Are you getting bored of on-campus food, Chipotle burrito bowls, or your typical Starbucks latte? Are you a freshman or new to Happy Valley and want to try some of the area’s classic spots? VALLEY has compiled an updated list of the best places to grab food or coffee in downtown State College. Support local businesses during the pandemic, and use this as a bucket list to try some new foods and drinks during your four short years here at Penn State.
This may seem obvious to any State College bagel lovers, but to anyone new to the area, Bagel Crust is a must-try. They serve hot bagel sandwiches, omelets, fresh-squeezed OJ, coffee and more at their locations on East Calder Way and West Beaver Avenue.
Yallah Taco and Yallah Burrito Company
In two locations with slightly different menus, Yallah is a staple Mexican spot downtown. Their stand on McAllister Alley serves burritos, nachos, and tacos to-go, and the sit-down location on East Calder Way has a slightly more extensive menu, including breakfast and crepes. A third location has opened where the College Avenue Taco Bell was located. If you go for the tacos or burritos, don’t forget to squeeze your lime wedge!
The Corner Room
Located in the heart of downtown on the corner of West College Avenue and South Allen Street, The Corner Room has been serving American staples like burgers, wings, milkshakes and a classic Hot Turkey Dinner since 1926. Stop in for breakfast, every day from 7 a.m. till 10:45, or have lunch or dinner till they close at 10 p.m.
This BYOB spot is almost hidden in the shops of East Calder Way, as it sits just below street level. India Pavilion serves authentic North Indian cuisine with vegetarian options as well. You can even choose your spice level – mild, medium or hot – making this restaurant a great place to try some new dishes. They offer an $8.95 lunch buffet or dinner à la carte.
Another nearly-hidden State College secret, Chronic Town is a record shop and pinball arcade that serves local coffee and tea, custom sodas in 32 different flavors. They also have vegan waffles and cookies, served warm. It’s a cool place to look through records or catch up with friends. Find it next to Five Guys on West College Avenue.
Sowers Harvest, a family-owned breakfast and brunch café on East Beaver Avenue, serves homemade bread and soft pretzels, omelets, coffee and espresso drinks, smoothies and homemade baked goods. The café is open from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m. daily but is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Cozy Thai Bistro and Galanga
Another BYOB spot that serves fresh Thai food that’ll warm your soul. Cozy Thai is located on South Allen Street, while Galanga by Cozy Thai, a smaller and more casual location, is on East College Avenue.