While we all love when our families come to visit State College, there’s always one small idea lingering in the back of our minds: “Maybe I’ll get a free meal out of this.” Ah yes, a night out with your parents where you don’t have to eat in the dining hall nor pay the bill at a nice restaurant is appealing to all of us broke and hungry college kids. “Where should we go?” you ask? Don’t worry. I’ve asked the Penn State community their favorite State College restaurants that you may want to drag your parents to. Keep reading for the 5 best state college restaurants to take your parents to.
1. The Field
Located on Country Club Lane, The Field serves house made burgers, craft beers, and hand spun milkshakes made with Penn State’s famous creamery ice cream. The Field has a lodge-like interior overlooking a golf course. It has ten signature burgers to choose from made from a fresh blend of sirloin, brisket, chuck, and spare rib to create its unique taste. One of The Field’s most popular burgers is called The Lancaster. The Lancaster is a nice big burger topped with Lancaster bacon, Amish smoky cheddar, fried egg, field greens, tomato, and horseradish mayo all on a brioche roll. (Yes my mouth is watering typing this.)
Along with their signature burgers come their signature milkshakes which you can order “classic” or “hard.” Their hard shakes are spiked with a delicious blend of alcohol and ice cream. Sound gross? Listen to this. The Hard Salted Caramel Pretzel Shake is composed of caramel vodka, vanilla ice cream, crushed pretzels, and a caramel drizzle. The restaurant has gotten excellent reviews and has steadily increased in popularity lately.
2. The Waffle Shop
If you find yourself strolling down the east end of College Ave, you should most definitely check out The Waffle Shop. The Waffle Shop is famous for their gourmet breakfast options that are extremely popular within the Penn State community. The Waffle Shop is known for its creative breakfast dishes, but mostly for its AMAZING waffles (hence the name). You can get golden brown, fluffy Belgian waffles topped with chocolate chips, seasonal fruits, and many other delicious delicacies. This fall they have an apple cinnamon flavored waffle topped with warm apples and whipped cream. UM YES PLEASE. Along with waffles they have pancakes, signature omelets, and basically any breakfast food you could imagine. They do serve lunch but let’s face it, who goes to a place called The Waffle Shop for a burger, right?
Tip: GET THERE EARLY. It tends to be extremely crowded especially on weekends like parent’s weekend, so if you want to get in with no wait, you better set your alarms!
3. Otto’s Pub and Brewery
Another great restaurant option close to campus is Otto’s Pub and Brewery. Located on North Atherton Street, Otto’s is said to be one of the best restaurants in town. From burgers to sandwiches to pizza to pasta – Otto’s has something for everyone. With a rustic, antique looking interior, Otto’s is great for an intimate family dinner. Besides the great food and cozy interior, Otto’s is known their wide selection of beer. From apricot wheat to sweet corn lager, they just about every kind of beer you can think of. Definitely worth looking into if you love American style cuisine!
If you’re a lover of Japanese cuisine, this is the place for you. Located on College Age near the west end of campus, Tadashi has everything you could ever want from a Japanese restaurant. It has a huge selection of sushi for anyone who’s feeling adventurous. They also serve ramen dishes – and no, they’re not the kind from the package that most of us are all too familiar with. Ramen dishes at Tadashi are gourmet style noodles with either chicken, beef, or vegetables. I’ve hear rave reviews from several of my friends, so if you’re feeling in the mood for some Japanese, this is one of the state college restaurants you have to try.
5. The Corner Room
Opened in 1926, The Corner Room is situated on the west end of College Ave in Downtown State College. They’ve dubbed themselves the “the traditional meeting place since 1926,” since people back in the day used to say, “Meet me at the corner!” when they wanted to meet up at the restaurant. The corner room has a cute, colonial style interior with wooden booths and intimate lighting.
With a wide array of options, The Corner Room has almost any meal that you can think of. From comfort foods like shepherd’s pie and beef stroganoff, to burgers and quesadillas, The Corner Room has something for just about anyone. I recently went here on a date and it was extremely nice inside and the food would great! If you’re looking for a place that serves all of America’s favorite dishes, The Corner Room is the place to.