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[State College, PA]-The American Alehouse

The American Alehouse is located outside of State College, Pennsylvania in village of Toftrees.

The Food

The Ale House offers a menu that is both broad and diverse.  There are a variety of salads, sandwiches, soups, burgers, appetizers, house steaks, and Ale House specialties.  To be up front, I lived in State College for two years as I finished my master’s degree there.  I found the Ale House to be the best restaurant, or at least my favorite one in State College.  I was a regular.  I make it a point every time I visit State College to have at least one outing to the Ale House.  My favorite Ale House item is their Cowboy Steak Sandwich served medium rare, gorgonzola, red peppers, spinach, caramelized onion, ailoi on sourdough.  It is perfection!  It is served with fries now, but used to be served with potato salad, which is a shame because the potato salad was one of the best one could get at a restaurant.  The dill was spot on.  If I am willing to step away from the Cowboy Steak, I recommend the traditional Colorado Prime Rib sandwich or the original Kobe Corned Beef with corned beef, colby jack, onion, shishito peppers, arugula, horseradish cream which presents a nice balance of sweet and savory.  Other recommendations are the grilled sirloin salad, Thai chicken salad, or the seared scallop salad.  All three are a delicious lunch time option.  Another unique feature of the Ale House is their Steam Bar which features all sorts of seafood options from steamed clams to gumbo to jumbalaya to a San Francisco based Italian seafood stew.  All are well prepared and delectable.  Both the wine and beer menus are extensive.  In the 20+ times I have been a patron at the American Alehouse, I have never once had food that was anything but delicious!

The Service

At each visit to the Ale House, the service has been as predictably proportional to how crowded the venue is at the time.  Do not go to the Ale House the weekend of a home Penn State football game.  The service is not bad, but it is crowded, and it can be overwhelming for the servers and patrons alike.  There is a subtle pressure for dinner goers to finish quickly so that the next party can be seated detracts from what is normally and typically a terrific dining experience.  The greeters, bartenders, servers, runners are always friendly and efficient.  At one visit at a slower time of day, it was a friend of mine’s birthday.  We bantered with the waitress, and without being prompted or asked, she brought a brownie with a candle in it, and told us it was on her.  It was an endearing moment.

The Ambiance

The American Ale House is set in a quiet, wooded area outside of State College.  It’s seclusion is part of its charm.  There are indoor and outdoor seating options.  When patrons enter the restaurant, to guests’ right is the bar area that features both the wet bar and the seafood bar.  The space is open with high ceilings and windows behind the bar along the entire front of the restaurant.  The space is bright and welcoming.  The artwork is tasteful and the acoustics make it easy to hear fellow seatmates.  One of the back dining rooms has tables circled around a grand piano providing a warm, intimate setting.  Often times there is live music ranging from a solo piano player to jazz groups to guitar/singer duos.


The American Ale House with its broad spectrum of dining spaces and its expansive menu, offers patrons the opportunity to enjoy an unique dining experience at each visit.  Not many places can do that, let alone with the expertise achieved by the Ale House.  I have eaten at restaurants across the United States and in Europe.  The American Ale House stands out as one of my favorites!  I clearly give this restaurant an overall rating and recommendation of:

“Absolutely Must Visit!”


821 Cricklewood Drive
State College, PA 16803
Visit American Alehouse!

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