While you’re in town staying at one of our hotels, make sure to check out some of the best places to dine in State College for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether you’re looking for a burger and fries, Mexican or an elegant meal, State College can provide the perfect restaurant for your appetite.  


Carnegie Inn & Spa

The restaurant at the Carnegie Inn & Spa is the definition of exquisite.  At the Carnegie Inn & Spa, dining is all about the experience.  Guests can choose from an extensive wine selection upon arrival and can relax and view the menu in the inn’s cozy fireside nooks while enjoying drinks and hors d’oeurves.  As the first course is ready to be served, guests are escorted to the dining room to enjoy their delicious meal. After the meal, enjoy an after dinner drink at the Inn’s patio, porch or library.    

100 Cricklewood Drive, State College, PA 16803

Gigi’s Restaurant

Gigi’s Restaurant and Lounge is unlike any other in State College.  The restaurant was fashioned after New York steak houses and the décor also pays tribute to vintage Atlantic City, Las Vegas and Chicago. Combine that with their finishing touch of southern hospitality and you’ve got a restaurant that reaches out to many parts of American life. Gigi’s menu features bountiful luncheons, dinners and late night Small Plates as well as an extensive wine cocktail list. 

2080 Cato Avenue, State College, Pennsylvania 16801

Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering 

Situated inside the Hilton Garden Inn, Harrison’s celebrates great taste daily. Chef Harrison’s creations are usually California-style fusion foods that are colorful dishes with lots of different flavors. 

Also, they have been named “Best State College Caterer” by State College Magazine readers from 2005-2011. Whether you want to dine out, or are looking to plan a party or event, you can’t go wrong with Harrison’s. 

1221 East College Ave, State College, PA 16801

Mad Mex 

Mad Mex is located directly next to the Days Inn and it features some of the best Mexican food and drink specials in State College.  On Sundays, Mad Mex features brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and has $1 tacos.  Tuesday through Saturday, Mad Mex has a great late night menu that includes $7 margaritas and half off select menu items.  

240 South Pugh Street, State College, PA 16801

The Tavern 

Located right in the heart of town on College Avenue and across from Penn State’s Old Main building, The Tavern has been a State College dining tradition since 1948. Once inside, you will enjoy the ambience of an 18th century inn while gazing upon the rare collection of Pennsylvania memorabilia and photographs. The Tavern has come to be known as an “intriguing gallery in a restaurant.” As for the menu, fresh seafood, veal and prime rib are the Tavern’s specialties. 

220 E. College Avenue, State College, PA 16801 


Baby’s Diner  

Located on 131 S Garner Street, a burger at Baby’s is necessary if you are visiting Happy Valley. Try the original, 1/3 pound burger or the double decker. Baby’s also serves salads, and sandwiches such as the Carolina Pork Barbecue sandwich and Grilled Veggie Grinder.  On Sundays and Tuesdays kids 12 & under eat free after 4 p.m.   

131 S. Garner Street, State College PA, 16801

The Corner Room 

Sitting on the ground floor of arguably the most iconic building in downtown State College, The Corner Room has been the traditional meeting spot in State College since 1926. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can get a great meal at a great price. 

100 West College Avenue, State College, PA 16801

The Diner 

Stop into The Diner located on College Avenue, a longtime State College staple. Whether you’re in for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you can’t leave without a helping of their famous sticky buns.  The diner’s quick service will provide you a hearty meal in a pinch.  

126 West College Avenue, State College, PA 16801

The Waffle Shop 

Located on North Atherton Street right across from the Quality Inn, the Waffle Shop is the most popular breakfast establishment in town. It will be worth getting up early, not just for the Waffle Shop’s delicious waffles, omelets and pancakes, but to get in line, because it gets long fast.  

1229 North Atherton Street, State College, PA 16803


The Phyrst 

Enjoy a night out at The Phyrst, one of State College’s many basement bars. The Phyrst has a dedication to the local music scene and frequently hosts local bands such as My Hero Zero and the Nightcrawlers. 

111 East Beaver Ave., State College, PA 16803

The Rathskeller    

The Rathskeller has been a hot spot on the State College nightlife scene since 1933. It’s a great place to catch up with former classmates when you return to town and relive memories. The Rathskeller features terrific drink specials and menu specials such as “Burgermania.” 

108 South Pugh Street, State College, PA 16801

Plan your stay in the State College area with these hotels: 

Visit Lion Country Lodging

Carnegie Inn & Spa  
100 Cricklewood Drive, State College, PA 16803 

Days Inn Penn State  
240 South Pugh Street, State College, PA 16801 

Hilton Garden Inn
1221 East College Avenue, State College, PA 16801 

Quality Inn State College  
1274 N. Atherton Street, State College, PA 16803 

Super 8   
1663 S. Atherton/Branch Road, State College, PA 16801 

Nittany Budget Motel   
2070 Cato Avenue, State College, PA 16801