Penn state dining
Admittedly, I have not been in State College in quite some time (about 7.5 years), but I remember the Waffle Shop as a great place for a good breakfast that was very reasonably priced (seriously, a short stack of choc. chip pancakes was about $3.50 back then). There were three locations in State College - one downtown, one out on Atherton, and one much farther out.
Note, this is not the Waffle House (blech), but the Waffle Shop.
Hello there, future penn stater! I'm an alumni and have many food recommendations. I'll try to keep this as short as possible, but there's a LOT of great food to be had.
Pizza: Nola's Joint, it's a little hole in the wall place with gourmet pizza closest to any I've had in Rome this side of the Atlantic. You can buy by the slice or get a pizza for yourself (usually 1 per person as they're personal size); also it's BYOB if your parents are into that. Faccia Luna gets all the rave in town but Nola's Joint is the hidden gem. Reasonable prices as well.
Lunch/Dinner: I highly recommend the Deli/Z-Bar (same place). Phenomenal sandwiches at reasonable prices, my favorite is their steak bleuz on focaccia bread. Never had a bad meal there.
Ale House: only went there a few times as it wasn't within walking distance of my house, but they have excellent food albeit at a little higher prices than Z-Bar.
Austrian: for a genuine experience go to Herwig's. Amazing food, fun atmosphere (owners are hilarious and great to talk with), BYOB.
Little more upscale: Spatz cafe & Allen Street Grill are 2 excellent spots for food, although they are a little pricier but not excessively. I prefer Allen Street myself. If you go there I highly recommend the brie appetizer, putting cheese on the baguette before topping on the peppers, onion, slice of apple, & honey...trust me ;)
More upscale/expensive: Zola restaurant. Honestly, I never went there as it is vastly more expensive than other options in town and although I've heard the food is good, I don't believe it's worth the cost when so many other awesome options are there.
Obviously hit the Berkey Creamery for some home-made ice-cream.
Bonus: after lunch at Z-Bar/Deli, walk around the corner to Baby's Diner for the best milkshake you can find. My personal favorite is mixing peanut butter with cookies & cream, malted of course! Don't get their food though, it's not good.
I hope that helps you out! I'll add a few quick hitters of other places you may end up & something to get that is their "specialty"
G-man: wedge, it's awesome.
Cafe 210: skillet fries, you're welcome.
Pita pit: all are decent.
Bella's Greek pizza: Hawaiian.
Pickle's: peanut butter wings! They're awesome, & not as weird as they sound.
Feel free to ask if you need any more clarification or have Penn State ?s I wish you the best of luck in your college search. As a recent grad I can honestly say it will be the best 4+ years of your life, enjoy!
Wow. I couldn't disagree more with you on most recs. Nola's doesn't serve pizza anymore (which indeed used to be the best in town), AFAIK, and their service is ABYSMAL. I'd say the same for The Deli.
But it seems like you just graduated, so hopefully you'll be able to enjoy some truly awesome food wherever you're headed :-)
Really?! That's a shame about Nola's, hadn't been there in a year...obviously won't be returning. Recently had a good meal at the Deli. Well my experiences at those places were good, guess ill be on to bigger & better food in the near future. Clearly your palate is better traveled than mine :)
There is a place in Centre Hall (a few miles outside of State College) called the Whistle Stop that serves a great chicken and waffles meal. Not like you get in the South with fried chicken, but PA Dutch style, with chicken and gravy. I always try to make it there when in SC!