If you’ve committed to a healthy lifestyle, there are plenty of options for you to enjoy tasty, nutritional foods without breaking your calorie bank. For many people, eating at home is the best way to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrients and keeping your calorie intake in check.
But let’s be honest — we can’t all eat at home all the time. There’s going to be a night where you need a break from the kitchen and want to take the family out for dinner. Or perhaps you and your friends will grab a bite to eat during a night out on the town.
You probably already know that many restaurant foods can pack a whole day’s worth of calories in a single serving. A fried chicken wing can ring in at 81 calories per wing, while a quarter-pound cheeseburger means you might consume a whopping 522 calories.
While those are obvious unhealthy menu choices, even something that seems like a healthy option can have more fat and calories than you expected. Some Caesar salads can have as many as 529 calories, while a salad showcasing fried chicken could clock in at 1,120 calories.
Sticking to a healthy diet has a lot to do with what you order, but where you order can also influence it. You’re less likely to be tempted by poor menu choices if you dine at Harrisburg healthy restaurants that focus on creating flavorful — yet nutritionally balanced — entrees.
For those committed to a healthy diet, we’ve gathered a list of what we think are some of the best restaurants in the Harrisburg, PA area and beyond. Check out these places next time you want to turn off your oven and let someone else do the cooking.
Juice and Grind, Lemoyne
Whether you need a healthy breakfast smoothie or you’re looking for a wholesome lunch, Juice and Grind at 271 Market Street in Lemoyne is one of the best Harrisburg PA restaurants for eating out on a diet.
Load up on a fruity smoothie. You can add supplements for energy, weight loss or immune health. If you need something with a little more substance, the breakfast menu is loaded with healthy options — from oatmeal to protein-packed egg sandwiches that will help fuel you through the rest of the day.
Grab a cup of the sweet potato and kale soup for a guilt-free lunch that will provide you with healthy vegetables and soul-warming broth. Need a pick-me-up from the fresh juice bar to get through the afternoon? Order a Garden Delight juice to pack in those vegetables or order the Lemoyne Flicker for a refreshing, energizing beverage.
The Healthy Grocer, Camp Hill
Need to stock up on some healthy groceries and grab a quick lunch? The Healthy Grocer at 3800 Trindle Road in Camp Hill is one of Harrisburg, PA’s best restaurants for supporting healthy eating. The store’s Healthy Deli offers a hot bar with daily offerings of soups, salads and wraps. They all feature local ingredients that are prepared with nutrition in mind.
Try the Vegan No Soy Detox Soup or the Gluten-Free Turkey Stuffed Meatloaf for comfort food without the waist-belt expanding downsides. With a vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu offered daily, there’s something for every diner at this Harrisburg healthy restaurant.
When your tummy is full, shop the store for some unique and healthy ingredients. The staff at both the deli and the store are happy to help you learn tips to make your own delicious creations at home.
White Elephant Thai Cuisine, Carlisle
If you’re looking for a healthy, sit-down dinner, White Elephant Thai Cuisine at 141 W. High Street in Carlisle has flavorful Thai dishes that will warm you up without weighing you down. Fresh herbs and spices — such as turmeric, galangal, coriander and ginger — help bring out the natural flavors of Thai cuisine without adding the guilt of butter, oil or salt.
White Elephant also prides itself on offering a variety of vegan and gluten-free options. The natural herbs used in traditional Thai food also are believed to have health benefits, such as the chili pepper’s ability to boost metabolism, coconut milk’s gentle digestive properties and lemongrass’ assistance in fighting headaches, arthritis and stomach cramps.
Try the wild Mahi Mahi, served on a bed of vegetables and steamed rice, or dive into a big bowl of mango curry. Thai-style sushi is also a popular healthy meal at White Elephant. The good fats found in these fresh fish options can provide you with the energy you need to get through the day.
Susquehanna Harvest Seasonal Grill
Susquehanna Harvest Seasonal Grill at 2625 Brindle Drive in Harrisburg is a fine-dining restaurant that focuses on using local, seasonal ingredients that complement each other in flavor and health benefits. Menu items are under 500 calories and change every three months to follow the offerings of the season.
The organic ingredients aren’t limited to the menu, either. The restaurant uses organic, natural cleaners. It also installed a recycled-glass top bar and uses recycled paper products and ink for each menu. Try a crispy flatbread or flavorful salad to start the meal. The restaurant’s grass-fed beef burger and crispy sweet potato tofu salad are popular, lighter entrée options. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, the sesame seared ahi tuna and pumpkin mascarpone ravioli are healthy and hearty options.
Dine at Susquehanna Harvest with confidence. You’ll eat healthy ingredients created with careful preparation and attention to a healthy balance. Plus, the eco-friendly environment means you’re taking care of yourself and the Earth.
Home 231, Harrisburg
Just a block from the Harrisburg Capitol, Home 231 at 231 North Street offers diners a farm-to-table experience in an urban setting. Whether you’re looking for a satisfying lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch, Home 231 is focused on using seasonal ingredients to support local farmers.
The beetroot and baby kale salads bring the freshest of greens and crisp vegetables straight to the table, while the buffalo chicken meatball sliders and smoked salmon sandwich are light but delicious lunch options. If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, the portabella sandwich and veggie wrap are flavor-packed and nutritious.
Dinner takes on an even more creative approach to healthy dishes. Home 231 offers chili glazed octopus and roasted beet tartare for a vegetarian option on an otherwise protein-heavy appetizer. The Home 231 meatloaf and braised leg of lamb are comfort dishes that won’t make you regret your meal later.
The Millworks, Harrisburg
One of the more recent additions to Harrisburg, PA best restaurants is The Millworks at 340 Verbeke St. With an outdoor patio, in-house art studios and a thriving indoor dining room, The Millworks is a great community gathering place. It’s one of the best places to eat in Harrisburg, PA if you’re looking for a hearty, creative and locally-sourced meal.
Working with the nearby Broad Street Market, The Millworks focuses on using products made by local farmers. The seasonal menu features an urban picnic — made up of locally cured meats, grass-fed dairy cheeses and pickled vegetables. Grab a tomato and mozzarella wood-fired pizza, or nosh on the rainbow trout featuring toasted couscous, roasted vegetables and herb oil.
Even the cocktails feature local ingredients, down to the rosemary in the Maggie’s Farm gin and tonic twist or the house ginger beer in The Muse. If you come back for brunch, try the chicken salad sandwich loaded with fresh greens, candied walnuts and Green Ridge Acres chicken. Sandi’s Whole Wheat French Toast is a guilt-free way to load up on a sweeter brunch offering. The whole wheat bread will keep you full, while you savor the apple butter and load up on a side of fresh fruit.
Crave and Co., Harrisburg
Get ready for a powerful punch of nutrition at this Harrisburg healthy restaurant. Crave and Co. at 614 N. Second St. features a globally inspired menu that features vegan and vegetarian options prepared by a husband-and-wife team. Located on Restaurant Row in Harrisburg, it’s a convenient, healthy option for those seeking wholesome meals.
Try the breakfast strata featuring brie, eggs, red peppers and potatoes alongside a fresh, organic salad. A yogurt parfait topped with fresh fruit and granola is a healthy and refreshing breakfast option for those on the go. For a more filling lunch offering, order the super food protein bowl, loaded with kale, thyme-roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, chickpea salad, lemon-garlic hummus and a boiled egg. Need something with a little more kick? Try the taco bowl with Korean tofu, black beans and Swiss chard on a bed of brown rice.
If you’re looking for a refreshing and healthy beverage to wash it all down, try the handcrafted drinks menu. Maybe you’ll enjoy a mixed berry smoothie, lavender lemonade, ginger-blueberry infused tea or a kombucha smoothie.
Au Bon Lieu, Harrisburg and Hershey
If you’re thinking of whipped cream and custard filled crepes, then you’re probably not familiar with the healthy crepe options you can find at this French-inspired restaurant at 1 N. Third St. in Harrisburg or 110 W. Chocolate Ave. in Hershey.
Look at the savory menu and consider a brie, tomato and egg crepe or a smoked salmon, capers, mozzarella and egg crepe for breakfast. The oven-roasted turkey with avocado and roasted red pepper crepe is a flavor-packed savory crepe that will provide you with lean proteins and healthy fat. Vegetarian diners will fall for the spinach, tomato, artichokes, Kalamata olives and herbed feta cheese crepe.
If you can’t pass up a sweet crepe before you go, order the apple sauce and cinnamon crepe or the Belgian dark chocolate and blueberry crepe. You’ll get your antioxidants while still satisfying your sweet tooth.
The Tomato Pie Café, Harrisburg
Known for its “simple but artful menu,” The Tomato Pie Café at 3950 Tecport Drive in Harrisburg is a simple café that offers savory and healthful recipes created by owner Karen Fisher. Named after the Fisher family’s official tomato pie, the signature dish is loaded with fresh tomatoes, a cheesy topping and a buttery crust.
For dessert, try the basil, mint and yogurt smoothie as a refreshing, healthy drink. The Cali Bowl, featuring granola in soymilk with fresh fruit, is a great way to kick off the morning. Quinoa pancakes also offer a protein-loaded option with a hint of sweetness from natural maple syrup.
Stick around for lunch or dinner and try the hummus platter, which is overflowing with healthy options for hungry visitors. The curry chicken salad is also a delicious but nutritious option. A turkey and pesto Panini or salmon artichoke Panini are great choices, as well. Whatever you order, it’s sure to offer tasty flavors that don’t come overloaded with fat, oil, sugar or salt.
Known as a Harrisburg hot spot, Bricco has built its reputation on creating skillfully prepared dishes in a fine-dining restaurant. At 31 S. Third St. in Harrisburg, Bricco sits in the heart of downtown Harrisburg and is ready to offer patrons a unique and locally inspired menu.
A vegetarian menu featuring small plates, a carefully selected cheese board and veggie-loaded pizzas offers plenty of option in this Harrisburg healthy restaurant. A gluten-free menu is also available and includes gluten-free oven pizzas and gluten-free pastas, as well as various other options.
On the regular menu, the Rettland Farm chicken thighs with bean ragout and eggplant involtini are two popular dishes that offer scrumptious recipes with healthy ingredients. And you don’t have to skip dessert at Bricco. House made gelato and sherbet, including double chocolate and balsamic pear flavors, will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Don’t Give up on Dining Out
It can be tempting to avoid dining out while you strive to live a healthy lifestyle, but there are plenty of benefits you don’t want to miss! While eating out, you enjoy fellowship, socialization and some much needed down time. Give yourself a break, get out of the kitchen and step into one of the best Harrisburg restaurants featuring healthy menu options. We hope this list can act as a guide to help you stick to your goals and enjoy all the flavors that life has to offer.