A Student’s Guide to Downtown Hot Spots

by Matthew Manahan

Our downtown is no flashy metropolis, but there are plenty of good times to be had if you’re visiting for the weekend! As a senior here at Penn State, I know my way around town. Here are my recommendations for places to visit the next time you visit.

The Phyrst
It has been ranked amongst the best college bars by publications such as Business Insider and Thrillist. Situated on East Beaver Avenue, this basement bar is known for its variety of drinks, daily live music and upbeat atmosphere. Don’t be surprised to see a line wrapped around the block.

Located on West College Avenue, this small Japanese restaurant offers a broad range of dishes, from hand rolled sushi to ramen noodles, all for a reasonable price. The interior is compact and generally crowded, but provides a very relaxed atmosphere. The food is fresh and comes out quickly. If you’re not sure what to get, you can’t go wrong with any type of sushi. For an entrée, I recommend trying the Spicy Miso Ramen soup.

Herwig’s Austrian Bistro
Herwig’s, another West College Avenue favorite, serves up authentic Austrian food in a friendly, playful atmosphere. The specials change daily, but the entrées are always the same. The last time I was there, I ordered reisfleisch, a mildly spicy pork and rice dish flavored with Hungarian paprika. Their motto says it all: “Welcome to Herwig’s: where bacon is an herb!”

The Family Clothesline
If you don’t have any Penn State apparel yet or need to add to your collection, The Family Clothesline is the place to go. Located on East College Avenue, this store carries all things PSU. Penn State alum and recent Super Bowl champ Jordan Norwood will be there signing autographs before the Blue-White game.

The Palmer Museum of Art
Positioned toward the top of Penn State’s campus, the Palmer displays extensive permanent collections and rotating exhibitions free to the public. The galleries represent different world cultures and time periods. Take a guided tour or roam around at your leisure.

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