How Dining Out Makes Us Happier

By Bricco Posted on August 12th, 2015

Dining out is an experience many of us look forward to throughout the week. We mark dinner dates and family luncheons on the calendar. We carefully decide where we’ll eat, what we’ll eat and how the experience will make us feel.

Whether you go out on the weekends only or a few times a week, spending that time at a nice family restaurant in Harrisburg is a great way to forget about the hassles of a job or the added stress of making dinner at home.

Dining out makes people happier for so many reasons. If you’re looking for date night restaurants in Harrisburg, Pa., a place to make party reservations or a great family dining experience, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’re happy to show you why dining out is not only good for growling stomachs, but also provides food for the soul.

The Chance to Try New Things

Most grocery store shopping lists consists of the basics. Unless you’re adventurous enough to prepare duck ragout or have the time to make homemade pizza dough, restaurants are the place to try things you typically don’t make for yourself.

Not only does eating out give you the chance to try new dishes, it’s also a great way to introduce kids to exciting new cuisine. Shy eaters might be nervous to try different foods at home. It’s much easier to give kids a bite of something on your plate at a restaurant, where you have the option of ordering something more palate-friendly for the little ones as their main course. If you get them to take a bite, you’ve succeeded.

For adults, restaurants present the opportunity to be adventurous. If cooking seafood seems intimidating but tasty, let someone else do the work. Allow servers to recommend wine you might be too timid to try without the nod of approval. It can also alleviate the pressure of cooking an expensive cut of meat or other ingredient, especially if not everyone in your party likes it. If you love steak tartare but can never seem to get your date to try it, then dinner out is a great opportunity for you to enjoy the dishes you love and let your companion do the same.

It’s also a great excuse to experiment, especially if a restaurant offers small plate options. If you aren’t sure you like something, you can order it in smaller quantities instead of making it your main course. Let restaurants be the doorway to your curious side and you might just find a new favorite dish.

Focus on the People You’re With

Whether you’re looking for a date night restaurant in Harrisburg or a family-friendly restaurant in Hershey, dining out allows you to focus on the people around you.

Forget about the casserole burning in the oven while you chat it up with your husband after a long day at the office. Dining out allows people to disconnect and relax. Don’t worry about setting the table while you catch up with college friends visiting from out of town, or worrying about how your mother-in-law will like the meal you’ve prepared. In fact, forget about all of that.

Opting for a dinner out shows that you’re focused on the people around you, giving you the chance to really talk and pay attention to what they have to say.

It also is a great way to remove the distraction of pets, TV or neighborhood kids ringing the doorbell while you’re trying to get your children to eat.

Allows Us to Celebrate

Whether it’s a high school graduation, a job promotion or another birthday, dining out is a wonderful way to make those occasions feel even more special. You don’t even have to splurge on an expensive affair to make it feel unique.

Something as little as a meal shared around the table with the people you love can make special moments even more memorable.

Eating out is also a nice way to reward kids for a job well done, such as acing a test or completing all their chores for the week.

Eating Out Builds Manners and Social Skills

Taking your children out to eat is a great way to reinforce manners and social skills they’re learning at home and in school. Encourage them to say please and thank you to the server. Remind them to also thank whoever is paying the tab or treating them to a meal.

Dinner out provides a life lesson in using the right utensils for salad, the main course and dessert. Children also can learn to place a napkin on their lap and to politely wipe their faces. As they get older, restaurants give them the opportunity to practice having conversations with other adults.

We can’t forget the adults, either. Dining out is a reminder that we’re not eating TV dinners on the couch. Sometimes even grownups can use dinner out as an excuse to brush up on some manners.

Eating meals out also can be a good opportunity to teach money management skills to children. They have to consider what they order, how much it costs and incorporate a tip. If kids get their own allowance or you give them some money for the occasion, let them figure out how to pay the bill for a change and they might learn some life lessons.

Take a Break

Have you ever had one of those days where your to do list at work seems to never end and the obligations at home are just as daunting? Maybe you forgot to defrost those chicken breasts or your pantry isn’t stocked and is begging for a trip to the grocery store.

Today is one of those days where you don’t need another thing to do.

Those are the times when you need to just head for the door and step into a new atmosphere – often delightfully discovered at family friendly Harrisburg restaurants. Dining out is the perfect way to give yourself the night off. Don’t worry about what you’ll make – simply choose what you want to eat. Forget about the dirty dishes piling up; it’s time for someone else to take care of that.

So, take a deep breath, sip an intriguing glass of wine and escape into the dining experience.

Socialization Is Key to Overall Wellness

Did you know that socializing is a benefit to mental, emotional and physical heath?

Research shows that interacting with friends and family is vital to the happiness and well-being of men and women. Some studies even suggest that friendship can have as great an impact on health as smoking, drinking alcohol, regular exercise and excessive weight gain.

In fact, spending time around the dinner table has a greater impact on someone’s health than picking up a meal on the go. Interacting with others and decompressing from a full day boosts good-feeling, happy hormones and decreases chance for depression.

Healthy relationships also lead to better sleep, mental sharpness and a longer lifespan. One study even suggests that those with solid friendships have a 50 percent greater chance of outliving those who don’t – comparable to the impact that smoking has on our well-being.

Next time you need a break, even in the middle of the day, grab some friends and head out for a meal. Getting lunch with co-workers is also a great way to get out of the office and take a mental break from the demands of the day. Later, spend dinner with your family and keep the benefits of eating together as a routine event.

Keep It Going With Healthy Choices


Dining out doesn’t mean you have to resort to fat-filled, quick meal options. Thanks to farm-to-table initiatives and consumers being more aware of what they eat, there are plentyof nice family restaurants in Harrisburg that offer healthy meal options.

Healthy Foods Help Manage Anxiety: Many people struggle with anxiety because of work demands and home obligations. Eating right is just one simple way to restore balance to our overwhelmed lives. Whole grains and nutrient-rich foods help balance our systems. While overprocessed, sugar-filled foods seem to satisfy emotional needs, they might actually be keeping our bodies from optimal health.

Healthy Eating Keeps Us Sharp and Boosts Energy: Some reports show that eating healthy foods can increase brain function. Dark chocolate, spinach, certain berries and olive oil are just some of the items that can keep memory loss and other cognitive issues at bay. Whole grains, lean meats and leafy greens also are great ways to boost energy. Our bodies are machines working around the clock to keep us fueled for whatever we demand. Put healthy, local food in your body and you’ll be rewarded with the mental and physical energy to tackle whatever the day brings.

It Makes Up Part of the Community

There are so many local restaurants that rely on faithful diners to succeed. Dining out gives us the opportunity to be part of community initiatives that provide jobs, promote creativity in the kitchen and give back to those in need. Choose Harrisburg, Pa., restaurants that focus on fresh, local foods if you also want to help farmers. Besides being nutritionally dense, these foods are a great way to support the men and women who put so much effort into growing them.

Farm-to-table initiatives are just a small example of the way restaurants can become a bigger part of the community. When restaurants work together with other facets of their neighborhood, whether it’s a farmer, an entertainer or the customer, it allows everyone to grow from the experience.

Did you know many local restaurants also provide special events? Bricco frequently welcomes guest speakers, such as The Art of the Beverage Series where local wine makers, beer connoisseurs and mixologists share their secrets for the perfect pairings.

Restaurants aren’t only a great place to enjoy good food – they offer experiences that bring different people of similar interests together. They also provide the chance for people to learn something new – just by going out to dinner.

Eating Is Good for the Soul

Ancient yogis used to try different foods to determine how what they ate contributed to how they felt. Diets that focused on whole grains, fresh produce, nuts and dairy products were thought to be better for a spiritual experience – and well-cooked foods were better absorbed by the body.

Mindfulness is also a practice many people incorporate when it comes to eating. Instead of eating whatever is in front of us and in whatever quantity we can consume, mindful eating focuses on eating foods that taste good and satisfy nutritional needs.

Eating dinner out is about the food. It’s about eating well-planned meals filled with complementary flavors and enjoying the experience.

Enjoy Being Served

Dining out gives us the rare experience of being served. We already know that eating out gives us a break from doing the work, but it can also be a wonderful mental break and thechance to feel special. Can’t decide what to eat? Ask for a recommendation. Servers at family friendly Harrisburg restaurants are usually familiar with popular menu options and can help you decide what might best suit your mood for that meal.

Servers also are there to make the whole experience feel just like that: an experience. Dining out gives guests the chance to escape from reality. Yes, at home we might have to get back to doing the dishes and making foods that appeals to our family members, but at a restaurant we can feel special. Enjoy the rare moment of letting someone do it all for you.

It Brings Us Together

Whether you’re planning an anniversary celebration for your parents or you want to throw a party for your brother’s birthday, dining out gives people the opportunity to get together. Restaurants have become the social hub of society. If you want to decompress with co-workers after a tough day in the office or catch up with a friend who happens to be back in town, you’re probably going to choose a local restaurant as your destination.

You never have to worry about cleaning your own place or having the right ingredients in the pantry when you invite friends to dinner out on the town.

Restaurants Spark Favorite Memories

Maybe there was an ice cream shop your grandpa took you to on the weekends or a bar you’d meet your college buddies at on Saturday nights. Restaurants provide certain nostalgia for us. Maybe it’s a specific location or an item on the menu that reminds us of something familiar.

They also become a place where new memories are born. Celebrating big events, such as birthdays, first dates with your spouse, promotions and even marriage proposals suddenly makes restaurants a bigger part of our lives. Revisiting these locations helps spark those favorite memories of happy times and life-changing moments.


Treat Your Soul at Bricco

The next time you’re planning a date night, want to make a party reservation or are looking for family friendly dining in Harrisburg, we hope you’ll consider Bricco. Our commitment to quality, a local-driven menu and decadent creations make Bricco a destination for Harrisburg-area diners.

Category: Foodie

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