Gordonsville Ice House

by Charlottesville29

221 N Main Street . Gordonsville, VA . (540) 406-5393

August 2023 Update: Craig Hartman no longer owns the restaurant. 

As excellent as the barbeque is at The BBQ Exchange, there’s another food that enticed pilgrimages to Craig Hartman’s Gordonsville barbeque mecca for years. Every February, at the restaurant’s Porkapalooza celebration, Hartman would make lard-fried chicken that many would wait all year long for.

As of 2021, they no longer have to wait. At Gordonsville Ice House, Hartman serves his famous fried chicken every day. Gordonsville is called the fried chicken capital of the world, with festivals that date back decades. In homage to those roots, Hartman brings the attention to detail of an acclaimed fine dining chef to one of the nation’s most popular foods. Many consider it the best version ever.

Primarily places to store and sell ice for a community, ice houses have a long, but faded, tradition as central gathering places, with some even evolving into open-air saloons. Renewing that history in the heart of Main Street, Gordonsville Ice House welcomes families and others with spacious, indoor and outdoor seating, cornhole to keep the kids busy, and plenty of televisions with the games on. There’s local beer and wine to wash the food down with, and cheerful servers who seem happy you chose to spend some time at the ice house.

What to Order

Fried chicken is an obvious choice. But, don’t sleep on fried creatures of the sea. Hartman long dreamed of opening a Southern fish fry, and has instead smuggled a carefully sourced seafood program into his fried chicken joint. Below are our suggestions.

Our Picks

  • Fried Pickles
  • Popcorn Chicken
  • Fried Chicken – 2 Piece Dark
  • Filet of Flounder
  • Fried Seafood
  • Mac N Cheese