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My Favorite Places to Eat in Downtown State College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

Being a college student is not easy. There seems to be countless papers to write, five exams to study for and nine readings to read at any given moment. Some days are better than others, and some are worse.

Personally, the highlight of my rough days sometimes is sitting down and eating a good meal. Specifically, one that can’t be purchased with dining dollars. The dining halls aren’t that bad, but they certainly are not the epitome of delicious food.

So, below I ranked a few of my favorite restaurants (chains and otherwise) to eat at while at school in Pennsylvania State University — University Park.


What can I say besides yum?

Irving’s offers an array of sandwiches and breakfast foods. They’re also popular around State College for their cleverly named smoothies, Joe Papaya anyone?

In the name of transparency, Irving’s can be a bit pricey. However, the food is absolutely delicious.

Order online or in-person at Irving’s and you have the option of dining in, or taking it out.

They’re open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and located at 110 E College Ave, State College P.A., 16801.

El jefe’s Taqueria

Famous around here for satisfying drunk hunger, El Jefe’s is truly a beloved restaurant among students.

Quesadillas, burritos, burrito bowls, guacamole, queso and even churros! El Jefe’s serves delicious Mexican food seven days a week.

Located at 352 E Calder Way, State College P.A., 16801, El Jefe’s Taqueria is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., which gives you plenty of time to get your fix, even with a hectic schedule.

D.P. DOugh

The perfect spot for all your calzone needs.

D.P. Dough is an extremely popular restaurant among students. It’s the perfect lunch, dinner or even late night snack.

Open daily between the hours of 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. and located at 401 E Beaver Ave, State College P.A., 16801, this convenient restaurant will leave you full and satisfied.

However, beware of the staff — they are not known for their pleasantry.



Though a lot of people dislike McDonald’s and their menu items, I am not one of those people. Their food may not be the healthiest, but if you’re in a rush and want something fast, convenient and cheap, McDonald’s is the place to go.

They’re open daily from the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and located at 442 E College Ave, State College P.A., 16801.

Penn kebab

Penn Kebab is simply delicious. With an array of Arabic food, Penn Kebab offers delicious food and fair prices.

It is a bit of a hidden gem, and they only have take out and not a dine in area. Nonetheless, the food is absolutely amazing.

Their opening hours vary day to day, but they close at 10 p.m. daily, and are located at 418 E College Ave, State College P.A., 16801.

If you have yet to try any of the establishments listed above, I recommend giving them a shot. Each place has a variety of food, and a little something for everyone.

Happy dining!

Chelsea Nakhleh is a sophomore at Penn State University studying digital print journalism.