Try next time: New Happy Valley restaurants
By Sierra Kennedy
If you are anything like me, you probably consider trying out new foods one of the best parts of traveling. This does not necessarily have to mean visiting Happy Valley from another town or state — residents should also try to experience different types of culinary delights. Luckily for both locals and those just stopping by, Happy Valley is constantly adding to its list of noteworthy restaurants and eateries. From farm-to-table to trendy food trucks, here are the newest places in Happy Valley to grab a bite to eat!
Address: 129 S Fraser St., State College
Juana’s first had its soft launch in November 2018 and has somehow already become a staple in State College. Of course, when you taste their authentic Venezuelan cuisine you will quickly understand why. Everything on the menu is seasoned to perfection and the staff makes you feel like a member of the family. It’s a fast-casual restaurant, but the items are nothing like traditional fast food. The “Latin-style inspired restaurant” works to create a fun fiesta environment that brings Venezuelan traditions right to the Happy Valley community. The fresh food, live music and Latin dancing make every visit to Juana’s a memorable one.
While every item we have tasted on the menu has been flavorful, there are a few staples on the menu that newcomers should try. The home-cooked, gluten-free should be at the top of everyone’s explore list. The is also another underrated specialty that is definitely worth a try.
Old Farmhouse Eatery
Address: 226 Nittany Valley Dr., Bellefonte
Old Farmhouse Eatery replaced the former Michael’s Triangle Tavern, and serves American comfort food. The restaurant was purchased by Dave and his parents Dave Sr. and Michelle after nearly two years of the property being vacant. Now the trio is serving homestyle fare in a casual, family atmosphere befitting of their ownership. The have been able to make the restaurant into their own, giving the venue a rustic theme with a slight modern twist. This also translates into their quirky food menu, which features a blackened prime rib wrap and a grilled Caesar salad that are popular among diners.
The eatery is certainly relaxed, but you can also catch live bands throughout the week. Stop by for classic breakfast, lunch, and dinner items, with a special Sunday brunch as well.
Tailgate Sports Bar & Grill
Address: 1031 E College Ave., State College
The location be familiar, but the name and menu are entirely new. In January 2019, the Tailgate Sports Bar & Grill opened in the former Sports Grill. The restaurant still has the same sports theme, which makes sense considering its prime location near Beaver Stadium. Patrons can have a few beers and eat burgers, wings, sandwiches and just about anything else a sports fan would want come game day. One unique aspect of Tailgate is that the owners also want to make sure customers are entertained. Depending on the night, you might be able to catch a magic show, trivia, or another fun community event while stopping for a bite to eat at the Tailgate Sports Bar & Grill.
Cuisine: Farm fresh with a twist
Tuesday: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Boalsburg Farmers Market (Pennsylvania Military Museum parking lot)
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., North Atherton Farmers Market (Home Depot parking lot,
Have you ever heard of a sustainable food truck? We hadn’t either until we tried Nomad Kitchen. Owned by Meghan McCracken, the teal-colored truck is where the chef serves her internationally inspired but locally grown food items. McCracken keeps her menu small, but whenever you stop by her truck you can count on ingredients that are grown in her own garden or purchased in Sugar Valley. Items are seasonal and therefore change often, but you can usually find one main entrée item and lighter options such as soup, salad or a sandwich. Although Nomad Kitchen has technically been on the scene for a few years in State College, the truck is still somewhat of a hidden gem.
Monday: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., AccuWeather parking lot on Science Park Road, State College
Tuesday: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Innovation Park parking lot, Penn State
Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Match Factory, Bellefonte
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., North Atherton Farmers Market (Home Depot parking lot, State College)
Brazilian Munchies is one of the latest to join the Happy Valley food truck movement. Owned by Flavia and Nicholas Barger, the couple began their culinary journey a few years before their food truck launched in June 2018. About five years ago, Flavia began selling de at local farmers markets. As her food became more popular, she slowly started to introduce more traditional Brazilian recipes such as the always popular empanada. Today, the couple serves a wide variety of foods that include savory burritos with tasty fillings to indulgent churros topped with dulce de leche. The menu is subject to change, but you can find more than 20 different items to choose from no matter when you decide to stop by.
Foodies may also be pleased to know that Brazilian Munchies has frozen options that you can heat up later. The handmade cheese puffs are a huge hit, as are the vegan (or chicken-filled) empanadas that go right in the oven.