12 Bucket List Worthy Restaurants To Try In Ohio, One For Each Month Of The Year
While The Buckeye State may not be the first place that comes to mind in terms of culinary prowess, the fact is, the best restaurants in Ohio are also some of the top-rated spots in the country. From long-standing institutions to hidden gems, fine dining establishments, to next-level eateries, Ohio’s dining scene will surprise you in all the best ways. We’ve put together the following list of 12 bucket-list-worthy restaurants to try in Ohio, so you can eat your way through the Buckeye State and discover a world of incredible cuisine this year!
January: Forage Public House
Forage Public House, 14600 Detroit Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
Let's kick off our year of culinary adventures in Ohio with a bang. Located in lovely Lakewood, Forage Public House is, at its core, fueled by Ohio agriculture. Their menu is colorful and creative; their drinks are inspired; and, all in all, they've quietly become a fan-favorite dining destination. Sustainable farming is all about producing quality crops without damaging the environment, and this practice is behind many ingredients used at
. And their grilled Amish chicken? Swoon!
February: Guarino's Ristorante
Guarino's Restaurant, 12309 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA
Enjoy a romantic dinner with your special someone this month at Guarino’s. This
in Cleveland's Little Italy was established in 1918, making it the oldest Italian restaurant in the city. One of the best restaurants in Ohio, this Cleveland classic has been run by the same family since the beginning, and its history is as noteworthy as its fare. Established just two years prior to Prohibition, the little neighborhood eatery began life as a speakeasy, and was a favorite spot for the Cleveland elite -- and celebrities, with Frank Sinatra among the restaurant's regulars! In terms of cuisine, the recipes are from the Old Country, and feature bright herbs and bold flavors.
is revered for its lasagna, a family recipe straight from Mama Guarino herself! This restaurant really has stood the test of time, and is a must-visit in Ohio.
March: The Spot
201 S Ohio Ave, Sidney, OH 45365, USA
March has us itching for a little road trip adventure, so we're headed up to the small town of Sidney to one of the coolest little diners around. Both literally and figuratively, this is
to go to for a tasty, classic cheeseburger in Ohio! What started out as a chuck wagon more than 100 years ago is now a stationary old-fashioned eatery that will make you feel like you've temporarily stepped foot into a "Happy Days" episode... and we're here for it!
April: Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen
Mrs Yoders Kitchen, 8101 OH-241, Mt Hope, OH 44660, USA
The Buckeye State has the largest Amish population in the country, and there's an abundance of Amish restaurants in Ohio. But there's really nothing that compares to
Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen
in Mount Hope. Not only does Mrs. Yoder's have the very best pies in the state, this Amish restaurant also has an epic buffet with hearty, stick-to-your-ribs classics such as fried chicken, roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, homemade noodles, and green beans. (Just be sure to save room for dessert!)
Mazunte Taqueria, 5207 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45227, USA
It's Cinco de Mayo, and we're in the mood for a little
! The most delicious Mexican food in Ohio can be found at
. What sets this Mexican restaurant apart from the pack is its commitment to authentic ingredients and flavors. Mazunte's owner actually lived and staged in Mexico for a year, learning classic cooking techniques and old family recipes, which then made their way back to Cincinnati. Mazunte's tacos and empanadas are cult favorites, as is the grilled street corn. Mazunte isn't simply the best Mexican restaurant in the state -- it's also one of the very best restaurants in
June: Eli's BBQ
Eli's BBQ - Riverside, 3313 Riverside Dr, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
Ohio's barbecue game is strong, and there's one restaurant that's earned national acclaim for its fall-off-the-bone, sticky-sweet meat.
Eli's BBQ in Cincinnati
pretty much *always* has a line, but it's absolutely worth the wait as it's one of the best places to eat in Cincinnati. The pulled pork and rib tips here are legendary, as is Eli's signature BBQ sauce. While you're there, do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle to take home!
July: Fifty West
Fifty West Brewing Company- Cincinnati, 7605 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45227, USA
Looking for an epic summer twofer? Fifty West Brewery and Fifty West Canoe & Kayak are both located right across the street from each other and with one stop here you can get out on the river and then rest up at the
. This excursion may just be the best way to spend a summer day in Cincinnati! The brews here are insane, and the food will fill you up after a day spent paddling down the Little Miami!
August: The School House Restaurant
Schoolhouse Restaurant, 8031 Glendale Milford Rd, Camp Dennison, OH 45111, USA
August has us feeling nostalgic, and there's no better place to commemorate the start of another school year than The School House Restaurant. Housed in a refurbished schoolhouse that was built in the early 1860s during the Civil War, visiting this
is like taking a step back in time. This long-standing restaurant is a perennial favorite, and once you've come and tasted the crispy fried chicken, honey-sweet cornbread, and melt-in-your-mouth mashed potatoes, you'll agree that this is the best "cafeteria" food around!
September: Wolf's Ridge Brewing
Wolf's Ridge Brewing, 215 N 4th St, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
Tis the season of Oktoberfests, and we can't think of a better place to celebrate than Wolf's Ridge Brewery in Columbus. This Buckeye State brewery opened in 2013, and it's been gaining a lot of attention ever since. Known for its forward-thinking menu and incredible brews, Wolf's Ridge Brewing has been
named *the* best restaurant in the city
, and to that, we say "Prost!"
October: The Golden Lamb
The Golden Lamb Restaurant & Hotel, 27 S Broadway St, Lebanon, OH 45036, USA
The Golden Lamb is located in charming downtown Lebanon, 40 minutes north of Cincinnati. The iconic restaurant and inn is the oldest continuously operating business in Ohio, having opened in 1803. It's also one of the most
notoriously haunted establishments in Ohio
, making it a perfect place to dine during the spookiest month of the year!
November: Pier W
Pier W, 12700 Lake Ave, Lakewood, OH 44107, USA
All across the state of Ohio, there are several unique restaurants that are perfect for a night out with your partner or celebrating that special occasion, but there’s one restaurant in Ohio that’s simply unparalleled when it comes to the atmosphere and cuisine. From below, the view of
can look a little unsettling, but the views from inside this northeast Ohio restaurant are simply stunning. This landmark Cleveland area restaurant is suspended over Lake Erie to give customers a cruise-like dining experience -- and the cuisine here is fit for such a superlative spot, too! As we enter the most wonderful (and busiest) season of the year, take a night to relax and enjoy the views and ambiance of this only-in-Ohio restaurant... and feel thankful you live in the beautiful Buckeye State!
December: Red Feather Kitchen
Red Feather Kitchen, 45209, 3200 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45209, USA
We're wrapping up our year of bucket-list Buckeye State eats with one of our absolute favorite restaurants. Located in the heart of the charming little locale of Oakley,
Red Feather Kitchen
in Cincinnati gives you everything you’re looking for in a dining destination. An outstanding menu, a special ambiance, and stellar service all combine to make for one memorable meal in the Queen City. This new restaurant epitomizes the exciting, locally minded, forward-thinking future of Ohio cuisine... and we're here for it.
Now that you know about the popular bucket list restaurants in Ohio, find out about seven
under-the-radar restaurants that are worth trying. What other Ohio restaurants would you add to this Buckeye State bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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More to Explore
The Best Food in Ohio
What are the most iconic foods in Ohio?
The most iconic foods in Ohio are:
Buckeyes. Chocolate and peanut butter. Like Reese’s, but much better.
Goetta Sausage. A German sausage that is a Cincinnati staple.
Barberton Chicken. A Serbian dish focused in the town of Barberton.
The Thurmanator. The biggest burger in Ohio. Take the challenge at Thurman’s Cafe in Columbus.
Pawpaws. The state fruit of Ohio that’s like a mix of banana and pineapple.
Sauerkraut Balls. Deep-fried balls of sauerkraut and cream cheese.
Cincinnati Chili. Chili, spaghetti, and a mountain of cheese.
Learn about some of these and several more of the most iconic foods in Ohio.
What are some hidden gem restaurants in Ohio?
These are some hidden gem restaurants in Ohio:
Uncle Beth’s BBQ. Located in North Lewisburg, this rustic restaurant has amazing pulled pork sandwiches.
Black Forest Cafe. The small town of Oregon is the home of this German restaurant that looks like something from Hansel and Gretel.
Rebecca’s Bistro. This restaurant is in a restored log cabin from the 1800s in Walnut Creek. It uses fresh, local produce.
Tackle Box 2. Perched next to the Sandusky River in Fremont, this is some of the freshest seafood in Ohio.
There are quite a few other hidden gem restaurants in Ohio that are well worth a visit.
What are the oldest restaurants in Ohio?
These are the oldest restaurants in Ohio:
The Golden Lamb. Located in Lebanon, this is the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Ohio and was established in 1803.
The Buxton Inn Restaurant. This Granville restaurant has been open for over 200 years and is both a restaurant and an inn.
Spread Eagle Tavern & Inn. This inn was built in Hanoverton in 1837 and has had several U.S. Presidents as guests.
Get some more history and find out about more of the oldest restaurants in Ohio.