Ranging from Wall Street Journal reviews to ESPN’s best student sections in college football, Penn State ranks at the top of many impressive lists. I like to think Penn State would rank not just at the top but as #1 on a “Best College For A Foodie” list.
Take a look at these 17 reasons why Penn State calls all foodies:
1. Five dining halls
Say whaaaat? Yes, you did read that right. Penn State has not one, not two, but five on-campus dining halls. Wondering how you could ever choose between five dining halls all within walking distance? Don’t worry, we have an app to help ya out. Dining@PSU gives you the breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night menus for each and every dining hall. Amazing, we know.
2. The HUB
What’s the HUB? It’s your dream come true. With 13 dining options all within one centrally located building on Penn State’s campus, the HUB saves one empty stomach at a time. Basically, the HUB is our second home, minus the home cooking of our moms but plus the sizzling fryers at Chick-Fil-A.
3. School Sponsored Care Packages
Nothing says “I love you” like a box full of food, am I right? Penn State encourages parents/guardians to send university-sponsored care packages to their ravenous child living on campus. Penn State is defeating the late-night hunger cravings before they even hit. Talk about being proactive!
4. “Raise your glass to a little bit of chicken fried”
Ha, Zac Brown Band reference, get it? Good. I’m not sure what you’ll see more of on Penn State gameday: pictures of Christian Hackenberg or pictures of the chicken and fries baskets sold at Beaver Stadium. Don’t get me wrong, Penn Staters do love their football on game days but they also love a mouthwatering basket of chicken tenders and fries to make the experience a little tastier.
5. FREE Nutella Packs
The HUB Bookstore changed Penn Staters lives during finals week of December 2015. You know those cute little Nutella and breadstick packets? Yeah, well the HUB Bookstore offered hundreds of these adorable packets for free. I never thought anything could beat Nutella but there Penn State goes blowing my mind again by making Nutella free, therefore beating out Nutella on its own.
6. Au Bon Pain
We have an Au Bon Pain on campus. On freakin’ campus. What else needs to be said? ABP, as the cool kids call it, provides all sorts of food: comfort (mac & cheese), healthy (salads, yo), breakfast (bagels) and sweets (cookies, croissants, and cupcakes, oh my!).
7. Three Starbucks
What comes in a cup to pull you out of your slump? Starbucks, of course! College kids need caffeine; it’s a known fact. In addition to the HUB’s Starbucks, there are two Starbucks locations on each end of College Ave. in downtown State College (which are both within walking distance for all students).
8. Dunkin’ Donuts
“But I don’t like Star…” stop right there. Downtown State College accommodates to your Dunkin’ Donuts needs. Wanna know what makes our Dunkin’ even more special than most? The Monday after a Penn State football victory Dunkin’ offers free coffee to students! If you haven’t started your application to Penn State, now is the time to do so.
9. Pokey Stix
Two words, Pokey Stix. They aren’t a big deal or anything; they’re just a magical combination of pizza dough, mozzarella, garlic butter and parmesan crumbles cooked to golden perfection. Umm… who am I kidding, these things are a HUGE deal. Pokey’s aren’t something to be described, rather they must be experienced. Here’s a wild idea, come to Penn State and try some- you won’t regret it (until you hit the gym…).
10. Sticky Buns
Grilled stickies are Ye Olde College Diner’s staple item. A grilled sticky is like a cross between a cinnamon roll and french toast. These stickies are so legit that the restaurant boxes them up individually to be bought and shipped all around the country. All in all, grilled stickies are no joke.
11. Irving’s and Bagel Crust
Not much can satisfy like a fresh cooked bagel and downtown State College provides nothing but the best at Irving’s and Bagel Crust. Students living on campus can easily walk to either bagel shop and students living downtown are basically at the doorstep of either breakfast cranny. A bagel a day keeps the doctor away, right?
If you’re anything like me, you’re a succor for a quality salad. After eating at Fiddlehead it’s hard to find any other salads worth eating. Some may say salads aren’t filling but take my word for it- this is far from the case at Fiddlehead since they make a salad the size of Texas. The ingredients are fresh, flavorful and healthy. It’s a win-win-win situation.
13. The Waffle Shop & Sadie’s
The only thing better than the smell of waffles is the taste of waffles. The Waffle Shop is an oldie but a goodie that us Penn Staters tend to get addicted to. Sadie’s is a newer waffle shop in town but don’t let that scare you away. One bite of the Belgian-style waffles at Sadie’s will leave you with an everlasting craving.
14. Qdoba, Moe’s, Chipotle & Cal Tor
Love no extra charge for guac? We got Qdoba. Gotta have free chips? The bus will take ya straight to Moe’s. Stickin’ with the OG? Head to Chipotle. Wanna chill with the new kid in town? California Tortilla is your place. I rest my case.
15. The Farmer’s Market
A farmer’s market is good anywhere but I’d have to say it’s better here in Centre County, PA. We are surrounded by farmland as far as the eye can see and our local farmers definitely make the most of their resources. The farmer’s market is located in downtown State College right across from Penn State’s campus. Who said that eating healthy in college can’t be easy?
OrderUp actually is the coolest thing since sliced bread. With your smartphone you download the OrderUp app, enter your location and, voila(!), the food options are endless! OrderUp allows you to order from almost any nearby restaurant that you want and then sends a driver to pick up and deliver your food to you. I promise, this app is the sidekick you need to conquer any food craving.
17. Berkey Creamery
Oh the Creamery…where to begin? Penn State is known for our ahhmazing agriculture program. With agriculture comes dairy, with dairy comes milk and with milk comes *drumroll please* ICE CREAM! Yes, our ice cream is made on site and is literally farm-fresh. I dare you to try to find a creamier more delicious ice cream.