Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

Ranking The Best (And Worst) Margaritas In Downtown State College

Welcome to Margaritaville downtown State College.

On a typical night out in Happy Valley, you’ll probably see plenty of folks ordering vodka crans, tequila sodas, and Miller Lites. But when was the last time you saw someone order a margarita? Exactly.

It’s time we normalize ordering margaritas at the bar. They’re good, and I’m done pretending that I’d rather have a vodka soda.

In order to break the mold, I set out to find the best marg in town. Read on to see our ~official~ rankings of margaritas in downtown State College.

10. The Shandygaff

Presentation: 1/5

Price: $4

Overall score: 1/5

In last place: the Shandygaff. Disappointing as ever, this margarita didn’t taste much like a marg at all. The taste resembled that of a tequila soda with lime. Much like the bar itself, this margarita had no flavor or spice (sorry) (Editor’s Note: Yikes). In fact, you should probably consider ordering an AMF pitcher to forget how bad this drink is.

9. Cafe 210 West

Presentation: 1/5

Price: $6.50

Overall score: 1/5

I love many things about Cafe, but this drink is not one of them. Subpar at best, this margarita tastes like a blend of lime juice and sour mix. For almost $7, you’re better off ordering fried pickles instead.

8. Doggie’s Pub

Presentation: 1/5

Price: $7

Overall score: 1/5

The margarita at Doggie’s was a swing and a miss. I was expecting a lot more, but much like the others, it’s missing the few key components that make a margarita great. Doggie’s, I love you, but your marg is average at best.

7. Phyrst

Presentation: 1/5

Price: $4.50

Overall score: 2/5

Similar to the others, Phyrst’s margarita is comprised of tequila, soda water, lime juice, and sour mix. While it’s not entirely bad, it’s not entirely good either. Paired with the electric ambiance of Piano Fight Club, however, it’s a pretty refreshing option.

6. Champs Downtown

Presentation: 4/5

Price: $6

Overall score: 3/5

Champs surprised me. I wasn’t expecting much from the most popular bar in town, but I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised. If you go earlier in the evening, you’ll get a pretty fancy glass as opposed to the plastic cups they normally serve drinks in. The lime-to-sour mix ratio was spot on, although it could’ve used a salty element to balance the flavors.

5. Primanti Bros.

Presentation: 3/5

Price: $7

Overall score: 3/5

You can’t go wrong with Pman’s $7 pitchers. Coming from an established restaurant chain, I was expecting this margarita to be pretty decent compared to the others around town, and I’m happy to say that I was right. It had a solid salty-to-sweet ratio, and for only $7, it’s a great pitcher to share among friends.

4. Jax Bar & Kitchen

Presentation: 5/5

Price: $6

Overall score: 4/5

In my opinion, Jax is an underrated bar among Penn State students. If you’ve never been and are looking for a reason to go, its margaritas are fabulous. They taste great and you can’t go wrong when you get a fancy glass.

3. Bill Pickle’s Tap Room

Presentation: 2/5

Price: $7.50

Overall score: 4/5

Pickle’s has a great margarita. It has a classic taste and a good balance of flavors, which landed it in the top three. The only thing missing is a nice glass and a salty rim. Overall, it’s a pretty solid option.

2. Zeno’s Pub

Presentation: 5/5

Price: $9

Overall score: 5/5

This margarita is absolutely amazing. The flavor, presentation, and salty rim put Zeno’s in second place. It has that classic margarita taste, and for $9, you really get the bang for your buck because this was one of the strongest margs I’ve had in State College. There was no sour mix in sight — just good old-fashioned tequila, triple sec, and lime.

1. Chumley’s

Presentation: 5/5

Price: $8 for a classic margarita, $10 for flavored

Overall score: 5/5

There she is, folks. My number one pick and, in my opinion, the best margarita in downtown State College. Chumley’s margarita is everything I could’ve dreamed of and more. The best part is that you can choose from a few different flavors. I opted for the spicy marg, and let me tell you, it was really spicy, but in the best way. It was also huge, but bigger is always better in Margaritaville. Shoutout to Chumley’s. You killed it.

Honorable Mention: Plaza Mexican Bar & Grill

Presentation: 5/5

Price: $13

Overall score: 5/5

Although the infamous Plaza Mexican Bar & Grill isn’t located downtown, I couldn’t write a margarita love story without mentioning this beauty. This is as classic as it gets. With multiple flavors ranging from classic to strawberry to mango, you can’t go wrong with a Plaza margarita. At $13, it is the priciest on our list, but if you’re located downtown, it’s worth the drive (and cost). Trust me.


So, next time you’re out on the town, try ordering a margarita to spice up your night.

Cheers, folks!

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Ava Brendgord

Ava is a senior from Houston, TX majoring in broadcast journalism. She loves coffee and bagels, traveling, and keeping a healthy balance between watching the news and reality television. Follow her at @avabrendgord on Instagram or email her at [email protected]

Follow on Another Platform
113kFollowers
157kFollowers
57.3kFollowers
4,570Subscribers
State College Links
Other posts by Ava

Thai Student Association To Host Thai Cultural Night February 12

The event will feature all sorts of fun events celebrating Thai culture, including traditional plays and performances, games, prizes, and food.

State College Locals Bring Hand-Crafted Charcuterie Board Business To Centre County

Penn State Love Stories: A Love Worth Cheering For

Five Prominent Penn State Athletics Employees No Longer In Staff Directory

An Athletics spokesperson confirmed there have been “recent staff changes” but didn’t give names or specific details.

Five Prominent Penn State Athletics Employees No Longer In Staff Directory

An Athletics spokesperson confirmed there have been “recent staff changes” but didn’t give names or specific details.

From Food Network To Happy Valley: Chef Gillian Clark Puts A French Spin On The Classic Diner

“Rather than kind of dig up a dinosaur, we thought we would do something a little bit more creative that gave us the ability to make some interesting food that’s a little bit upscale.”

Your Complete THON 2023 Dancer List

From 6 p.m. on Friday, February 17, to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 19, 707 students will dance in THON and help raise money for pediatric cancer research.

 
Send this to a friend