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
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
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
54 reviews since April 1 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (36)fit for foodies (32)romantic (24)notable wine list (19)neighborhood gem (11)vibrant bar scene (8)good for groups (7)great for lunch (7)great for outdoor dining (5)late-night find (4)hot spot (3)scenic view (2)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
- 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.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined 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:
- Way overpricedMikeDined on 5/8/2014Way 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.
- StatecollegeStateCollegeCajunVIPDined on 5/5/2014The absolute BEST restaurant in State College. Food and service professional and excellent.I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Find in State CollegeStateCollegeCajunVIPDined on 4/29/2014One 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Patron for 6 yrs, first Zola reviewOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 4/25/2014If 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always GoodOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/19/2014We 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:
- Great mealDickDined on 4/12/2014Had an excellent meal with exceptional service. Ambience was great had a window table and we all enjoyed. Highly recommend!Special Features:
- Thursday evening food shortageBusinessDinerDined on 4/10/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 5th Wedding Anniversary DinnerbillDined on 4/8/2014The 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:
- Sad to say.....MicKEVIPDined on 4/4/2014I 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:
- Has gone downhillbobfVIPDined on 4/4/2014This 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.
- Stay away from the codIvanSchmetterlingDined on 4/2/2014Everything 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!!
- The following 397 reviews are from the Zola New World Bistro reviews archive.
- Great dinner!LHarrisDined on 3/28/2014Staff 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Greatly DisappointingOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 3/27/2014We 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 was AWESOME!JessDined on 3/25/2014We 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Destination RestaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2002VIPDined on 3/19/2014We 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:
- Fantastic mealHappyDined on 3/15/2014We really enjoyed ourselves and the meal was excellent. The portions are modest but the quality is worth it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Highly recommend the mac-n-cheeseOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 3/7/2014Highly recommend the mac-n-cheese appetizer, dinner salad and the salmon. I made a wrong choice with ordering the potato-crusted cod entrée. Another person in my party ordered the risotto-mushroom entrée, it was good but appeared more as a side than an entrée. The wait staff was friendly and attentive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unfortunate evening!BobPDined on 2/27/2014Our meal was ruined by the obnoxious loud table of 18 or so people sitting along the wall. They were so loud it was impossible to hold a conversation anywhere in the dining room or to even hear our servers speak to us. Our dinners were of excellent quality and service was excellent but the evening will remain memorable for the wrong reasons. No we will not return quickly. My response above addressing noise level is inaccurate since no option was appropriate!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- very good food but......OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 2/22/2014Best restaurant in State College but also most expensiveI would recommend this to a friend.
- A MustJoeBVIPDined on 2/21/2014Zola's is an absolute must visit anytime we are in the State College area. The food & service never disappoint !Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sad to reportSteveDined on 2/17/2014I really, really, want to like this place and give a good report. State College needs good, interesting, higher-end options. Unfortunately this was the third time I was underwhelmed by the food and the value proposition for what I paid. The server and the staff were excellent, it is just unfortunate that the total package was very expensive for something pretty mediocre.
- Valentines DayDonaldDined on 2/15/2014We had an excellent meal and fantastic service at a very fair price. I would highly recommend having dinner at this very fine restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best in town!NattyDined on 2/15/2014We walked in on a freezing cold night and Cafe Zola felt warm and welcoming right away! We were seated immediately and the service continued to be wonderful. My husband and I both ordered the whole red snapper which was outstanding! I have ordered this before and usually there is not much fish but there was plenty to eat this time and every bite was yummy. We thought the dessert selection was not special and we were full from the fish so none for us.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 2/14/2014The place was very noisy, loud and the lights were bright. This is not the atmosphere you are expecting on Valentine's day.
- Cold nightLindaDined on 2/8/2014Even with the space heaters provided, most of the guests were eating with their coats on. Way too cold to sit and leisurely enjoy your dinner. Thought this was supposed to be a fine dining establishment. Turn up the heat!
- Fancy.. maybe too stuffyFoodieOnAMissionDined on 2/4/2014I was a little disappointed with Zola. The appetizer was delicious (Truffle mac and cheese) but my main course was bland and over-done (Clam linguine). The atmosphere, while formal and very beautiful, was almost too stuffy. I was tending to feel uncomfortable- which is never a good way to enjoy a meal. The staff seemed strained and fake. There are a few great restaurants in State College and I'm glad to have Zola as an option. I wouldn't make a regular trip, or even go on many special occasions, however, because of the not-very-welcoming atmosphere.Special Features:
- State College Gemricmc2175Dined on 2/1/2014Always a consistently great time, great food and great service, Zola Bistro is without peer in State College. Located centrally to the campus with adequate on street parking as well as reserved covered garage space, getting there is not a difficulty. Once inside, even a foodie will be please with the menu and the course selections. Friendly and attentive wait staff are a given. Dessert and wine to complement the meal are also nonpareil. I highly recommend Zola as the sole choice for a great evening repast in State College.Special Features:
- Favorite placeOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 1/17/2014Zola is our favorite restaraunt in State College and really one of our faves anywhere. The food is always beyond good and just a little different. The staff if friendly and professional. Really nice wine list and good cocktails. Our recent Friday night dinner included a nice jazz group in the bar. Sooooo pleasant!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great evening!JeffDined on 1/13/2014We eat at Zola's every month or so. This was a particularly quiet Monday which was nice. Great dinner, ambiance and service. One of the few truly nice spots in State College.Special Features:
- Fits a niche in State CollegeRayceeVIPDined on 1/11/2014Nice eclectic international menu, but plenty of stand-by items on menu as well. While not remarkable dining experience, it seems to be a step up from other restaurants in town. Seasonal menu has some unusual entrees and they have a very nice wine selection. If you are looking for something in State College, other than a rib eye or pub food, this is a good choice.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.