I’ve visited the Midwest, mostly on football trips, and eaten at some iconic places. Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit have some great culinary traditions. While I’ve touched on the highlights, I always thought it would be fun to escape the big cities and take a tour of some of the lesser visited, less touristy hot food spots.
If you’re looking for home-style, home cooking Akron, Ohio diner spots, you can find them in Akron, Ohio. Driving through town, you’ll see a diner on every street corner. You can find elevated food choices, too. I found Crave. Try the Thai curry lobster or the cinnamon sage waffles with buttermilk fried chicken. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
The food is pretty, too. Like Top Chef assembled with food tweezers pretty. If you are a fan of Top Chef, you will get that reference.
Crave would feel right at home in Los Angeles or New York City, but the fact that it’s in Akron, Ohio makes it even more of a cool destination dining experience.
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When I think of Omaha, Nebraska, I think steak and potatoes. They have their share of steakhouses, but their culinary landscape is quite diverse. One area of Omaha is a must stop for foodies. Old Market is a historically inspired art and entertainment district in Omaha. The neighborhood has the feel of a European city in the middle of America. In Old Market, you can find Sushi, Tex-Mex, Italian, and Seafood. It also houses several breweries to get your drink on. It reminds me of the French Quarter or Georgetown in DC. It’s where the cool kids in Omaha hang out.
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Grand Forks, North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota isn’t just a college town on the Red River. The city has a rich history and a cultural awareness. Never mind that it’s cold most of the year; the city has a lot to offer. This is the place where you go for down home, American style food. I found The Blue Moose Bar & Grill. It just sounds like North Dakota. Inspired by the pioneers of the city, Blue Moose has something for everyone. The menu is massive with dishes like Black & Bleu Balls, The Honey Clucker, and the Supercaliforniaextraordinarilydelicious Burger.
I love a menu with a sense of humor.
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
This Michigan town has 100,000 people in it; 60,000 of them are college students at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, Michigan is a college town, but it has big city ambition.
Zingerman’s Delicatessen contributes to the laid-back atmosphere of this Midwest town. The comic-inspired menu adds to the fun atmosphere you are sure to meet at Zingerman’s. Even Oprah Winfrey has been a patron. The food is all natural and made in-house with love and care with recipes crafted in the 1300-square-foot restaurant with big flavor.
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Grand Rapids, Michigan
You can’t get more American and Midwest than the hometown of Gerald and Betty Ford, Grand Rapids, Michigan. While the president’s favorite food was pot roast, his second favorite might have been sushi from Maru Sushi & Grill. The artistic expression in their sushi is impressive. I’ve had sushi in Tokyo, so I know what I’m talking about.
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What is your favorite culinary region of America?