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pink milkshake at nutcracker family restaurant in Pataskala ohio

Top Ohio Road Trip Diners

The must-eat-at diners for all road trippers!

Milkshake at Nutcracker Family Restaurant in Pataskala

Top Ohio Road Trip Diners

By Nick Dekker

Posted On: Nov 11, 2021

When you're on a road trip discovering the great sights and activities across Ohio, it's inevitable that you'll get hungry, right? And what's the best thing to complement a road trip? A local diner!

Every community large and small across Ohio is dotted with little diners. The great thing about these eateries is that:

  • Many of them have been around for decades
  • They're often family-owned
  • They're inexpensive and filling
  • Most of all, they're important institutions that serve their communities

If you're taking a road trip across Ohio this year, make a stop at one of these locally owned diners!

elderly couple sitting in booths drinking milkshake at the nutcracker family restaurant in Pataskala ohio

Nutcracker Family Restaurant in Pataskala 

A neon sign in the Nutcracker Family Restaurant reads "Step back to the '50s," and that's exactly how you'll feel once you enter this eatery! Originally opened as an ice cream parlor, the restaurant now cooks up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Staying true to their sweet roots, the restaurant still serves plenty of sweet treats including freshly baked pies, frosted-mug root beer and hand-dipped ice cream. Decorated with nutcrackers year round, this restaurant is as much of a visual experience as it is a gastronomic one.

Tommy's Diner in Columbus

Located in Columbus' growing Franklinton neighborhood, Tommy's is a long-running, family-operated restaurant. Visitors can enjoy the classic diner décor: neon signs, 50s icons, plenty of knick-knacks, plus comfy booths and a big, curving counter. Kick back to enjoy omelets, Eggs Benedicts, and crispy golden waffles, or Philly steak sandwiches, burgers, gyros and homemade meatloaf. 

red sign for slyman's restaurant in cleveland ohio
Photo credit: Slymans, Facebook

Slyman's Restaurant in Cleveland

Slyman's is a Cleveland institution. Grab a seat there and you'll be elbow to elbow with locals enjoying a hearty breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the east side of downtown Cleveland. As an old school deli, Slyman's specializes in house-made corned beef. You can mix it up into a corned beef hash with eggs and home fries, order it in a towering stack on rye, or just buy it by the pound (you know, for snacking on the road).

Ferraro's Family Restaurant & Bakery in Canton

Ferraro's has been going strong since, oh, 1900. The family restaurant has fed multiple generations in Canton. They serve breakfast all day and all night, from big omelets to country fried steak to golden pancakes. For dinner, you can feast on pork chops, fried chicken, pizzas, and hoagies. And don't forget dessert! At any given time, Ferraro's has at least 25 different pies filling their cases.

sign for union street diner in athens ohio
Photo credit: Union Street Diner, Facebook

Union Street Diner in Athens

Union Street Diner is the quintessential college town Diner. Open 24/7, this restaurant serves breakfast all day long and offers tons of omelette selections. With multiple deep fried appetizers, like deep fried cauliflower, deep fried Oreos, fried mushrooms and mac & cheese bites, as well as your typical diner fare, everyone can find something they like on this menu!

K's Hamburger Shop in Troy

Just follow the neon sign to find K's in downtown Troy, an old school spot where they've been serving comfort food to kids of all ages since 1935! They serve a full breakfast all day and are known for their homemade soups, big burgers, crispy fries, and of course, a sweet finish with a milkshake or malt.

woman wearing sunglasses sitting in booth at sugar n spice diner in cincinnati ohio
@kaitskravings. Photo credit: Sugar n' Spice Diner, Facebook 

Sugar n' Spice in Cincinnati

The colorful Sugar n' Spice has been serving greater Cincinnati since the early 1940's. The family-friendly joint is decorated with fun knick-knacks, including a huge collection of tiny rubber ducks! Squeeze into a booth or grab a stool at the counter, and order their "wispy thin" pancakes, giant omelets, cinnamon spice waffles and wings, burgers, oven-roasted turkey, and so much more. Don't forget to try the Cincinnati specialty: goetta. The delicious delicacy is made with ground meat, oats, and spices.

For more foodie fun and Ohio Road Trips, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org

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