Grandpa’s Cheese Barn

If you have spend any amount of time driving Interstate 71 between Columbus and Cleveland, you undoubtedly have seen the big white barn near Ashland emblazoned “Cheesebarn.” Sure, there are a few different kinds of cheese places in northern Ohio, where many local cheeses are made. But this one is likable because it has a series of businesses all tied into one. Sample some of the many cheeses, pickles, sauces and dips that are made at this place, and you’ll find an engaging experience and a great place to try.

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B Spot Burgers

Chef Michael Symon has been credited with leading the revival of Cleveland’s food scene, and his much loved concepts have made waves all over the country. As his concepts continue to capture national fame, they’ve been creeping into other cities, among them the very popular B Spot Burgers. This restaurant chain, now with locations in Cleveland and Detroit, brings Chef Symon’s mastery to a very American dish: the burger. Something as common (and inexpensive) as a burger…from a world class chef. Yes, this is absolutely worth a visit.

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Izzy’s

As a small deli chain in Cincinnati, Izzy’s totes itself as the “World’s Greatest Reuben,” and indeed among the many deli sandwiches this spot offers are plenty of fancy street sandwiches. Founded over 100 years ago by a group of Russian immigrants and named for a notoriously spunky founder, the spot quickly earned a reputation as one of the best delis in the city. Today it has nine locations in Cincinnati and northern Kentucky, and if you give it a try, you’ll find a lot of unusual things made in-house at this great spot.

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CoCo’s Bistro

Coco’s Bistro. Daytonians love that name. The much-adored spot along Warren Street near downtown exudes class throughout its lowlit interior, from its late-night wine bar where jazz can sometimes be heard, to the private dining areas in the back of the shop where families can enjoy a meal together. And while its eclectic menu evades immediate description, one thing is clear: a lot of thought went into every unique dish that is offered here. Coco’s prides itself as a Dayton original, and I’d contend this spot is easily one of the best in the city.

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Meadowlark

A highly experimental concept that brings an ever-changing face to contemporary cuisine, Meadowlark is the kind of place you go if you’re looking for a culinary adventure. This American cuisine restaurant offers up a ton of vegetarian dishes, sandwiches, soups, and dishes with inspiration all over the globe. It’s hard to find a restaurant that truly goes out on a limb to really try and make something new. In Dayton, it can seem almost impossible. But step into this little restaurant nestled behind a strip mall in south Dayton, and you won’t regret a thing you order.

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