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about 5 months ago

Best Places to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in State College

They say saving the best for last is the way to go, which isn’t always true, but it definitely is for dessert. Just like Happy Valley is jam packed with cheap pizza places and bars, it doesn’t fail to provide an ample variety of places to grab some sweets.

Insomnia Cookies

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I’m going to start with a place near and dear to my townie heart. Basically, if you haven’t already heard, Heaven is a place on Earth… and they deliver cookies to your door until 3 a.m. The name is pretty self-explanatory; they sell over a dozen different kinds of cookies/brownies (normal sweets are $1.35, deluxe sweets are $2.75) as well as milk and ice cream. Feel free to place an order on its website or to take a walk to Beaver Ave. any time between 1 p.m. and 3 a.m. on any day of the week since it’s finally nice out.

Rita’s Italian Ice

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Speaking of warm weather, a Happy Valley favorite has finally re-opened its doors after the long winter season, and they have plenty of spring-y treats to offer. For those of you who live in a hole, Rita’s serves a unique treat that I know to be mostly native to the New Jersey boardwalks. This is Italian Ice, the combination of ice and real fruit, and the list of flavors goes on for days. According to its website, their newest flavor this season is Starburst Orange. The also offer Gelati (a dab of your favorite ice cream atop your choice of Italian Ice), Frozen Custard, Misto (a blend of Italian Ice and Custard), Blendini (a blend of Italian Ice, Custard and a Mix-In of your choosing), and milkshakes. You can stop by anytime between noon and 10 p.m. any day of the week, but only between the middle of March and the middle of October (because who wants to eat ice when State College is practically made of it). 

Kiwi / Sweet Frog

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However, if you are ballsy enough for something frozen (during the winter OR summer), Kiwi and Sweet Frog are the way to go. They’re two totally difference frozen yogurt chains but they’re run essentially on the same concept; customers are presented with anywhere between 12 and 16 flavors of regular and non-fat frozen yogurt followed by an entire buffet filled with everything from cookie dough to Cocoa Puffs. Really the only difference you’re looking at is the location. Kiwi is conveniently located on College Ave. next to Metro. Sweet Frog is a bit of a trek down South Atherton, but hey, whatever suits your fancy.

Cold Stone

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Since we’re on a frozen treats kick right now, I guess I’ll continue with a crowd favorite. Located on Beaver Ave. across the street from Beaver Hill, Cold Stone offers more than a hand-full of different ice cream concoctions, including the option to create your own. This place can be a bit pricy depending on what you’re craving but you do get a bang for your buck.

Sweet Tooth Bakery & Café

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Though this particular bakery specializes in mostly custom-made cakes and celebration treats (including printed and molded chocolate, decorative cookie baskets, and a slew of Penn State products), you can stop by any time during their weird hours to grab a cupcake. By weird hours, I mean Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and noon. This little hole-in-the-wall bakery can be found on Calder Alley between Burrowes Street and Fraser Street. For a more thorough list of its services, it has its own website.

Yogurt Express

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For those of you who are serious about bikini season, this smoothie shop is the perfect place to get a dessert to help you wash down your spinach salad (hold the toppings and dressing). You can get a cup or a cone, flurries or shakes, or just a general smoothie that you can top with more than ten different kinds of fruit. You can even energize it with Acai for an extra $2 or protein for an extra $1. They also offer cookie cakes which are to die for. If you don’t feel like walking all the way down College Ave. to where they’re located across the street from South Halls, don’t worry. Their entire menu can be found on OrderUp for delivery (you have to call though).

Dunkin’ Donuts

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If you’re looking for something quick and painless, a donut for a buck is right up your alley. They have a pretty standard selection of donuts. Our Dunkin’ on the corner of College Ave. and Fraser Street doesn’t differ from the other nationwide.

Penn State Berkey Creamery

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…duh. There really isn’t a whole lot else to say here.

Honorable Mentions

  • Grilled stickies (with ice cream or not at all) at The Diner
  • Apple Pie (again, ya gotta get it with ice cream) at The Tavern
  • Milkshake Mondays (half price) at Baby’s

In Memoriam

  • Campus Candy
Downtown - Located in Centre County, Pennsylvania, State College is a college town heavily influenced by the campus life of Penn State University and have gained the nickname "Happy Valley" for its resilience during the Great Depression. They say there's something magical about the Nittany Valley, where time just seems to stand still. Read more