Discussion Forum

Food in Happy Valley

Did he come into PSU? Love to see his food review if he ate somewhere in town. LOL

The Athletic is doing a series on campus eating spots, but faced reality and turned the State College version into a story about how the restaurant at Toftrees serves as a recruiting location for Franklin.

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Not really fair that tiny little State College has to compete with the likes of Nashville or Austin when doing a food tour. That being said, the state of dining in State College is probably at an all-time low at least in my lifetime.

I’ve often had colleagues from out of town come through and ask about places to eat and it’s pretty tricky trying to come up with somewhere that isn’t awful or a chain (and also probably awful).

I still think the Lucchesi-owned spots have decent food most of the time, Ale House better than Champs but I enjoy both. Faccia Luna is decent pizza, but has nothing on the Hofbrau in Bellefonte, and the 2nd Faccia Luna they opened down by the Mall doesn’t seem to be nearly as good to me as the original.

The Tavern, Gigis, Cozy Thai, Ottos/Barrel 21… all just okay I guess. Federal Taphouse is small chain, I don’t know how I feel about recommending them anyways. Something like The Corner Room or Allen Street Grill is acceptable, nothing to write home about. I haven’t been to Kelly’s in Boalsburg in years but they used to be okay, that’s one I’d consider. The Field is the place mentioned in the article, they make a decent burger but not one so good you’d ever go out of your way to get it.

The two most reliable local spots are sadly just breakfast and early lunch joints: Waffle Shop and Naked Egg. Actually the most reliable place to eat and best atmosphere for my money is Olde New York - go get some german beer and food or a Reuben. Otherwise, good luck eating in State College.


I don’t eat out in SC as often as I used to. Don’t want to hijack this thread but what about Duffy’s Tavern in Boalsburg? And what about that fancy restaurant that was at the corner of Toftrees Ave and Cricklewood Drive?

I always really liked Spats. As I got older I found myself at the Deli a lot more too. Ottos is good, Corner Room and Waffle Shop are a ‘go to’ for brunch. Tavern is a landmark, but agree the food is just good and not great. Generally agree that the best spots aren’t downtown, Kelly’s is excellent though.

I agree it’s tough to find too many good spots. We favor Otto’s and the Field primarily.

We loved Spats too.

Was talking about this with a few friends lately. I think the growth of State College has negatively impacted the restaurant choices downtown. Locals don’t want to deal with the hassle of going downtown. Used to be easier. Now you have a lot more choices outside of the main drag.

Duffy’s is pretty good the handful of times I’ve eaten there, I forgot about them.

And I don’t know what the name of the actual restaurant is inside, but think you’re talking about the Carnegie House in Toftrees? I’ve never eaten there or heard much about it but would expect it to be relatively high-end for this area? Curious about it now…

Also I heard there’s a new farm-to-table style place out by the airport that’s supposed to be good.

Yes, Carnegie House was the place that I was thinking of, I just couldn’t remember the name. I’ve never eaten there either but I heard it was very expensive.

I get a little salty about this, having lived for 25 years or so here:

But I’ve moved three hours or so northeast, and the food scene has a lot in common with State College, as it caters to seasonal tourists. Tough for restauranteurs to make a go of anything good.

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I think things are looking up. BRGR which opened last week is in the old Citizen’s Bank building on College Ave by the State Theatre. It’s a mini-chain (a link?) in that they have 3 other locations in Pgh. Their menu looks a lot like the Field’s which has been a huge success at Toftrees.

Duke Gastiger, the old owner of the Skeller, has opened his farm fresh restaurant, RE Farm Cafe, in Patton Township.

Hello Bistro, a couple of doors down from BRGR, is due to open in a couple of weeks. It’s also a burger joint but more of a chain in that it’s part of the Eat N Park corp lineup.


Queenstown, a New Zealand themed restaurant, should be opening sometime in 2020 in the old adjacent Spats and Family Clothesline locations. The borough has recently approved the plans submitted by the owners, Penn State grads who have five similar restaurants in San Diego.

Also, Luna2, the second Facia Luna spot out on the Benner Pike has rebranded as Mike’s Wood Grill and Bar.


Finally, nobody in this thread has mentioned Happy Valley Brewery which has been very successful out in Lemont. I think it might have the best food of the Lucchesi owned properties.

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Link to the article

Two to three times a week (during golf season) you can find me post round planted in the seat occupied by the guy in the blue hat. This picture must have been taken at about 11 am right after they open because it’s never this empty.

It’s rare to get food at a restaurant that actually looks like the pics you see in their ads but I can attest that the burgers at the Field really do look like the Franklin Burger pictured below.

I also thought The Field was pretty good, and not just because you probably picked up the check.

I’m interested in BRGR, more of a ‘campus-y’ location. Hope RE Farm Cafe is good.

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Nice, did not know about some of those and totally spaced on HV Brewery, that’s another one I enjoy for sure.

I checked BRGR out for the first time Saturday night and was (kiddingly) disappointed. I saw two familiar faces behind the bar and they both immediately chimed in with “Sorry, we don’t serve Rolling Rock” before I could say a thing. They did have a nice draft selection, albeit several dozen short of what the Taphouse offers.

Being a cheap bastard bachelor, my idea of good food is a bit skewed. I’ve never been a high end, fine dining fan. A college town with a population of State College will never be a dining destination. However, for all of it’s faults, the food scene has improved drastically since I arrived in 1990. I remember when the first Taco Bell opened, there was a huge line out the door all day. Not because anyone thought Taco Bell was good food, but because it was so different than what was being served around town. When I came here there were basically five options. Pizza, hoagies, burgers, diner blue plate, and a very narrow range of Chinese-American.

Compared to now, it’s night and day with the range of choices. Even the menus at the Chinese-American joints have broadened significantly. And in an interesting turn, a good diner blue plate has become hard to find.

I still miss Herwig’s. That’s my all time State College favorite. Hofbrau in Bellefonte is still my favorite pizza.


A PSU-HBG student stayed local and opened up an authentic Chinese restaurant catering to the significant number of Chinese students studying here. It is TRUE Chinese food, and an amazing difference to what we think of as Chinese-American.

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Did he ever work out his problems with the boro?

So I heard a rumor that the autoport property and 2 adjacent lots down to University drive are getting bought up by a group that has other properties in the work around town.

Who? The quote button is your friend.