There are some restaurants that are truly iconic.
From signature chili dogs to German cuisine, Ohio is full of one-of-a-kind eateries that every Ohioan needs to experience at least once. Here are 12 of our favorite classic restaurants in Ohio. Be sure to add them all to your dining bucket list.
1. 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/brunch around 11 a.m. is recommended here to avoid the lunch rush. Slyman's is located at 3106 St Clair Ave. NE, Cleveland, OH 44114.
2. Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant (Columbus)
For the best German cuisine in Ohio (and a friendly ghost sighting or two), go to 240 E Kossuth St., Columbus, OH 43206. This popular German Village eatery has been a well-known sausage haus in central Ohio since 1886.
3. Mike's Place (Kent)
Out of all the unique places to eat in Ohio, Mike’s Place is undeniably Ohio’s quirkiest. From palm trees and tiki bars to Star Wars memorabilia and castles, it’s hard to pinpoint the overall theme of this unforgettable restaurant that truly marches to the beat of its own drum. (When it comes to the food, you'll find a wide variety of hefty American cuisine, appetizers and breakfast served all day.) Mike's Place is located at 1700 S Water St., Kent, OH 44240.
4. The Golden Lamb (Lebanon)
Ohio’s oldest continuously operated hotel was established in 1803 and holds a unique dining experience, complete with antique furnishings, themed dining rooms and historic rooms upstairs where famous individuals such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and several U.S. Presidents have stayed. Visitors can either dine in The Lebanon Room (pictured,) The Dickens Room, Buckeye Dining Room or The Shaker Room. The Golden Lamb is located at 27 S Broadway St., Lebanon, OH 45036.
5. The Spot To Eat (Sidney)
Both literally and figuratively, this is the spot to go to for a tasty, classic cheeseburger in Sidney. 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 Day's episode. The Spot To Eat is located at 201 S Ohio Ave., Sidney, OH 45365.
6. Berardi’s Family Kitchen (Sandusky)
The unbelievably delicious family-made french fries here have been around since 1939, when they were first served at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Make a trip to 1019 W. Perkins Ave. in Sandusky to try out these iconic fries.
7. The Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe (Greenville)
"Home of the famous Maid-Rite, Cheese-Rite and Big Jim," this unsuspecting sandwich shop upholds a strange tradition. Visitors stick their chewing gum outside along the "Wall of Gum" and come inside for what is arguably Ohio's best loose meat sandwich. (Pictured: Big Jim.) This unusual eatery is located at 125 N Broadway St., Greenville, OH 45331.
8. Buckeye Express Diner (Bellville)
You don't necessarily have to board an operating train for a locomotive themed dining experience. If you take exit 165 off of Interstate 71, you'll find this iconic not-your-average diner. (Note: Michigan fans must park across the street.) Buckeye Express Diner is located at 810 State Rt. 97 W., Bellville, OH 44813.
9. Tom's Ice Cream Bowl (Zanesville)
Since 1950, Tom's Ice Cream Bowl has served up the area's best homemade ice cream. Its homey, 1950s style makes it a nostalgic stop for many. (You can't go wrong with any flavor here but if you like nuts on your sundae, definitely get them. Their nuts are roasted fresh daily and all of their toppings are processed in-house.) Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl is located at 532 McIntire Ave., Zanesville, OH 43701.
10. Swenson's (Akron area)
If something has been around for more than 80 years, there's a reason why. This popular fast food joint features the world famous Galleyboy, milkshakes and fries. There are three Swenson's locations, with one in West Akron, North Akron and Stow/Kent.
11. Tony Packo’s (Toledo)
For a truly epic chili dog, check out this iconic hotdog joint, with multiple locations in Toledo. A strange tradition of displaying autographed hotdog buns began here in 1972 when Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H signed a bun. While that bun is no longer in existence, today the cafe proudly showcases Styrofoam bun look-alikes signed by various celebrities, including five U.S. presidents. The original Tony Packo's is located at 1902 Front St., Toledo, OH 43605.
12. Kewpee Hamburgers (Lima)
Within the fictionalized setting of “Glee,” this signature fast food joint in Lima has three locations that serve up the city's best burgers. french fries and malts. When you're in town or passing through, you've got to stop for a Kewpee burger.
Have you been to any of these classic restaurants before? What (and where) is your favorite restaurant in Ohio? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!