Simply the Best Category Definitions

On this page, we have provided definitions for some of the categories we feel need additional clarification. If a category is not listed, it is because we feel the definition is obvious or can be done by looking up the term in the dictionary. In some cases, a category may be defined in such a way that excludes companies that have their own category.

Auto & Transportation

For this group, an auto is considered any vehicle allowed on roads with more than 3 wheels.

Auto Body/Repair Shop: Although there is a difference between auto body shops and auto repair shops, this category covers them both. Any business that repairs vehicles or parts of vehicles is eligible.

Auto Dealer (New Domestic): Has a dealership contract with a auto manufacturer and sells a domestic car (Ford, Chevy).

Auto Dealer (New Foreign): Has a dealership contract with an auto manufacturer and sells a foreign-made car.

Auto Dealer (Preowned/Used): Has a dealership contract with a auto manufacturer and sells cars that are used.

Auto Detailer: A business that cleans the inside as well as the outside of the car.

Auto Parts Store: A store that sells auto parts. May include tire shops.

Car Wash: A business that cleans the outside of the car only or is called a “car wash.”

Independent Auto Sales: Does not have a dealership contract and is not affiliated with one auto manufacturer.


Drinks & Nightlife

Beer Distributor: Distributes Beer (Name will usually say “distributor”

Local Beer or Brewery: A business that sells locally manufactured beer.

Local Distillery: A place that distills alcohol other than beer.

Local Pub or Brew Pub: A pub is a bar that focuses on serving specialty brews and harty food. It may include brewpubs and gastropubs.

Overall Bar (East Shore): A bar located to the east of the Susquehanna River.

Overall Bar (West Shore): A bar located to the west of the Susquehanna River.

Place for Happy Hour: A facility that is good to go after work.

Specialty Drink (Martini, Margarita, etc.): A drink that is mixed by the seller. Does not need to be alcoholic.

Sports Bar: A bar that offers a good way to watch a game or has a sports theme.

Wine Bar: bar or small restaurant where wine is the main drink available.



These categories cover food sold by businesses. It may be a part of a business or all of the business. For example, for “best bakery” it could be a company that only sells baked goods or one that sells baked goods as well as other items, like a grocery store. Otherwise, the categories can be defined by a basic dictionary definition for the term.


Health & Wellness

Counseling or Therapist: For this category, a business must promote counseling or therapy, versus other forms of treatment.

Dance Studio: A business that provides dance lessons.

Facial, Massage or Spa: Any business that offers facials, massages or spa treatments.

General Dentist: A dentist that provides a wide range of services and, although they may have specialists on staff, they don’t specialize in one area.

Oral Surgeon: A dentistry office that specializes in Oral Surgery. Not a general dentist.

Orthodontist: A dentistry office that specializes in orthodontics. Not a general dentist

Pediatric Dentist: A dentistry office that specializes in children’s dentistry. Not a general dentist

Yoga/Pilates/Barre Studio: A business that offers yoga, Pilates or barre classes.


Home & Garden

Contractor / Remodeler: A general contractor is someone who organizes different resources to do construction or renovation of your house.

Home Builder: A builder is someone who completes the whole housing project on his own.

Home Repair / Handyman: A company that provides a wide range of repair services to homeowners. Must promote services beyond home building and remodeling.

Renovation and Restorations: A company that provides services that restore a building to good condition (it’s previous state). This is different than remodeling, which changes the structure of the home.


Local Favorites & Recreation

Animal Rescue or Charity: An organization with a 501c3 that focuses on helping animals

Historical Site: A location that is either registered as a historical site or is considered such by general consensus.

Hotel: an establishment providing accommodations, meals, and other services for travelers and tourists. AKA Motel, Bed and Breakfast, etc.

Nonprofit Organization: An organization with a 501c3

Sports/Entertainment Center: Any facility where sports or athletic activities can be played.



Aesthetic Physician: A physician that focuses on improving cosmetic appearance through the treatment of conditions including scars, skin laxity, wrinkles, moles, liver spots, excess fat, cellulite, unwanted hair, skin discoloration, and spider veins.

Alternative Medical Specialist: A place that offers services that are complementary to contemporary medicine like acupuncture, reiki, herbalist, etc.

Body Contouring: A place that provides procedures designed to reshape and improve the appearance of your body.

General or Family Physician: 

Medical Group: A group of doctors that work together. For example, Mayo Clinic.

Medical Specialist: A doctor that specializes in a field such as cardiology, podiatry, etc. Cannot specialize in Obstetrics, plastic surgery or children’s medicine as they have their own category.

Pain Specialist: A medical provider that focuses on reducing pain.

Pediatrician: A physician that specializes in treating children.


Professional Services

Accountant: A business that offers accountant services.

Bank or Credit Union: Any facility where you can get services like a checking account, a savings account, etc.

Barber Shop: Must say “barber” in the name or state that it offers “barber services.”

Beauty/Hair Salon: A business that focuses on cutting and styling a wide range of hair. May be for men, women or both.

Nail Salon: A business that offers nail services as the main or a portion of their overall business.

Real Estate Agency: An agency that is licensed to help people buy and sell commercial or residential real estate.

Senior Living (Retirement, Assisted Living, Long Term, etc.): Any facility that provides temporary or long term living opportunities for senior citizens. (Retirement, Assisted Living, Long Term, etc.)



The restaurant group differs from the Food group because it looks at the overall dining establishment. For example, “Best Pizza Place” requires the food venue to have pizza be it’s primary menu option. Bob’s Italian Restaurant might have good pizza, but it would be considered a European Restaurant rather than a Pizza Place. Another example is Best Kid’s Menu, which is under Food, versus Best Family Restaurant, which is under Restaurant. Any restaurant could be considered for Best Kid’s Menu provided they have a kid’s section on their menu. However, Best Family Restaurant looks for a restaurant that focuses on being family-friendly.

American Restaurant: A restaurant that doesn’t specialize in Asian, European or Latin American cuisine.

Asian Restaurant: A restaurant that specializes in Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, Middle Eastern and other food from Asia.

Deli: A food venue that sells cold cuts, cheeses, and a variety of salads, as well as a selection of unusual or foreign prepared foods.

Downtown Restaurant: A restaurant located in downtown Harrisburg

European Restaurant : A restaurant that sells food from Europe like French or Italian.

Family Restaurant: A restaurant that focuses on serving families or being extremely family-friendly.

Food Truck: A large vehicle equipped with facilities for cooking and selling food.

Latin American Restaurant: A restaurant that specializes in Mexican, Cuban, Latin, Caribbean or other food from Latin America.

Overall Dining (East Shore): A restaurant located to the east of the Susquehanna River in or near Harrisburg.

Overall Dining (West Shore): A restaurant located to the west of the Susquehanna River in or near Harrisburg.

Pizza Place: A place that primarily sells pizza or promotes pizza as a primary feature of its menu.

Seafood or Seafood Restaurant: A food venue that sells seafood.

Steak or Steakhouse: A food venue that sells steak.

Suburban Restaurant: A restaurant located in suburban Harrisburg

Vegetarian/Vegan: A food venue that focuses on or has a high number of vegetarian and/or vegan options.


Weddings & Events

Birthday Party Venue: Any place where you could hold a birthday party. May be for kids or adults.


Harrisburg Community

Customer Service: the business that goes above and beyond to provide customers the best experience with their company.

Commitment to Harrisburg: the business that has done a lot for Harrisburg. Think of this as a “good citizenship” award for businesses.

Value: the business that provides you the most for your money.

Generous Spirit: the business that is very generous to the community. It may be one that does fundraisers for charities or who has its employees volunteer their time.

Quality: the business that consistently provides good products. It could be a restaurant with really good food or a plumber that never fails to fix the leaky pipe.

Environmentally Friendly: the business is doing things  that recycles, finds ways to reduce what they are using, plants trees to reduce their carbon footprint or similar things.

Entrepreneurial Spirit: the business that takes risks, finds innovative new ways to solve problems and are constantly making changes to improve their company.

Small Business (1 to 10 employees): A business that has 10 or fewer employees or whose employee hours equal less than 350 hours a week. (In other words, if you have 11 part-time employees that work 20 hours a week, you’d still qualify as a “small” business.)

Medium Business (11 to 50 employees): A business that has 50 or fewer employees or whose employee hours equal less than 1750 hours a week.

Large Business (51-100 employees): A business that has 100 or fewer employees.

Extra Large Business (101+ employees): A business that has more than 100 employees.