Zola New World Bistro
324 West College Avenue
State College, PA 16801Neighborhood:
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
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
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 - Best Restaurants in State College ›
Zola New World Bistro reviews from OpenTable diners
65 reviews since July 29, 2014
- Ambiance4.2Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (42)fit for foodies (35)romantic (24)neighborhood gem (21)notable wine list (20)hot spot (13)good for groups (9)great for outdoor dining (5)vibrant bar scene (5)great for lunch (4)late-night find (2)Show More
- Had a wonderful timeOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/19/2014Food was excellent, especially if you are willing to get out of your comfort zone a little. Many great traditional food options as well as old favorites with a new twist and exotic dishes. A little pricey, 18 - 28 dollar meals, but well worth it. Service was impeccable, always had a filled glass of water and they even swept the table of crumbs after the bread was given. All together a great place for a special night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- great date spotOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/19/2014Zola is one of the only spots I've found in State College that has truly creative, well-prepared food. It's a perfect spot for a special event dinner or romantic evening. That being said, if you're coming from a city with a great food scene, you may be underwhelmed. I have no problem whatsoever with paying big bucks for a great meal. If the ingredients are obscure or the food takes a lot of prep, I'm happy to pay accordingly. I came from DC, where it's not uncommon to pay $100 for an upscale dinner for two. Zola is tasty and the presentation is lovely, but some of the food feels overpriced for what it is. The Brussels sprouts are absolutely DIVINE, but the serving is teeny and they're cooked with cream, bacon, and parmesan-nothing especially obscure or expensive. I was perplexed by the $9 price tag, when the whole dish is only a few bites. Overall- some of the best dining in State College, but Zola seems to know that, so they will overcharge you. Worth it if you're here year-round and don't have a lot of options, but be warned that it is not on par with fine dining options in bigger cities.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/15/2014The trout fillet entree was the best I've ever eaten. The bone marrow was also excellent as an appetizer although the bone was sliced a little thin so a bit less than expected. The service was spot on and very friendly. The front area of the restaurant was the quieter area.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food and atmosphereSmith5Dined on 11/13/2014You feel pampered and still affordable. Food was great as we remembered from previous visits even though had been three years ago. We came to Zolas for our special dinners when our daughter attended Penn State.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- dine2relaxDined on 11/8/2014Have eaten at Zola's Bistro many times over the years and have never been disappointed. I especially like the fact that they always have a vegetarian entrée selection.Special Features:
- So good I want it to be a secret!theprofessorswifeDined on 11/8/2014This a university town so most places cater to students. This is a real luxury for adults who prefer not to have pizza and subs. The food is spectacular! The staff is professional and friendly. We love going here.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 2kineau2Dined on 11/5/2014We attend a conference at Penn State every Nov. and always make resos to eat at Zola's. We love it.Special Features:
- Finally an option in State CollegefoodiechefDined on 10/31/2014I've been there twice now. I was hoping for goat but it was off the menu. We ordered a Jim Beam and a martini and they were very generous pours! We found a very good bordeaux style wine from CA, reasonably priced. The country pate appetizer was very good. The whole red snapper was absolutely fantastic. The filet was cooked correctly and the accompanying ravioli had a hint of truffle. I would have liked a stronger truffle presence, but I am a truffle fiend. Great wait staff. If anything, the food came a little faster than we expected, but we didn't feel rushed.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Good Meal and Attentive ServicemikeDined on 10/17/2014Took the family to Zola's to celebrate daughter's birthday. Food was very good, but this is not a chep place, so I would probably only go there for such a special occasion. The service was very good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Desert to Die ForOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 10/15/2014This was my second trip to Zola. The food was not as good this time as last mostly because of the saltiness. The Stuffed French Toast dessert is reason enough to keep coming back. Overall a very good experience, I will make sure to request little or no salt when ordering next time, and will make sure to save room for dessert.Special Features:
- Wonderful service/foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/13/2014Zola is truly a 'foodie' spot.. If you have an appreciation for culinary creation then this is the place for you. We had the Scottish Salmon and the Ocean Perch - both very good and cooked to perfection. We started with the mac and cheese which was a truffle based dish - also incredible. House Pinot Grigio was good as well. For the price tag ($90), make it a special occasion visit.. unless of course you want to spend that on a regular basis.Special Features:
- Babs444BarbyDined on 10/10/2014Potion sizes were very small for the price. In a restaurant that is striving to be high end, the waitstaff should know who ordered which meal. They should not arrive at the table with one meal at a time and ask "who got the chicken" We were only a party of 2, but unless we changed seats after ordering, it is inexcusable for any size party.Special Features:
- Excellent dining in State CollegeProudmamaDined on 10/4/2014We had a fabulous meal @ Zola's...the staff were friendly, professional & knowledgeable. While the restaurant is modern & stylish, it isn't snooty. We enjoyed watching the kitchen staff during the food service, the open kitchen provided built in entertainment. The food was outstanding, beautiful presentation & delicious. By far, the best meal we've had in State College!Special Features:
- ChowcowboyChowcowboyDined on 10/4/2014I've been here often. Food was definitely excellent. This can be the best restaurant in State College when it wants to be.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Only place downtown for fine diningRGinTallyVIPDined on 10/1/2014Had lunch a few days ago and dinner tonight. I had the Scottish salmon with mango chutney and it was exquisite. My wife loved her pasta with veggies. Zola's has set the standard for fine dinning for quite a while downtown and still reigns supreme for upscale dinning. Service was great (the only place in town with the moxie and know-how to crumb a table!). We both loved our Chilean Chardonnay wine for $9 a glass--a great bargain. The only place in town for serious foodies. Park in one of the nearby city parking garages--it only cost us $0.50 for about 1 1/5 hours. Ask for a window table for constant entertainment watching students glide by on their way to doing their thing.Special Features:
- not up to previous standardsColFaulknerDined on 9/13/2014First 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.
- A Treat for a Special OccasionLithuanianLionDined on 9/6/2014Zola 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Disappointing New MenuMicKEVIPDined on 9/5/2014Looks 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:
- Declining qualityNYCfoodieDined on 9/5/2014My 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:
- hungry1953Dined on 9/5/2014It 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.
- Go here!!OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 9/4/2014Excellent 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:
- Five Years and Better Than EverOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/23/2014Our 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:
- Unexpected Qualitypartyof5Dined on 8/21/2014Located 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:
- Lame wine listOacostaDined on 8/20/2014What they call Carpaccio was very poor tasteless beef and a sunny side up dried egg on top just something horribleSpecial Features:
- Great food experienceIManTicketsVIPDined on 8/19/2014While 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hit or MissfrequentdinerDined on 8/16/2014Dined 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.
- Favorite State College restaurantTassDined on 8/15/2014I 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:
- Nice DinnerNapaBobDined on 8/9/2014Food was very good, although limited salad selection. Salmon was great. Wine list was just fair and over-priced.Special Features:
- Wonderful meal with friendsDrauntieDined on 8/4/2014Enjoyed 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- AwesomeWineohDined on 8/2/2014Completely 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 419 reviews are from the Zola New World Bistro reviews archive.
- very goodCharlieVIPDined on 7/12/2014I 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:
- Better then its beenFredDined on 7/11/2014Zola 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:
- Consistently fresh, healthy n tastyTigerMomDined on 6/24/2014Zola's is the best restaurant in State College, Pa. If you are a foodie, then this is your place!Special Features:
- Excellent experienceap17Dined on 6/18/2014Went 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very tasty!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 6/16/2014We 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:
- nice local French style placejlb55Dined on 5/30/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 4n6manDined on 5/17/2014ANOTHER GREAT ZOLA'S DINNER.... 5-6 times we have dined there and we have not been disappointed.Special Features:
- Mixed experience this timeLuvgoodfoodDined on 5/12/2014Soups 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeanDined on 5/9/2014Great food and service. Always enjoy going back to Zola's whenever we're in State College.Special Features:
- Good but not outstandingRALBDined on 5/8/2014We 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: