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Staff Picks: The Best Breakfast In State College

Everyone has their own take on breakfast. Some skip it every day, while others wake up extra early to fit it in their schedule. Some view it as a necessary evil, while others crown it the best (and most important) meal of the day.

But even if you’re not a typical breakfast person, nothing is holier than waking up on a Sunday morning and eating as much as you can to recover from the night before.

As the seemingly most decisive meal of the day, the breakfast debate heats up when deciding where to go and get it. Our staff has some thoughts on where exactly in State College is the best place to grab your first meal of the day.

Michael Tauriello: The Deli

No one seems to talk about The Deli’s brunch options on the weekends, but boy, do they hit hard. The stuffed homemade brioche french toast served there is one of the greatest french toasts I’ve ever had. It’s a nice, even mix of french toast and blueberry cream cheese and topped off by with homemade blueberry sauce. It sounds like a lot of blueberries, but it turns out to be just the perfect amount.

The Deli have plenty of other options, too, ranging from a classic Steak and Eggs dish to their Crab Cake Benedict. Additionally, they’ve got live music from 12-2 p.m. on Sundays, making it an extremely pleasant brunch experience. My dad and I often make the stop into The Deli whenever he’s in town, and I cannot recall regretting it once.

Ryan Parsons: The Waffle Shop

The pinnacle of Penn State breakfast culture, Ol’ Reliable, my bread and butter: The Waffle Shop. Not the “original one” on North Atherton, I’m talking about the one downtown. Nothing beats the greasy, filling, heaping plate of breakfast food you can get for the equivalent of working one hour at minimum wage after taxes. It’s not high-end, nor is the service exceptional, but The Waffle Shop has a special feel to it.

Maybe it’s waiting in a 20-party-deep line outside in the freezing cold that makes the bacon and coffee inside taste that much better. Or maybe it’s the ~interesting~ choice of Grandma-chic decor which sets the scene for a great breakfast. Whatever it is that gives The Waffle Shop its charm, I love it.

Jim Davidson: Naked Egg

Rolling out of bed, down College Avenue, and through the doors of the Waffle Shop is a delightful and simple experience. But the Naked Egg Cafe, a Penn State celebrity favorite located on Route 26 toward Rothrock State Forrest, is worth the short drive. Not only does this roadside spot have the perfect breakfast atmosphere in the shadow of the vast forest that stretches out behind it, but it also boasts a delicious menu. Its sandwiches, banana, pumpkin, and zucchini breads, and lengthy list of coffees are definite highlights. Head to nearby Musser Gap for a short hike before or after to make a glorious morning of it.

Amanda Thieu: Pollock Commons

Pollock Commons has the best waffles on campus. With your meal plan, it can be as cheap as $5 for an all-you-can-eat-buffet. If you don’t have a meal plan, I would recommend using a freshman’s meal plan or else it’d be roughly $14. You can get your own custom made omelet with a variety of toppings (if you want to wait in the long line). The buffet has a lot of breakfast staples like unlimited eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and the occasional mushroom quiche.

Anthony Colucci: Sadie’s

You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted one of the liege waffles at Sadie’s. The restaurant, located on Pugh Street, serves up waffles with a variety of toppings that range from fruity compotes and marshmallow sauce to artisan creations like brown sugar butter sauce. If you aren’t in the mood for the rich waffles, there are also a plenty of other options for breakfast and served all day like egg sandwiches. the bacon, egg, and cheese and a drink for $3.95 is unparalleled.

Andy Mollenauer: Irving’s

This place is unparalleled in its selection of food and drink, quality as a study spot, and all-around abject awesomeness. Irving’s offers everything from sandwiches to smoothies to an endless plethora of coffee options. The line can be long at times, but when it is it tends to go pretty fast, unlike the Waffle Shop. There’s a ton of space, including a basement with lots of comfy furniture, to study and relax. What more could a college kid ask for?

Alexandra Ramos: Sower’s Harvest Cafe

There is literally nothing that can sway my mind on why Sower’s is the best place to grab breakfast in town. Not only is it a little remotely located away from the hustle and bustle of downtown State College (it’s between Uncle Chen’s and D.P. Dough), Sower’s has amazing breakfast food to boot.

Do you just want a muffin? You can one. Do you want a whole serving of french toast with chocolate chips, strawberries, and whipped cream? You can get that too. Or maybe just an omelet with coffee? The same goes.

And everything is homemade, right there in front of you in the kitchen. It’s not just the food that’s amazing here too. The whole entire establishment is owned by people who are just amazing and sweet. Every time you walk in, you’re surrounded by workers who truly love working there and always greet you with a smile. There are bean bags to relax in, as well as little tables for friends to gather. Getting here earlier on in the morning is the best time because it’s so quaint and quiet that you’ll enjoy your relaxing breakfast.

Also, make sure you grab one of the pretzels. They are the bomb.

Josh Portney: Bagel Crust

Now with two centralized locations — one on Calder Way and a new one on West Beaver Ave. –, Bagel Crust is the perfect breakfast go-to for anyone wanting the full bagel and breakfast experience. Bagel Crust serves up an array of options that can fit the desires of anyone from a deli lover to a bagel connoisseur. It’s an integral part of the State College breakfast economy and certainly worth the trek downtown for any on-campus residents like myself.

Did we miss any other options? Let us know in the comments.

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