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Places to stop between Cleveland and Columbus?

I'll be driving from Cleveland to Columbus (and the reverse a few days later). Any chowhound worthy places to stop along the way?

I travelled this route countless times as a child, but with my father driving, so we were lucky if we stopped for a five minute stretch.

Now that I can do anything I want (woo hoo!) I am hoping to break up the trip as often as possible, without going too far out of the way.

I have a weakness for sweets, so if there is an outstanding bakery or chocolate shop in any of the towns along the way - or even ice cream, please let me know. I'll consider other reasons to stop, but I'm not looking for a sit down meal.

I'll be driving both directions in the afternoon.

Thanks so much for any suggestions. Sad to say, but I know very little about this area even though I grew up there.

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  1. It is only 2ish hours - why not just find great places in either city?

    In Columbus - Pattycake, Pistacchia Vera, Jeni's, Denise's, Omega, and Piece of Cake all warrant a look.

    1 Reply
    1. re: uhockey

      Thanks, but I'm looking to break up the trip. It will be a three hour drive since I am not departing directly from Cleveland. Believe me, I have made this trip dozens of times and it is three hours. I don't usually drive at all, so this is going to be a bit of a challenge.

    2. Try Der Dutchman... Amish cooking, lots of good food, very authentic Central Ohio cuisine!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mshulman

        "not looking for a sit down meal"

        And I don't even know what to make of "authentic Central Ohio Cuisine." I didn't think we had a "regional cuisine" specific to central Ohio.....and since we have no significant central ohio Amish population I wouldn't say Amish food would be it.

      2. We can't go to Cleveland (from Cincinnati) without a stop at Grandpa's Cheese Barn in Ashland, off of I-71 (you'll see the signs on the highway, and it's just off the exit). It's not high cuisine, it's not Belgian-quality chocolate, but it's fun and cheap and pretty darned good. They have great sandwiches, ice cream, and the pies are incredible. Upstairs they have cheese, cheese, and more cheese! Plus salsas, dips, sauces, meats, jams and jellies, local honey; you name it, they probably have it.

        If you don't go in expecting high-falutin' eats, you'll be really happy.

        1. How far (miles or time) are you willing to deviate from I-71?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kelli2006

            Ideally not more than half an hour, including getting there, time there, and getting back on, but I would consider anything at this point.

          2. Between the sweets, stop at the G & R Tavern in Waldo. The best bologna sandwich you will every have is inside this modest little place.

             
            5 Replies
            1. re: pixnflix

              I make this trip next week and would appreciate any additional suggestion.

              1. re: Bay Gelldawg

                Wooster has the Bistro on S. Market street and Hartzlers organic ice cream, but that would be 30 minutes from Mansfield exit of Rt-30. Tulipan bakery is across the street from the Bistro and it is an outstanding Hungarian owned bakery, but if you're on a diet, skip it. Everything is made by hand and they don't use margarine or shortcuts.
                The Essen Haus in Shreve has good Amish style home cooking, but it would be an additional 10 minutes from Wooster.

                http://www.southmarketbistro.com/
                http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

                http://www.hartzlerfamilydairy.com/in...

                http://www.shreveohio.com/essenhaus/

                1. re: Kelli2006

                  All good suggestions. I really like Hartlers yummy ice cream. I'm guessing this is even a bit out to the way for you.

                  You weren't looking for a restaurant but just in case this one is very good in Medina and right along the way. They are only open in the evenings though.

                  http://www.thymetherestaurant.com/

                  I'm not that familiar with Medina but it seems like there should be something in that town that is quick and easy. I have heard people mention this tea room but I have never been. It may be more what you are looking for. If you go be sure to report back and let us know.

                  http://www.missmollys.net/menu/

                  1. re: heidikay

                    Hartzlers is less than 10 miles from me, but I don't go there as often as you might expect because of the calories involved.

                    I don't know of any outstanding restaurants in Medina but there was a great brunch place on Rt3 just south of town. Flemings steakhouse is good, and the House of Hunan offers well prepared Chinese food for the unadventurous.

                    1. re: Kelli2006

                      Have you ever eaten at Thyme the Restaurant? I think it is pretty good.

            2. FYI there is a third lane on 71 almost all the way now and you may find the trip goes more quickly. The other cars certainly will go more quickly than in the past!

              1. This is probably a little late - but your post mentioned you were looking for ice cream - there is a Strickland's right off the I-71 & Rt 18, eastbound, in Medina. Strickland's is local to the Akron area.

                www.stricklands.info