Four Favorite Indulgences for the Happy Valley Foodie

Photo: © Dante's
Nitro Coffee and Cake, Liberty Craft House

I used to work out at the State College YMCA during the lunch hour, and the woman who ran on the treadmill beside me told me her motivation.

“I work out so much because,” her voice sank to a whisper, “I love to eat.”

Five kids later, my office has moved to my house and I run on back roads past Amish farms instead of on the treadmill at the Y, but I still share her motivation. To be honest, one of the main reasons I lace up my latest sneakers from Rapid Transit is because of all the good eats to be had here in Happy Valley. So I am sharing a few of my favorite everyday indulgences to get you through this holiday season (and maybe inspire your next 5K). You're welcome.


Nitro Coffee at Liberty Craft House

It's technically not a food, but I am an unabashed coffee snob, and I dream about this stuff. Nitro coffee is cold-pressed and served from a keg, where it is infused with nitrogen and poured into your glass with a head of foam like a Guiness. Liberty Craft House was one of the first in the nation to serve this ground-breaking brew, and it is silky-smooth goodness. (I normally take my coffee with cream and sugar, and this is so creamy and smooth that it needs neither). It's brewed from coffee roasted at local Rothrock Coffee. Stop in the next time you are downtown.


Crab Fries, The Field Burger and Tap

When you order fries at The Field, you have to specify whether you want a single serving or a 'table' of them. What's a table, you ask? It means that they put wax paper on your table and POUR out a bucket of perfectly golden hand-cut fries in front of you. And then, if you had the incredibly good fortune of ordering the crab fries, the whole thing is doused with a carafe of molten white cheddar and crab meat. Full disclosure, I have gone with a few of my most well-behaved friends and we were scraping the leftover cheese off the wax paper with spoons. It's a kind of leave-your-dignity-at-the-door appetizer that will make it to the top of your list the next time you are in town. (But save room for one of those burgers... and then the hand-spun Creamery milkshake—which you can also order with booze added.)


Turkey Stromboli, Pizza Mia!

Pizza Mia! has the perfect holiday/pizza mashup: the Turkey stromboli. They take their famous pizza dough and stuff it full of cheese, turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes and then serve with gravy, corn and cranberry sauce. It's only served this time of year, and people are raving about it on facebook. You can stop by either their Bellefonte location (106 N. Spring St.), their State College location (114 Hetzel St.) or get it delivered to you.


Traditional Gyro, The Greek

This is not the kind of gyro you buy at a baseball game with a mealy pita and dried out meat. This is a chewy and light homemade pita filled with tender pork, tomatoes and fries hidden inside (just because they knew you would love it), seasoned with tangy perfect tzatziki. When they say it's authentic, they mean it.


What's your favorite Happy Valley everyday treat? I'd love to hear it, and add it to one of our next food articles! Email me at to tell me all about it.

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