When the food is worth the wait, you will endure the wait.
Throughout the state of Ohio there are several restaurants that feature mouthwatering recipes and signature dishes during limited hours, which can incite long lines, overcrowded dining areas and longer than average cook times. Understandably, those small inconveniences simply aren’t enough to keep the waves of customers away. The following are 11 restaurants in Ohio that can be hard to get into—but they’re absolutely worth the wait.
1. Hot Chicken Takeover (Columbus)
The "juicy, perfectly fried chicken, that's rubbed with a secret cayenne-infused paste" is what keeps the customers coming back for more at Hot Chicken Takeover in the North Market. (This homestyle eatery also offers free sweet tea and house made syrup and ranch with every order.) The line forms fast, but the line also moves fast. Once the fresh, 100% local chicken is gone, it's gone, so be sure to get in line in plenty of time here. Hot Chicken Takeover is open Wednesday - Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 59 Spruce Street in Columbus on the second floor of the North Market.
2. Slyman's Restaurant (Cleveland)
This downtown Cleveland eatery is home to the best corned beef you can find in Ohio.
(Fun fact: This beloved breakfast and sandwich joint appeared on Rachael Ray's "$40 a Day.") An early lunch around 11 a.m. is recommended here to avoid the lunch rush. Slyman's is open Monday - Friday from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is located at 3106 St Clair Ave. NE, Cleveland, OH 44114.
3. Kengo Sushi & Yakitori (Toledo)
For the best sushi of your life and what might be the most authentic omakase experience in Ohio, head over to this small sushi and yakitori spot in downtown Toledo. Be sure to come early or call ahead. (Reservations can be made for omakase only.) Kengo Sushi & Yakitori is open Tuesday - Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is located at 38 S Saint Clair St., Toledo, OH 43604.
4. Ditty's Downtown Deli (Zanesville)
This small breakfast and lunch shop serves up some of the tastiest fresh sandwiches in the area. With limited parking and seating, (but excellent service,) calling ahead can be a good idea to avoid a lunch rush. Ditty's Downtown Deli is open Monday- Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is located at 61 S 4th St., Zanesville, OH 43701.
5. Golden Nugget Pancake House (Dayton)
You can definitely expect a wait on a weekend morning at the Golden Nugget, but their large signature omelets and hearty pancakes make the wait worth it. Golden Nugget is open until 3 p.m., (and 3:30 p.m. on the weekends,) and is located at 2932 S Dixie Dr. Dayton, OH 45409.
6. Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina (Athens)
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this beloved Athens eatery features the area's best Mexican cuisine, made with fresh, local ingredients. On the weekends, business really picks up, so expect a wait. If the wait is too long for you, we suggest grabbing a seat on the bodega side. Casa Nueva is located at 6 W State St., Athens, OH 45701.
7. Eli’s BBQ (Cincinnati)
For the best BBQ, mac and cheese and jalapeño cornbread you'll ever have, brave the possibility of a long line at Eli's BBQ. Fortunately, the long lines do go fast, and going during the week is one simple way to avoid a crowd. Eli's BBQ is located at 3313 Riverside Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45226.
8. Kewpee Hamburgers (Lima)
This signature fast food joint in Lima has three locations that serve up the city's best burgers, french fires and malts. There's usually always a wait at the drive-thru during lunch or dinner time, so we recommend going inside if you're pressed for time.
9. Katana Buffet & Grill (Canton)
At Katana Buffet & Grill, the possibilities are endless. In addition to American cuisine, this restaurant features Chinese cuisine, a Mongolian BBQ station, a sushi bar and a hibachi grill. While lines to get in the door aren't typically long, lines for certain stations, such as the Mongolian BBQ and hibachi grill, usually are. Katana Buffet & Grill is located at 4758 Everhard Rd. NW
Canton, OH 44718.
10. Athens Greek Restaurant (Mansfield)
For the best gyro and Greek salad in the area, head over to Athens Greek Restaurant, where the take-out line is long and the dining room is typically crowded. Enjoy this delicious and authentic Greek cuisine at 41 N Main St. Mansfield, OH 44902.
11. Myles Pizza Pub (Bowling Green)
Although it can get crowded on the weekends and the wait-time for the food can be longer than your average pizza joint—this definitely isn't your average pizza. Gorge yourself with one of their signature pizzas and garlic cheese bread. You won't be disappointed. Myles Pizza Pub is open Monday - Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Thursday - Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. It is located at 516 E Wooster S.t, Bowling Green, OH 43402.
Have you experienced the delicious food at any of these restaurants? What other restaurants are there in Ohio that can be hard to get into, but totally worth it?