By Nick Dekker
Posted On: Mar 18, 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!
NOTE: Check directly with places before you go to learn about their health guidelines, safety updates and any required reservations.
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. Make sure you say hi to Tommy, Kathy, Michael, and the rest of the family while you're there!
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).
You can order carryout by calling Slyman's at 216-621-3760.
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.
You can order carryout from Ferraro's online.
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!
You can dine-in or order carryout by calling 740-594-6007. You can also get delivery through their website too.
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.
You can dine-in or call for carryout at 937-339-3902.
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.
You can order carryout for pickup or delivery from both the Downtown and Reading Road spots online. Or you can call 513-242-3521(Reading Road) and 513-762-0390 (Downtown). They're also open for dine-in, and you can make a reservation for the Downtown location online.