Food Coma History: Gettysburg, PA


Four score and seven hours ago I had the privilege of traveling to historic Gettysburg, the battle that has now come to symbolize the turning point of The American Civil War.  In light of an impromptu last minute journey to move my cousin into his freshman dorm at Gettysburg College, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring you all the history on this bourgeoning foodie paradise.

During wartime in the July heat of 1863, all the soldiers had for sustenance was the low hanging fruit of cherry trees. Now the town has contributed to the food tour nation and offers options for the eating adventurer such as their downtown food tour:

Savory sweets tour:

Wineries stand at attention on every corner for the true patriot. Conveniently, if you ask in any of the wine or specialty food shoppes, they will quickly hand you a foodie map detailing the different stores and locations. Gettysburg is about sooooo much more than Battlefields.

The Pub & Restaurant
20-22 Lincoln Square
Gettysburg, PA, 17325

 On our first evening in this picturesque small town, we went as far as across the street to sample The Pub’s finest. The Pub, whose main slogan is Believe, has an owner that suffered many trials and tribulations including a devastating fire in February of 2001 that burned the restaurant to the ground but managed to survive. The Pub is now a successful and trendy spot right in Gettysburg’s main square.  The elaborate plate motif is very fetching to the eye, but the main delight and take away from this food explosion were the rolls of knotted pretzel bread that are served with every entree.  The portions are MASSIVE and have drastically more elevated flavors than my favorite big portion hot spot, The Cheesecake Factory.

Adams County Winery
25 Chambersburg Street
Gettysburg, PA, 17325


Before traveling, be sure to check out their summer/fall concert series. Live music can be found on every corner and an excellent opportunity to check out some new sounds.

Adams County shop has a successful wine slushy.  They offer one of their reds and lighter varieties in a straight up 7-11 inspired Slurpee forms. In the beating sun at the end of August, this treat is a definite must have.

The Farnsworth House
401 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA, 17325

The Farnsworth House has been featured on all the ghost themed reality/re-enactment shows. Even taking a trip to the bathroom down a dark hall was creepy.  However, the al fresco dining is something that any diner would rejoice over. Nestled in this beautiful garden patio, The Farnsworth offers up a variety of aptly themed Civil War Cocktails that are worth a try.  I tried “The Third Battalion” a combination of champagne and whiskey.  I was terrified of this place, since it was so obviously haunted, so I needed a fast buzz just in case I stumbled on a paranormal experience.

  Because we had dinner reservations, we opted for lighter options that were available.  Most notable was the sweet breads which, were a delicious concoction of assorted pound cakes served with apple butter. Vacation eating at it’s finest: cake for lunch.

           Gettysburg: The Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, PA, 17325

Although it’s not food related, I wouldn’t feel like a true patriot without telling everyone to go to The Visitor Center. Our tour had a two-hour battlefield tour and a screening of a documentary on the cause and effects of The Civil War. As you can see, there are many photo opp’s just waiting for you right outside of the door. I always like asking the statues of Abraham Lincoln advice; they’re so good at making me answer my own questions.  I even brought him coffee one day thinking that would open him up.

Reid’s Orchard and Winery
400 Baltimore Street
Gettysburg, PA, 17325

The second winery focused on darker and richer wines. If you enjoy a heavy red, Reid’s will have exactly what you’re looking for.  The owner intentionally uses less sugar because his wife suffers from migraines, which aides in creating a truly rich base that pairs nicely with cheese and savory desserts. They also feature one of my favorite vinos, a Zinfandel they call Zin on Skins. Their wine tasting is $3 if you just want to sample six wines, but $6 to take home the glass. I obviously needed the glass. I can’t wait to host my mismatched wine glass party!

Hauser Estate Winery
19 Lincoln Square
Gettysburg, PA, 17325

Hauser is located right in the middle of town and features not only wine, but also cider, hand crafted and pressed on site. Produced from apples native to Adams County, Pennsylvania, it helps create an out of body experience for cider drinkers. We did a tasting and found some amazing blends. Their Fireside is like a mouthful of Christmas, subtly spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla. I’m looking forward to ordering some over the holidays and heating it in my crock-pot for a winter treat.

Shown above is the lovely Grace, who can be found slinging samples in the shop in town. Treat yourself to a glass of their Cabernet Franc while you lounge on their patio. If you’re lucky you may see a reenactor elegantly sipping in his Blue Union Uniform (stud) and feel as though you’re transported right back to the days of the Civil War although now you have the luxury of plumbing.

Dobbin House Tavern
89 Steinwher Avenue
Gettysburg, PA, 17325

On our final evening in town, we ventured to another spooky stop on The Gettysburg Eats Trail. The Dobbin House, which is another haunted locale. Brimming with rustic and authentic mid nineteenth century flair, the wait staff dresses in period garb, rustles up food of the times and some very forward thinking alcoholic beverages. I feel like if the “Blue Martini” was served during The Civil War it would all have gone a little bit smoother.  I don’t remember the last time I saw orange roughy on the menu but, I have to say it did leave me intrigued.

We started our evening with a basket of warm breads followed by the “porridge of the evening” a delicious seafood bisque. The base was thick and chunks of seafood fantastically rested at the bottom.  I went for the James cut of the prime rib while, my mother got her favorite, the baby lamb chops with fresh mint jelly.

Ghost notes: it is suggested that a slave girl wanders the halls of the Dobbin House Tavern, because it was a location for tired travelers on the Underground Railroad to stop while heading north.  Filled with historical ambiance, this is a must eat in Gettysburg. However, make sure you make a reservation, this antique home fills up quickly and if you reserve too late you may end upstairs in the paranormal bedroom.

Gettysburg may be a town known for an epic three day battle that is a landmark of American History, but you won’t be warring with your tastebuds if you make this your next food destination. Filled with old world charm, history, and a community of young foodies exploring new wines, cider, and flavors it’s for sure another check mark to put in your foodie passport. Whatever you do, don’t let the ghosts sample your snacks….it will go right through them.


Born in Virginia and raised on the mean streets of Garden City, Long Island, I’ve learned to appreciate any type of cuisine from a late night burrito and tatcho’s to a tasting menu and wine pairing. I’m a bit of an adventurer when it comes to food and am always up for an eating challenge where I can find one. I may or may not have eaten sixteen chili tacos to become “The Taco Queen” of a small hole in the wall Mexican eatery. I also couldn’t help myself from ordering whale in Oslo (please don’t tell Green Peace) and can’t resist a zany menu choice. A writer and performer, I like to pair my meals with a good play and you can find my reviews on New York Theatre Guide. Baking is a guilty pleasure and I’m constantly preparing confectionaries with surprises inside. I hope one day to compile all my recipes into one called “Get Stuffed”.I’m looking forward to the next culinary adventure I carve out and sharing them with you. I may just need to create an entire series devoted to “did they really just make this Asian/Mexican/Korean/Italian fusion a food truck?”. Cheers!