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
56 reviews since May 21, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelModerate
special occasion (36)fit for foodies (29)romantic (26)neighborhood gem (15)notable wine list (13)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 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:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/6/2014We were visiting from Ontario and had a great experience at Zola. Excellent friendly service. The food and menu were more than expected and the atmosphere and location (right across the street from the University Club) was perfect. Enjoyed our evening immensely! Well worth a visit.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.
- 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:
- The following 413 reviews are from the Zola New World Bistro reviews archive.
- 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!!
- Great dinner!LHarrisVIPDined 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.