This downtown Akron club books bands that never would have found the Rubber City a few years ago — say, Dinosaur Jr. and the Drive-By Truckers. Between the touring acts, original locals take the stage.
Baker and proprietor John MacMillan left a corporate job to open this bakery. Now he's up to his elbows in dough and couldn't be happier. Crisp baguettes, dense loaves made with organic flours, tender sweet rolls, berry-filled muffins, and old-fashioned cookies come rolling out of John's ovens. Enjoy them at an indoor table with a cup of coffee or tea; better yet, in summer, eat your snack on the breezy porch.
This vintage Akron club hosts everything from indie bands and electronic DJs to punk nights and jam sessions.
On weekends, local jazz and R&B bands play on a small stage in the back of this eclectic American steakhouse, which offers fine dining in a casual atmosphere. Reopened and under new management.
Like the South's great roadside BBQ stands, this little eatery is tucked into a Plain-Jane building with minimal charm. Fortunately, the tender, slow-smoked meats -- ribs, brisket, pork tenderloin, chicken,turkey,and sausage -- more than make up for it. Add tang with one of a half-dozen house-made sauces representing various regional styles. Carry out or dine in.
This comedy club south of Cleveland books many of the region’s best comics, in addition to top-flight headliners.
The Iron Saddle is still bike-friendly, but it's less of a roadhouse, and more of a rock bar, serving up old-school and new-school hot riffage.
One of Akron's top restaurants, clubby Ken Stewart's serves a large menu of seafood (the house specialty), steaks, chops, chicken and pastas, as well as dozens of daily specials. Prices can be high, particularly on specials; portions are massive; service is polished; and preparation is solid, if not always au courant. Impressively large wine list.
Formerly the Akron Scorcher's and the Tap House, the sport-and-rock-themed Ripper Owens' Tap House now has the former Judas Priest singer as a partner. When he's not on the road, he makes appearances.
Like a modern-day roadhouse, noisy, energetic Russo's features a wildly eclectic repertoire of Cajun, Italian, Asian and southwestern-influenced dishes. To really feel part of the action, grab a seat at the bar surrounding the open kitchen, and watch the culinary magic unfold.
Warm, welcoming, and handsomely appointed, this upscale Thai restaurant offers a large selection of well-prepared if somewhat understated curries, stir-fries and noodle dishes, including lots of vegetarian creations.
Akron's only mechanical bull spins as fast as the Whiskey Ranch's hyperactive light show. Decorative saddles and fenceposts complete the C&W motif, in addition to rock and country loud enough to hear on the other side of the river -- in Tennessee.
Don't let the "wine bar" designation fool you: This second-floor boîte in the First and Main shopping district (above Solaire spa) is really a small but elegantly appointed restaurant, serving a generally well-executed menu of contemporary French and Mediterranean cuisine.
Another step in restaurateur Fady Chamoun's campaign to blanket the Midwest in hummus and fool medames, the Hudson Aladdin's is a good-looking monument to the appeal of all things healthful, with plenty of vegan/vegetarian options, a long list of freshly squeezed juices and fruit smoothies and a small selection of beer and wine too.
This classy-looking Mexican eatery complete with handsome bar and first-rate tequila selection features well-organized lunch and dinner menus encompassing all the usual crowd-pleasers, including burritos, tacos, and fajitas. But in our book, the savory chicken in mole sauce steals the show.
This dim cantina hosts blues and rock bands during and after dinner. Mexican decor includes pottery and photos of Pancho Villa with his motorcycle.
Although it has the sleek brass, glass, and polished-wood look of a chain restaurant, this charming pub is locally owned and operated. The large menu goes well beyond colcannon and boxty to embrace quiche, gyros, and even burgers; no matter what you pick, the warm, custardy bread pudding makes a sweet ending. Irish brews on draft.
For 15 years, the Fromholzers ran a handful of successful cheesesteak shops in the City of Brotherly Love. In the summer of 2010 they opened this friendly Twinsburg sandwich shop. Hands down the best cheesesteak in town, plus stuffed hoagies and (on special nights) juicy roast pork with sautéed broccoli raab.
One part vacation-town bar and one part homestyle restaurant, Fisher's is a favorite stop for brewskies and burgers (or salads and ice cream) after biking or hiking on the nearby Towpath Trail. In warm weather, seats on the shaded patio become prime real estate.
An earthy swirl of brick, glass and polished wood, Crave provides a warm backdrop for chefs DeAnna Akers and Aaron Hervey's long, inventive menu of high-octane treats, featuring everything from Black Angus burgers to porcini-dusted scallops. The bar offers an enticing roundup of imported and craft-brewed beers, along with well-priced wines and savory martinis.
One of several Lizards roaming Northeast Ohio, the Peninsula link in this homegrown chain of casual sports bars is our favorite, especially for the building's pre-reptilian history as a small-town roadhouse and 1950s-style nightclub. Besides the ambiance of slightly faded glory, we also enjoy the casual menu of reliably prepared foods, which include great wings, good burgers and hearty, well-dressed salads.
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