August 23, 2019

The 31 Essential Ohio Destination Restaurants Worth The Trip

The Buckeye State is home to countless culinary gems, spanning from Ohio's southernmost cities to the tippy-top of the north. We may be situated in the Midwest, but don't let our geographical location fool you, our food scene often finds itself in the national spotlight. From family-owned Italian eateries that have stood the test of time, to new dining destinations that are taking cities by storm — these Ohio eateries are absolutely worth the trip.

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Orchids at Palm Court
35 W. Fifth St., Cincinnati, 513-564-6424
Nestled inside Carew Tower’s historic Art Deco Hilton hotel, Orchids hosts a breathtaking feast for the eyes — a perfect backdrop the seasonally attuned menu that takes advantage of seasonal produce and combines those ingredients with top-quality seafood and meat from a variety of sources. The AAA five-diamond menu features creative, fresh cuisine paired with an award-winning wine list and delicious desserts.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

Orchids at Palm Court

35 W. Fifth St., Cincinnati, 513-564-6424

Nestled inside Carew Tower’s historic Art Deco Hilton hotel, Orchids hosts a breathtaking feast for the eyes — a perfect backdrop the seasonally attuned menu that takes advantage of seasonal produce and combines those ingredients with top-quality seafood and meat from a variety of sources. The AAA five-diamond menu features creative, fresh cuisine paired with an award-winning wine list and delicious desserts.

Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Hot Chicken Takeover
Multiple locations including 4198 Worth Ave., Columbus, 614-532-7435; 59 Spruce St., Floor 2, 614-800-4538; 4203 North High St., Columbus, 614-754-1151
Hot Chicken Takeover has quickly become Columbus’ favorite Nashville-style hot chicken spot. With three Columbus locations and another that just opened in Cleveland, it’s no secret that these guys are doing something right. The fast-casual eatery offers fresh, farm-raised chicken with a relatively simple ordering format — pick your meat, heat and sides and then dine on some hot, crispy goodness.
Photo via hctnorthmarket/Facebook

Hot Chicken Takeover

Multiple locations including 4198 Worth Ave., Columbus, 614-532-7435; 59 Spruce St., Floor 2, 614-800-4538; 4203 North High St., Columbus, 614-754-1151

Hot Chicken Takeover has quickly become Columbus’ favorite Nashville-style hot chicken spot. With three Columbus locations and another that just opened in Cleveland, it’s no secret that these guys are doing something right. The fast-casual eatery offers fresh, farm-raised chicken with a relatively simple ordering format — pick your meat, heat and sides and then dine on some hot, crispy goodness.

Photo via hctnorthmarket/Facebook
Jackie O’s Public House
22 W. Union St., Athens, 740-592-9686
This Athens-based brewery has a national following for favorites like their Razzwheat beer. The brewery opened a restaurant in 2009, offering a wide variety of dishes ranging from pizzas made with spent grains from the brewing process to extravagant burgers and shareable sides like their seasonal meat and cheese board or their wings brined with their popular Mystic Mama beer. It’s a must-visit destination while spending time in Athens.
Photo via vegasfoodiebooziemom/Instagram

Jackie O’s Public House

22 W. Union St., Athens, 740-592-9686

This Athens-based brewery has a national following for favorites like their Razzwheat beer. The brewery opened a restaurant in 2009, offering a wide variety of dishes ranging from pizzas made with spent grains from the brewing process to extravagant burgers and shareable sides like their seasonal meat and cheese board or their wings brined with their popular Mystic Mama beer. It’s a must-visit destination while spending time in Athens.

Photo via vegasfoodiebooziemom/Instagram
Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
Multiple locations including 700 Walnut St., Cincinnati, 513-784-1200 and 89 E. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, 614-686-7800
This Cincinnati-based steakhouse by owner Jeff Ruby has been in the business of serving up top-notch eats for the past two decades. Since opening their Cincinnati location in 1999, the restaurant has expanded to Columbus, Louisville, Lexington and Nashville. If you love steak you have about a zero-percent chance of being let down with one of Ruby’s — they dry-age their own. There are several non-steak options on the menu, including good seafood dishes, but the cow is king (queen?) at Ruby’s. 
Photo via jeffrubyssteakhouse/Facebook

Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse

Multiple locations including 700 Walnut St., Cincinnati, 513-784-1200 and 89 E. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus, 614-686-7800

This Cincinnati-based steakhouse by owner Jeff Ruby has been in the business of serving up top-notch eats for the past two decades. Since opening their Cincinnati location in 1999, the restaurant has expanded to Columbus, Louisville, Lexington and Nashville. If you love steak you have about a zero-percent chance of being let down with one of Ruby’s — they dry-age their own. There are several non-steak options on the menu, including good seafood dishes, but the cow is king (queen?) at Ruby’s.

Photo via jeffrubyssteakhouse/Facebook
Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar
169 E. Beck St., Columbus, 614-228-4343
Lindley’s has been a top-notch Columbus eatery for more than three decades. Offering upscale American cuisine in an elegant setting with impeccable service, it’s no wonder this restaurant stands out from the pack. Restaurant owner Sue Doody worked as an educator, then caterer and taught cooking classes before opening up Lindey’s, with hospitality being her largest focus. The dinner menu offers dishes ranging from carpaccio to shrimp and lobster risotto, or stop by for brunch for fluffy beignets or a popular chicken sausage hash. Make sure to reserve a spot on their absolutely dreamy patio.
Photo via lindeysrestaurant/Facebook

Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar

169 E. Beck St., Columbus, 614-228-4343

Lindley’s has been a top-notch Columbus eatery for more than three decades. Offering upscale American cuisine in an elegant setting with impeccable service, it’s no wonder this restaurant stands out from the pack. Restaurant owner Sue Doody worked as an educator, then caterer and taught cooking classes before opening up Lindey’s, with hospitality being her largest focus. The dinner menu offers dishes ranging from carpaccio to shrimp and lobster risotto, or stop by for brunch for fluffy beignets or a popular chicken sausage hash. Make sure to reserve a spot on their absolutely dreamy patio.

Photo via lindeysrestaurant/Facebook
Mama DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante
1375 E. Stroop Road, Kettering, 937-299-5831
Mama DiSavlo's ain't fancy, it's Italian — or, as someone from Dayton might say, eye-talian. Expect big portions of pasta. Classics like homemade cheese ravioli, eggplant parmigiano and manicotti al forno — come with salad and bread. The menu also offers chicken, veal and seafood. Oh! And pizza.
Their classic “red sauce” Italian is made with Mama’s recipes from the Abruzzi Molise region of Italy. 
Photo via mamadisalvos/Facebook

Mama DiSalvo’s Italian Ristorante

1375 E. Stroop Road, Kettering, 937-299-5831

Mama DiSavlo's ain't fancy, it's Italian — or, as someone from Dayton might say, eye-talian. Expect big portions of pasta. Classics like homemade cheese ravioli, eggplant parmigiano and manicotti al forno — come with salad and bread. The menu also offers chicken, veal and seafood. Oh! And pizza. Their classic “red sauce” Italian is made with Mama’s recipes from the Abruzzi Molise region of Italy.

Photo via mamadisalvos/Facebook
Marion’s Piazza
Multiple locations including 711 Shroyer Road, Dayton, 937-293-6991
In Dayton, Marion’s Piazza — which opened its first location in 1965 — is an institution. Over the years, the Glass family has stuck to their formula of cracker-like crust (aka Dayton-style pizza), canned sauce, vegetables and bagged cheeses. Yet despite the lack of some fresh ingredients, their pizzas taste damn good. You can even order the crust extra crispy, or god forbid, less crispy. A nine-inch pizza (most cost around $8) is a personal size and can be eaten in one sitting — no shame there. Besides pizza, they also offer subs, pasta and dinner salads (for only $2.49). You don’t have to visit Dayton to get Marion’s, as they thankfully have a location in Mason. Dine-in or get pizza to go.
Photo via marions.piazza/Facebook

Marion’s Piazza

Multiple locations including 711 Shroyer Road, Dayton, 937-293-6991

In Dayton, Marion’s Piazza — which opened its first location in 1965 — is an institution. Over the years, the Glass family has stuck to their formula of cracker-like crust (aka Dayton-style pizza), canned sauce, vegetables and bagged cheeses. Yet despite the lack of some fresh ingredients, their pizzas taste damn good. You can even order the crust extra crispy, or god forbid, less crispy. A nine-inch pizza (most cost around $8) is a personal size and can be eaten in one sitting — no shame there. Besides pizza, they also offer subs, pasta and dinner salads (for only $2.49). You don’t have to visit Dayton to get Marion’s, as they thankfully have a location in Mason. Dine-in or get pizza to go.

Photo via marions.piazza/Facebook
Momo Ghar
Multiple locations including 59 Spruce St., Columbus, 614-463-9664; 1265 Morse Road, Columbus, 614-749-2901
Nestled in two different Columbus food markets is a shop offering mouth-watering Nepalise cuisine.The family-owned and operated booth is well-known for their made-from-scratch momos, which are Himalayan dumplings that are filled with vegetables and/or meat, but also offer a variety of other traditional Nepali dishes and drinks. The humble restaurant has seen national attention with a feature in “Food & Wine” as well as a visit from Guy Fieri for his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show. 
Photo via momogharohio/Facebook

Momo Ghar

Multiple locations including 59 Spruce St., Columbus, 614-463-9664; 1265 Morse Road, Columbus, 614-749-2901

Nestled in two different Columbus food markets is a shop offering mouth-watering Nepalise cuisine.The family-owned and operated booth is well-known for their made-from-scratch momos, which are Himalayan dumplings that are filled with vegetables and/or meat, but also offer a variety of other traditional Nepali dishes and drinks. The humble restaurant has seen national attention with a feature in “Food & Wine” as well as a visit from Guy Fieri for his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show.

Photo via momogharohio/Facebook
Paesano’s Pasta House
308 S. Campus Ave., Oxford, 513-524-9100
This cozy Italian eatery is the top spot for townies or college students looking for an elegant evening of incredible pasta, wine and service. The restaurant offers a variety of traditional Italian dishes as well as creative takes on classics. The pesce de mar sopra fettuccini is to die for, as is the filetto di manzo.  
Photo via indianapoleats/Instagram

Paesano’s Pasta House

308 S. Campus Ave., Oxford, 513-524-9100

This cozy Italian eatery is the top spot for townies or college students looking for an elegant evening of incredible pasta, wine and service. The restaurant offers a variety of traditional Italian dishes as well as creative takes on classics. The pesce de mar sopra fettuccini is to die for, as is the filetto di manzo.

Photo via indianapoleats/Instagram
The Pine Club
1926 Brown St., Dayton, 937-228-7463
The Pine Club has been a Dayton main-stay since 1947. The accidental David Lynch fever dream steakhouse features a low-slung 1960s brick exterior, green awning and red neon signage. The Midcentury menu has zero concern for anyone’s arteries: vegetables are topped with hollandaise, marinated herring with sour cream comes as an appetizer and dinners like extra heavy filet mignon or the calves liver and sauteed onions include their famous stewed tomatoes. Their signature Pine Club Red & Bleu Cheese dressing is basically French dressing with chunks of Roquefort and is a must-try. The restaurant is cash only, so come prepared. 
Photo via anotherpintplease/Instagram

The Pine Club

1926 Brown St., Dayton, 937-228-7463

The Pine Club has been a Dayton main-stay since 1947. The accidental David Lynch fever dream steakhouse features a low-slung 1960s brick exterior, green awning and red neon signage. The Midcentury menu has zero concern for anyone’s arteries: vegetables are topped with hollandaise, marinated herring with sour cream comes as an appetizer and dinners like extra heavy filet mignon or the calves liver and sauteed onions include their famous stewed tomatoes. Their signature Pine Club Red & Bleu Cheese dressing is basically French dressing with chunks of Roquefort and is a must-try. The restaurant is cash only, so come prepared.

Photo via anotherpintplease/Instagram