For the past decade, Gettysburg, PA has been focusing on showing visitors it is more than its history. Now you can revel in the past while enjoying an excellent, contemporary culinary scene as well.
The Gettysburg National Battlefield saw the turning point in the American Civil War; in July, 1863 more 157,000 soldiers fought through three days of canon and rifle fire. The area is home to the Gettysburg National Military Park; the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center; and Gettysburg National Cemetery, the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.
Today, the city of 7,000 residents attracts over one million visitors annually and many of them delight in the explosion of a creative culinary scene. There are time honored establishments serving traditional Pennsylvania fare through to concept kitchens delivering locally sourced creations of artistic merit. Topping off the comestible selections is an array of breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries offering spirited concoctions to enjoy with a meal.
Attached to the home of Jack’s Hard Cider, Mela Kitchen is one of the newest dining options in Gettysburg. Jack’s Hard Cider waves under the banner of Atomic Dog Winery, the brand created by nuclear engineer turned winemaker Donald Hoffman. Mela and the cider making equipment are housed in a converted nine-screen movie theater just outside of downtown Gettysburg. Beyond being a libation destination, the state-of-the-art Mela Kitchen opened in August 2020 with the Gettysburg-born chef duo of Josh Fiddler and Brent Golding at the helm. The complex includes a 181-person event room with a screen and stage for private and public events, a spacious mezzanine seating option overlooking the cider production area, and a vast outdoor seating area with a retail center for merch and drinks to go.
1865 Gettysburg Village Drive
MASON DIXON DISTILLERY
Yianni Barakos hails from a family of restaurateurs spanning from New Jersey through Pennsylvania. Seizing an opportunity to lease land for agricultural use from the Gettysburg National Military Park, Barakos started farming 47 acres of rye for his line of top-shelf spirits. Those spirits are highlighted in the distillery/restaurant housed in a fully restored, 100-year-old former furniture factory. The menu, like the spirits, focuses on local and sustainable ingredients with eclectic offerings like lamb meatballs with radishes grown in the restaurant’s garden, watermelon with feta and mint “salad,” and the always popular short rib poutine. Open since 2016, the restaurant offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free options.
331 E. Water St.
APPALACHIAN BREWING COMPANY
There are several breweries calling Gettysburg home and Appalachian Brewing Company is the largest. The satellite location of the Harrisburg-based beer maker is located directly across from the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and steps away from the Gettysburg National Military Park. Pub grub is the order of the day at ABC Gettysburg where items like the Bavarian pretzel with “Brewhaus” mustard and crispy chicken wings start off a menu off sandwiches, soups, and salads. The indoor venue is spacious and decorated with beer posters and large photos of the nearby battlefield. Families delight in the children’s menu while adults partake of the large tap list featuring standard brews and seasonal offerings.
259 Steinwehr Avenue
Gettysburg’s only AAA Four Diamond rated restaurant is One Lincoln. Situated on Lincoln Square at the downtown intersection of routes 15 and 30, this fine dining establishment is the home of Chef Joseph Holmes who strives to create a recognizable and familiar menu for traveling customers. The menu consists of comfort food with a contemporary twist. Top sellers are the onion soup, chicken and biscuits, and crab macaroni and cheese. Visitors also enjoy upscale burgers, sandwiches, and salads with unique surprises like Gorgonzola fondue, sherried mushrooms, and peppered mayonnaise. Lunch time diners enjoy the view of a bustling downtown filled with tourists.
1 Lincoln Square
GARRYOWEN IRISH PUB
Known as “The GO” to local regulars, a relaxed atmosphere welcomes guests at the popular Garryowen Irish Pub. Hungry visitors line up to get a seat either inside or out and enjoy authentic Irish fare collected from the owners’ family recipes of bangers and mash, fish and chips, and traditional Ulster fry—grilled Irish bacon, sausages, black and white pudding, fried egg, and grilled tomato with homemade soda bread. When it comes to Irish whisky, The GO carries over 120 varieties. A selection of Ireland’s best draft beers are on tap—including perfectly poured Guinness—and the bar also stocks international and domestic beers, wines, and spirits. Seats at the mahogany bar fill up fast. Al fresco dining takes place in the legal shebeen and courtyard.
126 Chambersburg St.
THE DOBBIN HOUSE
The most famous restaurant in Gettysburg is The Dobbin House, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1776 by Reverend Alexander Dobbin as a residence and classical school, the restaurant of today is a trip through history. Antique furnishings replicate those of Rev. Dobbin and the china and flatware match fragments unearthed during excavation of the cellar. The waitstaff is clothed in period clothing detailed down to the ties on the pockets. The eatery is split into two sections, the casual Springhouse Tavern and candlelit fine dining in the Alexander Dobbin Dining Rooms. The Dining Rooms’ steak and fish entrees are only bested by the array of freshly made desserts, including warm Colonial gingerbread.
89 Steinwehr Ave.
MANSION HOUSE 1757
Eight miles west of Gettysburg is the small town of Fairfield and the Mansion House 1757. The restaurant at the inn is a labor of love for George Keeney, who owns and operates the establishment with his wife Cindy. After serving in the hospitality industry for over 40 years, Keeney was looking for a place that could serve as both an end of career exclamation point and a steppingstone for his son who has also chosen to enter the field of culinary arts. He defines his cuisine as “American melting pot” stemming from his experience working under 25 different Certified Master Chefs throughout the United States. Menu offerings vary depending on availability from their local partner farms and the dishes range in influence from creole shrimp etouffee to grilled Octoberfest bratwursts.
15 W. Main St., Fairfield