Help in Akron
I'll be in Akron w/ friends for a few days in June and would like to find some good food. The posts I have found are almost a year old so I'd like some new thoughts. Nothing in the expensive catagory but any other ideas (ethnic, deli, small spots and "interesting") are welcome.
Thanks for your help.
You must go to CRAVE. The food/ atmosphere are amazing!!! It's on the pricier side, but go for lunch... it's still very do-able for dinner though. Awesome. You could also go to Menche Brothers at the Akron Aero's ballpark (right down town). Not on the food side, but very worth the trip is Don Drumm art gallery & studio (Kruse St, off of Exchange, near the under construction football stadium). Completely worth the effort.
We relocated to Akron about 10 years ago from Boston, MA. It was quite (and still is) an adjustment as far as the local culinary scene. We just returned from a trip to San Francisco where we ate our way through SF & wine country -and it's going to be hard not to be snobish about food in Akron.
As for Akron & ethnic, we like Saffron Patch which is an Indian restaurant in the valley near Weathervane Playhouse. They have a wonderful lunch buffet.
The Winery at Wolf Creek in Norton on S. Cleve-Mass Rd is a nice little quaint place to enjoy an outdoor picnic & wine considering you will be in Akron in June if you happen to have a nice day for that. (Check out their website, www.wineryatwolfcreek.com
Aladdin's in Highland Square has wonderful middle eastern food - we have never been disappointed with their food.
Vine Valley Restaurant in the valley has homemade Lebanese food - very good. Their Sunday lunch buffet is very nice - a little on the expensive side but the food is very good.
Another small spot we like that is not exactly in the ethnic category is The Bistro at Hammonds Corners next to Ken Stewart's two places on N. Cleve-Mass Rd. The Bistro at Hammonds Corners has very good bistro style food & it won't break your budget. We like to go there for lunch. www.italianrestaurantcleveland.com/
I don't know if Medina is too far for you but we enjoy House of Hunan on the Square in Medina - the location is interesting & the food is very good. When you walk in you suddenly forget you are in the middle of nowhere in Ohio! http://www.houseofhunan.net/
We recently tried Steak on a Stone which is on Montrose West Avenue in Restaurant Hill - it wasn't bad & kind of fun. The "steak" is brought to the table very rarely cooked on a 700 degree stone. You cut your meat & cook it on your own stone to your liking of doneness. Across the street from Steak on a Stone is Wasabi - a Japanese hibachi grill. My kids like to go there for dinner - it is fun to watch the chefs prepare the food in front of you.
Hope this has been helpful.
Gotta go to West Point Market, its a great gourmet market with a wonderful cafe inside. You can have afternoon tea as well, they make my favorite cut out sugar cookies there.
I'm sad that it's about 2 hours from where I live.....folks in Akron are SUPER lucky to have this place!!
OH!! How could I have forgotten the Lockview? Excellent cheap eats with a side of kitsch (you can get Tater Tots instead of fries, and Pop Tarts with gourmet raspberry drizzle as a dessert).
The specialty is grilled cheese, a dozen very different combinations. My favorite is the sharp Cheddar with bacon and apples. They also have an extensive beer selection and a creative wine-by-the-glass list that encourages you to step outside the cab/chardonnay box.
It's on South Main downtown, across the street from Lock 3 Park and the Civic Theatre, and only a block away from the baseball stadium. And the patio will be opening soon, which should be very nice in June.
You can eat for a week just on interesting burger joints in Akron. We're one of several cities to claim ownership of the burger, thanks to Menches Brothers (still in existence, two locations including one in the Double-A baseball stadium downtown).
Other burger spots:
Louie's on Tallmadge Avenue, which consistently wins "best burger" polls.
Swensons (several locations) and Sky-Way (West Market in Fairlawn), rival drive-ins, each with its own fan base.
Fairly new on the scene is Metro Burger, on West Market in the funky Highland Square neighborhood. You pick up a clipboard at the entrance and design your own burger, choosing type of meat, toppings, bun, cheese, condiments.
Beyond burgers, for really interesting food try Crave, downtown across the street from the Akron Art Museum.
For very old-fashioned red-sauce Italian, Luigi's just north of downtown has been in business for more than 50 years and there's still a line out the door on many nights. If you get the "Funky Winkerbean" comic strip, this is the place Montoni's is based on. It is not at all hip and trendy.. just Ital-American comfort food.
VegiTerranean, next door to Luigi's, is very good but probably lands in the "expensive category."
If you like small plates, Downtown 140 in Hudson is terrific, creative food but can also get expensive.
Two good choices on Cleveland-Massillon Road in Ghent/Bath Township area:
Gasoline Alley has excellent home cooking/deli food.
Down the street, if you want some authentic Italian antipasto, Ken Stewart just opened a new place called Tre Belle that has a jaw-dropping antipasto bar. Best calamari I've ever had, perfect texture. Lots of different grilled veggies, roasted olives (sounds odd but tastes great), and excellent pizza. It can get pricey, but my husband and I usually split an antipasto and a pizza and get out of there not feeling TOO poor.