Off-Campus Dining

Mechanicsburg, PA
Admission Difficulty
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2 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: If you have a car, Panera Bread, Chick-fil-a and Sweet Frog (frozen yogurt) are about 10 minutes away. Without a car, it's a mile walk to anything (by anything, I mean a grocery store and Turkey Hill gas station.) We are located about 25 minutes outside of the capital city of Harrisburg, so if parents are in town and you want something a little nicer than Applebees, there is a ton of diversity of options downtown! Since I don't have a car, off-campus dining is rare. One of the favorite places though is Baker's, a fairly nice diner (they have tablecloths!) about 15 minutes from campus. It's open late and is great if you want food at like 1am

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I've been able to eat at places I like to eat at.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: There is a decent variety of off-campus dining. Within 20 minutes, you can find fast food, frozen yogurt, late night diners, chain restaurants, and a few unique local places.

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: I think there are a lot of great restaurants nearby my campus. But I don't go outside of it much since the dining options on campus give big discounts with the meal plan. I also don't have a car. But I really like that there is always a Chick-fil-a around. We don't have those in Connecticut!

4 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Good dining selection, but not the healthiest.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 880th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Cost
  • 1236th
    Best Off-Campus Dining Variety

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Ashley Offenback
Yardley, Pa.
View all previous student authors

The immediate area surrounding Messiah’s campus is not rich in dining opportunities. Luckily, though, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle are only about a 10-minute drive away and offer a plethora of restaurants, diners, and fast food chains that are easily accessible with a car. Unfortunately, since many freshmen do not have cars, it is very rare that they get a chance to explore the local dining scene. However, for upperclassmen and those freshmen lucky enough to have a car on campus, a large variety of options is concentrated on Carlisle Pike, and everything else is located close by. You can find chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Carrabba’s, and Red Robin, fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A, and a selection of diners.

In addition, Sheetz is very popular with students who pile into one car for a quick and easy late-night snack. Local diners are also well-frequented by upperclassmen who are often on a first-name basis with the waitresses. Special occasions like dates or celebrations bring students to the high-class Fire House Restaurant in Harrisburg. If you need a place to take your parents, they will love the relaxing atmosphere and Italian food at Carley's Ristorante and Piano Bar in downtown Harrisburg.

Facts & Statistics

24-Hour Dining
Baker's Diner
Best Asian
China One
Best Breakfast
  • Baker's Diner
  • Cracker Barrel
Best Coffee
  • Sheetz
  • Starbucks
Best Dessert
Bruster's Real Ice Cream
Best Healthy
Issac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches
Best Late-Night
  • Baker's Diner
  • Sheetz
Best Mexican
  • El Rodeo
  • Neato Burrito
Best Pizza
Papa John's
Best Wings
Best Place to Take a Date
The Fire House Restaurant
Best Place to Take Your Parents
Carley's Ristorante and Piano Bar
Other Places to Check Out
  • Dukes Bar & Grille at Hershey or Riverside
  • Hooters
  • Papa John's
  • Sheetz
  • Starbucks

Grocery StoresWhat's This?

6416 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg
(717) 791-4500
Daily 24 hours

Restaurant ListingsWhat's This?

Food: American
6055 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg
Price: $6-$15
Baker's Diner
Food: Diner
515 N. US Hwy 15, Dillsburg
(717) 432-8800
Price: $5-$10
Bruster's Real Ice Cream
Food: Ice cream
3519 Hartzdale Dr., Camp Hill
(717) 761-8161
Price: $3-$5
Carley's Ristorante and Piano Bar
Food: Italian
204 Locus St., Harrisburg
(717) 909-9191
Price: $10-$20
China One
Food: Chinese
840 US Hwy 15, Dillsburg
(717) 432-2230
Price: $5-$15
Cracker Barrel
Food: American
395 Cumberland Pkwy, Mechanicsburg
(717) 766-5113
Price: $6-$15
El Rodeo
Food: Mexican
6417 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg
(717) 791-0617
Price: $5-$15
The Fire House Restaurant
Food: American
606 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg
(717) 234-6064
Price: $15-$25
Food: American, buffet
61 Gettysburg Pike, Mechanicsburg
(717) 697-2214
Price: $6-$16
Issac's Famous Grilled Sandwiches
Food: Salad, sandwiches, soup
4940 Ritter Rd., Mechanicsburg
(717) 766-1111
Price: $3-$7
Neato Burrito
Food: Mexican
5238 Simpson Ferry Rd., Mechanicsburg
(717) 766-1518
Price: Less than $10
Olive Garden
Food: Italian
6520 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg
(717) 796-1140
Price: $10-$20

Student Polls

Rate the off-campus restaurants on the following topics    Based on 77 responses

Very poor
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Healthy/organic options
  • Late-night options
  • Quality
  • Student discounts
  • Variety/number of options
  • Vegetarian/vegan options

How would you rate the diversity of off-campus dining options?    Based on 107 responses

  • 9% An endless repetition of the same few places.
  • 21% Mostly just chain restaurants and fast food.
  • 52% Enough variety to keep things interesting.
  • 17% A nice variety of local spots and ethnic cuisine.
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