WE KNOW HOW TO BE MERRY.

Ready to enjoy life? Picnic at a vineyard. Or “hike” the Summit Brew Path, a passport-style trail of 20 craft breweries. Stir up some excitement with a crafted cocktail at a speakeasy-style bar. Eat up the diverse restaurant scene. For example, visit North Hill, where Nepalese refugees serve the food of their home country. Or eat at the iconic Diamond Grille, a steak house that’s been around for more than 75 years. Fresh veggies are on the menu at the myriad farmers’ markets across the region.

If shopping is your thing, you must see Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, an eight-building center that features the work of the celebrated Akron artist and artisan crafts from across the U.S. Visit the outlet stores in Aurora and Burbank, or stroll our two traditional malls. Go antiquing at the many charming stores in Medina’s quaint downtown. Take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad into Peninsula for some leisurely browsing. No matter your shopping style, Greater Akron has the stores to suit you.

Experience Greater Akron (EGA) talks to Katie Byard, food writer at the Akron Beacon Journal.

EGA: How would you describe the Greater Akron food scene overall to a newcomer?
KB: Not snooty and always evolving for the better. There’s everything from high-end gourmet to amazing, cheap eats. There’s everything from Nepali Kitchen—a hole-in-the-wall gem founded by refugees in Akron’s North Hill—to iconic, old-line steak places such as the Diamond Grille, which was founded in 1941 and is a favorite of pro golfers. The Blue Door Bakery & Cafe in Cuyahoga Falls has croissants luscious enough to rival those in Paris; Bob’s Hamburg has been selling delicious burgers since 1931. Then, there are the fine dining places such as Ken Stewart’s Grille in West Akron and . . . well . . . I could go on and on.
EGA: What are some of the most exciting developments you’ve seen?
KB: There have been a few. First, there’s been a growing indie scene where chefs and chef-owners prepare fresh, inventive food. It includes early entrants such as Moe’s, the Blue Door, Chowder House and Russo’s in Cuyahoga Falls; Bricco, DBA and Crave in downtown Akron; and the Bistro of Green, along with places such as Blue Canyon Kitchen & Tavern in Twinsburg.
Newer indie spots worth trying include The Merchant Tavern in Akron’s Merriman Valley, Arnie’s Public House in Akron’s Wallhaven neighborhood, and 35° Brix and Twisted Olive in Green. Also, try Bistro 111 in Montville Township and Trano and Bricco in Kent. Indie joints that opened in 2018 include Se´re´nite´ Restaurant & Culinary Institute in Medina and Chop & Swizzle in Green.
EGA: Are there more?
KB: A second exciting development involves our Southeast Asian refugee community whose members have opened their own restaurants such as the Nepali Kitchen, Everest Nepali and Indian Restaurant in Cuyahoga Falls and the Global Kitchen on the Tallmadge Circle. We have a rich ethnic food scene here, and these Southeast Asian refugees have deepened it.
There’s wonderful food at Canal Park. The new Akron RubberDucks Executive Chef James Phillips, continuing a tradition at the minor league ballpark, prepares appealing extreme foods and regular menu items. New this year on the extreme foods menu is the La Montagna (Italian for “the mountain”) double decker sandwich. New on the regular menu at the ballpark’s Game Grill + Bar are such yummies as Pierogies & Pot Roast and Buffalo Cheddar Cauliflower.
In summer, Food Truck Wednesdays in the parking lot of the Akron Child Guidance Center and Friday’s Cascade Cucina on the Cascade Plaza in downtown Akron are two great ways to dip into the growing food truck scene.
EGA: What are some “musts” for newcomers to the area?
KB: Luigi’s is an iconic, family-friendly Italian spot dating back to 1949. A social media frenzy was created last year when a place in Scotland with the same name closed, and fans of Akron’s Luigi’s panicked that our landmark was closing.
Flury’s Cafe is one of my favorite places for breakfast. This homey Cuyahoga Falls spot is on the part of Front Street that recently reopened to vehicles after 40 years. Get one of the daily pancake specials.
EGA: What places define the area?
KB: Swensons is a must. The famed journalist R.W. Apple wrote in Forbes that Swensons was “America’s best burger,” which brought the place national recognition. But some people passionately prefer Skyway’s burgers and fare.
At Strickland’s Frozen Custard on Triplett Boulevard, you can eat your treat while taking in a view of a hulking blimp hangar. Where else but Akron?
If you’re a fried chicken fan, check out one or more of the four Barberton chicken houses: Village Inn Kitchen, formerly known as Milich’s and actually in Norton, Belgrade Gardens, Hopocan Gardens and White House Chicken. All serve chicken fried in lard, a tomato and rice concoction called hot sauce and vinegar-based coleslaw. Serbian immigrants brought the method of frying in lard to the area.
EGA: What’s a great place for a special meal such as an anniversary or graduation?
KB: I like Beau’s on the River inside the Sheraton Suites in the (Cuyahoga) Falls. It has gorgeous views of the Cuyahoga River. Or Beau’s Grille in Fairlawn (inside the Hilton) and Papa Joe’s in Akron’s Merriman Valley—consistently good American and Italian eats at a range of price points. You can eat fairly cheap or go high.
Wolf Creek Tavern is housed in an 1840s-era building. Its bar was a speakeasy during Prohibition and takes its cue from that history. The Rosewood Grill in Hudson is a nice atmosphere with good food in a former grain mill. Trano in Kent is a newly opened Italian restaurant (the old Pufferbelly) in a converted train station. Vaccaro’s Trattoria in Bath Township has some of the best Italian fare around. Get the homemade pasta. Russo’s has Italian and Creole feasts. The Diamond Grille can get pricey, but you can pay about the same as chain steakhouses and get a much higher quality. Or you could try the Circle L Steakhouse at the Galaxy in Wadsworth. Kingfish in Copley Township is a fine seafood place.
One of my favorites is Giuseppe’s Italian Ristorante in Northfield. The location is a blah strip plaza, but the quality of the food is excellent.
EGA: What’s a great place for a casual bite with kids in tow?

KB: Right away I think of Trecaso’s Mary Coyle, an Akron institution with ice cream, pizza and more in Akron’s Highland Square and Dontino’s La Vita Gardens (try the homemade pasta) in Akron’s North Hill neighborhood. Ray’s Place in Kent has a kid-friendly, two-story bar with a loooong menu. Gasoline Alley in Bath Township is popular but small, so be prepared for crowds on weekends. Panini’s Bar & Grill in Stow and Twinsburg, Winking Lizard Tavern in Copley and Peninsula are delightful. Mike’s Place in Kent (also with a huge menu) has a fun decor. Look for the full-size Star Wars X-Wing fighter outside.

Veggies Are on the Menu.

We love our Farmer’s Markets. Here are some of the larger ones. Discover others in your community.
Medina Farmers Market
2 Public Square, Saturday mornings, May-Oct.
Root Candles, 623 W. Liberty St., Medina, Wednesday evenings, June-Oct.
Hudson Farmers Market
103 N. Main St., Saturday mornings, June-Oct.
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow
4040 Riverview Rd., Peninsula, Saturday mornings, April-Oct.
Countryside Winter Farmers’ Market at Old Trail School
2315 Ira Rd., Bath, most Saturday mornings, Nov.-March.
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Highland Square
1175 W. Market St. (Will Christy Park), Akron, Thursday evenings, May-Sept.
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Northside Marketplace
21 Furnace St., Akron, Saturdays and Sundays, all year.
Haymaker Outdoor Farmers’ Market
Under Haymaker overpass, Kent, Saturday mornings, May-Oct.
Haymarket Indoor Farmers’ Market
1435 E. Main St., Kent, Saturday mornings, Nov.-April.
Tallmadge Farmers Market
46 N. Munroe Rd., Thursday evenings, June-Oct.
Cuyahoga Falls Farmers Market
1817 Front St., Friday evenings, June-Sept.
Downtown Barberton Farmers Market
3rd St. NW, Wednesday afternoons, June-Oct.
Copley Creekside Farmers Market
1245 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Thursday afternoons, May-Oct.
3232 Copley Rd., second Sunday of every month, June-Sept.

Great Grocers Abound.

  • Buehler’s, buehlers.com—multiple locations, employee owned, full service
  • 365 Whole Foods, 365bywholefoods.com—natural and organic foods
  • Acme Fresh Market, acmestores.com—multiple locations, locally owned, full service
  • ALDI, aldi.us—multiple locations, no-frills shopping
  • Earth Fare, earthfare.com—natural and organic foods
  • Giant Eagle Market District, gianteagle.com—multiple locations, full service
  • Heinen’s, Heinens.com—family owned, full service
  • Mustard Seed Market & Café, mustardseedmarket.com—natural and organic foods, locally owned
  • Save-A-Lot, save-a-lot.com—multiple locations, full service
  • Wal-Mart Supercenters, walmart.com—multiple locations, full service

More Restaurants, Wineries and Breweries.

* Member, Greater Akron Chamber

Summit County
Akron Coffee Roasters
3
0 N. High St., Akron
(330) 318-8018
* Akron Family Restaurant
250 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 376-0600
* The Barley House
222 S. Main St., Akron
(330) 374-0925
* The Basement
255 E. Waterloo Rd., Akron
(330) 724-0477
* Beau’s Grill
3180 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 867-5218
* Beau’s on the River
1989 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls
(330) 920-7550
* BLU Plate – Blu+Jazz
45 E. Market St., Akron
(330) 252-1190
Bomba Tacos and Rum
3900 Medina Rd., Akron
(234) 466-7180
* Bricco—Akron
1 W. Exchange St., Ste. 100, Akron
(330) 475-1600
* Bricco Prime
4315 Manchester Rd., Akron
(330) 644-2230
* Cappabianca’s Natural Food Market
4946 Darrow Rd., Stow
(330) 650-1588
* Casa D’Angelo Restaurant
893 E. Aurora Rd., Macedonia
(330) 467-9699
Corner Cup Coffeehouse
3019 Graham Rd., Stow
(330) 608-2462
* Diamond Deli
378 S. Main St., Akron
(330) 762-5877
Summit County (continued)
El Gato Taqueria
209 Main St., Akron
(330) 253-4323
* Frank’s Place on Market
549 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 376-8307
* Grape and Granary
915 Home Ave., Akron
(330) 633-7223
* Hyde Park Prime Steak House
4073 Medina Rd., Akron
(330) 670-6303
* Jilly’s Music Room
111 N. Main St., Akron
(330) 576-5960
* Ken Stewart’s Grille
1970 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 867-2555
* Kingfish
115 Montrose West Ave., Copley
(330) 777-2005
* Lock 15 Brewing Company
21 North St., Akron
(330) 683-6010
* Luigi’s
105 N. Main St., Akron
(330) 253-2999
* Market Street Grill & Pub
1677 E. Market St., Akron
(330) 733-6279
* Montrose Bar and Grill
4073 Medina Rd., Akron
(330) 666-4131
* Mustard Seed Market & Café
867 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 434-7333
3885
W. Market St., Akron
(330) 666-7333
* Nuevo Modern Mexican & Tequila Bar
54 E. Mill St., Akron
(330) 762-8000
Summit County (continued)
Ohio Brewing Company
2250 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls
(234) 208-6797
* Old Carolina Barbecue & Catering Co.
620 Ridgewood Crossings Dr., Akron
(330) 665-4222
Pad Thai
12 E. Exchange St., Akron
(330) 434-1888
* Panera Bread/Medina Road
3895A Medina Rd., Akron
(330) 670-9347
* The Peanut Shoppe of Akron
203 S. Main St., Akron
(330) 376-7020
Pizza Fire
22 E. Exchange St., Akron
(330) 535-4545
* Pub Bricco
1841 Merriman Rd., Akron
(330) 869-0053
* R. Shea Brewery
1662 Merriman Rd., Akron
(330) 794-5654
The Rail
3265. W. Market St., 
Fairlawn/Montrose
(330) 864-7245
Stricklands Frozen Custard Inc.
419 Heathrow Dr., 
Cuyahoga Falls
(330) 620-4400
* Swensons Drive In Restaurants
680 E. Cuyahoga Falls Ave., Akron
(330) 928-3797
* The Tangier
532 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 376-7171
* Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
529 Grant St., Akron
(330) 252-2739
West Side Bakery—Akron
2303 W. Market St., Akron
(330) 836-4101
Portage County
Arnie’s Westbranch Steakhouse
5343 State Route 14, Ravenna
(330) 297-1717
* Black Iron Grille
7291 State Route 43, Kent
(330) 552-3126
* Bricco—Kent
210 S. Depeyster St., 
Ste. 100, Kent
(330) 677-1335
Kent Cheesemonger
155. E. Erie St., Kent
(330) 593-5619
Mazzulo’s Market
302 Aurora Commons Cir., Aurora
(330) 562-3200
Ray’s Place
135 Franklin Ave., Kent
(330) 673-2233
Medina County
* A Cupcake a Day
115 W. Liberty St., Medina
(330) 389-1247
Fireside Restaurant at Rustic Hills
5399 River Styx Rd., Medina
(330) 725-4281
High & Low Winery
588 Medina Rd., Medina
(844) 466-4456
Jilbert Winery
1496 Columbia Rd., Valley City
(216) 781-4120
* Miss Molly’s Tea Room & Gift Shop
140 W. Washington St. #6, Medina
(330) 725-6830
Stark County
Driftwood Restaurant at Embassy Suites by Hilton Akron-Canton Airport
7883 Freedom Ave., NW, 
North Canton
(330) 305-0500
* Gervasi Vineyard and Italian Bistro
1700 55th St., NE, Canton
(330) 497-1000
* Twisted Olive
5430 Massillion Rd., 
North Canton
(330) 899-0550
Cilantro
Dante Boccuzzi Akron
Luigi's

Cheers for Beer.

It’s likely the most enjoyable contest you’ll ever enter. The Summit Brew Path is back for its second year, highlighting 18 craft breweries in Summit, Portage, Medina and Stark counties.
The Brew Path, a passport-style trail, was a rousing success in its first year, says Gregg Mervis, director of the Akron/Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau. The bureau expected about 500 people to complete the trail by the December deadline but ended up with 2,500 finishers.
The reason for the event’s success is simple.
“There are people in Summit County and surrounding counties making really, really good beer,” Mervis said.
Some local favorites include Hoppin’ Frog Brewery’s B.O.R.IS., The Crusher Oatmeal-Imperial Stout and Thirsty Dog Brewing Co.’s Blood Hound Orange IPA. Those who get their passport stamped at all 18 stops are entered into a Greater Akron Getaway drawing and receive a 32-ounce glass growler for their travels.
  • Thirsty Dog Brewing Co. got its name from the owner’s Labrador retriever, who galumphed into an early brainstorming session only to lap up a big bowl of water. Light bulb!
  • Last year, Summit Brew Path’s prize was a dull, brown t-shirt, which recipients made good fun of; thus, this year’s upgrade to a drawing entry and growler.
  • MADCAP Brew Co. in Kent is known for its punkish aesthetic and its beer. Its slogan is “No Masters. No Snobs.”
  • One of Wadsworth Brewing Company’s most popular beers is River Styx Monster, which sounds like it’ll drag you to Hades. But River Styx is just a road in Medina County that should only be driven by stone-cold sober people.
  • R. Shea Brewing’s Tire Swing Trouble Brown Ale was named after an employee that had an accident on, uh, a tire swing.
  • Lock 15 Brewing Company has named many of their beers after famous Akron landmarks to pay homage to their location along the historic Ohio & Erie Canal and Cascade Locks Park. Try Mustill Mild, Cascade Locks Pale Ale, Towpath Porter and Mutton Hill Hefe, to name a few.

Wine? Fine!

Greater Akron has many places to pick up an extraordinary bottle of wine or just sip a glass.
There’s Mustard Seed Market (natural and organic from around the globe) and Papa Joe’s (hit the side entrance), among many others. And The Grape & Granary has everything the home vintner needs. But if you’re all about sourcing your purchased vintages, Greater Akron has vineyards perfectly ripe for experiences.
The Winery at Wolf Creek

2637 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Barberton: Hillside vineyards planted mainly with European grape varieties. Picnics welcomed. Games provided.
Sarah’s Vineyard Winery
1204 W. Steels Corner Rd., Cuyahoga Falls: Sustainable farming within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Art gallery, full menu.
Filia Cellars

3059 Greenwich Rd., Wadsworth: Dry red from another family vineyard in California; whites are made in Ohio. Yoga, painting classes, live music.
Red Horse Winery

5326 Fairland Rd., Barberton: Second-highest point in Summit County; 100 percent fruit wines (not blended with grapes) plus more traditional varieties.
Barrel Run Crossing
3272 Industry Rd., Rootstown: Fourth-generation family farm-turned-vineyard, orchard. Casual menu, live music on weekends.
Nauti Vine Winery

3950 S. Main St., Akron: also home to the Mucky Duck Brewery. Views of the Portage Lakes, painting parties, special events.
ThornCreek Winery
155 Treat Rd., Aurora: Food and wine on seven acres of heaven.
High & Low Winery

588 Medina Rd., Medina: Its motto? “It’s about sass, not class.” Full menu and vineyard seating.

Cocktails: It’s 5 O’clock Right Here.

Stir (or shake) up some excitement with these area specialties.
Spanish Old-Fashioned 
Bourbon,
Pedro Ximinez Sherry, Angostura bitters, Aztec bitters
Crafted Cocktail Co., 991 High St., Wadsworth
Morning Glory Fizz 

Glenlivet single malt scotch, absinthe, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites, seltzer water
Northside Speakeasy, 31 Furnace St., Akron
The Black Squirrel 
Blackberries,
vodka, fresh lemon juice and mint
Nineteen10 Restaurant & Lounge, 215 S. Depeyster St., Kent
Diplomatico Manhattan
Diplomatico Mantuano rum, vermouth, black walnut bitters, cherries
Bomba Tacos & Rum, 3900 Medina Rd., Akron
Summer Shrub 
Gin,
macerated grapefruit, champagne vinegar, soda
Old 97, 1503 Kenmore Blvd., Akron
Al fresco all over the place.
Good friends and good times.
A passion for craft brewing.

Ready to splash some cash? We’ve got you covered.

At 83, Artist Don Drumm Marches On
If there were a patron saint of Greater Akron art, it would be Don Drumm. The octogenarian’s whimsical works are installed all over the world, but no place more than Greater Akron. Curvilinear, flowing and enchanting, his art is unmistakable. It can be seen along freeways, on fences, inside hospitals and in fountains. But Drumm’s art is not limited to big, public installations; he makes candlesticks and clocks, cookware and coasters.
In the 1950s, Drumm pioneered the use of cast aluminum and still counts it among his media today. In 1960, Drumm opened his studio in a home near The University of Akron to begin life as a full-time artist and teacher. In 1971, he and his wife Lisa, also an artist, expanded the studio to incorporate a one-room gallery. Today, his studio and gallery are housed in eight buildings. They provide gallery facilities for more than 500 artists, studio space for three resident artists and plenty of delights for shoppers.

A visit to Don Drumm Studios & Gallery isn’t an in-and-out enterprise. Plan to spend some time and prepare to be enchanted.

10 Tempting Shopping Spots.

First and Main Hudson: an outdoor shopping center with a mix of national and local retailers. Check out Gracylane for gifts and Scout & Molly’s for women’s clothing.

 

The Learned Owl, Hudson: an old-fashioned, independent bookstore on two levels. It’s for bibliophiles of all ages.

The Fashion School Store, Kent: one-of-a-kind designs created by students at Kent State University’s top-ranked fashion school.
Woodsy’s, Kent: Northeast Ohio’s largest independent music store. Guitars, keyboards, gear and school band rentals.
The Peanut Shoppe, Akron: an area institution for 85 years. Time stands still there, and the smell of roasting nuts is swoon-worthy.
Rubber City Clothing, Akron: a custom apparel manufacturer and retailer. It makes and sells cheeky and charming t-shirts that show Greater Akron some love.
Century Cycles in Peninsula and Medina will get you off and pedaling on the Towpath Trail or the city streets. Named one of America’s Best Bike Shops since 1999.
The Village of Peninsula: luscious art galleries and gift shops. You can take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad into the village, shop, eat and take the train home. Or ride your bike to and fro on the Towpath Trail.
Ohio Station Outlets, Burbank: a train-themed outlet mall with retailers such as American Eagle and Under Armour. Train rides are $4 a person.

First and Main Hudson: an outdoor shopping center with a mix of national and local retailers. Check out Gracylane for gifts and Scout & Molly’s for women’s clothing.

The Learned Owl, Hudson: an old-fashioned, independent bookstore on two levels. It’s for bibliophiles of all ages.
The Fashion School Store, Kent: one-of-a-kind designs created by students at Kent State University’s top-ranked fashion school.
Woodsy’s, Kent: Northeast Ohio’s largest independent music store. Guitars, keyboards, gear and school band rentals.
The Peanut Shoppe, Akron: an area institution for 85 years. Time stands still there, and the smell of roasting nuts is swoon-worthy.
Rubber City Clothing, Akron: a custom apparel manufacturer and retailer. It makes and sells cheeky and charming t-shirts that show Greater Akron some love.
Century Cycles in Peninsula and Medina will get you off and pedaling on the Towpath Trail or the city streets. Named one of America’s Best Bike Shops since 1999.
The Village of Peninsula: luscious art galleries and gift shops. You can take the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad into the village, shop, eat and take the train home. Or ride your bike to and fro on the Towpath Trail.

Stroll Our Malls.

Summit Mall in Fairlawn is anchored by Macy’s and Dillard’s. It has the only Apple store between Cleveland and Columbus. Check out Arhaus and Banana Republic.
Each holiday season, Akron’s Chapel Hill Mall is home to a giant snowman named Archie who made his first holiday appearance in 1968. He’s an Akron thing. Make sure to visit J.C. Penney and Journeys.

Medina means antiquing.

Many visitors are drawn to Medina simply because the town square—with its gazebo, green space and historic buildings—is exquisitely charming. It’s a no-chain zone with dozens of intriguing mom-and-pop shops and restaurants in the square’s environs. Medina is a paradise for antiques shoppers.
Medina Antique Mall
2797 Medina Rd.: 52,000 square feet with more than 500 dealers.
Brothers Antique Mall
6132 Wooster Pike Rd.: uncluttered with homey display rooms; more than 100 dealers.
Medina Depot Antiques
602 W. Liberty St.: housed in the historic 1894 train depot; 100-plus dealers.
This-n-That Antiques
234 N. Broadway St.: about 40 sellers one block north of the town square.
For even more places to Eat, Toast, and Shop, check out the listings at the Akron/Summit CVB.
Don Drumm
Rubber City Clothing
Medina Square