The number of food options in State College can be overwhelming at times. From pizza to pastries, you can find essentially anything in Happy Valley. With that many options, it’s easy to miss some hidden gems. So, we’ve put together a list of some lesser-known food spots that you should try during your next outing downtown.
Big Bowl Noodle House, 418 E. College Ave
This place is ridiculously delicious and extremely cheap — what a perfect combo. If you’re looking for authentic food with lots of flavor, in heaping portions, then this is the spot for you. The noodles with brown sauce are to die for, and go great with chicken. The fried tofu skin is also tasty for those feeling a bit more daring. The downside? It only takes cash, but it’s totally worth the trip to the ATM. The store is located in a nook down a stairwell right on College Avenue. If it weren’t so hidden it would probably be packed every night.
Canyon Wings, 219 E. Beaver Ave
Canyon Wings is like the overshadowed younger sibling of Canyon Pizza. I find myself venturing here when the line at Canyon Pizza is too long and I still want a late night option. It’s actually really good. It has a ton variety for when you want something greasy after a night out. It recently unveiled its new pierogies, and they are both oniony and delicious. Next time you want to grab some finger food, give Canyon Wings a shot — you won’t regret it.
Tea Time, 124 McAllister Alley
While this is technically a drink place, I had to include it on the list because so few people seem to know about it. Tea Time specializes in bubble tea, which is essentially just tea with milk and chewy tapioca balls in the bottom. If you haven’t tried it yet, make sure you do soon. It easily has the best bubble tea in town, and makes other interesting drinks too. It also makes some sweet treats including cakes and flavored ice. It’s probably one of the most unique spots I’ve found in town, and one of my favorites for sure.
Bell’s Greek Pizza, 214 E. Calder Way
My favorite pizza spot in all of State College. While most freshmen argue about whether to go to College Pizza or Canyon Pizza to get a slice on a Friday night, I head to Bell’s Greek. The crust is thick, and its spinach and feta cheese pizza makes me happy dance. It’s slightly on the pricey side compared to its “dollar a slice” counterpart, but it’s totally worth it.
Kaarma, 120 E. Beaver Ave
I’m a huge fan of Indian food, so this is a spot I frequent. It always serves lunch buffet style so you can sample a lot of food at once. Dinner portions are huge and reasonably priced. Be sure to get an order of Naan bread if you stop in. It’s great for dipping in literally anything and everthing, and is always served fresh. If you’re looking for something outside the regular college diet of pizza and ramen, give this a try.
The Naked Egg Cafe, 320 Pine Grove Road
Looking to escape the long line at the Waffle Shop? This is your new favorite brunch spot. It’s not walking distance from downtown, which is probably why it’s often overlooked, but it’s totally worth the drive over. The atmosphere is really nice, service is good, and the food is upscale for a low price. Try its eggs Benedict once and you’ll be back.
Seoul Garden, 129 Locust Lane
I lived next to this restaurant for nine months before I noticed it — it’s that discreet. It’s located right across from College Mart on Locust Lane. I was wary when I first tried it because I’d never seen anyone go in or out, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a nice crowd. The food is actually extremely flavorful, and is served with a ton of traditional Korean side dishes. It also has some great vegetarian options, for those who are herbivores like myself. You definitely get your money’s worth, and leave with a full belly.
That’s all folks! Let us know if there’s any restaurants you think should be on the list in the comments.