State College Food Guide: 10 Must-Eat Restaurants & Street Food Stalls in State College

April 14, 2018 Osvaldo Hartline

State College, as can be imagined from its name, is a college town, the home to the main campus of Penn State, one of the ten largest public universities in the United States. Downtown State College is home to hundreds of businesses that serve the university's students and professors, from boutique shops, to coffee houses, to theaters for the performing arts. The city is also home to the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, which brings 125,000 visitors to the downtown area each year.
Things to do in State College

1. The Original Waffle Shop

1229 N Atherton St, State College, PA 16803-2984 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 814-238-7460
Excellent
74%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 251 reviews

The Original Waffle Shop

Reviewed By BerksPADad - Reading, Pennsylvania

Heh, they now take credit cars. Ate downtown a while back so tried the original one. Very good. My wife and daughter loved their pancakes, bacon, homefries, and eggs. I went for the French Toast, and it was not that impressed, so I would avoid that. Should have gotten the waffles. Anyone there probably will be a line but it moves fast.

2. The Waffle Shop

364 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801-4748 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options, Vegan Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 814-237-9741
Excellent
72%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 523 reviews

The Waffle Shop

Reviewed By FreqTrav704 - South Daytona, Florida

I always get at least one meal here when I'm back home visiting. This extended trip think it's been 6! Love this place, a SC icon. Nice to see the familiar faces throughout, guests and employees alike. We plan our visits to reduce the wait time, especially in winter months. Weekends, plan on waiting in line. Their home fries / hash browns are the real deal. Coffee is good, pancakes light and fluffy, and omelets are filling. If you leave hungry it's on you. (We usually order larger meal and have leftovers for lunch.) Not expensive and you get your money's worth. We usually tip 25% here -- they work hard! Yeah, us locals always come back! p.s. It's cash only (no plastic) and have an ATM available.

3. Spats Cafe & Speakeasy

142 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801-4708 Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Cajun & Creole, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Dinner, Lunch +1 814-238-7010
Excellent
52%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 230 reviews

Spats Cafe & Speakeasy

Reviewed By Radio9phs - State College, Pennsylvania

With the Louisiana/New Orleans theme you would expect some usage of spice, and this makes the entrees flavorful. Decent variety and choices on the menu without being overwhelming, Cajun and American cuisine. Wine list not extensive but adequate. Has a kind of bistro type vibe, a little loud from conversation, not quiet or cozy. Good rich desserts. A good choice if you are in downtown State College.

4. Otto's Pub and Brewery

2235 N Atherton St, State College, PA 16803-1529 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Pub, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks SGD 8 - SGD 39 +1 814-867-6886
Excellent
44%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
14%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 710 reviews

Otto's Pub and Brewery

We're nuts about fine beer and fresh, local food. Otto's is fiercely committed to quality. Our beer is handcrafted with the finest ingredients available. Our American bistro cuisine is made with fresh ingredients from local farms, wineries, and bakeries. Our brewery and restaurant are co-located and feature a family-friendly and casual atmosphere. We're located in State College, PA, minutes from Penn State.

Reviewed By lighthouselover1968 - Johnstown, Pennsylvania

Excellent service, excellent food and great atmosphere. Will definitely go back here to try some other items on the menu as we saw some other really delicious looking items being delivered to tables around us. Can't wait to go back and try them! Large menu to choose from.

5. The Field Burger & Tap

1 Country Club Ln Ste 1, Toftrees Golf Resort, State College, PA 16803-2001 Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Free Wifi, Accepts Credit Cards American, Bar, Vegan Options, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks SGD 13 - SGD 24 +1 814-234-8000
Excellent
58%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
15%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 277 reviews

The Field Burger & Tap

The Field embraces its farm-to-table mentality using the freshest ingredients available including local breads, a variety of regional Amish cheeses, and private blend of sirloin, chuck, brisket, and short rib to create our hand-formed burgers. The Field offers an extensive selection of craft beers from State College and Central Pennsylvania. Our milkshakes are hand-spun using the legendary ice cream from Penn State’s Berkey Creamery.

Reviewed By Mike L

I had the basic cheeseburger, pink (you choose done-ness by color there). It was a good tasting burger but didn't come out quite pink. More almost gray like a medium. I took the house made chips which were just about perfect.

My wife had some kind of Turkey burger (why I'll never understand) and she seemed to like it. She opted for the french fries which were good at first but had a sweetness that built up on me and I didn't like after a couple.

I'm really not as picky as I sound here, I would go back.

The atmosphere is well decorated and comfortable and the wait staff were very attentive and friendly.

6. Faccia Luna Pizzeria

1229 S Atherton St, State College, PA 16801-6202 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Highchairs Available Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 814-234-9000
Excellent
50%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 282 reviews

Faccia Luna Pizzeria

Reviewed By pennstatetraveler - central pennsylvania

Everything was deeeelicious! Service fast and friendly. No $ wasted on decor; consistently good food. Choice of beers. Weekend Mussels Mariner always a treat. Fresh greens in salads with the Badaluca's balsamic and olive oil- the real stuff from Italy. Best pepperoni pizza. Wood fired oven.

7. Original Waffle Shop

1610 W College Ave, State College, PA 16801-2717 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Brunch +1 814-235-1816
Excellent
82%
Good
12%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 85 reviews

Original Waffle Shop

Reviewed By Melody M - Coatesville, Pennsylvania

Get there early as it fills up fast but the line moves rather quickly; great service; booths are a little quieter; great waffles and egg dishes

8. Happy Valley Brewing

137 Elmwood St, State College, PA 16801-6851 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Free Wifi American, Bar, Pub, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks +1 814-234-4406
Excellent
50%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 499 reviews

Happy Valley Brewing

Reviewed By Brian G - Shermans Dale, PA, United States

This place has a great downstairs bar/restaurant that is a favorite when I'm visiting State College. They have a large selection of draft beers from their own brewery and their menu is better than your typical pub food (but at a very reasonable price). This is definitely a place you should try.

9. Rey Azteca

485 Benner Pike, State College, PA 16801-7307 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol Mexican, Southwestern, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner +1 814-238-8700
Excellent
45%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
3%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 159 reviews

Rey Azteca

Reviewed By Eforce1962

The frozen margaritas are worth the trip for just them alone. We had regular and strawberry and both were awesome. The chips and salsa are a meal by themselves. Love the decor very festive and clean. The fajitas were delicious had the chicken, shrimp and steak ones. We love them. Nice place to go with family and friends.

10. The Tavern Restaurant

220 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801-4713 Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Private Dining, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night SGD 20 - SGD 33 +1 814-238-6116
Excellent
41%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
7%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 430 reviews

The Tavern Restaurant

Reviewed By Matt S - Brighton, Michigan

I went here for an early weeknight dinner, hoping for a great meal I remember from years past. Overall, I was disappointed. There was nothing too horribly off, but maybe my expectations were too high.

Service started off a little spotty, having a couple of servers not sure knowing who's table I was at. Which was surprising, because the restaurant was very empty when I walked in. Once they settled on a consistent server, the service was fine; she was friendly and fairly efficient.

I ordered a NY Strip steak. The meat was cooked to my liking, but the flavor of the meat was only OK. The accompanying garlic mashed potatoes were good. Overall, the meal was OK; not outstanding as I had hoped (and remembered), but nothing awful.

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