From converted jail houses to super hero-themed restaurants, the following are 14 of the most unusual—but coolest—places to dine in Ohio. Let us know which ones you’ve been to before, which ones you’re adding to dining bucket list and which ones we left out!
1. The Olde Jaol Steakhouse and Tavern (Wooster)
What was once the Wayne County Jail is now a special restaurant that both locals and visitors alike can't get enough of. The Olde Jaol Steakhouse and Tavern in Wooster, Ohio is a true historic gem that’s perfect for a special evening out. Between the unique atmosphere and the delicious cuisine, you’re sure to remember your visit here. (You can even dine in the former cell rooms, if you wish.) You'll find it at 215 N. Walnut St., Wooster, OH 44691.
2. 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.
3. 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant (Columbus)
April Dray/Only In Your State
April Dray/Only In Your State
Located near John Glenn International Airport, you’ll find 94th Aero Squadron Restaurant. It’s an aviation themed restaurant that features delicious food, World War I &II memorabilia and great views of planes taking flight and landing. This is a hidden gem plane enthusiasts and history buffs alike will especially appreciate. You'll find it at 5030 Sawyer Rd., Columbus, OH 43219.
4. Super Chef's Breakfast & More (Columbus)
With two locations in the Columbus area, this popular breakfast joint specializes in superhero themed dishes that are just as delicious as they are creative. (Pictured is "The Hulk.") Both Marvel and DC fans will appreciate the decor here. And you never know what super hero costumes the servers will be decked out in. Super Chef’s Breakfast & More is located at 199 E Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215 and 1344 Cherry Bottom Rd., Gahanna, OH 43230.
5. Terry's Turf Club (Cincinnati)
With jumbo burgers, a neon-lit room and exceptional beers, this local dive is a classic you don't want to miss out on. Come for the food; stay for the quirky atmosphere. You'll find it at 4618 Eastern Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45226.
6. The Whitehouse Inn (Whitehouse)
When you’re feeling extra patriotic and proud to be an American, there’s one Toledo area restaurant you should check out. The Whitehouse Inn in Whitehouse, Ohio is a delicious, family-owned restaurant with a patriotic flare. Inside, you'll find elegant decor that pays homage to our country's presidential history and a large collection of presidential portraits. You'll find it at 10835 Waterville S., Whitehouse, OH 43571.
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. This unusual eatery is located at 125 N Broadway St., Greenville, OH 45331.
8. Tackle Box 2 (Fremont)
Tucked away along the Sandusky River, you'll find this quirky restaurant that's known for its excellent perch and walleye. With the freshest fish around and a whimsical atmosphere, it's a popular restaurant for locals and visitors alike. The wait time can be a little long, but it's worth it. Tackle Box 2 is located at 420 Sandusky Ave., Fremont, OH 43420.
9. Black Forest Cafe (Oregon)
Nestled in a small forest at the scenic Oak Shade Grove in Oregon, Ohio, you’ll find the Black Forest Cafe. It’s a gorgeous German restaurant that’s less than 10 miles from Toledo—but when you visit you’ll feel like you’ve stumbled upon Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ cottage. From the setting to the decor, this restaurant looks straight out of a story book. You'll find it at 3624 Seaman Rd., Oregon, OH 43616.
10. Tilton Hilton (Lakeview)
Where the burgers are bigger than your head and the floors are tilted, this local favorite is a fun, quirky stop after a day on Indian Lake. You can even dock your boat right alongside the restaurant. Tilton Hilton is located at 10861 Country Rd, 293, Lakeview, OH 43331.
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. Sugar n' Spice (Cincinnati)
You'll come for the epic breakfast food and leave with a souvenir rubber ducky. Sugar n' Spice is one of the most colorful and iconic Cincinnati area restaurants. Locals and visitors alike will come back for more. You'll find it at 4381 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45229.
13. Melt Bar and Grilled (Various locations)
With an array of specialty sandwiches and several shop locations in Columbus and Cleveland, this sandwich joint has made quite an impression on locals. In addition to mouthwatering sandwiches and eclectic decor, this shop is known for its "Melt Challenge," which features more than 5 lbs. of food; composed of 13 different cheeses, three slices of grilled bread and a pile of hand-cut fries and slaw. (Pictured: "The Big Popper.")
14. The Root Beer Stand (Cincinnati)
Every spring and summer season, there's a Cincinnati, Ohio classic that thrives with long lines, delicious footlongs and famous root beer. With limited indoor seating, this place has all the charm and nostalgia you'd imagine a classic root beer stand would have. This family-owned joint features a variety of root beer flavors and other American favorites. You'll find it at 11566 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241
Have you been to any of these restaurants before? If so, we want to know what your experience was like!