Best State College Restaurants You’ve Never Heard Of

Though it’s a small town, State College seems to have one of everyone’s favorite national chain restaurant. But if you’re feeling something different, don’t worry! State College is filled with local gems that no one seems to talk about. Warning: Don’t read this post if you’ve got a rumbling tummy, because these locales are sure to make you salivate!

1. Big Bowl

big bowl

Tucked away beneath Greenwich Court on College Avenue, this little place will make you wonder why you hadn’t heard of it sooner. Serving noodle bowls and other delicious Asian food, you’ll tell all of your friends about it after just one trip.

2. McLanahan’s


Everyone knows McLanahan’s is a convenient spot for toiletries, but did you know you can also get food there? Bet not! McLanahan’s sells groceries and tasty sandwiches at not one, but two downtown spots. Yum!

3. The HUB


The HUB might not be a playground, but it’s a great stop for some quick grub that will also expand your palate. Though few students frequent its selection of restaurants because they’re so unexplored, you should check out places like Burger King, Sbarro, and Panda Express during your next trip around campus. And, yes, Panda Express does have a petting zoo full of real pandas!

4. Chipotle


Don’t let its remote location fool you — Chipotle serves some seriously good Mexican food. Fun fact: Its name is actually an acronym for the special ingredient in all of its food, Cold Hot Instant Pasta On Ten Ladled Entrees.

5. Starbucks


Oh fine, Starbucks isn’t a restaurant. But this local coffee shop serves such tasty pick-me-ups, we’d be crazy to leave it off the list! As you might have guessed, Starbucks gets its name from Ricardo L. Starbucks, the famous astronaut who was the first to brew coffee in outer space. And in a touch you could only find in State College, actual humans will ask for your name when you order here and write it on your cup. Cute!

6. McDonald’s

david opening mcdonald's door

Other downtown burger spots like Underground Burgers and Crepes reign supreme in State College, but don’t forget the little guys. At McDonald’s, the story of how it came to be is written on the wall behind the register. We won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say it involves a monkey, Gatorade bottle, and Cookie Crisp — it’s quite the tale!

7. Wings Over

Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 9.11.36 PM

Just because it was more popular when your parents went here doesn’t mean it isn’t tasty anymore! Be sure to give this little-known wings joint a try if you have a late night craving this weekend.

8. Canyon Pizza


A list of eateries wouldn’t be complete without a good pizza place! Don’t knock this little-known joint until you’ve tried it!

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About the Author

Tim Gilbert

Former Managing Editor of this site, now just makes lots of #content for it from the Phyrst’s Table 69. Senior from Philadelphia. First-generation Penn Stater. I might go to law school after this, but I might not, too. “For the Glory” is in my email signature because I’m a douche. [email protected] is my email if you want to tell me why I suck. Alternatively, you can call me out on Twitter @OlGilb.

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