Zola New World Bistro
Zola New World Bistro

Zola New World Bistro

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.zolabistro.com/
  • Phone: (814) 237-8474
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:00pm
    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Wine

Getting there

  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Zola New World Bistro
Zola New World Bistro offers contemporary cuisine, an award winning wine list & exceptional service.
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Zola New World Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
57 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
86% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (36)fit for foodies (31)romantic (26)neighborhood gem (15)notable wine list (15)good for groups (7)hot spot (7)vibrant bar scene (6)great for outdoor dining (6)great for lunch (5)late-night find (5)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • not up to previous standards
    ColFaulkner
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    First time back in a few years. This was our favorite restaurant when we lived in State College but this time the food selection was limited and uninspired. It was okay, the servers were fantastic, but the food let us down.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Treat for a Special Occasion
    LithuanianLion
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Zola is located on the western edge of E College Avenue, just around the corner from the Atherton Hotel. I was happy to find that they had a table available on a football weekend. The menu is a little expensive, but I decided to take my girlfriend here for an anniversary dinner. We were seated at a table that didn't have much privacy, but at least it had a little buffer space between the adjacent tables. The menu was short, but contained a good mix of options from seafood to filet mignon. The foie gras was delicious, and the salmon was succulent. If you have any room left, try the stuffed croissant french toast for dessert.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing New Menu
    MicKEVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Looks like the Sept-Oct menu was targeted to the PSU football crowd who roll into the joint in gymshorts and t-shirts for Friday night dinner. Had a really tough time picking an entree. No Pork, No Duck, No game, no thank you. Finally decided on chicken (oh yes there is a $42.00 filet, but this isn't New York or Chicago- Is this Chicago, Danny ?) No it's still State College. Love the jazz and of course the exceptional service, but come on Paul, throw a local foodie a bone, will ya ?
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Declining quality
    NYCfoodie
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    My family has eaten here several times over the past few years to celebrate special occasions and unfortunately the quality of the food continues to decline. Our pasta was cold, some of the tomatoes were uncooked and we needed to cut it with a knife because it was stuck together. In addition, the chicken breast was so small it didn't even qualify as an appetizer. Given that the restaurant was less than half full, we did not expect to wait for close to an hour to be served. When 4 people spend $200 on dinner, they expect more. We will not be coming back.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • hungry1953
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    It hits a price point that discourages undergraduate students from making it a regular hangout and that's a plus if you are past that age. The servers and bartenders are knowledgeable, professional, service-capable. Regrettably, the food is pretty pedestrian.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Go here!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Excellent experience. Menu offer interesting versions of classics and new cuisine trends, All dishes were presented beautifully. Drinks from the bar were expensive so ask for the price before ordering drinks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Five Years and Better Than Ever
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Our second PSU student is entering his last year and we have enjoyed Zola over many years. A recent chef change has brought them back from very good last year to excellent! Forget the nearby steakhouse, and the restaurants to the east on College Avenue. For great food, and drinks, this is the place to eat and relax in State College. You will not be disappointed. Friday Jazz Nights bring Zola to a new level of enjoyment.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unexpected Quality
    partyof5
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    Located on busy strip right across from Penn State, we were expecting average dining experience at best. Zola's was a complete surprise. In a great way! Excellent service and excellent food. Modern, minimalistic atmosphere. Generous wine & beer offerings. Interesting menu selections. The food was wonderful. Overall, very up scale experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lame wine list
    Oacosta
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    What they call Carpaccio was very poor tasteless beef and a sunny side up dried egg on top just something horrible
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food experience
    IManTicketsVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    While visiting my son at PSU, we had dinner at Zola. Absolutely fantastic, his crab cake app was enough for a meal and was full of flavor. While I had a very tasty baby greens salad. For dinner his filet was one of the best tasting I've ever tried and a lot had to do with the ravioli truffle on top. My salmon was mind blowing, which the only way to describe it. We topped the night off with the Nutella stuffed French toast. Wow was that good!! Can't wait to come back and visit but unsure if I'll be more excited to see my son or have dinner in Zola!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hit or Miss
    frequentdiner
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Dined here with family to celebrate my daughter earning her Master's degree. Service was good, drinks generous...great dirty martini (: Salad appetizer great. However, I ordered the squash blossoms with smoked salmon which was $10.00 for a ridiculously small portion size. (asked waitress where salmon was) Daughter and husband ordered red snapper which was great. My son and I split the goat stew and a mushroom entree which they divided in the back for us. Flavorful dishes but again very small potions. Very small bits of meat in stew and arrived at table lukewarm at best. Have to say as a whole I was disappointed, but glad we gave it a try.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite State College restaurant
    Tass
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I spent as much time as possible in Zola over my years at Penn State working toward my PhD. It was only fitting that a dinner during my graduation weekend occur here. As always, the food was absolutely fantastic--my family members from New York City were very impressed! I'm happy to graduate, but sad that I'll no longer have Zola nearby. Thanks for many great years!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice Dinner
    NapaBob
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Food was very good, although limited salad selection. Salmon was great. Wine list was just fair and over-priced.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful meal with friends
    Drauntie
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Enjoyed a quiet night with friends over a great meal while in state college for a confernce. Easy to book my reservation and find parking. Service was great and the food was delicious. The ambience was perfect for catching up conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome
    Wineoh
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Completely unexpected for a college town!! Food and presentation were exceptional. Highly recommend if you're in state college. They didn't have our first choice off the wine list but beyond that, it was fantastic. Keep up the great work!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • very good
    CharlieVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    I always make this a stop on a visit to State College. Food is great with a very eclectic menu. Can get a little noisy at dinner is you want to have a conversation. My only complaint is every time I've been there and ordered a drink or wine at dinner, its usually a 10 minute wait. Really can't explain it but it happens so often that my wife and I always joke about it when we're there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Better then its been
    Fred
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Zola had been, for years, an outstanding restaurant. It was not just "outstanding" relative to its competition in State College (which sets a fairly low bar for such things) but outstanding in all respects. Unfortunately the past year or so has clearly been a struggle and I visited last week to give it one, perhaps final, try. It was good enough to keep me on the fence. Just. While the appetizer was certainly not worth ordering our entries and service were quite good - and of course the ambiance is well beyond anything else you can find in State College.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Consistently fresh, healthy n tasty
    TigerMom
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    Zola's is the best restaurant in State College, Pa. If you are a foodie, then this is your place!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent experience
    ap17
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    Went for dinner around 6:00. The ambiance was very nice. Wait staff was very personable, attentive and overall great. The food was excellent! My mom and I shared the Mac & Cheese and it was to die for! I had the tofu which was cooked and seasoned very well! I really enjoyed my dish. My mom had the Thyme Chicken. She ate the whole thing, which never happens. We left fully satisfied and will most definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very tasty!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    We have been to Zola's several times for special occasions and it never disappoints! This time my spouse got the watermelon salad and pasta bolognese with ground beef and veal, and I got the baby greens and chicken confit. All highly recommended! The flavors in the food are so good. We think Zola's has the best food in State College by far!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice local French style place
    jlb55
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We had a coupon for Zola's which about paid for the desserts. Services was very good. Food was very nice. It could be less noisy. All in all, a good experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 36 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.3
    • Service4.6
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 413 reviews are from the Zola New World Bistro reviews archive.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    ANOTHER GREAT ZOLA'S DINNER.... 5-6 times we have dined there and we have not been disappointed.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Mixed experience this time
    Luvgoodfood
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    Soups are usually great here. Potato leek was tasty but a bit heavy and too salty. Over salting is a consistent complaint of mine. Let clients add a bit of salt on their own. Beet salad was also short on beets. I was disappointed in this special salad. Crab cake and whole red snapper were very good as usual and we enjoyed those. We both had asparagus and agreed that they were puny. This is asparagus season after all. Also wish that Zola's would include vegetables with more main courses. Wait staff were all lovely. All in all, a mixed dining experience especially given the price.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dean
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Great food and service. Always enjoy going back to Zola's whenever we're in State College.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good but not outstanding
    RALB
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    We had lunch so cannot write an opinion for a dinner experience. It was the second time I visited this restaurant (the first time was back in 2009). However, this weekend was busier due to the fact that there were commencement ceremonies for the whole University of PSU. My first booking was made for dinner online with Opentable but we did not make the time and phoned the restaurant to change the reservation for lunch next day and they confirmed. The food was very good and the service was excellent; however, not the same quality/taste then the one we experienced back in 2009. Overall, I still recommend Zola, but it is not the first choice as there are other places with similar or better quality of food and service.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Way overpriced
    Mike
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Way over-priced for State College. The food was at best good. The chicken dish was miserable. Crab cakes were good. Portions are generally small, and the banana cake for $8 was about the size of a quarter. The waiter did tell us it was small, but for $8 you'd expect more. Not a good parking situation. In short, we weren't impressed and probably won't be going back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Statecollege
    StateCollegeCajunVIP
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    The absolute BEST restaurant in State College. Food and service professional and excellent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Find in State College
    StateCollegeCajunVIP
    Dined on 4/29/2014
    One of the better meals we had while in State College. A good wine list, but that is always a problem with a state liquor store. Our server was outstanding as was the entire staff that night. Worth a visit. The veal chop was excellent.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Patron for 6 yrs, first Zola review
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 4/25/2014
    If you're in State College on business, or as a parent of PSU student(s), Zola is a must. It's at the western edge of campus on College Ave away from the student hangouts. In six years of eating at Zola I have had ONE meal that was not to my liking. Zola has a relaxing atmosphere, but can be noisy on Friday or Saturday nights. Ask for a table out front in the small dining area or in the back if you want it a little quieter. The menu always has a broad range of excellent selections, including tasty vegetarian options. The wait staff can be amateurish at times-it is a college town. They have an inviting bar area with bartenders who can concoct whatever you wish. On Friday Jazz-trio nights, you will want to stay and enjoy the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Good
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    We always enjoy dinner at Zola when we are in State College. A really neat vibe, good food and service. It is our go to place when we want to dine out during a visit to town.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, special occasion, Scenic View, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great meal
    Dick
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Had an excellent meal with exceptional service. Ambience was great had a window table and we all enjoyed. Highly recommend!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Thursday evening food shortage
    BusinessDiner
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    We reserved a table for 8 at 7.30 pm on a Thursday night. The restaurant was pretty busy when we arrived and most people were already eating their main course. By the time our table got around to ordering none of the 4 or 5 main course fish items on the menu were available, the remaining choices were decidedly limited. We felt let down that the full menu was not available, I guess we should have eaten earlier, but given that most people reserve a table in advance at this place, I feel they should have been more prepared and ensured that the kitchen was adequately stocked for the evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 5th Wedding Anniversary Dinner
    bill
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    The dinner was very good. My only complaint is that despite the restaurant being 50% empty we were at a table between two occupied tables and was noisy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sad to say.....
    MicKEVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    I am noticing more reviews that confirm what I've observed over the last few years:The standards of excellence that used to exist at Zola are gone. Prices are higher than 90% of the nicer restaurants in most major cities. The food is hit or miss; portions are smaller, the bread service is limited to tasteless tan/white rolls. They frequently run out of product and serve incomplete dishes. It is with a heavy heart I write this because they are the only game in town for "fine dining". It appears they have become content to run an autopilot operation. They’ll survive because of location, football games, graduations, parents weekends, PSU expense accounts and a transient community that offers an endless supply of new and unknowing customers.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Has gone downhill
    bobfVIP
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    This was always the place where we would take our son when we visit him at Penn State. Unfortunately, they have steadily gone downhill for almost the last year. They have NYC prices in State College PA. For that you would truly expect fine dining. We can honestly say that this is the last time we will be eating there. The food has become ordinary at best. We also spoke to numerous people who ate there over the weekend and almost everyone had the same thing to say. I am not sure what happened? This was always THE PLACE. The quality of the food has gone down but the prices have not. Very disappointing because Zolas used to be a very special place.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Stay away from the cod
    IvanSchmetterling
    Dined on 4/2/2014
    Everything was good, until the Cod. Wet cardboard wrapped in cardboard served with a side of cardboard. Gawd was it awful. The king mushrooms with barely risotto was excellent. JUST DON'T ORDER the cod!!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great dinner!
    LHarrisVIP
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Staff exceptionally attentive and helpful-take great care to make sure you park in appropriate spaces to avoid the surprise if a tow:) Menu is varied and creative and food was tasty! Jackie O cocktail highly recommended! We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Greatly Disappointing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    We found the food to be "marginally adequate and overpriced" for the value. The food was nicely presented but did not stimulate our taste buds. The food did not compare well with the large franchise restaurants like an Applebee's. The restaurant was well staffed and we were serviced by four different people. With that said, most staff members seemed more focused on task then delivering a great customer experience. Our conversation was interrupted numerous times by someone reaching across the table to remove a dish or clean the table of crumbs. The servers often were disruptive and stole from what we hoped would be a nice, romantic dinner. The restaurant itself has a nice feel and atmosphere but beyond that was greatly disappointing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food was AWESOME!
    Jess
    Dined on 3/25/2014
    We have been here before and the food never dissapoints. I was very surprised this time however to be greeted by a lady who acted like we were inconviencing her with our presence. She literally drummed her fingers on the podium while I was talking to her like she wanted to just get me out of her face. She was a middle aged lady with shorter hair. It was not a very welcoming experience to say the least. LUCKILY it was not our first time to visit Zolas and we knew the food would be awesome so we stayed. The food did not fail us. I had the beef shortribs and it was the BEST meal I think I've ever eaten. We also had a wonderful server. I can't remember her name (she was a young lady, short, with short brown hair). She was an absolute delight!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Destination Restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 3/19/2014
    We drive from the Washington, DC area to Buffalo to visit family several times a year. We almost always try to stop overnight in State College specifically so that we can eat at Zola. Great food, wonderful service, and an excellent bar!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate