State College and the surrounding region have plenty of different options when it comes to restaurants. Whether it is having a sit-down dinner for a special event or grabbing a burger, we’ve got you covered. Many of the best restaurants in State College are independently owned and operated but of course, there are multiple familiar chain options as well. We’re also going to highlight our favorites in Bellefonte, Boalsburg, and other towns in the Central PA region.
Here are our favorite fine-dining options. Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation as soon as possible, especially if it is a Penn State special event weekend.
Carnegie Inn & Spa – Cricklewood Dr., State College, PA – Overlooks a beautiful golf course – Upon arrival, each guest is invited to relax by the fireplace in the library, or in a cozy, fireside reading nook, where patrons may savor complimentary hors-d’oeuvres and a wide variety of cocktails and wines. After the relaxing introduction to the staff and the menu, you will be escorted to your table as the dining experience begins with a wide array of appetizers and entrees that compare to the best restaurants of the largest cities in the United States. Additionally, the Carnegie Inn & Spa Fine Dining wine list is one of the best in the area and features a wide variety of wines from California, France, and other countries. The excellence of the fine dining has been confirmed in recent years as the Carnegie Inn & Spa Fine Dining is consistently voted as the Best Fine Dining and Most Romantic by State College Magazine readers.
Duffy’s Tavern – Main St., Boalsburg, PA – Landmark, Either casual or fine dining – specify which you’d prefer upon making your reservation. With its storied history, Duffy’s Tavern in Boalsburg has long been rumored to be haunted by spirits from its past. Tracy Moriarty said she has seen many things happen that can’t be explained logically since she and her husband, Darren, took over ownership of the nearly 200-year-old tavern in May 2012.
The Dining Room at the Nittany Lion Inn – Penn State Campus, State College, PA – Guests at The Nittany Lion Inn and local diners agree that The Dining Room, which was awarded the 2016 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and Wine Spectator’s 2017 “Best of” Award of Excellence, is the top destination for fine dining in State College. With tempting lunch and dinner selections, and an award-winning wine list, The Dining Room at the Inn creates a fine dining experience perfect for special occasions as well as any day of the week. Authentic steakhouse-style dinner and extensive wine list.
If you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll into downtown Historic Bellefonte, our favorites are Ciara’s Blonde Bistro, The Governor’s Pub, and Mamma Lucrezia’s. If you enjoy a glass of wine or beer with dinner, you are welcome to bring your own to both Ciara’s Blonde Bistro and Mamma Lucrezia’s. Governor’s Pub does serve alcoholic beverages. Other Bellefonte restaurants are listed on our website.
Other unique restaurants and craft breweries with extensive menus are popping up all over Central PA. Enjoy delicious craft beer or cocktails at the following locations:
Barrel 21 – State College, PA
Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks – Millheim, PA
Happy Valley Brewing Company – State College, PA
Otto’s Pub & Brewery – State College, PA
And, of course, if you’re a Penn State graduate, you must have been to the Allen Street Grill and The Tavern Restaurant at least once as they are both long-standing traditions here in Happy Valley. Both are downtown State College and are definitely on the must-do list while visiting our area.