Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne

What do antique radios, stained glass window hangings and an old-fashioned movie projector have in common? These time-tested treasures, among many others, can all be found at the Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne! A trip to an earlier era, the Antique Marketplace is home to over 145 dealers who feature items that date before 1955, perfect for both the casual collector and the antique expert. The Antique Marketplace finds its home within a structure built in 1913 that included stables used for wagon-delivery horses. Since then, the place has been transformed into the business it is today, while maintaining its original hardwood floors and brick façade. Be sure to check out this blast from the past—you are sure to find something that will excite you! -E.D.
The Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne | 415 Bosler Avenue, Lemoyne | 717-761-2865 | antiquemarketplaceoflemoyne.com

 

“Best of Harrisburg” Winners:

Appliance Dealer: Harris TV & Appliance
Asian Restaurant: Bangkok Wok Thai Restaurant
Banking Institution: Metro Bank
Bar/Restaurant for Cocktails: Café Fresco—Center City
Bed & Breakfast/Inn: Blair Mountain Bed & Breakfast
Birthing Center: PinnacleHealth Harrisburg Hospital
Brewery: Tröegs Brewing Company
Bridal Shop: Taylored For You Bridal Boutique
Burger: The Jackson House
Cancer Treatment Center: Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Car Dealership: Bobby Rahal Automotive Group
Carpeting & Flooring Retailer: Martin’s Flooring
Caterer: The JDK Group
Coffee Shop: The Cornerstone Coffeehouse
Consignment Shop: Hello Gorgeous Consignment Boutique
Continuing/Adult Education: Harrisburg Area Community College
Convenience Store: Sheetz
Cosmetic Enhancement Facility: Stratis Gayner Plastic Surgery
Credit Union: Members 1st Federal Credit Union
Cupcake Shop: The Pennsylvania Bakery
DJ: Mixed Up Productions
East Shore Italian Restaurant: Gabriella's Italian Restaurant
East Shore Women’s Clothing Boutique: The Plum
Event Designer: The JDK Group
Fair/Festival: Kipona
Family Destination: Hersheypark
Fine Dining Restaurant: Char’s Tracy Mansion
Florist: Royer’s Flowers & Gifts
Funeral Home: Malpezzi Funeral Home
Furniture Store: INTERIORS
Gift Shop: Rhoads Pharmacy
Grocery Store: GIANT Food Stores
Health Insurance Carrier: Capital BlueCross
Home Heating & Cooling Installation: Haller Enterprises
Home Audio & Video Installation: HIDEF Lifestyle
Home Heating Oil & Gas Provider: UGI Utilities, Inc.
Home Security Provider: ADT Security Services
Hospital (General): Holy Spirit Hospital
Hotel: Hilton Harrisburg
Indian Restaurant: Passage to India
Interior Designer: Barbara Tabak at Decorating Den Interiors
Jeweler: Mountz Jewelers
Kids’ Birthday Party Place: Monkey Joe’s
Kitchen & Bath Designer: Darren Trautman at Inspirations Bath & Kitchen Studio by Hajoca
Landscape & Garden Center: Stauffer’s of Kissel Hill
Lasik Eye Specialist: Premier Eye Care Group
Lighting Store: Yale Lighting Concepts & Design
Men’s Clothing Boutique: Top Shelf Menswear
Mexican Restaurant: El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant
Neighborhood Bar: Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar
New Home Builder: Farinelli Construction, Inc.
Outlet Center: Hershey Tanger Outlet Center
Patio Furniture Retailer: Stauffers of Kissel Hill
Pediatric Medical Practice: JDC Pediatrics
Performing Arts Center: Whitaker Center for Science & the Arts
Pizza: The Pizza Grille
Pool & Spa Retailer: Crystal Pools Inc.
Public Golf Course: Armitage Golf Club
Real Estate Firm: RE/MAX
Residential Plumber: Haller Enterprises
Retirement Community: Bethany Village
Salon/Spa: Franklyn Studio
Sandwich Shop: The Sandwich Man
Shopping Mall: Capital City Mall
Specialty Cake Retailer: Sweet Confections Cakes
Veterinarian: Good Hope Animal Hospital
Wedding Reception Venue: The Hotel Hershey
West Shore Italian Restaurant: Rillo’s Restaurant
West Shore Women’s Clothing Boutique: Creative Elegance Boutique
Winery: Nissley Vineyards & Winery Estate
Wings: Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar

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