The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting everything in the world right now, and restaurants have been chief among them. Penn Staters know that State College restaurants and cafes are the soul of our campus, so let's take a moment to recognize 12 locally-owned eateries that deserve our support right now.
The Original Waffle Shop on Facebook
Of all the things to miss about college, rolling out of bed for a waffle after a night out is at the top of my list. The Waffle Shop is one diner that every Penn Stater can agree on in the "Where should we eat?" debate. Plus, if you've ever been there on a Sunday morning, you've probably stood in line long enough to learn the restaurant's entire local history. Such a State College staple deserves a place on anyone's quarantine takeout menu.
Takeout and delivery service are available only at The Original Waffle Shop's West College location.
Sowers Harvest Cafe
Sowers Harvest Cafe on Facebook
Sowers Harvest's local, ethically-sourced cuisine makes them a staple at Penn State. Plus, to stay in contact with the State College community, the Sowers team has launched #OperationConversations, where you can call a team member for a 10-minute conversation where you can talk about COVID, practice your English, pray, or just chat.
Sowers Harvest Cafe is open for takeout, curbside pickup, and free delivery.
Canyon Pizza on Facebook
Canyon's slogan "Did you get a piece last night?" isn't as relevant anymore, sadly, but that doesn't mean we have to stop craving their pizza. There's two downtown places my nighttime self misses most: the Canyon line and Club McDonalds. Since Canyon's been a locally-owned community staple since 2001, taking care of us when we're at our messiest, it's time we say thanks and give back.
Canyon Pizza is open for contactless carryout and delivery.
Cozy Thai Bistro on Facebook
There's nothing like Cozy Thai on a rainy day. Their authentic cuisine and comfy atmosphere make this place a true Penn State favorite. If you're craving the best curry in Central PA, hit up Cozy Thai to make your quarantine a little more comforting. Plus, they've been offering free community meals when possible -- check their Facebook for more information.
To order Cozy Thai, call the restaurant at 814-237-0139.
Faccia Luna Pizzeria on Facebook
State College's unofficial favorite Italian restaurant, Faccia Luna, is famous for their urban trattoria environment and their award-winning pizza. If you're looking for something a step above Canyon, you can build your own wood-fired pizza with Faccia Luna.To order from Faccia Luna's limited menu, call for pickup at 703-838-5998.
Irving's on Facebook
There's nothing better than a stop at Irving's on the way to your mid-morning class. With their best-in-town bagels and their freshly-ground espresso, Irving's offers quick cafe items that anyone can love. Plus, beyond their high-quality menu, the cafe is dedicated to the State College community: They give back with donations to different organizations, charities, and events every week.
Irving's is open for pick-up and available through delivery services.
McLanahan's Downtown Market
Anyone who knows Penn State knows McLanahan's. Their downtown market is the place to go for outstanding deli service and fresh produce - not to mention their self-serve beer wall. Only the essentials.
As a grocer, McLanahan's is offering walk-in service, curbside service, and phone orders.
I. Miss. Smoothie. Bowls. So. Much. Let's be real: I could easily make a Playa-lookalike bowl myself, but Playa's ingredients are always so fresh and the bowls are beautiful! Better yet, Playa is offering an option at checkout to donate a bowl to the local healthcare heroes that're keeping us going.
Playa is offering takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery services.
Yallah Taco on Facebook
I don't know what's more satisfying on a late-night: eating from Yallah or just getting to the front of the outdoor line. Yallah is tastier and cheaper than the Chipotle down the street, and another Yallah Taco is set to fill the Taco-Bell-shaped hole in our hearts this fall -- they really are for the people.
You can order a delivery service from Yallah on GrubHub or DoorDash.
Roots Natural Kitchen
Roots Natural Kitchen on Facebook
Roots is one of the best places downtown to grab a meal packed with superfoods. Their massive grain bowls make great double meals, so Roots is a great option for eating healthy on a budget. And as I'm sure any Penn State student knows, Roots is always enthusiastic towards supporting THON and the PSU community.
Roots is open for pickup through their app or delivery through UberEats.
Webster's Bookstore Cafe
Websters Bookstore Cafe on Facebook
Webster's is heaven. It's a cafe, bookstore, record shop, concert venue, and probably the place where you held your freshman CAS deliberation. Getting a Brown Cow and taking a moment to browse through the used books can always make my day a little brighter. Webster's is also going out of its way to offer free vegan, gluten-free meals to anyone facing food insecurity. That's the kind of WE ARE mentality that makes the Penn State community the best in the world.
Webster's offers online ordering and curbside pickup.
RE Farm Cafe
RE Farm Cafe on Facebook
RE Farm Cafe at Windswept Farm is one of Penn State's hidden gems: an off-campus farm-to-table restaurant that serves produce straight from their greenhouse and fields. The farm and cafe are sustainable, and they offer weekend volunteer opportunities for community members to help build structures or grounds-keep.
RE Farm Cafe is especially unique in how they've adapted to COVID-19: the cafe has introduced three new dining options in lieu of typical service:
- REpast: pre-order prepared meals to eat in the comfort of your home.
- REfresh: restore vitality to your kitchen by ordering fresh produce, meats, cheeses and other handcrafted goodies from Windswept and other local farms.
- REdesign: artistically fashion your own DIY meals using Windswept's ingredient kits or their "Summer of Salads" subscription service.