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.