Destination Dining: Fuel up for your Happy Valley adventures

– by Holly Riddle

Whether you’re looking to explore the local brew scene after a day of cycling, you need a hearty breakfast to power a morning hike or you’re on the hunt for some picnic-perfect bites, Happy Valley’s local eateries, breweries, wineries, and more have you covered.

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Boal City Brewing Taproom and Beer Garden

Opened in 2023, Boal City Brewing Taproom and Beer Garden boasts a stylish-yet-rustic aesthetic, plus a fantastic location for those recreating at Rothrock State Forest. Within mere minutes, you can go from the bike path or hiking trail to the thousand-square-foot brewery, with its indoor-outdoor space, pet and family-friendly vibes, and a broad selection of easing-sipping beer options, like the gose sour ale, Bohemian pilsner, blonde ale and more.

Not a beer fan? No worries. The taproom also serves cocktails incorporating local spirits, local wines, local soft drinks, and even local kombucha. Food trucks regularly appear at the taproom, as do musicians for live music sets (a mezze market and snack menu are available every day). Be sure to check out the taproom’s calendar to see what’s happening when you’re in town, at

Boal City Brewing is located at 281 Old Boalsburg Rd. in Boalsburg, and is open Monday to Wednesday, 3 to 9 p.m.; Thursday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 3 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 8 p.m.

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The Corner Room and Allen Street Grill

If you’ve been to downtown State College a time or two (maybe you’re a returning Penn State alum?), then you’re likely familiar with The Corner Room. For decades, this diner-esque favorite has served visitors, students, and locals alike with a broad selection of rib-sticking goodness.

In recent years, The Corner Room has received an upgrade and, now, the modern eatery still maintains its diner flavor, while catering to contemporary tastes, with both a fresh look and a fresh menu. The restaurant’s breakfast options will fuel all your Happy Valley adventures, with breakfast classics ranging from chocolate chip pancakes to stuffed omelets, and skillets piled high with eggs and all the breakfast fixins’. Later in the day, head over for tantalizing sandwiches, soups, salads, and starters.

If you crave an elevated dining experience, though, head upstairs to The Corner Room’s sister restaurant, Allen Street Grill. Also recently refreshed, Allen Street Grill offers an upscale and seasonal dinner menu with highlights like grass-fed ribeye steak au poivre, with salt and vinegar potatoes, or a coffee-rubbed half chicken with chestnut bread pudding and broccoli rabe. Save room for dessert: with options like a praline parfait and a sorbet and gelato tasting, you won’t want to miss these sweet treats.

Both restaurants are located at 100 West College Avenue in State College. The Corner Room is open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Allen Street Grill is open Monday to Saturday, 4:30 to 9 p.m., opening at noon on Penn State home football game Fridays.

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Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery

While Happy Valley might not be widely known (yet) as wine country, it certainly has several successful, award-winning, and favored wineries and vineyards that call the region home. One such spot that you should add to your itinerary? Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery, where you can enjoy spectacular mountain views just a short drive from Rothrock State Forest and Tussey Mountain.

The family-friendly, pet-friendly winery offers a mix of indoor and outdoor seating. Pull up a chair by the pond, on the covered deck, or next to the fire pit. Sample an array of wines to find your favorites. The winery offers a range of dry, fruit, and dessert wines, including its trademarked Tailgate and Nittany wines, such as the Tailgate Red and Tailgate White, and Nittany Mountain Red, White, and Blush. (No time for sipping? Grab a bottle or two for later.)

Mount Nittany Vineyard & Winery is located at 300 Houser Road in Centre Hall, and is open Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m.; Friday, noon to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bonfattos 9 HVRW2023 Photoby Matt Fern

- Photo taken by Matt Fern

Bonfatto’s Italian Market & Corner Café

A long-time Bellefonte institution, Bonfatto’s Italian Market & Corner Café offers quick bites and espresso-based beverages, plus an array of locally sourced and specialty imported ingredients. Stop in to grab breakfast or lunch, and then pick up a few items to take on a gourmet picnic or simply enjoy during your getaway.

The Bonanza Sub is a long-time favorite, premiering in 1958, and you can’t pass up the fresh pastries (which include a few gluten-free selections). Breakfast options range from pesto egg paninis to frittata to bagel sandwiches, while the deli serves up sandwiches and shareables, like Italian tasting boards and flatbreads.

Bonfatto’s is located at 401 West High Street in Bellefonte and is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau publishes up-to-date event information at