As a State College townie, I’ve been to just about every restaurant this town has to offer. Going to college in my hometown has really opened my eyes to the fact that most college students never leave campus. There is a real town outside of our Happy Valley bubble; I promise. Here’s the local’s guide to the best restaurants State College has to offer.
Otto’s Pub and Brewery
Celebrating its 10-year anniversary this past October, Otto’s is known for their local, fresh craft-brewed beer. But for those of you who are not of legal age just yet, there’s something for you too. Otto’s has a variety of food that makes them unique, including their buffalo chicken mac n’ cheese, a large selection of wing sauce flavors and daily specials. Otto’s is complete with their own gift shop, just in case you can’t get enough.
Kelly’s Steak and Seafood
If you’re looking for a nice restaurant to take your date or even somewhere to go out with your friends for a quality meal, Kelly’s is the place for you. Kelly’s Steak and Seafood offers a large selection of meat and fresh seafood. If you like steak, I have to recommend the teriyaki tenderloins as an appetizer, it’s my personal favorite. Kelly’s is also known for their shellfish chowder. No matter what you order here, you can’t go wrong.
Jim’s Italian Restaurant
From the outside it may not look like much, but don’t let it’s exterior fool you. Jim’s Italian Restaurant hands down has the best house salad, garlic bread and pasta sauce you will find. Located in Bellefonte, about 15 minutes from campus, one can get the Jim’s experience for themselves. This mom and pop restaurant will provide you with a casual dining experience, and they will get you in and out in less than an hour. Trust me, you won’t want to miss out.
College students love their Panda Express and Green Bowl, but why not take it a step further and go to Ni Hao, which is a delicious combination of the two? Ni Hao offers Asian cuisine in a buffet to a walk-up bar where you can make your own dishes. And for all of you sushi lovers out there, this is the place for you. They have a sushi bar with unlimited amounts of sushi. If you plan on going to Ni Hao, lunch is the best deal. For $9.99 you can get as much food as you can eat. Dinner on the other hand is a bit pricier, at $15.99.
Known for their wood fired brick pizza oven, Faccia Luna has been a local favorite for many years. Some would say that Faccia Luna has the best pizza in town, however, I guess that is up to personal preference, so you’ll just have to find out for yourself. They offer nearly 15 different types of pizza with an array of toppings. It doesn’t stop at pizza though; they also have pasta, sandwiches and salads.
Now you know some of the best restaurants outside of campus, go explore the town and try some new cuisine… you know you want to.
Photo by Shidika Goode