Eating Cheap Downtown During THON 2021

THON 2021 is finally here, folks!

If you’re taking part in this weekend’s virtual events, you’re going to need to fuel up and stay nourished. And although paying for meals can add up pretty quickly, you don’t need to break the bank!

Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best places to eat cheap downtown to avoid getting hangry AND hurting your wallet.

Yallah Taco

If you take a few minutes to download the Snackpass app on your phone, you’ll gain access to a wide variety of discounts downtown. One of those deals is 20% off your first order at Yallah, and another is 50% off tacos. I mean, three tacos for $4? Sounds like a dream come true to me.

Regardless of this discount, Yallah has pretty fair prices to begin with — especially considering the portion sizes. You can get a quesadilla for $7 or a hefty burrito for $8, which will leave you feeling full and satisfied for hours.


This is one of my go-to spots when I’m looking for an affordable dining option. The deli at McLanahan’s offers some of the best hoagies in town for roughly $6-$8. You can also get a yummy sausage, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich for just $2.79. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Green Bowl

What better way to get a bang for your buck than an all-you-can-eat buffet? At Green Bowl, it costs roughly $11 to make your own stir-fry (as many times as you want) and tailor it to your individual pallet. After you’re done, go back for some more and don’t leave until you’ve gotten your money’s worth.

This is definitely one of the healthier, more cost-effective options in State College.

Canyon Pizza

Okay, hear me out. If you’re in a pinch for food, Canyon is definitely the place to go. Not only will you be in and out in about five minutes, you only have to pay $1 for a decent slice. (I want to make it known that I am from New York and feel uniquely qualified to say this.)

Now, if you’re someone who thinks Canyon pizza tastes like cardboard, there’s an easy solution. All you need to do is douse the pizza in some ranch or blue cheese and cover it with plenty of oregano and red pepper flakes to transform it into a solid dinner. Oh, and you can also opt for the pepperoni rolls instead. That’s never a bad option.

Weirdoughs Custom Pizzeria

For the pickier pizza eaters out there, it may be worth it to spend a little more money for slightly better quality at Weirdoughs (especially if their Instagram page doesn’t scare you away). You can get a 12-inch personal pizza for just $5.99, and customize it with a variety of toppings. My personal favorite is the buffalo chicken pizza with crushed Doritos on top. But regardless of whatever type of pie you’re rocking with, you’ll have enough food to feel full, as well as enough left over for a second meal.

Bagel Crust

You also can’t go wrong with Bagel Crust. Here, you can get another top-quality breakfast sandwich and some coffee (why not kill two birds with one stone?) for under $10. If you’re looking for some more variety, you can also order omelets, deli sandwiches, and smoothies.


I think this one pretty much speaks for itself. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger, chicken nuggets, fries, or even a shamrock shake, you can find a quick and easy meal at McDonalds without causing too much damage to your wallet.

BJC Chicken Baskets

If you’ve been craving a chicken basket since the end of the 2019 football season, you’re in luck. The BJC will be serving up our favorite meal this weekend for $10. While this seems like it’s a bit on the expensive side for some chicken tenders and fries, a portion of the proceeds will benefit THON (and an org of your choice!), which makes it all worthwhile.

Be sure to check the hours for the “Rolling Lion Food Truck” before you decide to make the trek all the way to the Jordan Center.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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