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Taste of Tradition: Historic Eateries in Ohio

Eat | By Cullen Fischel | Updated June 7, 2024

Cullen Fischel's guide to Cleveland's culinary scene

Buckle up for a delicious journey through time, as we explore Ohio's iconic historic eateries. These culinary institutions aren't just restaurants; they're living testaments to the Buckeye State's rich heritage, serving up time-tested recipes and regional specialties that have been passed down through generations.

Key Takeaways

  • A Culinary Journey Through Time:  Embark on a unique adventure by stepping into Ohio's historic restaurants. Savor the atmosphere of these longstanding establishments, many of which have been serving up delicious dishes for over a century.

  • Taste of Tradition:  Get ready to tantalize your taste buds with regional specialties and classic dishes. From Cincinnati-style chili to fresh Lake Erie perch, these historic eateries offer a chance to experience Ohio's unique culinary heritage on a plate.

  • A Touch of History:  Soak up the charm and ambiance of these historic establishments. Many boast beautiful architecture, period décor, and fascinating stories waiting to be discovered.

Southwest Ohio's Culinary Gems

Arnold's Bar & Grill

Established in 1861, Arnold's Bar & Grill holds the title of Cincinnati's oldest continuously operating tavern. Step inside this iconic establishment and be transported back in time. Dark wood paneling, vintage photographs, and a lively atmosphere create a historic charm that perfectly complements their menu of classic American fare. Don't miss their signature Greek spaghetti, a Cincinnati favorite since 1957.

The Dublin Pub

The Dublin Pub, established in 1882, is a true Dayton institution. This friendly neighborhood pub boasts a warm atmosphere with exposed brick walls, a classic wooden bar, and an ever-changing selection of local beers on tap. Their menu features classic pub fare like burgers, wings, and sandwiches, perfect for a relaxed and satisfying meal.

Central Ohio's Classic Cuisine

Moving northeast, the charming village of Granville boasts an absolute gem: The Buxton Inn. Founded in 1812, this historic inn offers both lodging and dining, making it a perfect weekend getaway. Their cozy dining rooms, fireplaces, and historic charm create a truly unforgettable ambiance. Their menu features upscale takes on traditional Midwestern fare, showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients and time-honored recipes.

Ye Olde Trail Tavern

Ye Olde Trail Tavern, established in 1827, has a rich history as a stagecoach stop. Today, it boasts a cozy, inviting atmosphere with rustic wood décor and a menu of hearty pub fare, featuring juicy burgers, flavorful sandwiches, and an impressive selection of craft beers.

Northern Ohio's Notable Nibbles

The Old Angle Tavern

A historic Cleveland landmark is The Old Angle Tavern, established in 1862. With its stone walls, wood-paneled interior, and cozy fireplaces, this tavern exudes a welcoming charm. Their menu offers a mix of traditional pub fare, Irish classics, and fresh seafood, making it a versatile dining destination that has stood the test of time.

The Golden Lamb Restaurant & Hotel

Venture a short drive south from Cleveland, and you'll stumble upon the historic town of Lebanon, home to Ohio's oldest continuously operating hotel and restaurant: The Golden Lamb Restaurant & Hotel. Founded in 1803, this iconic landmark has hosted 12 U.S. presidents, along with countless dignitaries and celebrities. Indulge in upscale American cuisine, served in their beautifully appointed dining rooms that exude historic elegance.

A Taste of History Beyond the Plate

Ohio's historic culinary scene extends beyond just its restaurants. To further immerse yourself in Buckeye State history, consider combining your dining adventures with visits to the state's numerous historic breweries. Many of these breweries offer guided tours, tastings, and a glimpse into Ohio's rich brewing tradition.

Exploring Ohio's historic markets is another way to connect with the state's culinary heritage. Be sure to check out the West Side Market in Cleveland or the North Market in Columbus. These bustling markets offer a feast for the senses, showcasing fresh produce, locally made products, and delicious bites from a variety of vendors.

Cullen Fischel's Tips for the Best Experience

  • Make reservations in advance: Many of Ohio's historic restaurants are popular, especially on weekends. Book your table well in advance to secure your spot.

  • Explore during off-peak hours: Avoid the crowds and enjoy a more leisurely experience by visiting during off-peak dining times.

  • Check dress codes: Some historic restaurants, especially those offering fine dining, may have a dress code. Check their website or call ahead to ensure you're dressed appropriately.

  • Embrace the history: Take some time to learn about the history of each restaurant. Many have fascinating stories to tell.

The Ohio Traveler Explains

What kind of historic ambiance can I expect at these eateries?

The ambiance in Ohio's historic restaurants varies depending on the establishment. Some boast grand, elegant settings with ornate furnishings, while others exude a cozy, rustic charm. Many restaurants preserve original architectural details and period décor, adding to the overall historic atmosphere.

Are these historic restaurants suitable for special occasions?

Absolutely! Many historic restaurants in Ohio offer a beautiful setting and upscale dining experiences, making them perfect for romantic dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special occasion.

How can I plan a historic Ohio road trip around these eateries?

Ohio's historic restaurants are spread throughout the state, offering a fantastic opportunity for a road trip adventure. Do some research to select a few establishments that pique your interest and map out your route. Consider combining your culinary journey with visits to nearby historical sites, museums, or state parks for a well-rounded Ohio experience.

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