Burntwood Tavern

In a remarkable sign of growth, the Burntwood Tavern opened its doors just in 2010 and has since expanded to about 10 locations throughout suburban Cleveland. “Chef driven, guest focused,” each location has a self-described “rustic” interior made principally of reclaimed wood with a menu focused heavily on wood-smoked and wood-fired dishes. Grilled meats of many types, sandwiches and more, all served up on friendly portions. There’s something to be said for this kind of modern kitchen and finding a great niche. It’s nice to see this spot grow so fast.

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La Bagel Delight

Like any good bagel shop in New York City, La Bagel has a certain charm. The stand-up and take out tiny shop near the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn lets you place an order to-go while being serenaded by the gruff charm of the characters behind the counter. Most certainly, that’s a true New York experience. Bagel stands are all over the place in this city and any good New Yorker will have half a dozen suggestions when you go looking for one. But a stop like La Bagel is certain to be memorable.

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Table 33

A new restaurant which has set itself up in downtown Dayton, Table 33 is an interesting concept; focusing on locally-produced ingredients which are constructed into more creative recipes for lighter cuisine, while a friendly bar in the center of the establishment offers an inviting place to grab a drink in the evening. While the concept remains new and its ideas refined, Table 33 has begun to differentiate itself in a way its predecessors did not, as a place for greater experimentation and a push to grow, make, and eat local.

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Market Bar

1137 Linda Street Rocky River, OH 44116 440.799.4292 website Another of the hot restaurant concepts that has exploded in Cleveland’s suburban scene, the Market Bar in Rocky River is a magnet for the city’s young and energetic population. Built up as a classy modern bar concept that brings people in force at night, the spot offers … Continue reading

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Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery

Oregon District has a lot of bars with a lot of good bar food, and when you first walk through downtown Dayton’s main nightlife spot, you might not at first set your sights on the small operation that is Lucky’s. But make no mistake, this spot is much beloved by Dayton city-dwellers. Whether they’re making use of the spot’s extensive tap list or just looking to sample one of the burgers or sandwiches that fill its menu, people come to this spot in droves. The hype leaves you wondering, is it worth a try? The answer is yes.

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Lily’s Bistro

It’s a very recent addition to downtown Dayton, but seems to have been highly anticipated nonetheless. Restaurateur Emily Mendenhall opened Lily’s Bistro in the former Boulevard Haus building just about a year ago. Another of the popular restaurants in Dayton’s Oregon District, Lily’s Bistro has been a late dining destination that recently expanded into the realm of lunch. It’s a light bistro concept to compete with the higher-end dining and bars that surround it. The concept does experimental American cuisine with unusual sandwiches and plenty of quality food among the options.

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Franktuary

Now with two spots and a food truck in the Pittsburgh area, Franktuary is sort of a funny concept. It’s the idea of a few Pittsburgh folks who decided it would be just splendid to have a church-themed bar. The menu is near-impossible to describe, thanks in part to the fact that they change the menu every day. What you can be sure of, though, is that you’ll find some really great hot dog options on the menu, and Sundays are a must-do for great brunch.

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Arepas & Co.

The little house at 1122 East Dorothy Lane in Kettering has something of a bad reputation. It was previously La Victoria’s Burrismos, before that Cafe Mexico, Casa Amici, and a number of other concepts which have come and gone in less than a year, driven by low visibility and a lack of a following. Fortunately, Arepas & Co. has brought a following of its own to the spot, with a location set up in Second Street Market downtown, selling its Colombian comfort food, quick dishes with Latin American ingredients that can be made to go.

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Carmen’s Deli

Carmen’s Deli serves a very specific niche in downtown Dayton; it’s a bistro based on the ground floor of Kettering Tower, the city’s tallest skyscraper, and easily its most visible tenant. Carmen’s offers sandwiches, wraps, and other goods for breakfast and lunch most weekdays, and it’s a popular destination for downtown dwellers and workers during those times. But whether it’s a sandwich or wrap, or even a simple cup of coffee you’re looking for from Carmen’s, this is a place where I’ve consistently had good experiences. Time and again.

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Taste of Belgium

It’s certainly one of the hippest spots in Cincinnati, and Taste of Belgium now has three locations along with a little waffle stand in the Findlay Market. The place has a little bit of a lot of things about it; it’s a bistro concept that specializes in waffle creations, not just the breakfast-y kind, but also it’s a bar with a serious variety of beers, wines, and mixed drinks. At meal time, expect to see a massive crowd of people making its way through the doors. People like the place a lot.

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