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lunch near Harrisburg PA

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Looking for a good Chowish place for lunch along Route 81. We will be driving from Allentown to Reading to Harrisburg to Hagerstown MD.
We have heard this is a culinary wasteland. Hope we are wrong!
Thanks!

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  1. I grew up not 5 minutes from this area. Any idea on what kind of place you are looking for? I am extremely familiar with this area. Thanks.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jameswilmotrogers

      Good inexpensive/moderate lunch spot. NO fast food. NO diners, unless it is really special. Nothing fancy.
      Local food (Amish maybe?), home cooking, local specialties (crab cakes maybe, near in MD) would be great.

    2. Carlisle has some really great restaurants and it's only about 15-20 minutes from Harrisburg, but still on the way to Hagerstown.

      My mom and I stopped for lunch at the Backdoor Cafe last Friday on our way from NJ to WV and had a delicious lunch. I ordered the gyro and a side Greek salad and was very happy. They also have other sandwiches, salads, etc. http://www.thebdcafe.com/

      There is also Amy's Thai across the street that I always loved when I was in college.

      Fay's Country Kitchen does an excellent breakfast/lunch. I think they're only open until 2 p.m.

      California Cafe is pretty decent, but definitely not my top choice. http://www.calcaf.com/

      Market Cross Pub is a nice pub with good English food. http://www.marketcrosspub.com/

      1. There's a dive-ish steakhouse with terrific hamburgers (the steak's quite good as well) called the Glass Lounge. It's at 4745 N. Front Street, about two miles north of I-81 (take Front Street North exit, which is the one just before you cross the Susquehanna River).

        1. On Rt. 322 just a little north of Hburg is Michael's Cafe. Very good and reasonably priced. Much needed in that area since truckstops and fast food are the only other options.

          1. Herby's El Mexicano is about two miles off of the PA turnpike and I highly recommend for some great authentic Mexican. I'm from Pittsburgh and regularly drive the turnpike pike and I stop here several times a month for dinner.