This article contains opinion.

     While off-campus food options in Indiana can seem endless, here are The Penn’s top local options to help you get through finals week. 

King Buffet

When it comes to finding food as a college student, there are very few places that hit you in the feels the way King Buffet does. King Buffet has everything you could ever ask for as a college student.

It is a convenient five-minute drive from campus. Convenience is a big deal, especially when you have those weeks where it takes genuine effort to even go to class.

The modest buffet’s price is that of legend. For a measly $10 and change, IUP students can gorge themselves on the myriad of Asian delicacies this establishment has to offer.

The options are limitless. Peanut butter chicken, fried rice and dumplings are just a few of the superior food options here. Not only is the food top-notch, but you can eat until your gut can’t take it anymore.

One thing is for sure, this is one place where you can get a meal fit for a king.


Mama Mia. 

If you’re looking for some quality fresh Italian food, look no further than Romeos.

The Italian restaurant offers a variety of benefits to its customers. First off, it is located just across from Crimson Café. So college students can go for lunch or dinner just about any time.

While food may be on the pricier side for students, the quality more than makes up for it. You can select from a vast menu of Italian cuisine that includes pizza, calzones, pastas, etc.

Food is always made to order, so there is typically a minor wait. The portion sizes are excellent. Meals are the perfect size to split with friends.

If your relationship is in shambles, Romeo’s provides the perfect environment for a quaint date-night dinner.

Romeo’s is the perfect off-campus dining option that provides students with a more up-scale alternative to campus dining.

Insomnia Cookies

While this next location may not be a restaurant, it is easily one of the most popular food locations in Indiana.

Insomnia Cookies is just off Philadelphia Street and is a short 15-minute walk from just about anywhere on campus.

This location is practically nirvana for cookies. Customers come into the store and are immediately greeted with the smell of fresh-baked cookies. Cookies are made all day and are the perfect snack.

The cookies are some of the best around, but the hours are even better yet. Insomnia Cookies is open until 3 am. It is nice when a business made practical hours that fit college life.

They obviously cater to a college-oriented clientele and provide superior sweets for all of Indiana County.

Steel City Samiches

This establishment perfectly combines the concepts of fantastic food, low prices and a Pittsburgh-esque atmosphere to give anyone who enters a perfect dinner.

Steel City attracts customers due to the uniqueness of its menu, notably naming sandwiches after Pittsburgh athletes (ex. The Van Slyke), its tavern feel and its overall interactions with customers. 

Testimonies from Pittsburgh natives describe the restaurant as a “close replica of Primanti Bros., if not better.”

If you’re channeling your inner “Yinzer” and cannot make it to Pittsburgh, a short walk up Philadelphia Street will satisfy your craving for all things coleslaw, fries on sandwiches and food that will make yinz come back for more.

Caffe Amadeus

This quaint cafe along Philadelphia Street brings the art of class into your day.

For affordable prices and fantastic quality, Caffe Amadeus allows students to come in for a sizable cup of coffee, along with a bagel or other pastry, and finish assignments, converse with friends or just enjoy the relaxing classical music while you dine.

Amadeus also brings the world of Harry Potter into the shop for customers who want to channel their inner wizards. 

In the main dining lounge, Potter fans can enjoy their coffees and either read different stories about Harry Potter or do interactive activities.

Yet, another short walk can lead to a fantastic eating experience.


Gordon Ramsay would love this establishment for one reason:  fresh food.

Thai@Indiana offers a modernized dining area with traditional Thai food made fresh to order every day.

The restaurant even offers a user-friendly website with its mission statement on the opening page, guaranteeing a perfect cultural eating experience.

Located conveniently near IUP’s campus on 7th Street, Thai@Indiana has become a popular hotspot for students to dine either on the weekends or after classes.

If you are looking for an exotic dining experience, check this place out. 

9th Street Deli

As soon as you walk into the restaurant, you’ll be impressed with the atmosphere. It is welcoming beyond belief. You’re greeted with an entire wall of chips 

The 12-inch subs are filled to the top with whatever you want. 

By the time the 12-inch is done it will be a struggle to get to your next location, and that is a good thing.  

The best part of student’s visits are the prices. Being a college student, it is convenient to spend fewer than $10 and not have to eat the rest of the day. 


Known more for being a bar rather than a restaurant, Bunzies also has a great selection of food. The burgers were juicy and well put together. 

The service was also very good as the waiter would come over every 10 minutes to refill drinks and make sure everything was fine. 

This is a big recommendation. It to anyone looking for a cheap and delicious meal.       

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.