By Joseph K. Hall Jr.
10Best's editors and local contacts have searched all over Harrisburg for the best places to visit once the sun goes down and have decided that these businesses represent the best nightlife spots Harrisburg has to offer. Want to relax and unwind in Harrisburg? Let us show you the best places in town to do it!
9 Market Cross Pub
This traditional English pub serves classic food fare, and features over 200 draft and bottled beers. The decor is very British, and there are coats of arms and family crests throughout. The Market Cross Pub is lively and also offers live music on Saturday and Wednesday nights. It makes a good stop for a quick late night drink as well. (717-258-1234)
The impressive decor includes mahogany paneling, brass fixtures, and marble tabletops. Yet what draws people to Zembie's may be its warm and inviting ambience. The bar serves a variety of import, domestic, and micro-brewed beverages as well as top shelf liquors and liqueurs. This is a great place for an after dinner drink or to close that power business deal. (717-232-5020)
7 Gullifty's Underground
With an evening happy hour that offers half priced drinks, this is one of the area's most popular sports bar / restaurants. Gullifty's Underground offers Italian fare such as pizza and pasta, and the bar serves more than 15 beers on draft. The menu also offers other food specials like seafood and Mexican entrées. Nearly a dozen large screen televisions are tuned to the big games, but there are also pool tables and a regular schedule of the region's best bands. (717-737-3469)
6 Appalachian Brewing Company
In a historic downtown building, this large restaurant has a separate "lagering room" where handcrafted beers are made. Antique accents provide a pleasant ambience, and the menu offers plenty of American options, from salads and steaks to pasta dishes and seafood. Plenty of vegetarian choices are available, as well. Wash it all down with a hearty beer brewed on the premises. In the evenings, live music attracts a younger crowd. (717-221-1080)
5 Ceoltas Irish Pub
Grab a pint and get in touch with your Celtic side at this Irish pub, which brings a bit of Dublin attitude to Pennsylvania's capital city. The dark-stained exterior is hard to miss — actually, it looks like it was stolen straight off Grafton Street — and the ambiance inside is authentically Irish, from the high pub tables and cozy fireside seating all the way down to the great live music and smiling faces. And, in addition to a full bar, Ceoltas also delivers some tasty pub grub, including a true Irish breakfast feast (two eggs, rashers, bangers, black and white pudding, grilled tomatoes and chips) that's available all day. (717-233-3202)
4 Molly Brannigans
Named for a woman that Irish legend claims was the most beautiful ever to grace the Emerald Isle, this Second Street pub warmly embraces folks with its casual atmosphere. Visitors to Molly's can enjoy a cozy interior that features authentic materials imported from the old country and reconstructed right here on Second Street. With a Guinness in hand and a hot bowl of stew in front of you, you're sure to feel like you've achieved a little luck of the Irish yourself! (717-260-9242)
3 Dragonfly Nightclub
If you want to dance to the capital city's best cross-section of music, the Dragonfly on Second Street is the place to go. Housed in an old bank building, the club makes excellent use of the wide-open spaces available. On the first floor, there's a sleek lounge area that proves to be THE gathering place for Harrisburg's best and brightest each weekend. Elsewhere in the club, there are stages for live music (the club has hosted bands like Living Colour, Naughty By Nature, Nashville Pussy and even George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic), multiple DJs, an enormous hardwood dance floor on Level 2, and VIP areas for patrons who fancy themselves high-rollers. (717-232-6940, 866-468-7619)
2 Iberian Lounge
The elegant and upscale Iberian Lounge, located in the Hotel Hershey, is reminiscent of times gone by. The bar feels like a men's club, but women are invited, and it serves up some of the area's best martinis. The ambience is relaxing and the setting decadently fashionable with the posh decor. (717-533-2171)
1 St. Moritz Supper Club
Jazzy and eclectic may be how locals describe this trendy restaurant bar. The St. Moritz Supper Club is known for offering live jazz, R&B, and blues, but it's the little extras that set it apart. The club also opens its doors to poetry readings and other forms of live entertainment. Part of its charm is a jukebox that sits on the bar side of the club, and the St. Moritz is just as popular with locals as it is with travelers. (717-232-9949)
About Joseph K. Hall Jr.
Joseph K. Hall, Jr. is an editor for 10Best, Inc. His travels have allowed him to sing for pints in Inistioge and eat octopus in Athens. He served as city editor on the 10Best Travel Guides for Atlanta, Dallas and Washington, DC. His work has also appeared in business and collegiate sports publications. In his spare time – when he has it – he serves as a college English Literature instructor. He and his wife live in Greenville, SC.
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