As our return to Happy Valley approaches, it’s time to say goodbye to warm, home-cooked meals and hello to eating out and trying to find the inner chef in all of us. Lucky for Penn Staters, State College is a small town that accommodates all types of foodies, and if you don’t believe me, check out this article about the 17 reasons Penn State is perfect for a foodie.

Spoon PSU has created a list with the best places to eat and drink to make your return, or arrival, easier. This list is the perfect insider’s guide for either a nostalgic senior trying to have all check marks on its bucket list or a lost freshman who wants to indulge in State College cuisine from day one.

1. If you’re craving something sweet: Berkey Creamery

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Photo by Oriana Abreu

You know you made the right decision when your school has a creamery on campus that’s so good that the creators of Ben and Jerry’s themselves had to attend a correspondence course here to come up with the perfect recipe.

What to order: the safest bet will always be the so-very-famous Death by Chocolate, but for those of you that want to try something different, here’s a list with some of the creamery’s best and lesser known flavors.

Location: Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building, 119 Rodney A. Erickson, University Park, PA 16802 (on campus)

2. When you want to eat outside: Cafe 210 West

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Photo courtesy of @cafe210west on Instagram

Cafe 210 West is probably the top choice for everyone when the days are warm and the sun is shining. Cafe is especially popular when 55 Days of Cafe comes around at the end of spring because you get a chance to attend a private party and have your name put on a special plaque if you attend and consume something in Cafe for 55 days straight.

What to order: anything with fries – the fries are the best you’ll ever have.

Location: 210 W College Ave, State College, PA 16801 (across the street from campus)

3. If you’re craving a slice: Canyon Pizza

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Photo by Carly Gulasarian

Only in State College can you satisfy your pizza craving for the ahhmazing amount of $1. Sure, sometimes you may be suspicious about why it’s so cheap, but when it’s 2am and you need a slice before heading back home, Canyon’s got your back.

What to order: You really can’t go wrong with $1 slice pizza, so whatever topping you’re craving will be okay.

Location: 260 E Beaver Ave, State College, PA 16801 (10 minute walk from campus)

4. When you’re trying to be romantic/fancy: Zola

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Photo courtesy of @zola_kitchensc on Instagram

Tartare in State College? Yes, that’s right. If you want to impress your date or give your tastebuds a fancy ride, Zola is hands down the place to go. This is the kind of place where you’ll find yourself reading the menu and wondering if you’re really in a college town.

What to order: Zola’s menu is constantly changing, which makes it even better because you always get to try something new. But my bet is that it’s pretty hard to order something you won’t like.

Location: 324 W College Ave, State College, PA 16801 (across the street from campus)

5. When you’re “doing it for the Insta”: The Field

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Photo by Oriana Abreu

We have our very own Black Tap style milkshakes in Happy Valley. And if you’re into racking in the likes on your foodie posts, The Field is your place. Not only can you order insanely well-presented burgers and shakes, but you have golf course views to complement your picture perfectly.

What to order: The Field Burger matched with a Salted Caramel Pretzel shake.

Location: 1 Country Club Ln, State College, PA 16803 (15 minute drive from campus)

6. When you turn 21: The Phyrst

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Photo by Allie Bloomhis

This one is just State College common knowledge, but The Phyrst deserves a spot on the list. Celebrating your 21st wearing a green hat and getting a free shot is how we do 21 in PSU, no other way. Probably because it’s one of the few places that let’s you in the night you turn 21, according to liquor laws.

What to order: a “Blow Job” which is a shot made of Baileys, Kahlúa, Amaretto that’s topped with whipped cream. If you drink it without using your hands, you get it for free.

Location: 111 E Beaver Ave, State College, PA 16801 (across from the downtown CATABUS Offices/Schlow Library stop)

7. If you’re craving Mediterranean: The Greek

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Photo courtesy of @thegreek_sc on Instagram

The Greek is one of my favorite places in State College. The restaurant itself is like stepping into Epcot, but if you’re too lazy to get out of campus/downtown they have delivery too.

What to order: the gyros are amazing but the true winner is the Baklava Cheesecake.

Location: 102 E Clinton Ave, State College, PA 16803 (10 minute drive from downtown)

8. When you’re sick of Starbucks/Dunkin’ Donuts: Saint’s Cafe

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Photo by Oriana Abreu

From their decadent treats to their perfect lattes, Saint’s takes the prize as best coffee shop in Happy Valley. I’m convinced they only employ the most talented baristas.

What to order: I could write an article only about what to order in this place. The six-layer Carrot Cake is a must, so is the Chocolate Madness Cake. As for drinks, the Cortado and the Chai Latte are my top recommendations.

Location: 123 W Beaver Ave, State College, PA 16801 (10 minute walk from the library)

9. When you want to watch the game: Primanti Bros.

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Photo courtesy of @primantibros on Instagram

Located in the heart of downtown, this sports bar made its way into State College to steal the heart of all sports lovers. This is the perfect spot to watch a game, have fun and eat one (or two…) of Primanti’s signature sandwiches.

What to order: their well-known sandwiches are always the best sellers, but if you’re looking for something less meaty, the flatbreads are a great option.

Location: 130 Hiester St, State College, PA 16801 (7 minute walk from The Hub)

10. If you’re craving Sushi: Sakura

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Photo by Oriana Abreu

Sakura is hands down the best sushi in town. While it’s not located downtown, they do offer deliver, and to be honest, this sushi is well worth the drive or the wait.

What to order: the Volcano, I Love You or Scorpion rolls.

Location: 1525 S Atherton St, State College, PA 16801 (5 minute drive from downtown)

11. If you want to brunch: The Penn Stater

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Photo by Oriana Abreu

From pancakes to caviar to a complimentary mimosa, brunch at The Penn Stater has it all. This buffet-style brunch has traditional breakfast favorites, upscale eats and don’t get me started about the dessert table. If you’re really into brunch like myself, check out this article about the top 5 brunch spots in Happy Valley.

What to order: Everything. For the price of $19.95 you are able to eat anything you want. My recommendation is to put some loose clothes on, clear your schedule for Sunday morning and to truly dig in to this buffet that awaits.

Location: 215 Innovation Blvd, State College, PA 16803 (12 minute drive from downtown)

12. When you’re hungover: The Waffle Shop

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Photo by Jaclyn Alderman

The Waffle Shop should be your go-to restaurant the morning after a tough night (or any night really). While there’s usually a line to go in, the wait time is perfectly worth it once you submerge yourself into the mountain of whipped cream atop your homemade waffle.

What to order: any waffle and ask for home fries as a side.

Location: 364 E College Ave, State College, PA 16801 (across the street from campus)

13. If you’re craving munchies at 2am: Sheetz

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Photo Courtesy of Onward State

Sheetz offers basically every single thing you could be craving at 2am. Mozzarella sticks, chicken tenders, pizza, all types of fries… you name it, they have it. Plus, it’s open 24/7, so forget the “2am” part because Sheetz can get the job done any time of the day.

What to order: whatever your body is asking for at 2am… Sheetz will have it.

Location: 129 S Pugh St, State College, PA 16801 (7 minute walk from The Hub)

There ya have it, Penn Staters. If you’re an incoming freshie, here’s your bucket-list of restaurants to hit and if you’re a returning student, well now you’re salivating. State College, I hope your ready for a bunch of incoming and notoriously hungry 18-22 year olds.