State College, PA, is not only the home of Penn State University, but it is also home to dozens of great places to eat. Below are just a few of the best places to eat while in State College:
• The Original Waffle Shop: The Original Waffle Shop offers two locations in the city that are locally-owned and open for breakfast, brunch and lunch. The staff at the Waffle Shop prides themselves for using fresh ingredients and making everything by hand – this includes the amazing waffles and omelettes, as well as the homemade soup for lunch. The Original Waffle Shop also prides itself on using real butter, real eggs, and making freshly-squeezed orange juice each day.
• The Tavern Restaurant: Located in the heart of downtown, the Tavern Restaurant provides customers with contemporary food in a relaxed atmosphere. They have a separate menu for weekends and Sunday brunch, and features items such as prime rib, strip steak, lasagna and dinner salads. Live music is on tap every Thursday night, and it offers a late-night menu featuring pub fare.
• The Field Burger & Tap: The Field Burger & Tap is said to have the best hamburger in town – and also prides itself on serving farm-to-table ingredients such as local bread, Amish cheeses, and its own hamburger blend of chuck, sirloin, brisket, and short rib. All burgers are hand-formed and cooked to order. Sides include house-made chips, Parmesan and truffle fries, sweet potato fries, Hunter Fries with a rosemary mushroom demi glace, and venison chili and cheese fries. There is a large collection of craft beers from Pennsylvania and State College itself, and it is almost guaranteed you will not leave hungry. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• Faccia Luna Pizzeria: Voted the City’s Best Pizza, Faccia Luna offers hand-tossed, wood-fired pizzas in flavors such as Carciofi, which is artichoke hearts, fresh tomato and basil; Ricotta with Italian sausage, fresh tomato and basil; and Prima Vera with mushrooms, red onion and black olives. If pizza is not what you are looking for, Faccia Luna also features “starters” such as salmon bruschetta and pesto bread; grinders and sandwiches with fresh-baked rolls; pasta with homemade sauces; and large salads with a side of fresh bread or a roll.
• Rey Azteca: Rey Azteca is a moderately priced Mexican restaurant that is open for lunch or dinner. The menu features favorites such as buritos, fajitas, and chimichangas, as well as specials and combination dinners. There is a children’s menu and decent dessert choices, including fried ice cream. The restaurant is family-owned and operated, and prides itself on it’s authentic and traditional cooking.
• Gigi’s Southern Table: Locally-grown food with a Southern flair is what Gigi’s serves to its customers. Shrimp and grits and crab cakes are on the menu along with blackened catfish, and it’s all served with a choice of black beans, collard greens, creamed corn, sweet potato fries or Gigi’s fries.
• Cozythai Bistro: Offering lunch, dinner and desserts, the Cozythai Bistro offers delicious and authentic Thai cuisine. You can order something hot – a red curry or Pla’ shrimp—or you can stick with milder stir-frys or noodle dishes. The list of desserts includes traditional Thai custard, sweet sticky rice, and a fried banana with ice cream
• The Greek: Authentic Greek cuisine is served in abundance here. The Greek features delicious starter dips served with warm pita bread, gyros, platters served with fries or orzo, kebabs, and traditional desserts such as Greek yogurt with honey and baklava. You can also call for delivery or order online.
• Barrel 21 Distillery & Dining: Fried smoked tofu, a bone marrow trio and an ox tail are only a few of the selections on Barrel 21’s dinner menu. It also features fried Brussels sprouts and seared scallops and crab with Parisian gnocchi. And of course, as its name suggests, Barrel 21 is a distillery and makes its own bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, barrel rested gin, vodka, rum and much more. Reservations are suggested.
• The Corner Room: The Corner Room offers American classics with a contemporary feel. For example, its appetizer menu includes nachos and a cheese-stuffed pretzel right next to salted edamame. Entrees include comfort-food favorites such as shepherd’s pie and a hot turkey sandwich, but also features baja salmon and beef on weck.
• Naked Egg Café: Known for its delicious breakfast, the Naked Egg Café also uses local ingredients and is family-friendly. Florentine benedict, chicken and waffles, and delicious coffee is what makes the Naked Egg Café a perfect breakfast spot.
• Little Szechuan: Eat in or dine out, Little Szechuan offers lunch or dinner. Its menu features traditional Chinese-menu fare with surprises sprinkled throughout such as spicy beef tongue and tripe salad, chicken feet with pickled peppers, ribs and seaweed soup, pork kidney with pickled peppers, as well as duck and lamb offerings.
OurBus serves daily routes to and from State College, so it’s a great way to be able to see the city, or venture to New York.