Editor’s note: This story is part of the Eat, Play, Live special section.
India Pavilion is truly a hidden gem. Below street level, it’s easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.
But walk down the steps and into the inviting dining room, with its well-dressed tables, and you’ll find you’ve stumbled onto a treasure.
State College isn’t a city, but the food options are more diverse than you’d find in most towns its size.
India Pavilion is one of the places that might make you forget temporarily that you’re in central Pennsylvania.
The charming restaurant opened in 1997 and serves traditional northern Indian cuisine. It’s open for lunch and dinner, with its lunch buffet being quite the bargain — $8.95 for all you can eat, and if you time it just right, you might not need another meal for the rest of the day.
But dinner here is a treat, too.
Seafood, vegetarian and meat options are all on the menu, with the ability to choose the spiciness of your meal.
Looking for something super spicy? Go with the chicken vindaloo — chicken with potatoes in a tangy, highly spiced sauce.
Need a flavor that’s a bit tamer? Try the kadahi vegetables — fresh mixed vegetables cooked in a wok with onions and bell peppers.
And be sure to order naan — a freshly baked leavened white bread that is basically fluffy, warm goodness in a basket. No meal is complete without naan.
You can even take your own wine, beer or liquor if you’re celebrating or just feel like making dinner a little more special.
Finish off the meal with a hot masala chai tea — a traditional Indian drink that’s boiled with spices, herbs and milk. It’s soothing and delicious — what more could you want after a filling meal?
India Pavilion food is also available for takeout and delivery (in limited areas). Beyond that, the restaurant offers catering and private party services.
So if you’ve never wandered down to its 222 E. Calder Way, State College, location, what are you waiting for? It’s time to eat.