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!

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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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