As the site of one of our nation’s most historic battles, it is no surprise that Gettysburg, PA is still home to quite a few rivalries.
Today, the debate between Ragged Edge and The Ugly Mug, Gettysburg’s two premier coffeehouses, is perhaps the most contentious.
Almost every Gettysburg college student holds a strong opinion on the matter. Due to the consistent arguments and sustained interest, I decided to conduct a formal comparison.
On two separate days, I purchased an iced coffee and an item from the breakfast menu at each coffeehouse. For my judgement, I took into consideration the quality of coffee, the decor, and the menu. Obviously, this is a completely subjective rating, and only meant in good fun!
Coffee – I enjoy my iced coffee black, and Ragged Edge’s strong, pungent serving was terrific. At first, I found the strength overwhelming, but I quickly adjusted. Though I only bought a small, the coffee kept me energized until the late afternoon. Overall, I greatly enjoyed it and would definitely purchase again.
Decor – Ragged Edge knows it’s a reputation as a “hipster joint,” and the decor definitely reinforces that image. Charmingly decorated, Ragged Edge possesses lovely outdoor seating in both the front and back areas of the restaurant. The towering wall of ivy and gorgeous pots of flowers work together to create a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere. In addition, there is ample seating inside and out, and the hardwood floors and staircase add a nice touch of antiquity.
Location – Located on Chambersburg Street, Ragged Edge is perfect for any students living on the South end of N. Washington Street. Though it is a hike from my room in Paxton, any residents in Ice or College Apartments or Constitution are only a short walk away.
Menu – Ragged Edge has an expansive menu, one which serves breakfast all day. I ordered the baked oatmeal with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, and I must admit, it is some of the best I have ever had. In addition, the serving size is generous. My friend ordered a bacon, egg & cheese sandwich on a bagel, which he said was also delicious. Unfortunately, however, we went at 10AM on a Monday, and it was very crowded. As such, it took us half and hour to get our food. Although it was definitely worth the wait, I would weigh how much time you have to spare before you go.
The Ugly Mug:
Coffee – Unlike Ragged Edge, The Ugly Mug only offers two sizes (16oz and 20oz), so I got slightly more bang for my buck. The coffee itself was strong and smooth, and definitely helped keep me awake throughout my morning classes.
Decor – Ugly Mug has very interesting artwork, some of which includes a charcoal sketch of a nude woman, and a portrait of an old woman. In addition, there is ample seating via booths, wooden tables, and couches. The light from the front windows creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. Overall, I really appreciated Ugly Mug’s relaxed and comfortably incohesive environment.
Location – Located on Carlisle street, The Ugly Mug is ideal for those living in Colonial or in any of the nearby frat and theme houses. As a Paxton resident, it’s only a brief walk away.
Menu – Like Ragged Edge, Ugly Mug has a large menu, stocked with savory breakfasts and a variety of both caffeinated and decaf beverages. Unfortunately, there was no oatmeal equivalent on the Ugly Mug’s menu, so I ordered a veggie and egg wrap instead. Prepared almost immediately, the dish was a satisfying, albeit simple, light breakfast. My companions ordered the breakfast quesadilla and the buffalo chicken wrap, both of which similarly received a thumbs up.
After two delicious breakfasts and generally enjoyable outings, I have determined a winner….
The Ragged Edge!
Though both Ugly Mug and Ragged Edge had scrumptious coffee, I preferred the latter’s strong brew by a wide margin. In addition, Ragged Edge’s menu, which is comprised of sweet and savory dishes, as well as smoothies and vegetable juices, is more diverse and better suited to my tastes. I love the decor of both coffeehouses, but overall, Ragged Edge’s exquisite outdoor seating and mélange of hipster and old-school charm sealed the deal for me. Although its distance renders Ragged Edge less convenient, the baked oatmeal just might be worth it.
Do you agree? Leave your comments below!
Note: This outcome is based on completely subjective and personal preferences, and is not meant to condemn The Ugly Mug. In fact, due to convenience and the high quality of coffee, I intend to frequent there as well!