While this list showcases some remarkable restaurants, it's important to note there are many other exceptional dining establishments in State College that are not featured here. Our aim is not just to guide you to popular eateries but to encourage you to venture out and experience the city's diverse culinary landscape for yourself.
I recently had the pleasure of dining at Grace Restaurant located within the Carnegie House.
My partner and I had made short-notice reservations after checking into the hotel, and we were simply blown away by the dining experience.
From the moment we stepped in, the service was outstanding, and the ambiance was perfect for our special anniversary dinner.
We started our evening with drinks at the bar, which had a great selection and attentive bartenders.
The menu offered a variety of delicious options, making it difficult to choose!
We finally decided to share the pumpkin tortellini appetizer, which turned out to be divine.
Our entrees were just as impressive - my partner ordered the Elysian Farms Rack of Lamb, and I had the Filet Mignon.
Both dishes were cooked to perfection, and the flavors were unforgettable.
For dessert, we indulged in the Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee and the intriguingly named "Is It An Apple?" dessert.
Lupita's Authentic Mexican Food
If you're craving some delicious and authentic Mexican food, look no further than Lupita's in our lovely town.
As a regular customer, I can vouch for the quality and taste of their dishes.
The takeout portions are generous, the prices are affordable, and the variety of options will cater to everyone's taste buds.
What sets Lupita's apart is their attention to detail, especially when it comes to their meat options (including lamb) and their amazing salsa bar.
With a range of sauces to choose from, you'll find the perfect level of heat for your taste buds - from mild to very spicy!
My personal favorite dish is their tostada - I prefer the pork over the chicken, but honestly, both are scrumptious.
Not only does Lupita's offer great food, but their service is also top-notch.
The other day, my friends and I decided to try out Cafe Alina for dinner as we were in search of a new local spot to try.
We were delighted to find that the food was incredibly fresh and delicious.
We tried the kabob bowl and the butter chicken. The kabob bowl was generously portioned and packed with flavor, and my friends who ordered it were quite satisfied with their choice.
I opted for the butter chicken, which was also delicious.
It may not have had the same large portion size as the kabob bowl, but the flavors were on point, and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.
What I loved most about Cafe Alina was the casual and comfortable atmosphere, which made our dining experience even more enjoyable.
Ever since I first stepped foot into Juana's, I've become a regular visitor.
What captured my heart was not only the great food but also the warm and inviting atmosphere.
The authentic cooking reminds me so much of my own abuela's homemade dishes, and I can't help but feel grateful every time I eat there.
As someone with dietary restrictions, Juana's is a haven.
They offer great gluten-free options, and if you're avoiding dairy, they can remove the queso from any dish.
The versatility of their menu ensures that everyone can find something to love.
Plus, their food reheats incredibly well, perfect for those nights when I want to enjoy a delicious meal at home.
Every time I need a break from my daily routine or just want to catch up with friends, Rothrock Coffee has always been my go-to spot.
I recently tried their Darjeeling Earl Grey with steamed milk and a touch of honey - it was fantastic!
One of the things I love about Rothrock Coffee is its variety of offerings, from their delicious coffee to its creative twists on avocado toasts.
My personal favorite is the lox toast with veggie cream cheese, salmon, cucumbers, and pickled onions.
It's the perfect balance between healthy and satisfying.
They also have great options for those with a sweet tooth, like whole milk lattes.
Whenever I crave some scrumptious pizza, Margarita's Pizzeria is my go-to spot in State College.
Their pies are incredible, and I am always impressed by the quality of their ingredients.
Apart from their amazing pizza, they also offer mouth-watering stromboli, salads, and Italian subs.
The atmosphere is no-frills, with just a few tables, but it's perfect for a casual meal with friends or family.
They have a high chair available for little ones, making it a great place for families to dine.
Just a heads up - there's a $10 minimum for credit card payments, so make sure to bring some cash if you're only grabbing a small bite.
Roots Natural Kitchen
One of my favorite places to grab an affordable and healthy bite after work is Roots Natural Kitchen.
The food is consistently good and offers a variety of options.
What keeps me coming back is their amazing BBQ tofu, which is the best I've ever had in terms of taste and texture.
The salad, rice, and fixings are all top-notch and the roasted broccoli and beets are always cooked just right.
The portion sizes are good, especially for the tofu, which is the main ingredient in my go-to bowl.
They also offer fun and healthier drinks with less sugar.
One of the best and most unique dining experiences I've had in my time living at State College has to be at Bistrozine.
Not only was the food incredible for the price, but the dining room was also very cozy – they even have swings!
I ordered the drunken noodles with the bacon cheeseburger dumplings, and the portions were just perfect.
I felt so satisfied that I came back just two hours later to have their Bowl of Delight.
The food and service at Bistrozine were top-notch.
The atmosphere was clean and inviting, and even the bathrooms were extremely tidy.
Big Bowl Noodle House
Big Bowl Noodle House is one of my all-time favorite spots.
The moment you step down the stairs to this somewhat hidden underground restaurant, you're greeted with a warm and casual atmosphere.
What I love the most about this place is the massive menu with a variety of options.
Being a noodle house, I usually go for the Singapore rice noodles with shrimp, and I never miss getting a side of dumplings.
The freshness of the ingredients and the generous portions always leave me satisfied.
Another bonus is their bubble tea offerings, and I must say, their taro flavor is top-notch.
The prices are very reasonable, and the food tastes just as great when reheated, making it perfect for leftovers.
I've been living in this town for quite some time now, and whenever I crave some authentic Mexican food, Rey Azteca is my go-to place.
The moment you step inside, you're welcomed by a vibrant, cantina-style setting that transports you right to Mexico.
The Rey Azteca website doesn't do justice to the lovely ambiance of the place!
One of the things that make Rey Azteca stand out is the variety in its menu.
They have a great blend of classic Mexican dishes and some unique options, like the r-bone steak, which is quite a rare find these days.
If you're on a budget, you can take advantage of their amazing lunch deals available until 2:30 pm.
The artwork and decorations create a cozy and delightful atmosphere that enhances your dining experience.
Toasted Bagel Café
Whenever I'm craving a delicious bagel breakfast, I always head to Toasted Bagel Café in State College.
Their food is top-notch, and I've never been disappointed with my orders.
My personal favorites are "The Good Boy" with salmon and "The Skinny Lady," which taste amazing!
I do have to admit, Toasted Bagel Café can be a bit on the pricey side, but it's totally worth the splurge every now and then.
The place can get pretty busy, especially during peak breakfast hours, so be prepared to wait in line for a bit.
The atmosphere is very casual, which is perfect for a quick breakfast with friends or family.
Just last week, I decided to give The Greek a try, and I'm so glad I did!
The place had a cute Greek atmosphere and a great overall vibe, which made me feel closer to the traditional Greek culture.
I started off with some appetizers, and they were absolutely delicious!
I couldn't resist trying their gyros and gyro platters, and they did not disappoint.
I also appreciated the fact that they have a wine selection from the University Wine Company, which paired perfectly with my grilled calamari and three-dip appetizer.
The lamb kabobs I had for dinner were cooked to perfection, just the way I like them - medium rare.
One thing to keep in mind, though, is that there might not be too many dairy-free or gluten-free options available.
Kimchi Korean Restaurant
Kimchi Korean Restaurant has become one of my favorite places to eat in town.
As a fan of Korean cuisine, I was delighted to find such an easygoing eatery offering authentic Korean staples right in my neighborhood.
In my first experience there, I decided to try their bibimbap and was not disappointed.
The dish was flavorful, well-balanced, and beautifully presented.
I also appreciated the atmosphere, with its cozy decor and real plants that added a touch of warmth to the dining experience.
One evening, I decided to branch out and try their spicy seafood stew, and it was a delightful surprise.
It was more like a soup, with a lighter consistency than I expected, but still packed with delicious seafood and tofu.
It was perfect for a rainy day, warming me up from the inside out.
Olde New York
I recently went to Olde New York for a meal with some friends.
The place has a cozy, low-key tavern vibe and offers a mix of German and American cuisine, including schnitzel and burgers.
They also have a decent selection of tap beers and spirits, mainly focused on German-style brews.
When we visited, the service was not the best - our bartender seemed a bit disinterested and not particularly enthusiastic about helping us.
However, the food had some redeeming qualities.
We tried their pierogies, which were really good, topped with cheese, onions, and bacon.
They also served a tasty potato salad that I enjoyed.
I always enjoy my visits to Pollock Commons whenever I'm on the Penn State campus.
The modern and attractive design of the dining area, coupled with the wonderful views of the Pollock residence hall garden and the East side of campus, make it a perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal.
The variety and quality of food served at Pollock Commons is truly impressive.
From deliciously prepared meats and fish to a wide assortment of tasty entrees, there's always something for everyone.
I particularly appreciate the effort they put into offering vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free options, as well as Halal dining and special dishes during Ramadan.
The salad bar is always well-stocked with fresh ingredients, and I cannot forget to mention the breakfast, which includes cottage cheese that's unavailable at other campus locations.
I've always been a fan of North Indian cuisine, so when I heard about India Pavilion, I couldn't wait to try it out.
This cozy BYOB spot offers a spiced-to-order lunch buffet, as well as delicious veggie options.
As soon as I stepped in, I knew I was in for an authentic Indian dining experience.
I started my meal with the pani puri, and the filling was fantastic.
The dal makhani was a winner, but the real test for me was the Kadi Pakora.
I'm always curious to see if a restaurant can deliver on this dish, and I was not disappointed – I couldn't help but wipe my plate clean with the soft, piping-hot garlic naan.
To wash it all down, I enjoyed a tall glass of lassi that was expertly blended.
I had heard great things about their lunch buffet, and I finally had a chance to try it out on a Saturday.
The spread was extensive, with dishes like paalak saag, gobhi kadhi, chana masala, butter chicken, and tandoori chicken, among others.
The dessert options – gulab jamun and kheer – were the perfect way to end the meal.
With such a wide variety of dishes, there's something for everyone at India Pavilion.
Faccia Luna Pizzeria
Whenever I'm craving some delicious Italian food at State College, I can't help but think of Faccia Luna Pizzeria.
One of my favorite things about the place is its wood-fired pizzas - they're cooked to perfection and have a unique flavor that sets them apart from other pizza places in town.
Faccia Luna offers a wide range of Italian dishes, including pasta and other entrees.
While I haven't tried everything on the menu, I can say that their ravioli is decent, but their pizza is the real star of the show.
I also appreciate their extensive beer selection, which can easily complement any meal.
Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi
Ever since I discovered Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi, it has become my go-to spot in downtown State College.
What initially caught my attention was their extensive menu of sushi rolls and sashimi.
After trying their Crab Rangoon Roll, I was hooked!
The flavors were so delicious, and the portions were generous.
The sashimi is always fresh, and I love trying new rolls every time I visit.
The service at Tokyo Sushi & Hibachi is also worth mentioning.
The atmosphere is clean and comfortable, making it the perfect spot for a night out with friends or family.
One of my favorite spots to grab a bite near campus is Penn Pide.
It's a charming mom-and-pop shop that serves up some delicious Middle Eastern cuisine.
I've been to this laid-back storefront a few times, and it never disappoints.
The kebab gyros are a must-try, but my absolute favorite dish here is their namesake, the Pide.
It's a generous portion of soft, gooey dough filled with lamb, spices, and red sauce and topped with cheese.
The green "mayo" that comes with it adds a whole new level of flavor to an already incredible dish.
Although the seating area could use some improvement, and it can get a bit toasty during the summer, the fantastic food makes it all worth it.
I've also heard that their baklava is warm and scrumptious, and their grape leaves are worth a try too.
If you're looking for a taste of authentic Mediterranean food, Penn Pide is the place to go.
Little Szechuan has always been my go-to spot for Chinese food.
Their easygoing atmosphere and homestyle Sichuan dishes make it perfect for a casual dining experience.
Every time I visit, I am greeted with a friendly staff and a mouth-watering aroma.
I've tried several dishes on their menu, but my all-time favorite is the House Spicy Chicken.
It's a deep-fried chicken with a numbing and spicy taste that's simply irresistible.
I also appreciate how quickly the food comes out, considering how busy the place can get.
Aside from the chicken, I enjoyed the fish chili hot pot and the spicy shrimp with dumplings in chili.
State College has a diverse and thriving food scene that truly has something for everyone.
Whether you're in the mood for a hearty breakfast at The Original Waffle Shop West, or craving fresh and healthy options from Roots Natural Kitchen, you'll find a satisfying meal at any of these establishments.
So go ahead and indulge in State College's rich culinary offerings; your taste buds will thank you!