The Deli Restaurant & Z-Bar

Liked This Place
3.6 w/ 16 ratings

Type: Bar, Eatery

113 Heister St
State College, Pennsylvania, 16801-4762
United States

(814) 237-5710 | map

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Added by Erix

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by TheSevenDuffs:
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

I only stumbled upon this place by accident because I went out of my way to visit the Hop Shop in the basement. This place must have really brought up its game lately because it is certainly not a C+ place. The tap selection is outstanding, there must have been 40-50 taps. There was one rail of BMC but the rest was craft and the selection was great. Founders (Devil Dancer), Bells, Summit, Stone, Sierra Nevada, a bunch of locals. There seemed to be a Rogue feature going on with about 6 or 7 taps dedicated to Rogue.

On the one day I was in town I preferred the selection to that at zeno's and decided to have dinner and my night of beers here instead.

The food was decent and the atmosphere is not quite like Zeno's (more of a sports bar feel) but that worked for me given that it was a Sunday with MLB playoffs and NFL games that I wanted to watch.

Don't dismiss this place because of the mediocre rating on here. This is the only place that even comes close to Zeno's in State College.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of pep
4.5/5  rDev +25%

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ridgeline23
4.75/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of pcsnyder
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

I've been to The Deli & Z Bar a few times now, and I'm always pleased with their draft selection. They have a very good selection, and they offer beers, both on tap and in bottles, that are hard to find in Central PA. I can always find something I want on their menu, which is a huge plus. Their service can be a little slow, but the waitstaff are all very polite and helpful.

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Photo of JimmytheSaintPSU
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5 | food: 4

One of my absolute favorite places to both eat and drink in State College. The draught list is extensive, with 57 beers always on tap and very frequently one or two casks on the hand pump as well. The bartenders are very knowledgeable and eager to give a recommendation or just talk beer. As far as downtown State College goes, the food is very good. I highly recommend their sandwiches, my favorites include the Deli Meshugna and the Pittsburgh Prima. The only problem here is that the service is incredibly slow, regardless of how busy it is. It can get crowded during the weekend so expect at least a short wait and if it is a football weekend it can be well over an hour.

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Photo of agroupofletters
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

The Z Bar at the Deli is my absolute favorite place to go in state college. They have 57 beers on tap and change them out about every two weeks, meaning there's always something new and exciting to try. They also have one of the best deals in town, every night from 9-11 they have 2 dollars off draft beers, no exceptions. That meant the other night I got a founders imperial stout, rogue double chocolate stout, and rogue smoke ale for under 10 dollars. You'd be hard pressed to get 3 buds for that press, never the less 3 world class beers. On top of that the deli has pretty average food, but their sweet potato fries ( my regular) are dynamite so they up the quality of food for me. Service is usually terrible though, the waitstaff is always understaffed, that being said the bartenders are great, so if you're at a table my advice is to get your first beer from the bar, then order 1 drink in advance from your waiter! all in all, amazing place.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.78/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The Z Bar at the Deli is really where you want to go. They have 57 taps I believe and have a nice stock of bottles as well. When I was there last week they had 3 Dogfish Heads, 3 or 4 Ommegangs, 3 Rogue, Weyerbacher Fireside, a Nugget Nectar firkin along with some other Troegs on tap, bottles of 2009 Mad Elf, Duvel Green, and a lot else. They've had Bitches Brew recently, and Hoptimum on the way.

The servers aren't knowledgeable of the beers, but the guy who runs the place is. Really an up and coming part of the State College craft beer scene.

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Photo of PABeerHiker
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

The Deli is fantastically decorated from the bar room to the hippo room in the back with your typical patio set up during nice weather. During the holidays, The Deli is decorated with your usual decorations.

Once you are seated, things start to go down from there. It takes a while for the server to get your drink order and for it to arrive. By this time, you've had more than enough time to figure out what you'd want, but the server typically goes back to grab their pad to grab your order.

The food has generally bland for me, except for their soup weeks. During those weeks, you can get some amazing soups from Green Chili to French Onion and everything in between. During those specials, get the sampler to pick three or four soups to try. You generally can't go wrong.

Now onto the most important part, the beer. They do have a nice selection of beer to pick from, but they are listed alphabetically, not by style. If you are not sitting next to or at the bar, expect a wait to get your beer or mixed drink.

The Deli is on the pricier side for what you'd get, but it is still and enjoyable place to hang out with friends.

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Photo of OrangeCharlie
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Occasionally I'll have lunch here with coworkers and am almost always reminded why I don't come on my own. Atmosphere is nice, patio seating is available, and very clean.

Beer selection is very thorough and covers a good range of styles. My only complaint here is the cask-conditioned Hop Devil. The first time the beer was completely flat, the second time it had that signature tart, sherry-like flavor of oxidized beer. Seems as if that they are serving out of casks well past when they are tapped. Cask-conditioned beer is wonderful to have, but if you can't finish the cask within the same day of the first pour, either dump the rest or don't bother at all. I've complained to the staff about this both times.

The menu is a bit overwhelming, but has some good options. The food can be good granted that the kitchen doesn't mess up your order (which happens frequently). I'm not talking about forgetting to hold some pickles; they consistently forget crucial ingredients in salads and at one point a friend even got the entirely wrong item! I feel the food is a bit overpriced for what you get as well.

Table service is atrocious! Very slow, inattentive, and inconsiderate.

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Photo of bosco7
3.13/5  rDev -13.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 2.5

Decided I needed a beer with my lunch after a long morning in the lab, I chose to give this place a try. The restaurant is pretty large with what seemed to be a lot of tap handles. We sat in a large room full of windows and plants. Nice to have a natural light.

There were a lot of tap handles, it's a shame most of them were macro imports or domestics. The most exciting beers being Arrogant Bastard, Sierra Nevada Celebration, Dead Guy, and Hop Devil. So not bad I guess, I just wish that the other 20 or so handles had something decent on them. The beer is served in those 14 oz pint glasses with the extra thick bottom to make it seem like you are getting a full pint. Lame.

The menu is absolutely huge, which always makes me a little apprehensive about the quality coming from the kitchen. I made the mistake of getting nachos for lunch. 10 bucks for a small amount of chips topped with fake-cheeze sauce, pace picante sauce, and pickled jalepenos. I figured that 10 dollars warranted real cheese and some fresh ingredients, but i guess not.

Overall I was not impressed with the food or the beer. I will probably give it one more try just to see if their other food items are any good.

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Photo of jsbrendle
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Not a place I get to all that often. Recent visits have some what diminished my previous opinions. It is still a nice place to sit down and eat, comfortably appointed, decent amount of space & I do like the open air options. Food isn't as good as in the past to my mind. Not that it's bad food, just not as good as it was which was not saying much really (being better than average in a town where basic food for cheap college kids is the norm isn't really all that hard to do). Beer selection too seems better in memory than what I've seen recently. Not that it's a bad set of choices, just rather predictable. Others in town clearly are working harder to get good beers in. That really seems to be the problem ... get someone to run the show that still has "fire" and maybe things would return to the way they used to be? Worth a stop if you're on that end of town, better than most other options in that area I guess. More of a family/group joint, less the frat boy hang out.

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Photo of akorsak
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Deli is a State College institution, more for dining than as a beer destination. From my earliest days as a student, I was never a big fan.

Atmosphere. The restaurant is nicely adorned with some stained glass and a wide open set-up. The bar has large doors that can be opened in warmer weather to create an open-air seating area.

Quality: The cleanliness is acceptable but the beer selection and service leave much to be desired.

Service: Even during a slow lunch or dinner, service is practically nonexistent. Ordering second drinks or getting your check requires a formal act of Congress.

Selection: I remember having Camelot's Holy Grail Pale Ale (RIP, Camelot Brewing of Reading, PA) on tap here as a student. Back in the day, the tap selection was great, too many micros to list out. The Deli, in the late 90's, seemed to be on the cutting edge of the craft revolution. Now? They are no longer as cutting edge. The line-up is decent but nothing to get really worked up about. Oh how I yearn for those old days.

Food: The food is the best part of a trip, from sandwichs to apps to Mexican you'll leave full.

Value: I have written off the Deli, it is permanently off the list of State College restaurants to seek out. That's a shame because it used to be a hot ticket.

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Photo of ski271
2.25/5  rDev -37.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 1.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

This is a place I used to enjoy when I first moved to this area several years ago. Good food, good beer selection, good atmosphere. But I doubt I’ll be going back there again anytime soon. The last several visits have been very sub-par, whether it was just stopping in for a quick beer or dining in. This last trip was a last chance of sorts for them. The service was ridiculously slow and…. well…. stupid! I hate to be rude and say that, but this girl was dumb as a rock.

I had a couple beers with the meal, and they tasted alright for a change. I’ve had some beers there in the past year that have not been of very good quality at all. Some stale-tasting, some flat, and some just off. For example, I had a Spaten Optimator there a while back that just didn’t taste like it should. And that’s a beer I know well, one of my favorites I used to enjoy frequently at the late, great Schnitzel’s Tavern in Bellefonte. But the selection is always good. Large selection of macros, micros and imports on tap along with a decent bottle selection.

The food is again another big disappointment. Used to be good portions and good quality. But now it’s the opposite. Small portions of sandwiches that could be outdone by Sheetz (local convenience store chain).

Totally not worth wasting our time with. But because they used to be good, I’ll probably give them another chance sometime in the next year. So hopefully I’ll be able to up their rating then, but for now I’m ripping them a new one.

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Photo of Erix
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4

This place quickly became a favorite of mine during my years in State College. There is a good bar located in a rather decent restaurant, with fantastic specials.
Atmosphere: is pretty nice, with, in the summer, two outdoor sections, a room with a large, high glass wall, and the room with the bar, which is a bit darker, with booths. A good variety overall.
Quality: is one of my complaints here, but usually it is good. I have had a few bad beers here, most notably a sour cask conditioned HopDevil. I must have had the first beer of the night, because it was only my beer that was bad. Which brings me to service.
Service: Usually the service is decent, but never spectacular. The aforementioned experience with the HopDevil, however, when I complained to the bartender, he poured himself another beer, and with the bad beer already out of the line (and in my glass) he proceded to tell me that there was nothing wrong with it. He did give me a free beer, but still..
*edit* The service here is pretty bad, actually. Always incredibly slow, even when there aren't many people there. Not enough to avoid this place, but it keeps me from coming here too often.
Selection: The best part about this place. They have some great German bottles, but as they are not my thing, I usually go for the tap selection. Cask Conditioned Hopdevil, as well as always something from Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher, Troegs, and Brooklyn, plus a decent number of imports and what have ya.
Food: Pretty good, but the portions seem to have gotten smaller over the years. Great fries. Go for the beer, but don't be afraid of the food.
Value: Freaking fantastic. Well, during their happy hour at least. 1/2 price on all beverages from 9-11 or something like that, Mon-Thr. Sweet. Not too cheap other than that, but why would you be here except during happy hour?

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The Deli Restaurant & Z-Bar in State College, PA
Place rating: 50% out of 100 with 16 ratings
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