Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Yummy places to eat in Akron, Ohio?


white lotus
 Share

Recommended Posts

The Cleveland heartland gathering last July was incredible! This is last minute but I will be coming through Cleveland and Akron this week. I have never been to Akron and would love some recommendations from those of you who are knowledgeable. I hope to run into some of you Akron and Cleveland folks this week. Please PM if you remember me. Cheers, :rolleyes: wl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read an article in last month's vegetarian times that Chrissy Hyne of the Pretenders was opening a vegetarian restaurant in Akron. Not sure if its open yet.

Maybe Tino27 will weight in!!

Edited by CaliPoutine (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read an article in last month's vegetarian times that Chrissy Hind of the Pretenders was opening a vegetarian restaurant in Akron.  Not sure if its open yet.

Maybe Tino27 will weight in!!

I am eagerly awaiting it's opening as well. However, mum's been the official word. I haven't even been able to find a website related to the restaurant yet. So much for a good marketing plan.

I do know where the location is though. It was supposed to open in September, but last I knew, the doors weren't open yet.

There are some upscale restaurants in downtown Akron which I'm sure are good, but I really enjoy eating in Highland Square, about 5 minutes from downtown. There is an Aladdin's Eatery, The Two Amigos, and a few other good places.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

White Lotus, there are some notes on this topic on places to eat in the Akron-Canton-Massillon area, tilting towards Canton. I confess, when I'm there, I don't even really know where one ends and the other begins.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi white lotus!

For inexpensive and extremely tasty pizza in a completely Ohio-kitschy feel, you must go to Luigi's.  Very informal.  Cash only.

Be forewarned about Luigi's ... depending on the time of day, the line just to get in can stretch around the corner of the building. I've never had a problem going for dinner during a weekday, but on the weekends? Fuggeddaboudit.

Incidentally, the Chrissy Hynes restaurant that CaliPoutine referred to earlier is across the street from Luigi's.

If you don't mind driving a little bit (maybe 15 minutes) from downtown Akron, there are a number of nice restaurants in "The Valley". In fact, my family and I took my grandfather to Papa Joe's (Iacomini's) for his birthday on Saturday. There are also several Japanese places, a new Middle Eastern restaurant, an Indian restaurant (which I don't particularly care for, but others have liked it), and some other nice places.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yikes, you all are fast :raz: ! Many thanks rockandroller, Steve, Calipoutine (best homemade pie I ever had), and tino27 (the ultimate "bread baking out of a regular oven" guy). Terrific!

How wonderful to see your posts. I am remembering how much my belly was full of Cleveland goodness last Summer and looking forward to add Akron & environs to the positive buzz.

BTW, I will be flying in from Nashville, TN, after having the unique Southern experience of being one of the 90 or so judges of the Jack Daniel's BBQ Championship. Actually, I still like good ribs but think that I have had enough of "meat, meat & more meat". I don't think I will be ordering a large steak very soon. Too bad that veg restaurant in Akron is not open yet.

Being Asian and being inundated with too much PNW seafood, some of you know that I am a somewhat picky eater and down right snob with it comes to those two food categories. I am really looking forward to a true (& quality) experience of what is fabulous to eat in the Mid-west. I guess you could say that I am looking for the indigenous & wonderful that is Ohio. Good Middle Eastern (hopefully @ Aladin's...) and great pizza sounds like the just the right things to balance my head/palate back to a baseline. I do like good donuts and pastries, if they exist there.

I will definitely be putting in an appearance to some of last July's highlights. Carrie Cerino's with or without the blue eggs, VT's virgin root beer floats and curiosity over missed opportunity to try the teas and tea menu of Monestary which had stellar "jasmine pearls". This sounds strange but I missed going to Sokolowski's in Cleveland (which I will visit in secret on my own) but is there any restaurants like this in the Akron-Canton et al area. This to me will be a unique experience that the PNW does not offer. I will sample just about anything once :unsure: .

Apologies ahead of time if there are typos & funny sentences.

Please keep your wonderful energy and ideas flowing. I love hearing from you. Your PNW friend, :rolleyes: wl

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as new in Cleveland, I would recommend Dante. Dante Boccozzi left his executive chef position at Charlie Palmer's Aureole in New York to open it. Consider doing the personalized chef's dinner. I've had some amazing dishes when I put my meal entirely in Chef Boccuzzi's hands. I've already become a regular.

There's also Bar Cento. Jonathon Sawyer left Parea in New York (before it closed) to open a gastropub in Cleveland. They're still working on it and I don't think it's even near opening but he and his partners seem to have gotten Bar Cento up and running in record time. I went to a pre-opening party and I've eaten there once since they opened and I've been very impressed. It's a wine bar with pizzas and a small menu of simple but delicious food. I'm positive I'll be a regular here, too.

I've only been to Wonder Bar (review) once. The food was good and judging from the chef's blog they frequently have interesting specials. I'm sure I'll be back.

Crop Bistro (website) opened recently and much of the meal was good. I'll get back there some time. Chef Shimoler has worked in many different parts of the food industry and he's been very successful in all of his ventures.

This seems like an exciting time to be eating out in Cleveland. In addition to these restaurants which I've already tried there are many others that have opened too recently or that will be opening in the coming months. The Free Times had a roundup of coming-soon restaurants. Some of them should be open by now.

There are even others that they neglected: Latitude 41n (note), Wine Bar (Jill Vedea from Saucy Bistro is chef and Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit is a partner, website), Pasha (review), Henry's at the Barn (website), Flying Cranes (British and Japanese?), Paladar (website). I believe these are all open.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Being Asian and being inundated with too much PNW seafood, some of you know that I am a somewhat picky eater and down right snob with it comes to those two food categories.  I am really looking forward to a true (& quality) experience of what is fabulous to eat in the Mid-west.  I guess you could say that I am looking for the indigenous & wonderful that is Ohio.  Good Middle Eastern (hopefully @ Aladin's...) and great pizza sounds like the just the right things to balance my head/palate back to a baseline.  I do like good donuts and pastries, if they exist there.

I will definitely be putting in an appearance to some of last July's highlights.  Carrie Cerino's with or without the blue eggs, VT's virgin root beer floats and curiosity over missed opportunity to try the teas and tea menu of Monestary which had stellar "jasmine pearls".  This sounds strange but I missed going to Sokolowski's in Cleveland (which I will visit in secret on my own) but is there any restaurants like this in the Akron-Canton et al area.  This to me will be a unique experience that the PNW does not offer.  I will sample just about anything once :unsure: .

If you like donuts you should go to Velocity. I was generally pleased with my meal and I'll return eventually but the donut dessert was fabulous. Fruit, house made ascarpone and lots more. It will make your teeth ache just looking at it but... Best. Donut. Ever. Pastry? I like J Pistone on the East side and I just recently started going to Great Scott's on the West. Neither one has a very large selection. Or a very fancy selection. Cake, brownies, cookies, cupcakes. Great Scott's has croissants, danish, strudel...

If you want Middle/Eastern European food in Akron I would recommend Al's Corner. They're not Polish but Hungarian food has that same stick-to-your-ribs quality, right? Please excuse me if I've ignorantly disrespected your culinary heritage. I've never been but they make their own sausage and grind their paprika fresh. I'm looking forward to getting there soon.

It's been forever since I went to Abba's but they had the best falafel in town several years ago. They have a huge menu but I would avoid any of the stuff that isn't Middle Eastern. Scene Magazine recently had a roundup of Middle Eastern food. I concur with their positive assessment of Judy's Oasis (not a restaurant, just a stand in the West Side Market). I'm not familiar with most of the others. I have eaten at several Middle Eastern restaurants and generally I've not been impressed. I'm even worried that Abba's has slipped. They used to have a small salad bar with condiments for your sandwich but it disappeared and I'm worried it may be part of a general deterioration although I have no other reason to be concerned. There are lots of Middle Eastern restaurants in Cleveland that I haven't gotten to including one I mentioned in my other post and another called Layalena. Hope springs eternal, as they say.

"Down right snob?" I can appreciate why you might not want to eat Asian or seafod but I don't want you to suffer under the misunderstanding that Cleveland has none of either. Go to Siam Cafe for Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food. Or Asia Foods for a small selection of Vietnamese and an even smaller selection of Hong Kong style Chinese food. You can search here an on Chowhound for particular dishes that I've recommended. And try the seafood at either Moxie or fire without fear or hesitation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do like good donuts and pastries, if they exist there.

Donuts, eh? Your trip to Akron won't be complete without a trip to the one spot that makes all of the Krispy Kreme donuts for the Akron area ... and the store is literally 5 minutes from downtown Akron.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts

354 South Maple St.

Akron, OH 44302

Your sugar coma will not be complete until you indulge in one of these sugar-glazed beauties as it comes fresh and hot right out of the fryer. Truly an ethereal concoction. It's not for everybody, but they can be so addictive.

They make other kinds of donuts as well (cake, sour cream, etc.), but take a box of fresh, still warm glazed to any office and watch them fly out of the box.

They used to give free samples to anyone who wanted one, but they stopped that a few months ago.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the line at Luigi's can get long on the weekends, but it actually moves pretty quickly. The service is pretty speedy there and not overly friendly as they don't want to encourage table "campers." The only time that wait is excruciating is when it's snowing and blowing and about 25 degrees. I did that last winter and every minute felt like an hour :)

As to Middle Eastern, I think that Maha's trumps Aladdin's and I'm a big aladdin's fan. There's a stand in the west side market, also a location in strongsville. You should also try the authentic Cuban sandwich at Leolai bakery, which is only a few steps from the WSM, they are the BEST. Get the small cup of flan for dessert and you have a great, cheap meal.

JMO of course but only go to Sokolowski's for the kitschy atmosphere. The choices and portions are huge but the taste and quality are really poor IMO. I recently took 3 co-workers there who had never been but heard about it on No Res. I said nothing about the food in advance. Every single person left at least half to 3/4 of their food on their plate, and everyone got different things. It's really not good food. For some reason, it seems people who grew up in Cleveland have a fondness for the place that in their minds seems to translate to their stomachs and makes the whole thing "good," but I've been there 4 times myself (the most recent with the co-workers being my 4th, the last visit I took my Mother, who was also curious, she also pushed away her plate early on and agreed the food was really bad) and have never had anything good. I'm sure you'll get a lot of dissenting comments from others as the place is well-loved and a Cleveland institution. To each his own, as they say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Down right snob?" I can appreciate why you might not want to eat Asian or seafod but I don't want you to suffer under the misunderstanding that Cleveland has none of either. Go to Siam Cafe for Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food. Or Asia Foods for a small selection of Vietnamese and an even smaller selection of Hong Kong style Chinese food.

Please let me explain that I was not disrespecting the Asian or seafood offerings here in Cleveland. Appologies if my "picky/snob" comment came off that way. I am an Asian (3rd generation Asian-American actually) who has never been fond of seafood or rice. Therefore, sushi with raw fish is not something I go out of my way to find. That being said, I did visit Siam Cafe late last night as my body was crying out for Asian soup after more than a week of marathon incredible Southern food (my last meal in Nashville having been at the Loveless Cafe with their awsome biscuits).

I was in the mood for some simple wonton soup which I did not find. I did have their winter melon soup as winter melon is in season right now. The soup is extremely basic like a simple chicken soup. The winter melon came under-cooked, crunchy actually. :unsure: I had to send it back for further cooking. The soup itself was quite undersalted as well. With a little addition of salt and white pepper my body was quite grateful of the RX. After a cupful or two, I felt better and ordered the sweet/sour ribmeat which I thought was fabulous. :smile:

Yes, Cleveland does have some wonderful Asian options which you all are aware of. I may also have some Cambodian beef soup at that Cambodian restaurant near Westside market if I get another soup craving before I leave but I am trying to eat as much of stuff that I can't get in the PNW as possible.

Again, thankyou sharing your thoughts and info on where and what to eat. BTW Rockandroller, thanks for your caution re: Sokolowski's. The last thing I need right now is a bad meal.

I have been writing down & mapquesting all of your suggested venues just in case I happen to be driving near those places. I am always open to more suggestions...

sincerely, :rolleyes: wl

Edited by white lotus (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Down right snob?" I can appreciate why you might not want to eat Asian or seafod but I don't want you to suffer under the misunderstanding that Cleveland has none of either. Go to Siam Cafe for Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food. Or Asia Foods for a small selection of Vietnamese and an even smaller selection of Hong Kong style Chinese food.

Please let me explain that I was not disrespecting the Asian or seafood offerings here in Cleveland. Appologies if my "picky/snob" comment came off that way. I am an Asian (3rd generation Asian-American actually) who has never been fond of seafood or rice. Therefore, sushi with raw fish is not something I go out of my way to find. That being said, I did visit Siam Cafe late last night as my body was crying out for Asian soup after more than a week of marathon incredible Southern food (my last meal in Nashville having been at the Loveless Cafe with their awsome biscuits).

I was in the mood for some simple wonton soup which I did not find. I did have their winter melon soup as winter melon is in season right now. The soup is extremely basic like a simple chicken soup. The winter melon came under-cooked, crunchy actually. :unsure: I had to send it back for further cooking. The soup itself was quite undersalted as well. With a little addition of salt and white pepper my body was quite grateful of the RX. After a cupful or two, I felt better and ordered the sweet/sour ribmeat which I thought was fabulous. :smile:

Yes, Cleveland does have some wonderful Asian options which you all are aware of. I may also have some Cambodian beef soup at that Cambodian restaurant near Westside market if I get another soup craving before I leave but I am trying to eat as much of stuff that I can't get in the PNW as possible.

Again, thankyou sharing your thoughts and info on where and what to eat. BTW Rockandroller, thanks for your caution re: Sokolowski's. The last thing I need right now is a bad meal.

I have been writing down & mapquesting all of your suggested venues just in case I happen to be driving near those places. I am always open to more suggestions...

sincerely, :rolleyes: wl

No explanation necessary. I understood what you meant and I'm sorry I didn't make that clear.

Phnom Penh intimidates me. I've had good meals there and okay meals there. Whenever I go, I feel like I'm starting with absolutely no knowledge of the cuisine. The menu is so big and so many of the items have such similar descriptions that I can't seem to get a basic understanding of what's going on. Anyway, what's the name of that beef noodle soup as it's labeled on the menu? It sounds interesting. Thanks.

I'm afraid you won't be able to get to try the best donut that I've ever had. According to their website Velocity is closed permanently. Cleveland Scene named a place called Spudnut the best donutery in Cleveland in 2006. I'm not sure how much trust to place in those awards but I was happy with the donuts that I ate at the 2005 winner. Honeygirl Donut and Bakery closed shortly after my first visit but reopened in a different location (on North Royalton) which I haven't gotten around to visiting. The old location (Richmond) also is now also a bakery and I believe they have donuts - Marianne's Homestyle. Lucy's Sweet Surrender (Buckeye?) makes donuts from the same dough they use to make their excellent sweet breads. It makes for an interesting donut which I think is worth trying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm afraid you won't be able to get to try the best donut that I've ever had. According to their website Velocity is closed permanently. Cleveland Scene named a place called Spudnut the best donutery in Cleveland in 2006. I'm not sure how much trust to place in those awards but I was happy with the donuts that I ate at the 2005 winner. Honeygirl Donut and Bakery closed shortly after my first visit but reopened in a different location (on North Royalton) which I haven't gotten around to visiting. The old location (Richmond) also is now also a bakery and I believe they have donuts - Marianne's Homestyle. Lucy's Sweet Surrender (Buckeye?) makes donuts from the same dough they use to make their excellent sweet breads. It makes for an interesting donut which I think is worth trying.

And you won't be able to try a Honeygirl donut either. I trekked out there to see if the donuts were as good as I remembered and they were closed. I'm afraid I don't have any donut recommendations to share.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

White Lotus, I’m so sorry I missed seeing your post earlier – I really enjoyed meeting you and Dance at Light Bistro (the Heartland gathering) and would have loved to have taken you around Akron.

If you plan to be back in the area, here are some of my favorites in the Akron area (besides Luigi’s and Aladdins which have already been mentioned): Vaccaro’s Trattoria, Mr. G’s pizzeria (wood-fired, foldable pizza), Thyme (in Medina) for chef John Kolar's creative dishes, Russo’s (Cuyahoga Falls) for wonderful Cajun-influenced food. A little further in Hudson you'll find Downtown 140, a lovely wine and tapas bar, and North End Market, a casual eighborhood wine store and cafe in Hudson. Back to Akron "local food": R.W. Apple used to love Swensons (the drive in is one of my guilty pleasures!); other local foods include Barberton fried chicken and sauerkraut balls. West Side Bakery has beautiful pastries, and Ninni's Bakery in Tallmadge has another local favorite: Italian wedding cake (sponge cake tiers with a rum-flavored custard). West Point Market is a wonderful store for foodies, and has the most amazing cheese selection. If you plan to be back in the area, please e-mail me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Todd, check out the blog in my signature. I write about all sorts of restaurant experiences (all price levels) in Cleveland, Akron, and Canton. If you have a specific question about a restaurant you've heard of that I haven't covered, please feel free to message me.

Flickr: Link

Instagram: Link

Twitter: Link

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...