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Staff Picks: Best Breakfast Sandwich In State College

We’ve all been there.

It’s noon on Sunday and you just managed to roll out of bed after an ~eventful~ night. Maybe you aren’t feeling the best. Maybe you have a slight headache. But you throw on some sweats and a t-shirt anyway and venture downtown with your roomies for some coffee and a breakfast sandwich. There’s really no other way to cure a bad hangover the Sunday scaries.

With that in mind, State College has no shortage of elite breakfast sandwiches that will help you get your day started on a good note. That’s what makes this decision so difficult. Where are you headed when in need of a bacon, egg, and cheese? Irvings? Bagel Crust? McLanahan’s? Crust & Crumb? We’re here to help.

Our staff of expert foodies offered its thoughts on which places have the best sandwiches to satisfy any and all breakfast cravings.

Rory Pelella: Crust & Crumb Cafe

This isn’t even a competition. No other breakfast sandwich in State College comes close to the one from Crust & Crumb. Why? Because of how unique it is.

Crust & Crumb takes the entire concept of a breakfast sandwich to a different level. A level that I, personally, have never seen before downtown. I mean, look at this.

This breakfast sandwich combines your choice of specialty cream cheese (horseradish-dill, bacon-cheddar chive, or my personal favorite –gorgonzola-toasted almond) with Parisian-grilled ham, crumbled bacon bits, arugula, tomato, and a fried egg that is cooked to perfection (aka just a little bit on the runny side so you can sop it up with the freshly baked bagel).

I love the way all of the flavors combine and complement each other just right, without any single ingredient overpowering the other. Honestly, I never thought to put cream cheese on a breakfast sandwich before, and now I can’t imagine ever eating one without it.

Although this sandwich can get a little messy, it’s worth all the napkins. Not only does it melt in your mouth with every bite, but it also leaves you feeling satisfied for hours. You truly can not find a breakfast sandwich anywhere else that is made with as many fine ingredients and attention to detail as this one. Think of it as a gourmet, five-star breakfast that’s more for seasoned foodies than hungover college students.

Ryan Parsons: Irving’s

Although Irving’s is unfortunately closed during Penn State’s remote period, its best-in-town bagel sandwiches have not wavered far from my heart. Calling Irving’s the best in State College isn’t an impulsive decision or an eeny, meeny, miny, moe sort of deal, it’s a conclusion after many years of eating pork roll, egg, and cheeses.

While I do live closer to McLanahan’s and Bagel Crust (a close second), I still have to give the crown to good ol’ Irving’s. What really pulls this sandwich together is the bagel. The blend of breakfast flavors on the inside is immaculate, and the meat and egg are perfectly cushioned by melted cheese and two halves of an incredible bagel. This is a contentious debate, I know. But after years of research and testing, I have to give it to Irving’s for now.

Colleen Nersten: Bagel Crust On Beaver Ave.

Unpopular opinion: Bagel Crust on Beaver Ave. is not only the best Bagel Crust location, but also the best breakfast sandwich joint in State College. My go-to is the sausage, egg, and cheese with avocado. Breakfast is not meant to be a five-course, gourmet meal. It’s meant to cure hangovers and fill you up so that you don’t have to pay for another meal three hours later.

Unlike some of the other alternatives listed here, Bagel Crust on Beaver doesn’t make you feel like shit! The bagel isn’t overly buttered, the eggs aren’t overly fried, and the avocado is actually fresh. Plus, if you order online, the sandwich is ready immediately. The best part? You can add a coffee to your order for less than three dollars.

Lindsay Tagliere: McLanahan’s Market

Hands down, McLanahan’s Downtown has the best breakfast sandwiches. My personal favorite is the bacon, egg, and American cheese on an everything bagel, but none of the sandwiches I’ve gotten there have been disappointing. The bagels are always fresh and perfectly toasted, the cheese-to-egg ratio is spot-on, and the bacon is a mouthwatering combination of crispy, chewy, and greasy. Plus, you really can’t beat the price. 10/10.

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