About Us

Further information About our team and our Restaurant

The History

Zahra does its best to present the flavors of Pakistan and the Middle East in a way that is both faithful to the heritage it represents, and appealing to the wider Central Pennsylvania community that Jilani and his family call home. It is his goal to honor and serve both of these cultures with the food he prepares. Zahra Restaurant respects the diets and beliefs of all of its customers and makes every attempt to accommodate their needs. In accordance with the Jilani family's cultural heritage, Zahra Restaurant serves only Halal food and no alcohol is allowed. Our dine-in menu is labeled to show items that are suitable for specific dietary preferences as they are normally prepared, and we may also be able to make adjustments to other menu items if desired.

Owner Story

Zahra Restaurant is the vision of owner Khalid Jilani, an American of Pakistani heritage who grew up in the town of State College, Pennsylvania. He graduated from State College Area School District in 1998, and attended Penn State where he earned a BA in Political Science in 2004.
Jilani worked for Sheetz for over seven years while attending high school and college. After graduation, he moved to Harrisburg and started working in human services with autistic children, then took a job managing healthcare for the state with an insurance company called CBHNP.
In 2007 he left the insurance business and opened his own convenience store in Harrisburg, but a few years later he sold the business to pursue his childhood dream of running a restaurant that would offer something unique to the local community while paying homage to his Pakistani roots. After the birth of his daughter, he decided to name his restaurant after her, and on October 8, 2011, Zahra Restaurant had its grand opening.

Received Certificates and Awards

The PA Department of Public Health advises that eating raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs or seafood poses a health risk to everyone, but especially to the elderly, young children under age 4, pregnant women and other highly susceptible individuals with compromised immune systems. Thorough cooking of such animal foods reduces the risk of illness.