Harrisonburg is home to a wide variety of locally owned restaurants that give our quaint little town a lot to offer. Over the past 3 years at JMU, I have been able to eat at a lot of the fun spots downtown. Each one of them is unique, not only because of the cuisine but also because of the environment they offer. Get ready to add these five restaurants to your list of places to try the next time you are grabbing a bite to eat with friends or family!
1. Ruby’s Arcade
Ruby’s Arcade got its start when Clay Clarke bought some old bowling lanes in downtown Harrisonburg. It is known for its delicious pizza and BBQ as well as its amenities. Guests can grab a slice while playing pool or bowling. The manager of Ruby’s Arcade, Chris Howdyshell, said that what sets the Arcade apart from other places downtown is its large space and ability to accommodate large groups, the lanes, and the environment. Ruby’s Arcade is a place where everyone can go and enjoy delicious food and fun games day and night!
2. Jack Brown’s
Jack Brown’s was opened by two best friends in 2009. Aaron Ludwig and Mike Sabin set out to create a bar that offered unique burgers and wide variety of craft beers. Their menu is simple and to the point but will never disappoint. Jack Brown’s is the place to be for a laid back and fun dining experience full of burgers, fries, and even fried Oreos!
3. Billy Jack’s
Billy Jack’s got its start after the owners of Jack Brown's decided that they wanted to open another restaurant next door. The idea behind Billy Jack’s would be a menu with a greater variety of food and beer. Billy Jack’s opened in 2011 and is a popular spot for students and members of the Harrisonburg community. Billy Jack’s is a must try for its delicious brunch and Thursday night “sticky nuggs”!
Clementine’s motto has always been "Food. Music. Art." Apart from their wide food selection they host weekly Trivia, Open Mic, Salsa Classes, DJs on the weekend and so much more! At least half of their staff at any given time are students or alumni of JMU. Clementine’s are so finely entwined with the university and has truly become a place for hosting fundraisers for acapella groups, date functions for sororities, and a stage for JMU bands. Be sure to check out Clementine's for some great food, art, music and so much more!
5. Bella Luna
When in the mood for Italian food, Bella Luna is the place to be. Their scrumptious handmade wood-fired pizza and authentic pasta are sure to please. This spot is my favorite whether I am with family, friends, or on a date. The ambiance is perfect for any occasion. Their quick service and attentiveness stands out every time and sets them apart. Head downtown for a slice or bowl of pasta and take in your surroundings!
As you can see, Harrisonburg is full of options where you can grab a delicious bite to eat. Be sure to savor your time in the ‘Burg and pay each of these places a visit. Each one will provide a distinct experience that you will not forget. Their food and service really remind you of how special Harrisonburg is and the importance of supporting local businesses too!
Want to know more about student life at JMU and in Harrisonburg? Head to our website!