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what are your favorite restaurants in ohio?

i travel around for work and have discovered some places i never would have found otherwise. what are your favorite ohio ch spots?

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  1. boca and the korea house. both in cincinnati.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cresyd

      I found the food at The Winds to be lacking in flavor and have not returned.

    2. G. Michael's and Kihachi in Columbus

      Parker's in Cleveland

      Wind's Cafe in Dayton (Yellow Springs to be precise)

      Never had an outstanding meal in Cincy--although I'm sure that some places must rise above.

      1. sadly Parkers in Cleveland closed when the owner retired. While I think we have a lot of great places in Cleveland, I think Anatolia Cafe (turkish) is really special. Everything is delicious. I have never met anyone who disagrees.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lyn

          The restaurant that moved into Parkers' space, Light Bistro, is outstanding. In the same neighborhood, and even better, is the Flying Fig. Another block away is the amazing Phnom Penh (if you've never had Cambodian food, you must try it, but if you order it spicy, be prepared!). I agree with Lyn that Anatolia is wonderful. And of course Lola is our local super-star.

        2. The Bangkok, on Refugee Rd, southeast of downtown Columbus. The best Thai food I've found in Ohio, and it gets bonus points for being next door to a Thai grocery. The North Market in Columbus for lunch (the deli for corned beef, the soup at the fish place, Jenni's ice cream, etc.), the Pine Club on Brown St in Dayton for an old time steakhouse experience, the Winds in Yellow Springs for most anything; what ever Chris Cavender is cooking at Cuvee Wine Bar; desserts at Dorothy Lane Market grocery stores in the greater Dayton area. These are a few of my favorite things!

          1. Matzos has good Greek food, and South Market Street Bistro is very good in the Wooster area.

            Amish food varies widely, but I would recommend that you stay away from the Amish Door chain. I like Hopocan Gardens of all the Barberton chicken chains.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Kelli2006

              Man, I miss Matzsos from when I was up in Wooster for college. :D Spiro is awesome.

              I love the North Market and the Thurman Cafe. Northstar Cafe can be amazing.

              But I think if you put a gun to my head, I'd tell you that Starliner Diner is my absolute favorite Ohio place.

            2. Lola, in Cleveland.

              The Worthington Inn, in Worthington/Columbus.

              The Cabin, in Ashland/Mansfield.

              Chez Francois, in Vermilion.

              All are just amazing, with the most delicious, wonderful food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: nsxtasy

                The Cabin? The one on 603 outside Mifflin. What makes it amazing? I have not been there for quite awhile. Has something changed? Please educate me.

                1. re: heidikay

                  Yes, that's the one. What makes it amazing is the food, contemporary American cuisine (I think the chef's name is Tim Hull, IIRC). It's comparable to what you find in the best casual fine dining restaurants in big cities. I've posted details on some of my wonderful meals there in the topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/361607

              2. M at Miranova in Columbus
                Rosendales in Columbus
                BoMA in Columbus
                Worthington Inn in Worthington
                Ciao in Sylvania
                The Budapest in Toledo
                Crop in Cleveland
                Fatfish Blue in Cleveland

                1. jean robert at pigalle cinci

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rtv

                    I second Jean Robert at Pigall's. Simply the most outstanding meal I've ever had.

                  2. Mint Cafe on Coventry in Cleveland -- very good Thai food. I understand that location has had a lot of restaurant turnover; I hope Mint Cafe holds on there, because it's one of the better places I ate while I lived in Cleveland. Tends to be crowded on weekends so make reservations or be prepared to wait awhile (you can stroll Coventry and they'll call you when your table is ready, if you like).

                    1 Reply
                    1. i dk if you have been yet, but ohio's most well known restaurant is TONY PACKO'S hungarian, try to go to the original location on front street in toledo. it's always a crowd-pleaser.

                      i eat all over the state, & honestly and it would be very very hard to pick just one, but ok if i had to pick just one absolute all-around favorite i would pick the KEWPEE in downtown lima.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: mrnyc

                        I wish Kewpee offered larger drink sizes. Kewpee does offer the best burger you can get via a drive-through window, and a solid contender for best in Ohio, period. Makes up for the drinks and then some.
                        I'm quite fond of Linardo's on Main in Springfield.

                        1. re: Fibber McGee

                          it would be quite a mistake to drive thru the original KEWPEE. definately a classic diner you want to stop and eat inside of. the malted shakes and everything are great. LINARDOS is a good call too.

                          i have to add another consistent all-time favorite. the JOLLY ROGER in port clinton. another old classic for lake erie fish as god intended. a must stop in north-central ohio's lake erie island's vacationland!

                          1. re: mrnyc

                            You know, I hear that, but it's usually just driving past Lima on I-75 on the way to michigan from Dayton, so I have settled for the one off exit 126 to save time. (I think it's 126). I'll make it a point to take the time to head downtown, if it's really better (indications are it is.)

                        2. re: mrnyc

                          We definitely want to stop in at Kewpee Burger. It seems like a great old place and the history behind it in regard to Dave Thomas is pretty cool too.

                          Another thing on our list of places to check out is "The Spot" in Sidney. Sounds like a great place with awesome pies.

                          We've stopped at Tony Packo's a few times and always loved it. In fact, we stopped on our way home from Christmas and I blogged about it if you're interested.

                          We also quite often stop at Skyline. The one in Dayton just south of I - 70 is a good stop for us and it's not like we can get Cinci chili in Canada. Not without me making it anyway.
                          If you skip back on my blog you'll see an entry about Cinci chili too.


                          1. re: Davwud

                            The Spot can get extremely busy, the carryout lines sometimes extend out the door. They do have carhop service as well. A similar experience can be had at K's in Troy just East of the downtowwn traffic circle.

                            1. re: Fibber McGee

                              Anything interesting in Findlay or Bowling Green??


                              1. re: Davwud

                                Nothing really atypical that I've had. The coney place in the Findlay Mall, Charlie's Coney Island, has a good menu with some nice Greek touches.

                        3. MVR - Near the YSU Campus - Bar Rrestaurant - Good fish on Fridays -Youngstown - This is jim Tressels old hangout when he was the skipper at YSU before he moved south to OSU.
                          Boulevard Tavern - Bar Restaurant- Good fish on Fridays -Youngstown
                          The Hot Dog Shop - Warren - A blast from the past
                          Corky & Lenny's - Shaker Heights / Beechwood area (great Kosher food)
                          Tony Packo's - Toledo - A tradition - Hot dogs and Hungarian food.
                          Myra's Dionysis - Near the UC Campus - Cincinnati - Middle Eastern, etc. This place has very good for at unbelievable prices. Great soups.
                          Habanero - Near the UC Campus - voted the best burrito in Cincinnati
                          Anbar (Indian) - Near the UC Campus - Possibly the best Indian restaurant in a town with a lot of Indian Restaurants (in Cincinnati)
                          Tuckers (Breakfast) - Over the Rhine area of Cincinnati - The neighbor hood might look a little tough, but you shouldn't have any problems, especially at breakfast.
                          The Works - Loveland, OH - very good pizza for a midwestern toen, if you happen to like "brick oven pizza" like the pizza from the East Coast. If you are a Chicago style, thick crust kind of person, this is not the place for you.
                          Pompilios (Italian) Newprt, KY - I apologize, you said Ohio, but this place is just across the river from Cincinnati.
                          These are just a few. Hope they help.

                          1. In Columbus...
                            1) Lindey's (German Village)
                            2) Cafe Istanbul (Easton)
                            3) Joey Chang's (Mill Run)
                            4) Banana Bean Cafe (German Village)
                            5) RJ Snapper's (Short North)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: fensterz

                              Thanks for the mention of Café Istanbul. I will be in C-bus this week on business, and I am always looking for something new.

                              1. re: Kelli2006

                                No prob. I've heard Cafe Shish Kabob (Bethel Rd) is also owned by the same owner.

                            2. The Dayton region has some fantastic dining:

                              Rue Dumaine- Chef Anne Kearney is a James Beard Winner and her flavors are spot on
                              Meadowlark - unique menu with everything homemade
                              El Meson - South American cuisine, salsa dancing and lots of tapas
                              Thai 9 - great sushi, wonderful outdoor patio's
                              Savona- upscale italian,
                              Jay's Seafood- classic menu's, amazing wines

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: grigs

                                I ate at El Meson after reading your favorites. My husband and I both enjoyed it. We got to eat outside, we both had various tapas. Both of our favorite was the grilled calamari. We tried Meadowlark first but they are closed on Mondays, so maybe next time. Thank you for sharing your favorites.

                              2. Bishop's Fine Food

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Lemoyne

                                  I agree with the onion rings and they have great lemon meringue pie. If you go to Bishops you will want to get there before 7pm during the week and on Saturday. They were previously open on Sundays, but it doesn't seem that they are now.

                                  Dalton Dari-ette on Rt-30- SR94 has great hand cut fries and the killer shakes/malts.

                                2. I love Revolver in Findlay, Ohio. Just ate there again this weekend. Such a treat. Recommend the rabbit highly. Great menu that is always changing.

                                  1. the precinct and montgomery inn ribs (cincinnati, ohio)

                                    1. Porky's drive-in in Mansfield is just really worth going out of your way for if you like a greasy spoon/diner type of place. Very tasty and unique burgers, fresh cut fries and they still make their own rootbeer. I grew up on it. I also recommend Leaning Tower of Pizza (great pizza but their basic sub is also a huge hit) in Mansfield and Luigi's pizza in Akron (note - both spots are cash only). I think between those 2 you have some of the best pie in the state.

                                      1. In Cincinnati, north east area, Germano's for Italian, Trio or Embers for steak/American.

                                        1. since we were just talking about steakhouses....

                                          if you like the quirky ambiance of old school classically correct steakhouses try THE PINE CLUB in dayton and the original FERRIS STEAK HOUSE on the westside of cleveland.

                                          both THE TOP and THE CLAREMONT in columbus also get honorable mentions.

                                          of course don't expect the very best steaks at these kind of places necessarily, but they are perennial favorites of their type.

                                          1. M at Miranova, Rigsby's, Worthington Inn, Kihachi, Rosendales, Dragonfly.....Columbus has some good eats.

                                            1. The Blue Iris Cafe in Warren, Ohio. Small plates, fresh, changing menu. BYOB. Cheap! Even the desserts are homemade. The Key Lime Pie is excellent. http://www.blueiriscafe.com/

                                              1. Best in Ohio - current list:
                                                #1) The Refectory, Columbus
                                                #2) Crop Bistro, Cleveland
                                                #3) Kihachi, Columbus
                                                #4) Rigsby's, Columbus
                                                #5) Ciao, Toledo
                                                #6) Dragonfly Neo V, Columbus
                                                #7) The Worthington Inn, Columbus

                                                1. Cheaper "Alternative" restaurants that may not be "fine dining" but are local treasures to their area include Tony Packos in Toledo, The Budapest in Toledo, The Meeting Place on Market in Lima, Grandma Freida's in the West Market in Cleveland, Pistachia Vera in Columbus, Jeni's in Columbus, Omega Bakery in the North Market in Columbus, Thurman Cafe Columbus, Don's Donuts in Toledo, Uncle John's Pancake House in Toledo.

                                                  1. I really love Lazeza in Lima, OH. Still the best Lebanese restaurant I've been to yet.....


                                                    1. One place I will advise you to stay away from is Tony's in Findlay.

                                                      We were told they had award winning ribs and the food is great. Well, the food was so, so in a TGIMcFunster's kinda way and the ribs were bordering on terrible. They were obviously boiled first and to the point of being spongy and flavourless.


                                                      6 Replies
                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                        I don't know what it is about Findlay and ribs, but I thought the ribs at Red Pig Inn there were as dreadful as your description of Tony's.

                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                          I'll keep that in mind if we go there. We like the Drury Inn there and it's often a stop over.


                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                            Revolver is probably the most interesting and unique restaurant in Findlay, serving contemporary American cuisine. I thought it was good not great the one time I ate there; I'd go back if I were staying in Findlay. www.revolverrestaurant.net

                                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                                              We tend to opt for things we can't find anywhere else when we travel. There's tons of places like this around here. Most of which are probably better based on what you say.


                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                You ought to try the ostrich filet at Coldwater Cafe in Tipp City.

                                                                Coldwater Cafe & Catering
                                                                19 E Main Street, Tipp City, OH 45371

                                                              2. re: nsxtasy

                                                                I returned to Revolver this past week, and I liked it even more than my previous visit. I posted a detailed report in the Revolver topic at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/428464

                                                        2. 1. Chez Francois in Vermilion
                                                          2. Moxie/ Red in Beechwood
                                                          3. G Michaels in German Village
                                                          4. 3 Birds in Lakewood, OH
                                                          5. Refectory in Columbus