12. Great Lakes Brewing Co. – Cleveland
You knew they had fantastic beer, but we’d bet that, unless you’re from Cleveland, that you had no idea that Great Lakes also has one of the best restaurants in the state. Maybe it’s the fact that they’ve done an incredible job of pairing their beers with food, but this is the best pub food in the state. Sure we would have put them on the list for the beer alone, but pairing up one of their pub pizzas with a beer is pure bliss. Great Lakes has put Ohio on the map in regards to craft beer. Now it’s time you gave their food a try.
11. Hounddogs Pizza – Columbus
If you ever see the limo below, you know where you’re at. Hounddog’s has, and we will have a bitter argument with anyone whom disagrees, the best damn pizza in the state of Ohio. We crave it at least once per week and I have no problem with that. It’s a favorite among the OSU crowd, and with the quality for the price it’s no wonder why. They always seem to have a solid special. We could recommend a pizza to you, but everyone likes their own thing. We personally go for the Howlin’ Hot Sauce on the pizza every time. Throw some jalepenos and sausage on there and you have a winner.
10. Incline Public House – Cincinnati
Talk about food with a few… Incline Public House is one of the newest restaurants on this list, but it’s become an instant classic. Sure, the view of Cincinnati is one of the best in the city, but that’s not the only reason people come back. Featuring an assortment of contemporary menu items and drinks, the presentation of the food is just as wonderful as the city. The menu changes from season to season, but the Bloody Mary never disappoints. Go out for brunch on a spring afternoon and you will find happiness.
9. Lola Bistro – Cleveland
Cleveland’s Lola Bistro is the best restaurant in the heart of what is quickly becoming one of the more impressive food scenes, and that’s saying something. While you need to give every restaurant on this little street a try, Lola should be your first stop. This is the perfect place for a date night or for anyone looking to treat their friends or family out to dinner. The prices are a little more expensive than most other places on this list, but it’s worth every penny. If you’re going all in, go with the Cod served with a Black Truffle.
8. Slyman’s – Cleveland
Sometimes taking something simple and making it taste incredible pays off for you, and that’s the case at Slyman’s. If you love Reubens, Cheese Steaks, or any other combination of deli sandwiches, then you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for in Slyman’s. The best part is their ridiculously long menu, which has just about anything you could ever want on a sandwich on it. This is another case where it’s hard to recommend something because it comes down to taste, but everyone loves their Reubens, and you will too.
7. Casa Nueva – Athens
What, you think that just because Athens is so small that they can’t have an incredible restaurant? Well, you’re going to missing out on delicious foods with that kind of mentality. Happily serving the masses of OU students for years now, Casa Nueva has some incredible Mexican Food. They have a long list of items, and the most impressive part is that they do their best to source everything from local businesses, and that’s something that people have come to love about the place. Grab yourself a burrito and a Jackie O’s beer and relax.
6. Boca – Cincinnati
Sometimes you really just want a world-class dining experience, and you’ll get nothing short of that at Boca. Their executive chef is a mastermind when it comes to crafting unique dishes. Sure, it’s a little pricey, but when you want the best, you’re going to have to pay for the best. The Italian cuisine is always on point. Go with the Amish Chicken if you’re in the mood for risotto. We get it every time we go and we’re never disappointed. You’d be letting yourself down by not getting some Creme Brulee afterwards. Go ahead, treat yoself.
5. Melt Bar & Grilled – Cleveland & Columbus
Sweet mother… so much cheesy melty goodness on one plate didn’t seem possible before this, but it’s real. It’s hard to believe that a restaurant has hit it big on making grilled cheeses, but that’s the case. But, hey, we’re not complaining. There are plenty of other cheesy apps and features, but their main feature is definitely the delicious assortment of grilled cheese. The Chorizo & Potato Grilled Cheese gets our nod as the best on the menu. It’s pretty much like someone shoved a cheesy baked potato between two pieces of grilled bread. It’s both unique and impressive.
4. Arnold’s – Cincinnati
One of the oldest restaurants in Ohio just happens to be one of the best, and most loved, in the state. There are a variety of reasons way Arnold’s is so loved, but you can probably trace it back to a beloved memory. Locals have come to love it for the summer nights spent on the patio drinking a beer and enjoying delicious grub, while many have come to love it for the part that it plays in local festivals. Things you must do while you’re there: 1) Ask about the history of the place, and 2) Get a Yo Mamma Burger.
3. Bakersfield – Cincinnati & Columbus
Tacos… is there anything better than an artfully crafted taco? Well, that probably depends on the day, but when it comes to a restaurant based on overall presentation, no taco joint comes close to Bakersfield. The fact that they serve PBR in cowboy boots won us over, but it’s so much more than that. They make a consistently impressive margarita and the Al Pastor is the perfect blend of everything that makes tacos fantastic. Both of these restaurants are in the heart of everything, so the next time you’re downtown, take the time to stop in. They even play old westerns while you eat. It’s a nice touch.
2. Tony Packo’s – Toledo
Just how good is Tony Packo’s? Well, it’s good enough to have drawn in hundreds of celebrities from around the country to try their impressive hot dogs. One of the best features of these celebrities coming in is the fact that there’s a tradition of signing buns and mounting them on the wall. Don’t be distracted by the buns, though: the hot dogs are what’s up. It may be a lot to take in, but the M.O.A.D. Hot Dog is something every Ohioan needs to have on their bucket list. The giant hot dog is advertised as the “biggest you’ll ever eat,” and that’s pretty spot on. Good luck finishing the whole thing in one sitting!
1. Senate – Cincinnati
It may be hard to believe that the two best restaurants in Ohio revolve around hot dogs, but that’s the case. Senate’s hot dogs are not only original, but they follow up that originality with deliciousness. These “gourmet” dogs have made their way to the top of this of national lists of the best restaurants and have many awards to show for it. We’ll be the first to admit that the Trailer Park Dog was a life changing experience. Topped with Grippo’s BBQ Chips, Cole Slaw, and Bacon, it’s absolutely beautiful. Don’t worry, if you eat light there are plenty of other options, but just make sure you pair it with Lobster Mac.
What are some other Ohio restaurants that you think should be on this list? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!