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The Best Late-Night Food Spots In Downtown State College

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat after a late-night study session or have worked up an appetite after dancing at the frats, there are plenty of options in downtown State College to satisfy your hunger.

Sometimes, the number of options can be overwhelming and lead to indecisiveness. Luckily for you, we compiled a list of the best food spots based on cost, taste, and environment.

Yallah Taco

Ah, Yallah Taco. Located in the heart of downtown, this authentic Mexican food restaurant feels like home to many Penn State students.

With a lively staff and savory food that feels like a hug, Yallah has become one of the most sought-after late-night food locations. Burritos ($8+), tacos ($7+), and quesadillas ($8+) are among the most popular items on the menu. It comes with a bangin’ Yallah sauce, too.

On the weekend, Yallah closes around 2 a.m., but it rarely closes that early due to the amount of business.

The Latin music that echoes throughout the restaurant makes Yallah one of the best dine-in environments offered downtown. The original Yallah Taco’s neon sign lights up Mcallister Alley, too, creating quite the vibe.

Raising Cane’s

Raising Cane’s came to State College this summer, and it’s safe to say that it’s a hit.

This chain restaurant has everything you need to satisfy your craving for fried chicken. With a simple menu consisting of combo options of chicken tenders, a chicken sandwich ($7.79), and the Caniac combo ($12.99), the ordering process is straight to the point.

Cane’s is known for its dipping sauce, which some prefer over the food itself.

However, Raising Cane’s does close at midnight, so it’s a good location to hit up if you got an early start to your night.

El Jefe’s Taqueria

Frankie Marzano | Onward State

Open every night until 4 a.m., El Jefe’s is a reliable spot to eat delicious and authentic Mexican food. Its menu consists of items ranging from quesadillas ($6+) to nachos ($9.25+) to chimichangas ($7.25). Our staff loved how much variety the menu had to offer when we tried it out.

Due to its location being across the street from the Lion’s Den, El Jefe’s is always buzzing.

Sheetz

Nothing says Central Pennsylvania quite like eating at a gas station. Its made-to-order menu is extensive, so there’s really something for everyone. Despite being flooded with customers, its computer ordering system makes the ordering and wait process simple.

Be careful, though. People will go to great lengths to get their desired mozzarella sticks ($3.29), and they don’t care who is in there way. Fortunately, Sheetz is open 24/7, too.

College Pizza

Located on Locust Lane, College Pizza is a staple in State College. The lines are usually long and filled with inebriated college students looking for a greasy slice of pizza to cure their case of “the spins.”

A 14″ pizza will cost you around $12, and a slice is roughly $1, which is a steal compared to its competitors. It’s certainly a spot to go to with a group of friends. The memories you make while waiting in line are timeless.

After waiting on the steps for what feels like forever, you’re tasked with choosing between varieties of pizza, from as bizarre as mac and cheese to simple classic cheese.

Lupita’s

Lupita’s is cheap, delicious, and stays open late. Lupita’s newest location is open on West Beaver Avenue, and its authentic Mexican cuisine is tasty drunk or sober. It sells tacos, empanadas, gorditas, and more. You can purchase one, mix and match, or order in twos and threes.

Lupita’s stays open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, and there’s rarely too long of a line compared to other places downtown. Our staff also tried out Lupita’s, and it was a hit, especially during those late-night hours.

Sher Halal Gyro & Grill

Sher Halal Gyro & Grill, also known as the Halal Cart, has gained quite a reputation among the late-night food crowd.

The cart closes at 3 a.m. every day except for Sundays when it’s closed. Chicken over rice ($13) and lamb over rice ($14) are the top-selling products.

People can be seen lining the streets of East Beaver Avenue waiting outside of this small blue cart in the dead hours of the night. It brings a New York street food vibe downtown.

DP Dough

DP Dough is truly the perfect drunk food. It’s located near the Starbucks on the east side of downtown, and it’s always crowded. No, seriously, it’s always crowded at night on the weekends. People love their calzones, folks.

Canyon Pizza

If you were to ask Penn Staters from freshmen to alumni, we guarantee nearly all have been to Canyon Pizza. It truly is a staple. You just can’t beat paying a little bit more than $1 a slice.

Canyon stays open until 2:30 a.m. during the weeknights and until 3:30 a.m. on the weekends. You’ll see people sitting on the curb eating, laughing, reminiscing on the night, and people-watching.

Are U Hungry

The “Home of the fat sandwich” is one of the most unique on this list due to its intriguing sandwich options.

Are U Hungry brings you a sandwich ($7.08+) from your wildest dreams — literally. You can order sandwiches filled with mozzarella sticks, fries, chicken tenders, or all three if you’re feeling crazy.

If you really are hungry, don’t fret — its doors stay open until 2:30 a.m. on the weekends.

As for the environment, Are U Hungry is in the part of town that gains lots of foot traffic. Expect to wait in line along with lots of other hungry folks.


What are your favorite late-night staples? Let us know!

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About the Author

Camryn O'Rourke

Camryn is a second-year majoring in digital/print journalism. She is also known as "Cami". She spends her summers at the Jersey Shore and is an avid poet. You can reach her on Twitter @Camryn_ORourkee, or by visiting her website: camio1414.wixsite.com/camrynorourke.

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