Drink and dine under the sun and stars
Photo courtesy of Gigi's Southern Table
Summer is meant to be spent outside. So, after a long day at work, why not meet up with friends for a drink or gather the family for a meal under the sun? Luckily, Happy Valley boasts a vast number of quality restaurants that offer seating outside, and we are here to share our favorites.
Whether you are looking to escape to an outdoor urban oasis, relax on a patio or dine among nature, Happy Valley offers it all.
Big City Feeling
Even though Happy Valley isn’t Chicago or Manhattan, State College sure feels like a busy city of its own sometimes. If you are looking to people watch or dine while the hustle bustle of students, visitors and locals surrounds you, look no further than Dante’s Restaurants. Liberty Craft House, Inferno and The Deli & Z-Bar are all run by the same owner, live on the same corner of East College Avenue and provide eating options outside.
Liberty Craft House offers an array of expertly crafted cocktails, artisan spirits, ales and lagers on tap, and house-made eats. Sip your favorite wine along side a cheese or charcuterie plate or enjoy your draft beer with smoked wings or a Bavarian soft pretzel on the side.
Right next door to the craft house is Inferno. Inferno, known for its brick oven pizzas, offers front row seating to the action on East College Avenue. With specialty cocktails, bottled beers and wine by the glass, there is a drink for everyone and space outside for all.
Turn the corner from Inferno onto Heister Street and you will stumble upon The Deli & Z-Bar. A great restaurant to take the family, the Deli provides a hefty lunch and dinner menu as well as craft lagers and ales. While the Deli has two outdoor patios, the sidewalk traffic is not as busy as its neighbors, providing a slightly quiter outside dining option without compromising the urban feel.
The patio at Gigi’s Southern Table is the perfect gathering for a quick happy hour or delicious outdoor meal. This casually chic farm-to-table restaurant seeks to explore Southern food. Enjoy a seafood dish, a hand-cut steak or a fresh salad for dinner. Then, once the sun sets, sip on a drink, settle next to the outdoor fire pit and enjoy conversation with friends and family.
If you are looking for a large patio to dine at with your children, Home D Pizzeria is your place. Serving Italian, Mediterranean and American cuisine, this restaurant has enough appetizers and entrées to please everyone’s pallets. Located on South Atherton Street, the pizzeria also offers beers from its very own microbrewery, Robin Hood Brewing Co.
For something uniquely Pennsylvanian, The Nittany Lion Inn's PA on the Patio is just right for you. Every Friday until August 31, enjoy a specially curated selection of micro-brews and grilled tapas made from the best seasonal fruits, vegetables and meat all sourced from within Pennsylvania. The menu changes weekly, so there is always something new for you to try.
The Bella Vino Wine Bar, a part of Happy Valley Vineyard & Winery, is a great spot to enjoy afternoon and evening drinks outside. This quaint wine bar is next to Talleyrand Park in Bellefonte, making it a nice escape for a calm night of conversation. Bella Vino also offers a light food menu to ease your appetite.
Tucked away in the village of Toftrees is the American Ale House, a restaurant that offers daily specials, live entertainment and a tree-covered patio. From greens, to sandwiches, to chops, to a steam bar, the Ale House has a menu and seating arrangements suitable for a summer celebration, casual night out with the family or a catch-up with friends.
While the winters may be brutal in Happy Valley, the sun always shines bright here in the summer. Soak it all in and enjoy a delicious meal, great conversation and priceless memories under the sun—or stars—this season!