2018 Dining Guide Awards Winners

. September 25, 2018.
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When we want to know what to eat, where to drink, and how to celebrate, we ask our readers. Who else would know the best bar in downtown Toledo, the coolest new restaurant, or the hippest place to be seen? Read on to see who TCP readers voted for during this year’s dining guide awards.

PLACES | PEOPLE | POTIONS | PLATES

Places

Best Restaurant: Inexpensive (under $10)

419 Tacos
3309 N Holland-Sylvania Rd
419-214-1330 | facebook.com/419tacos

This Mexican restaurant opened its doors in April, and despite its short tenure in the culinary scene, has stolen the community’s hungry hearts. Tacos, burritos, tortas, and other favorite Mexican dishes make up the menu, all at affordable prices. You’ll fill up easily for less than $10 here.

Runner Up: Zingo’s Mediterranean

Best Restaurant: Overall

Mancy’s Steakhouse
953 Phillips Ave
419-476-4154 | mancys.com

Since 1921, Mancy’s has been serving up expertly prepared steaks, earning accolades as one of the top steakhouses in the nation. Aged, hand-cut and seared at 1500 degrees, their steaks are mouthwatering, and prepared using the same techniques passed from generation to generation.

Runner up: Rosie’s Italian Grille

Best View

The Heights
444 N Summit St
419-243-7565 | theheightstoledo.com

On the rooftop of the Downtown Toledo Renaissance Hotel is The Heights. Readers agree that the view here is breathtaking, with an open concept space, large floor-to-ceiling windows, and sliding walls, you can see the heart of Toledo and look beyond for miles.

Runner up: Real Seafood Company Toledo

Best Hidden Gem

Local Thyme Restaurant and Bar
6719 Providence St, Whitehouse
567-246-5014 | localthyme.pub

This hip, low-key gastropub offers weekly drink and dinner specials, trivia on Thursdays, and live music every Friday and Saturday. There’s something for everyone, as the extensive menu offers many options with appetizers, salads, wings, sandwiches, burgers, pizza, pastas, and, a customer favorite, chicken chunks.

Runner up: Guac Shop

Best Outdoor Patio/Dining

El Camino Real
2500 W Sylvania Ave | 419-472-0700
2072 Woodville Rd | 419-693-6695
elcaminorealtoledo.com

Everyone loves a good sunny day, so why not dine outside? Care for some sunshine, a nice breeze, a margarita and a menu featuring authentic Mexican offerings like enchiladas, chimichangas, and fajitas? Join our readers who love to lounge on El Camino Real’s beautiful and expansive Mexican-inspired patio.

Runner up: Rosie’s Italian Grille

Brewpub

The Oliver House/Maumee Bay Brewing Co
27 Broadway St
419-243-1302 | mbaybrew.com

One of Toledo’s oldest buildings, the historical Oliver House is home to multiple businesses, including the Maumee Bay Brew Pub, where craft beer enthusiasts enjoy local brews. All the beer is made on site, and served in the Pub, The Cafe, Rockwell’s Steakhouse, and Mutz Sports.

Runner up: Earnest Brew Works

Best Waterfront Dining

Real Seafood Company Toledo
22 Main St
419-697-4400 | realseafoodcotoledo.com

A staple at The Docks, Real Seafood continues to astound patrons with fresh, quality seafood. If the restaurant was any closer to the Maumee, it would be floating. Check out the outdoor patio at sunset, you won’t be disappointed!

Runner up: Webber’s Waterfront Restaurant

Best Splurge Restaurant

Final Cut Steak & Seafood at Hollywood Casino
1968 Miami St
419-661-5200 | hollywoodcasinotoledo.com/dining/final-cut-steakhouse

With hand-selected USDA prime beef, fresh seafood and a 200-bottle wine list, it’s easy to indulge at this fine dining establishment. Choose from delectable steak options, like their 45-day dry aged porterhouse, along with treats from the sea such as king crab legs, lobster, crab, scallops or grilled shrimp. When everything tastes so good, price doesn’t really matter.

Runner up: The Chop House – Toledo

Fast-Casual Eatery

Balance Pan-Asian Grille
Multiple locations.
balancegrille.com

For hungry diners in search of vibrant flavors, fresh fixings, nourishing combinations, signature sauces and a harmonious fusion of diverse Pan-Asian cuisines, Balance delivers quickly and efficiently. Regulars revel in the ease of their popular take-out business, often ordering pick-up with their user-friendly smartphone app.

Runner up: Sidon Lebanese Grille & Bakery

First-Date Restaurant

Carlos’ Poco Loco
1809 Adams St
419-214-1655 | carlospocoloco.com

Anchoring the Adams Street corridor in Toledo’s UpTown, and surrounded by hip bars, shops and music venues, Poco Loco boasts a trendy environment great for showing your cool, creative side to your crush. Sip mojitos and margaritas, nosh on authentic Cuban fare, or order from the Cocina de Carlos menu, and find the right spice level to begin, or end, the night.

Runner up: Benchmark Restaurant

Food Delivery Service

Deliver Toledo
delivertoledo.com

Those who are too busy, or for a better word, lazy, (it’s okay, it happens to all of us) to go out and pick up food will find comfort with Deliver Toledo. The downloadable smartphone app tracks your location and provides a list of restaurants available for food delivery. It only takes a few seconds and it’s right at your fingertips. No wonder it’s a City Paper reader favorite.

Runner up: Eat At Oasis Pizza & Grill

Mom & Pop Restaurant

Schmucker’s Restaurant
2103 N Reynolds Rd
419-535-9116 | schmuckersrestaurant.com

Ever since 1948, Schmucker’s has been serving up real-deal home cooking at an affordable price. Food lovers will die for homestyle dinners just like grandma used to make like roast beef and swiss steak, or try their diner classics with a variety of burgers and sandwiches. For a sweet ending, sample their famous freshly baked pies.

Runner up: Glass City Cafe

New Restaurant

Benchmark Restaurant
6130 Levis Commons Blvd
419-873-6590 | benchmark-restaurant.com

Benchmark burst onto the scene at the end of 2017, but it took owner Chef Jeff Dinnebeil a year of planning and a lifetime of creating his reputation to make it happen. When he was ready to open Benchmark, Dinnebeil barely had to hire—his staff came to him excited to work at his new American steakhouse. The menu, interior, quality of food and service reflects the entire restaurant’s love for simply fine dining.

Runner up: Basil Pizza & Wine Bar

Restaurant You Wish Was Still Open

Revolution Grille

Considering his culinary commitment to cool, creative and clean dishes, with comforting, but complex flavors, it’s no surprise locals miss Chef Robert Campbell’s Revolution Grille. Fortunately, you can now find the lauded Toledo chef’s well-recognized, playful and unique cooking style, and love of local, fresh and sustainable foods, at Monroe’s Dolce Vita.

Runner up: Dégagé Jazz Café

Restaurant To Take A Foodie To

Registry Bistro
144 N Superior St
419-725-0444 | registrybistro.com

Situated right in the heart of downtown, this eclectic eatery serves up Chef Erika Rapp’s creative and flavorful dishes that any foodie will appreciate. The focused menu allows each dish to be handcrafted in an elegant style. Pair your meal with a glass of wine, craft beer or signature cocktail.

Runner up: Element 112 Restaurant

Place For A Pre-Show Dinner

Georgio’s Cafe International
426 N Superior St
419-242-2424 | georgiostoledo.com

Settle into an elegant, dimly-lit atmosphere to savor a classic, fine dining lunch or dinner before or after a show. Adjacent to the Valentine, theater-goers cherish Georgio’s old-school, timeless sophistication.

Runner up: Sebastiano’s Italiano

Menu: Late Night Eats

Home Slice Pizza
28 S St Clair St
419-724-7437 | homeslice419.com

In the heart of downtown near all the action sits this favored Warehouse District pizzeria. Open until 11pm Sunday through Wednesday, until 1am on Thursday, and until 2am Friday and Saturday, it’s obvious why TCP readers love to grab a late night slice of their “New York” style, thin crust options. The best part? A full bar upstairs keeps the party going.

Runner up: Doc Watson’s

Restaurant You Want To Try

Rasa Restaurant and Bar
2633 W Bancroft St
419-725-0525 | rasarestaurantandbar.com

You’ve likely seen Rasa’s gorgeous platings on Instagram—each menu item is a work of art all its own—so Toledoans will be happy to know that the taste of the dishes match the pictures. Always unique and consistently creative, this forward-thinking, eco-friendly and chic eatery knows how to strike the perfect balance of pushing the limits and serving what patrons crave. You owe it to yourself to give it a try.

Runner up: Kengo Sushi & Yakitori

Restaurant: East of the River

Cousino’s Steakhouse
1842 Woodville Rd, Oregon
419-693-0862 | cousinossteakhouse.com

Since 1945, Cousino’s Steakhouse has been making friends in Oregon. Their classic take on the American Steakhouse comes easily from all their years of experience. Famous for their house special sirloin dinner and Sunday Brunch buffet, Cousino’s is a versatile restaurant, with a variety and vibe to please the whole family.

Runner up: The Original Tony Packo’s

Place For A Business Lunch

Grumpy’s
34 S Huron St
419-241-6728 | grumpys.net

This family-owned restaurant, famous for its Garbage Salads and sandwiches, has something for everyone. Whether it’s soup, wraps, or burgers, Grumpy’s is a homey-yet-professional place to gather for a casual, relationship-building lunch meeting.

Runner up: The Adams Street Cafe

Place For Chinese Takeout

QQ Kitchen
3324 Secor Rd
419-720-8703 | qqkitchen.com

QQ has such a cult following that they don’t even bother with weekend hours—their bustling Monday-Friday lunch and dinner service keeps them busy enough. Order ahead and pick up everything from typical Chinese takeout favorites with your choice of protein (including some of the best tofu in town), or opt for more traditional fare, like black bean noodles.

Runner up: Yum Yum Chinese Restaurant

Place To Celebrate

Final Cut Steak & Seafood at Hollywood Casino
1968 Miami St
419-661-5200 | hollywoodcasinotoledo.com/dining/final-cut-steakhouse

Like to celebrate by dressing up, going out to a fancy restaurant and raising a toast with glasses of win? Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, a milestone, or your wins from the connected Hollywood Casino, Final Cut Steakhouse is your perfect choice. Their extensive wine list will please a discerning oenophile’s palate

Runner up: Georgio’s Cafe International

Place To Hear Live Music During A Meal

The Village Idiot
309 Conant St
419-893-7281 | villageidiotmaumee.com

Maintaining the music scene in the Toledo area for local and national artists, this pizzeria provides live music acts every night of the week. Enjoy craft beers from the bar along with a top-notch pizza in a cozy, friendly environment.

Runner up: Ye Olde Durty Bird

Place To Impress

The Heights
444 N Summit St
419-243-7565 | theheightstoledo.com

The elegant space sits at the very top of Downtown’s Renaissance Hotel and offers incomparable views that are enough to impress anyone you bring along. The rooftop bar’s open concept is ideal for mingling and meeting new people you want to impress. It’s also not uncommon for local celebrities to make an appearance here, so it’s best to show up in your nicest outfit to make the right impression.

Runner up: Element 112 Restaurant

Place To Be Seen

Mancy’s Steakhouse
953 Phillips Ave
419-476-4154 | mancys.com

Imagine yourself surrounded by carved wood, stained glass and brass, leisurely enjoying a world-class steak and a handcrafted cocktail. As your throw your head back in laughter—likely after charming your dinner companions with a witty joke—an old friend (or, better yet, an old rival) walks by and sees you seated in this picture of elegance. For simply delicious moments like these, paired with truly delightful meals, Toledoans have chosen Mancy’s since the restaurant first opened in 1921.

Runner up: Ventura’s Mexican Restaurant

Place To Not Be Seen

Rocky’s Bar
4020 Secor Rd | 419-472-1996
See them on Facebook @rockysrules.

Have you ever had a day where the idea of running into an acquaintance sounds horrifying? On less-than-social days like those, where you don’t want to be seen, TCP readers choose Rocky’s. So, next time you need a break, find solace in this dive bar’s calm environment and cool vibe. Either drink alone or strike up casual conversation with a stranger. Your choice. We aren’t telling, and nobody’s watching.

Runner up: Dorr Street Cafe

Restaurant: Bowling Green

Reverend’s Bar & Grill
130 E Wooster St, Bowling Green
419-352-0533 | reverendsbarandgrill.com

For a heavenly experience, go down to Bowling Green for truly divine burgers and sandwiches paired with garlic fries, soups and salads all at prices that even college students can afford. Pick from an assortment of microbrews, specialty beers or scratch-made cocktails, like margaritas, sangrias or the tantalizing blueberry mojito.

Runner up: Campus Pollyeyes

Restaurant: Downtown Toledo

The Chop House – Toledo
300 N Summit St, Suite 140
888-456-3463 | toledochophouse.com

Downtown is home to many great restaurants, but the one that takes the cake, according to City Paper readers, is The Chop House. With tender cuts of USDA Prime beef, made from scratch desserts and a bar full of premium liquors, this is the place to be when dining out downtown.

Runner up: M Osteria & Bar

Restaurant: Lower Michigan

Dolce Vita Italian Grille
391 N Telegraph Rd, Monroe
734-241-6100 | monroedolcevita.com

About 20 minutes north of the Ohio-Michigan border in Monroe sits this contemporary eatery serving Italian-American cuisine and sushi. Maybe it seems like an odd pair, but the combination succeeds with decadent flavors, leaving customers satisfied and excited to come back for more.

Runner up: Angelo’s Northwood Villa

Restaurant: Maumee

Mancy’s Bluewater Grille
461 W Dussel Dr, Maumee
419-724-2583 | mancys.com

Cast your net into the Maumee area and you’ll find fresh seafood and a chic atmosphere at this premium seafood restaurant: Mancy’s Bluewater Grill. Perched next to Dussel Drive, the Mancy family’s spot for ‘seafoodies’ is a sure catch with elegant ambiance, craft cocktails and creative recipes.

Runner up: Bangkok Kitchen

Restaurant: Sylvania

Element 112 Restaurant
5735 N Main St
419-517-1104 | element112restaurant.com

This unique and upscale Sylvania restaurant shines in the suburb’s cozy downtown. Foodies with insatiable appetites cannot pass up the daily menu, which uses prized, seasonal ingredients, while connoisseurs savor the chef’s tasting menu experience, created by the celebrated chef, Chris Nixon.

Runner up: J & G Pizza Palace

Restaurant Worth A Drive

Mon Ami Restaurant
3845 E Wine Cellar Rd, Port Clinton
419-797-4445 | monamiwinery.com

An hour drive seems like around the corner as Mon Ami offers more than just exquisite food and drinks. Beneath the restaurant is a wine cellar, the oldest in the Lake Erie Islands region, housing their award winning selections. Live entertainment takes over the chalet on Fridays and Saturdays while customers can relax in their warm, cozy dining room with a seafood buffet on Saturdays and brunch on Sundays.

Runner up: Evans Street Station

Spot For Breakfast

Mayberry Diner
Various locations.
mayberrydiners.com

Open specifically for breakfast and lunch, the small diner’s commitment to serving the best breakfast in town never fails. Their extensive menu stretches from simple meals like eggs and hashbrowns to hearty omelettes and griddle favorites.

Runner up: Star Diners

Spot For Brunch

Manhattan’s Pub ‘n Cheer
1516 Adams St
419-243-6675 | manhattanstoledo.com

Manhattan’s Sunday Brunch is one to remember, and City Paper readers did just that. Sunday’s buffet is absolutely stunning with over 30 items to try, like Prime Rib, made-to-order waffles, omelets and Bloody Mary Bar. Say no more.

Runner up: Champions Bar & Grille at Brandywine Country Club

Spot For Lunch

Original Sub Shop & Deli
402 Broadway St
419-243-4857 | originalsub.com

If you’re all about buying local and eating fresh, follow City Paper voters to this place. If it’s not homemade in house, it’s produced and delivered by local businesses (All Crumbs Bakery provides the bread). Sauces and soups are made from scratch and cheeses, jams and seasonal veggies are all locally-sourced.

Runner up: Greg’s Grill

Most Creative Menu

Registry Bistro
144 N Superior St
419-725-0444 | registrybistro.com

Registry Bistro didn’t invent outré dining in Toledo, but they’ve certainly refined it. Experimenting with a whole host of flavors and culinary flourishes, Chef/Co-owner Erika Rapp has made innovative eating extremely palatable with seasonal menus that beckon diners to dine adventurously.

Runner up: Element 112 Restaurant

Pub Fare

Shawn’s Irish Tavern
Various locations.
shawnsirishtavern.com

Since opening in 1968, this locally-owned pub has continued to be a crowd pleaser with several locations in the area. Customers can’t get enough of Shawn’s hearty helpings, from pizza and ciabattas to fresh salads and sandwiches. Whether dining in or taking home, the fare is tantalizing and sure to satisfy your hunger cravings.

Runner up: Swig Restaurant

Best Use Of Local Ingredients

Element 112 Restaurant
5735 N Main St, Sylvania
419-517-1104 | element112restaurant.com

Element 112’s ever-evolving menu is so good because it’s so simple. Chef Nixon picks ingredient-focused options sourced from local farms then coaxes the tastes to shine in incredible ways.

Runner up: The Adams Street Cafe

Restaurant: Perrysburg

Benchmark
6130 Levis Commons Blvd
419-873-6590 | benchmark-restaurant.com

Chef Jeff Dinnebeil is known for serving up artistic meals packed with flavor. The menu adopts a creative take on traditional steak and seafood restaurant cuisine by putting a modern twist on American dishes guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.

Runner up: Swig

Rooftop Bar/Restaurant

The Heights
444 N Summit St
419-243-7565 | theheightstoledo.com

Offering hand-crafted cocktails, award-winning wines, and craft beers, it’s no surprise readers love to come here for a drink. The bar also has wood-burning ovens that cook small plates, fresh pizzas and appetizers, perfect for sharing with a group. The 360-degree skyline views are a bonus.

Runner up: Fleetwood’s Tap Room

People

Best Baristas

Joelle Marie,Infinite Zen Coffee & Noshery
infinitezencoffee.com

Sometimes you can’t wait for a cup of joe, so Infinite Zen brings the coffee shop to you. Owner and barista Joelle Marie knows what java junkies want, so she loads up her food truck with tasty treats and a full espresso bar, offering everything from classic espresso drinks to blended frappes, smoothies, and more.

Runner up: Jeffrey Bartlett, Glass City Roasters

Best Bartender

Barb Best, Georgjz419 Fun Food & Spirits
1205 Adams St
419-842-4477 | facebook.com/GeorgjzToledo

When Barb turned 21, she started bartending at the historic Bretz Nightclub. After the LGBT hotspot closed at the end of 2017, Barb moved over to UpTown’s new favorite inclusive, friendly spot, Georgjz419 Fun Food & Spirits. We are almost afraid to ask if “Best” is her real last name, but either way, the friendly, hard working, and welcoming Barb has sure earned it.

Runner up: Danielle Butler, Cheer’s Sports Eatery

Best Catering

Michael’s Gourmet Catering, Inc
101 Main St
419-698-2988 | michaelsoftoledo.com

For a full-service caterer that provides everything from linens to waitstaff to decorations, along with savory entreées and gorgeous cakes, Michael’s is the first choice for TCP readers. And why wouldn’t they be? With a rentable venue and catering options for gatherings of any size, this family-owned catering company ensures that hosts will be completely hands-off during their party.

Runner up: Shorty’s BBQ

Best Overall Staff

Mancy’s Restaurant Group
mancys.com

The Mancy family opened their first restaurant in 1921, opened their seventh restuarant in 2017, with plans to open an eighth restaurant in 2019. How do they do it? Dedication, following tradition, and excellent service. Whether you’re looking for steak, Italian fare, seafood, or classic American cuisine, you can depend on Mancy’s commitment to consistently high-standards along with their helpful, friendly and knowledgeable staff. It’s a Toledo tradition.

Runner up: Kengo Sushi & Yakitori

Farmers Market Vendor

Busia’s Pierogi Shack
facebook.com/busiaspierogishack

Local and handmade is where it’s at for this fan favorite vendor. Stuff yourself with delicious filled pierogies and/or buy them to prepare at home. Busia’s sells them frozen to take with you. The Shack recently announced they will start offering homemade soups as well in October.

Runner up: Holey Toledough – Handcrafted Doughnuts

Food Truck

Smashdawgz Food Truck
facebook.com/smashdawgz

This truck dishes up one of America’s favorite foods—the hotdog—but made gourmet. Customers can choose from endless toppings of different cheeses, chorizo or ground beef chili, veggies, salsa, coleslaw and more to smother their all beef jumbo dog on their choice of a regular, sweet, brat, or bolillo bun.

Runner up: Rusty’s Road Trip

Local Food Supporter

BCAN’s Four One Nosh
bcanarts.com

Dive into the local culinary scene with Tim McMahon for his show Four One Nosh, which earned an Emmy nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences–Lower Great Lakes Chapter. Focusing on the culinary arts by visiting area food joints, breaking down the dishes and introducing the individuals who make them, Tim offers viewers a behind-the-scenes access to the food we love to eat.

Runner up: Smashing Toledo

Pastry Chef/Baker

All Crumbs, Dan Muszynski
facebook.com/AllCrumbsBakery

All Crumbs supplies fresh-baked bread, pastries, muffins and bagels to local farmers markets, restaurants and coffee shops. Muszynski’s small, independent bakery uses high-quality ingredients and carefully honed recipes to bake
fan-favorite treats that consistently sell out quickly.

Runner up: Wixey’s Bakery

Restaurant Supplier

Sofo Foods
1-800-969-0320 | sofofoods.com

Since the 1940’s, the Sofo family has delivered Italian foods to individual customers as well as restaurants. The company has since evolved to become the largest ethnic food distributor in the Midwest. In addition to the headquarters in Toledo, they now have three distribution centers in New Albany, Indiana, Suwanee, Georgia and Houston, Texas. Sofo’s food now reaches restaurants and pizzerias in 22 states.

Runner up: Al Peake & Son’s & Daughter Foodservice

Restaurateur

Labib and Elias Hajjar
The Beirut, Byblos, Poco Piatti

Toledoans love the Beirut Restaurant for its health-conscious, delicious Mediterranean meals, and it’s no surprise that the regional staple serves their fresh fare family-style—for owner Labib Hajjar, family is what the business is all about. Not only did Labib’s love for food and hospitality lead his success as a restauranteur, allowing him to open a second restaurant, Byblos, it inspired his son, Elias Hajjar, who has opened two locations for his fine dining tapas eatery, Poco Piatti, since 2002.

Runner up: HoChang “CJ” Jang and Prakash “PK” Karamchandani, Balance Grille

Local Spirits

Toledo Spirits Company
1301 N Summit St
419-243-7445 | toledospirits.com

Every well-stocked bar in the area should boast a few bottles from Toledo Spirits Company, and for good reason—the small-batch craft distillery fills the Glass City with warming whiskeys, surprisingly mellow moonshines, original orange liqueur, silky strawberry vodka, and bold bitters perfect for clean, cool cocktails. Find bottles at their speakeasy-style downtown distillery, on the menu at most cocktail bars and restaurants, or at special events, where the team finds success with frequent creative collaborations.

Runner up: Temperance Distilling Company

Cooking Classes

Foodology
2059 W Laskey Rd
567-970-7100 | foodolgytoledo.com

Looking to hone your knife skills? Interested in learning about special ingredients and how to prepare them in a new recipes? City Paper readers will send you to Foodology, which offers classes for all age groups—just for kids, adult only, or family-friendly. Learn how to prepare a mean burger, stuff a pierogi, or make fresh pasta from scratch. There’s plenty of new skills that you’ll gain at this instructive facility.

Runner up: Chef Tracy 419 and Chef Drew Ruiz

Coffee Roaster

Actual Coffee
567-694-5075 | actualcoffee.com

Actual Coffee doesn’t have time to operate a cafe—they already supply beans to a number of local favorites, including The Flying Joe and DaCapo. Committed to sustainability and bold taste, this Toledo-based roaster uses fresh beans to roast their specialty, high-quality blends that are rich in flavor. For true java enthusiasts, there’s only one choice for filling your cup: Actual Coffee.

Runner up: Maddie and Bella Coffee Roasters

Potions

Bar: Bowling Green

Reverend’s Bar & Grill
130 E Wooster St, Bowling Green
419-352-0533 | reverendsbarandgrill.com

A varied tap with a dozen styles of craft beer keeps enthusiasts satiated, but Reverend’s biggest draw is the sinful and heavenly assortment of cocktails. Find margaritas, martinis, sweet “bartinis,” whiskey cocktails, and other specialty drinks perfect for sipping, or gulping.

Runner up: Doc’s Big City Saloon

Bar: Downtown Toledo

The Attic on Adams
1701 Adams St
419-243-5350 | theatticonadams.com

This popular UpTown bar reflects what we love about Toledo—diversity. Everyone is welcome and everyone gets what they want, whether it’s relaxing with a craft brew and a laid-back crowd after work, navigating an excited crowd pounding cheap beers, or spending a late-night sipping creative cocktails.

Runner up: Georgjz419 Fun Food & Spirits

Bar: East Of The River

Frankie’s Inner City
308 Main St
419-698-4020 | innovationconcerts.com

Frankie’s, a staple of Toledo’s music scene, is a small and intimate space which hosts local and national musical act—a perfect spot to enjoy live tunes while sipping a beer at the bar or on the patio. Even on nights without a show, local crowds gather here for good times and conversation.

Runner up: Luckie’s Barn & Grille

Bar: Lower Michigan

Forest View Lanes
2345 W Dean Rd, Temperance, MI
734-847-4915 | forestviewlanes.com

It’s more than a bar—it’s a bowling alley! Who said drinking and bowling don’t mix? No one. It’s great fun and well, maybe a little risky, but only for your score. What’s not risky is taking advantage of their late night drink specials.

Runner up: Nick & Nino’s Coal Fired Grill

Bar: Maumee

Village Idiot Maumee
309 Conant St
419-893-7281 | villageidiotmaumee.com

The Village Idiot is a great, multifaceted bar that serves amazing pizza and a hub for local and traveling bands to showcase their talents. Plus, it is a de facto museum of randomness, from its menagerie of strange images on the walls to its mixed bag of drinkers and regulars. But don’t take our word for it, find out for yourself.

Runner up: Dale’s Bar & Grill

Bar: Perrysburg

Swig
219 Louisiana Ave
419-873-6224 | swigrestaurant.com

The ability to absolutely gorge on great food while tossing back big glasses of booze is like a direct link to our Viking ancestors. Even if you don’t have Scandinavian lineage, that shouldn’t stop you from conquering this watering hole with your buddies in tow.

Runner up: Stella’s Restaurant

Bar: Sylvania

Sodbuster Bar
5758 Main St #6
419-517-1045 | sodbusterbar.com

In recent years, downtown Sylvania has become more sophisticated, with a bustling arts district, fine dining restaurants, chic shops, and more. Yet, City Paper readers still look to Sodbuster’s for a low-key, casual time. Find live music, sip-worthy booze, plenty of beer, and a lively crowd of like-minded folk every night of the week.

Runner up: Inside the Five Brewing Company

Sports Bar

Shawn’s Irish Tavern
Multiple locations.
Shawnsirishtavern.com

Casual, comfortable and loved by Toledo, Shawn’s knows what customers want and has provided it since 1968. Find good times, great food, strong drinks and everything else you might expect from an Irish pub as you watch a game on one of the many big screen TVs.

Runner up: Cheer’s Sports Eatery

Dive Bar

Rocky’s Bar
4020 Secor Rd
419-472-1996 | facebook.com/rockysrules

For live music, cheap beer, and curious characters, dive into Rocky’s. No frills, no fluff, just cold brews, generously poured shots and friendly locals await you at this hole-in-the-wall dive with excellent food options.

Runner up: Triple Crown Lounge

Wine List

Mancy’s Italian Grill
5453 Monroe St
419-882-9229 | mancys.com

The addition of the Bottle Shop just compounds what we already know: the Mancy’s restaurants are as adept at wine as they are at food. With fantastic selections of some less common vintners that pair beautifully with their food offerings, City Paper readers say that Mancy’s bottle options are second to none.

Runner up: Basil Pizza + Wine bar

Locally-Brewed Beer

Maumee Bay Brewing Co
27 Broadway St
419-243-1302 | mbaybrew.com

Can you even drink beer in Toledo without sipping on some M Bay brews? Maybe, but why would you? Since 1995, the Maumee Bay Brewing Co. has crafted some seriously balanced beer, from serious stouts to light lagers and plenty of limited edition releases, the Toledo icon always has something on tap worth pouring over.

Runner up: Earnest Brew Works

Best Bar Overall

Barr’s Public House
3355 Briarfield Blvd, Maumee
419-866-8466 | barrspublichouse.com

With the same measured contemplation that goes into their artful and diverse food menu, Barr’s Public House artfully crafts splendid cocktails. Bartenders are the new chefs and nowhere is that more evident than this Maumee-based gastropub and bar.

Runner up: The Attic on Adams

Craft Cocktail Selection

Registry Bistro
144 N Superior St
419-725-0444 | registrybistro.com

When the names are as impressive as their ingredients, you know you’re in for a masterful, unique craft cocktail. Pour over the artful menu to select a strong drink that matches your mood, then allow the bartender to mix you a cocktail that tastes as good as it looks, and sounds.

Runner up: Barr’s Public House

Hangover Cure

Star Diners
Multiple locations.
stardiner.org

The only real way to soothe a stomach unsettled by excessive alcohol consumption is to fill it with something equally indulgent— like a four egg omelette, a giant waffle or French toast made with “BIG” pieces of challah bread. Fortunately, Star Diner is here to serve Toledoans generous portions at small prices.

Runner up: Nick & Jimmy’s

Happy Hour

Ventura’s Mexican Restaurant
7742 W Bancroft St
419-841-7523 | venturasmexicanrestaurant.com

Ventura’s is a neighborhood favorite for their tangy margaritas and great atmosphere, but it’s the happy hour specials that bring in the biggest crowds. Their famous margarita Tuesdays, from 11am-9pm, offer great discounts, and daily cocktail specials from 11am-6pm keep everyone satisfied. New this year, sink your teeth into half-off select appetizer—which rotate weekly—from 3-6pm Monday-Thursday.

Runner up: Rosie’s Italian Grille

Place To Buy Local Beer

Walt Churchill’s Market
26625 Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg | 419-872-6900
3320 Briarfield Blvd, Maumee | 419-794-4000
waltchurchillsmarket.com

The decision on what beer to get isn’t complicated at Walt Churchill’s Market. With select beer sampling, customers can get a taste before they buy it to take home.

Runner up: Joseph’s Beverage Center

Place To Drink Local Beer

Maumee Bay Brew Pub
27 Broadway St
419-243-1302 | mbaybrew.com

The classic Glass City brewery, Maumee Bay Brewing Co. offers everything you need to fill your glass, or growler, from cult-favorites like Buckeye Beer, Glass Hopper IPA, Glass City Pale Ale, or newer releases, like High Level Lager, Cherry Vanilla Porter, and Suchy’s Revenge. Each of their 47 styles offers great taste, Toledo history, and a fan following. Head to the Oliver House to sip M Bay brews in one of six venues.

Runner up: The Casual Pint – Toledo

Bloody Mary

Ye Olde Durty Bird
2 S St Clair St
419-243-2473 | yeoldedurtybird.com

The Bird’s bloody mary is a meal in itself. Made with fresh horseradish and a house-made filthy dirty juice (a concoction of pickle, pepper and olive juices), this bloody mary has a life of its own. Served with pickle spears and celery in a seasoned salt-rimmed pint glass, the presentation previews the delicious taste, accompanied by snacks such as cheeses and peppers.

Runner up: Manhattan’s Pub & Cheer

Margarita

Ventura’s Mexican Restaurant
7742 W Bancroft St
419-841-7523 | venturasmexicanrestaurant.com

Ventura’s margaritas are known for being classic bar drinks—No frills, no fluff. They keep it simple and delicious with a classic, consistent margarita cocktail that is strong enough to get the job done.

Runner up: El Camino Real

Martini

Rosie’s Italian Grill
606 N McCord Rd
419-866-5007 | rosiesitaliangrille.com

This romantic, Tuscan themed restaurant is known for serving up authentic Italian cuisine since 1982, and in recent years, they have gained a following dedicated to their swanky bar. Enjoy a large selection of strong, tasty martinis keep select patrons in the bar upfront, enjoying live music and delicious starters.

Runner up: Mancy’s Italian Grill

Bubble Tea

Balance Pan-Asian Grille
Various locations.
419-243-2222 | balancegrille.com

Sip on something special with a fresh and flavorful bubble tea from Balance. These unique beverages are served cold as either fruit or organic milk teas, with almond milk also available, and brewed with uncommon and surprising flavors, like honeydew, matcha, passion fruit, jasmine, taro, red bean and more.

Runner up: Infinite Zen Coffee & Noshery

Juice Bar

All Juice
3115 Sylvania Ave
419-360-3904 | alljuicedelivery.com

Being healthy should be simple, affordable and taste great. This is All Juice’s belief and they make it come true with their nutrientdense, cold-pressed juices. Each 16 oz bottle contains 2-4 pounds of fruits and veggies, helping to strengthen the immune system, improve digestion, increase energy and boost overall health, among other benefits.

Runner up: Fowl and Fodder

Plates

Classic Burger

Koral Hamburg Food Truck
419-704-1030 | koralhamburg.com

From a brick and mortar diner to a moving concession stand, Koral Hamburg has branched out from their former Maumee and Waterville locations to provide everyone in the Toledo area with quality burgers by making stops all over town. While all their burgers are handmade from fresh ground chuck and sizzled to perfection, the extraordinary “Kardiac Burger” contains loads of flavor with double the patties, bacon, American, Swiss and cheddar cheeses, mushrooms, and traditional toppings, before finished off with a beer-battered onion ring.

Runner up: Berger’s Bar and Grill

Creative Burger

Bar 145
5305 Monroe St
419-593-0073 | bar145toledo.com

Burgers are deceptively complicated—everyone likes them a certain way—and Bar 145 knows this. So they invite patrons to be as choosy as they want, allowing diners to design their perfect burger with a laundry list of chef’s selections, premium toppings, and whatever else is needed to satisfy adventurous foodies, classic burger purists, and everyone in between.

Runner up: PerrysBurgers

Classic Pizzas

The Original Gino’s Pizza
Various locations.
originalginos.com

Pizza just doesn’t get any better than the Original Gino’s. Their secret sweet red sauce and buttery crust is irresistible, no matter the toppings. A fan favorite: well done cheese with cajun sauce.

Runner up: Marco’s Pizza

Creative Pizzas

Pizza Cat
4034 Monroe St | 419-214-1640.
Also inside Ottawa Tavern:
1815 Adams St | 419-725-2531
pizzacat.com

Pizza Cat wants to keep Toledo weird, and they’re doing it with premium pies sporting seriously creative concoctions, which occasionally border on the bizarre. Find clever names—like Bone Thugs n Bacon, Smelly Cat, and Dragon Boat—and over 50 unique recipes, often named after locals, at this hip pizzeria. Want to make it even more weird? Treat yourself with a hemp crust.

Runner up: 5th Street Pub

Steak

Mancy’s Steakhouse
953 Phillips Ave
419-476-4154 | mancys.com

There’s a reason Mancy’s is the best-known name in food in NW Ohio, and it all starts with their fantastic steaks. Whether you want to sink your teeth into a New York Strip, a porterhouse, a filet, or another pleasing selection, their premium steaks are butched on premise and seared at 1500-degrees for that satisfying, beefy goodness.

Runner up: Rockwell’s Steakhouse

Sushi

Kengo Sushi & Yakitori
38 S Saint Clair St
419-214-074 | kengotoledo.com

With fish this fresh, it’s easy to see why Kengo Sushi takes the prize. Kengo’s popular Omakase “leave it up to the chef” option is a two-hour dining experience consisting of the finest selections from Chef Kengo Kato. It’s unbelievable.

Runner up: Domo Sushi

Coney Dog

Duce’s Dawgs
419-266-2161 | ducesdawgs.com

With a made-from-scratch chili recipe stemming from the 50’s, this food truck dedicates itself to the chili dog. 100% all beef hot dogs smothered in Duce’s Dawg sauce and other dog toppings keep aficionado’s coming back for more. The truck can be spotted all over town, but a schedule is posted online so you know exactly where to get your Duce’s fixing.

Runner up: Rudy’s Hot Dog

Falafel/Gyro

Tiger Bakery
4215 Monroe St | 419-473-8942
6710 W Central Ave | 419-842-0047
tigerbakery.com

Feeling full without spending a lot of money—without feeling sluggish and unhealthy afterwards—isn’t the easiest task, but Tiger Bakery makes it happen for $3.95. Find fantastic falafel, generous servings or gyro, and other Mediterranean favorites at this local oasis.

Runner up: The Beirut

Pie

Schmucker’s Restaurant
2103 N Reynolds Rd
419-535-9116 | schmuckersrestaurant.com

Whether you have an occasional sweet tooth, or an entire mouth full of them, Schmucker’s has been satisfying sugar cravings since 1948. With more than 20 types of handmade pies, available Monday through Saturday, including classic fruit pies and unique favorites like Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Split, your options are only limited by your appetite.

Runner up: The Cinnamon Stick

Ribs

Shorty’s True American Roadhouse
5111 Monroe St
419-841-9505 | mancys.com

Cooked low and slow for 18 hours, hand cut, seasoned with Shorty’s special dry rub and served with their special recipe barbecue sauce, there’s no question why City Paper readers voted these the best ribs in Toledo. They got the rib recipe down to a T.

Runner up: Deet’s BBQ

Tacos

San Marco’s
Multiple locations.
sanmarcosmexicanrestaurants.com

When people crave authentic Mexican tacos, they head to San Marco’s, a local business that opened 12 years ago. The primary location on Broadway is also a market, selling quality Mexican groceries, meats and baked goods. Stop by the store and/or grab a bite to get inspired to make your own dishes.

Runner up: Cocina de Carlos & Poco Loco

Pasta Dish

Rosie’s Italian Grill
606 N McCord Rd
419-866-5007 | rosiesitaliangrille.com

Three words: Lobster Mac n’ Cheese. This dish and many others have put Rosie’s Italian at the top of the list. For those who miss the original Rosie’s Pizza shop, the family tradition of making gourmet Italian food hasn’t changed.

Runner up: Mancy’s Italian Grill

Killer Salads

Grumpy’s
34 S Huron St
419-241-6728 | grumpys.net

Grumpy’s has been voted the best place to eat a salad for a number of years. Their notorious “Garbage Salad” is especially noteworthy—mixed greens, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, raisins, grilled chicken, four cheeses topped with bacon bits and homemade croutons all mixed in poppy seed dressing. But you cannot go wrong with their other salads, which all feature homemade dressings and local ingredients.

Runner up: PJ’s Deli

Southern Food

J’mae’s Home Cooking
3117 Lagrange St
419-720-8222 | jmaeshomecooking.restaurantwebexpert.com

Comfort and fullness go hand in hand at J’mae’s, which pleases with enticing soul food. Fried chicken wings, pork chops, mac n cheese, and meatloaf are just some of the plentiful, home-cooked menu items available.

Runner up: Josephine’s Kitchen

Best Chef

Chef Jeff Dinnebeil
Benchmark Restaurant
6130 Levis Commons Blvd, Perrysburg
419-873-6590 | benchmark-restaurant.com

While just over 30-years-old, Chef Jeff Dinnebeil began his culinary career in Toledo at age 13, working as a dishwasher at Saba’s Chophouse in Sylvania. He has made a host of epicurious friends along the way while working at Northwest Ohio’s restaurant staples. Now, Chef Dinnebeil boasts his own steakhouse with a contemporary take on the classic American concept, making the food people love in deceptively-simple and consistently special way.

Runner up: Chef Robert Campbell, Dolce Vita Italian

Wings

Fricker’s
Multiple locations.
frickers.com

Spread throughout Ohio, this sports bar and restaurant originated right here in Toledo. From sweet sauces, like teriyaki and honey mustard to spicy “Frickin’ X-Scream” and everything in between, there’s something for every chicken wing lover out there. Not feeling saucy? Fricker’s also offers dry rub seasonings. Get your buddies together, order up some wings and enjoy the game.

Runner up: Ralphie’s Sports Eatery

Desserts

Schmuckers Restaurant
2103 N Reynolds Rd
419-535-9116 | schmuckersrestaurant.com

Savor the melt-in-your-mouth flavors of the many desserts at this local favorite. With over 20 kinds of fresh, homemade pie, cheesecakes, ice cream sundaes and shakes, there’s plenty of ways to enjoy a sweet ending.

Runner up: NeNe’s Sweets

Gluten-Free Options

Fowl and Fodder
614 Adams St | 419-214-1588
7408 Central Ave | 419-690-2490
fowlandfodder.com

Fowl and Fodder is all about organic, locally-sourced ingredients and healthy options. Gluten-free bread can be substituted in any meal and all of their sides are gluten-free. The eatery is perfect for anyone with gluten allergies, or who is eating a particular diet, because of their accommodating choices.

Runner up: Earth to Oven Bakery

Vegan/Vegetarian Options

The Leaf & Seed
419-265-3163 | theleafandseed.com

The Leaf & Seed proudly bares the title of NW Ohio’s first vegan food truck, but more importantly, they’re the winners of the TCP’s 2018 Dining Awards! With healthy and delicious menu items like their Seitan Reuben and Artichoke Burger, The Leaf & Seed has found a specialty niche in the food truck game.

Runner up: Balance Pan-Asian Grille

Most Instagram-Worthy Plates

Kengo Sushi & Yakitori
38 S St Clair St
419-214-0574 | kengotoledo.com

Think raw fish isn’t aesthetically pleasing? See how Kengo Sushi and Yakitori carefully prepares and presents the fare in such a way that diners need to pause for a photo of their plate. Their website is even replete with photos of their sushi, yakitori dishes, and ingredients that will make your mouth water.

Runner up: Brim House

Mac N’Cheese

Social Gastropub
25818 N Dixie Hwy, Perrysburg
419-931-9936 | socialgastropub.com

Close your eyes and you can see that heaping dish of cavatappi and cheese blends from Social, loaded with premium add-ons like lobster, pork belly, bacon, sriracha and so much more. Social has reinvented the mac n’ cheese game in this Northwest Ohio and everyone has clearly taken notice.

Runner up: Rusty’s Road Trip