Stark11: 11 Most Unique Restaurants in Stark County Blog RSS

Stark11: 11 Most Unique Restaurants in Stark County

January 2021 -- These venues pop with personality or individuality, and serve up great food and service. Some employ hundreds and some a mere handful. All are locally owned.

1. Bender’s Tavern Downtown Canton (Pictured above)

“Canton’s oldest and finest” – A slogan that rings true. In operation since 1902 and famous for seafood and wine selection, Bender’s sits in a beautiful, historic brick building along Court Ave. The elegant interior showcases marble and wood paneling over 100 years old. Top service, a great menu selection and daily specials offer choices that will please the most discernable palate. Great for a business lunch or date night. See the full menu here. 

TIP: Ask Seth to create a cocktail - one you have in mind or one he suggests - Then watch him work his magic.

2. Kennedy’s BBQ West of Downtown Canton

This cute little diner is often overlooked, and only partially because it sits by itself along railroad tracks in a neighborhood adjacent to the McKinley Monument. The other reason it’s overlooked is it’s size. It’s TINY. Sit at the swivel stools along the counter and order a cup of famous bean soup and a smoked pulled pork or turkey sandwich. Don’t forget to top it with secret recipe relish and a little bit of BBQ sauce. See the full menu here. 

TIP: Visit their sister restaurant up the road – Taggart’s Ice Cream

3. Bombay Sitar Jackson Township

Flavor flavor flavor. This Indian restaurant boasts of using “curry not found in the grocery store” and adjusting spice levels to your liking. Traditional dishes are plentiful and being a vegetarian is easy here. See the full menu here. 

TIP: Add garlic or plain naan to your order. It’s always made fresh.

4. George’s Lounge Downtown Canton

Known for grass-fed beef burgers and hand-cut fries. Housemade dipping sauces, and great desserts add to the mix. The vibe and décor is retro, casual, and fun. A horseshoe shaped bar occupies most of the space with a small stage that hosts live music. No TVs and friendly staff will make this your regular stop or a place to meet friends. See the full menu here.

TIP: Try the kamikaze sauce!

5. BAM Healthy Cuisine Jackson Township and North Canton

Who would have thought healthy food could be so flavorful? A variety of menu items - Sandwiches, wraps, burgers, pizzas, smoothies, salads, and more. Dine in or take out. See the full menu here. 

TIP: Grab some extra power bombs for a great on-the-go snack.

6. Fromage du Monde Downtown Canton

Rotating lunch paninis and soup are regularly on the menu, but the tour-de-force are the charcuterie boards and grazing trays. This is a small cheese shop with big city vibe. See the full menu here.

TIP: Drop your own board off and pick it up filled with an impressive spread.

7. Gervasi Vineyard Canton

In the heart of suburban Canton sits a charming winery with vineyards, multiple restaurants, a distillery, overnight Villas, conference spaces, culinary education center, and much more, all centered around a lake that’s lovely in all seasons. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported out of Ohio by the experience, food, wine, service, and atmosphere. See the full menu here. 

TIP: Take a tour of the winery and/or distillery and get behind-the-scenes access.

8. Hartville Kitchen Hartville

Home-style cooking and comfort food. Long lines move quickly. Shop at the nearby marketplace, children’s boutique, hardware store, and collectibles store. This one-of-a kind shopping destination is still family owned. See the full menu here.

TIP: Check out the bakery and take home some pies!

9. 330 Bar & Grill in the Doubletree Hilton Downtown Canton

Sleek, spacious and upscale décor instantly elevates that business lunch, date night, or get together with friends. One of the few area restaurants that offer poutine, with a delicious Chef Thomas twist. An extensive Sunday brunch menu gives you another reason to look forward to the weekend. Chicken and waffles, yes, please! See the full menu here.

TIP: You’ll never forget what time Happy Hour starts. It’s in the name (3:30pm)!

10. Baker's Cafe 33 Just south of Downtown Canton

Baker’s is known for it’s simple menu, no fuss/no frills atmosphere, and off-the-beaten path location. Look for a plain green building in a residential/industrial neighborhood. Steaks and baked potatoes are the top menu items. Simple and delicious with a dedicated following. See the full menu here. 

TIP: Save room for Peanut Butter Pie!

11. The ROOT Café Downtown Massillon

This vegan and gluten free café offers everything from salads, wraps, and pasta to burgers and sausage sandwiches (plant based “meats”). Chili mac is a fan favorite, as are the desserts – Baked from scratch and where the “roots” of the company began. Small but well-appointed space with windows facing Lincoln Way. People watch while you dine. See the full menu here.

TIP: After you eat, walk across the street to Massillon Museum and make it a cultural day trip.

Barb Abbott


Barb Abbott is owner of Canton Food Tours, a culinary tourism business based in downtown Canton that highlights the great food, fun, and history of the Hall of Fame City and surrounding region. Barb is active in the community, currently on the Executive Board of the First Ladies National Historic Site, a member of Aultman Hospital Women’s Board, on the ArtsinStark Board, and the Visit Canton Board, among various other boards and committees.  She resides in Canton with her husband, Mike, and son, Dominic. 

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