One of the best–and tastiest–ways to capture the true essence of any destination is by sampling a share of its local fare. By eating as the locals eat, you not only expose your taste buds to new and unfamiliar flavors, but also open yourself up to new surroundings, new people and new experiences.
Each year, Warren County locals (and frequent visitors) let their stomachs be heard, nominating their favorite locally owned eateries for the annual Best of Warren County Awards. Give these past winners a shot next time you’re in town!
Patriot Steakhouse & Tavern
As its namesake implies, Patriot Steakhouse has mastered the fine art of grilling meat. Awarded “Best Burger” honors at the 2013 Best of Warren County Awards, this Lebanon favorite boasts a wide variety of burger options, ranging from your classic all-American cheeseburger to a specialty patty topped with peanut butter, bacon and egg. Currently open only for dinner, Patriot also serves up pork, chicken, seafood, a variety of lighter options, and a full-service bar. (Note: The Patriot Steakhouse & Tavern unfortunately closed as of June, 2015)
Village Ice Cream Parlor
While it was old-fashioned frozen treats that put the Village Ice Cream Parlor on the map in 1969, the folks at this downtown Lebanon landmark know their way around a grill too. The winner of 2012’s “Best Burger” category, this nostalgic, old-time parlor serves up classic single and double burgers with traditional toppings, in addition to some of the county’s best soups, sundaes, and milkshakes.
Best known for its huge, tasty burgers, Quatman’s offers an uncomplicated menu of pub grub at affordable prices. Pair a burger with some fries and a mug of beer and you’ve got yourself the kind of hearty, homecooked meal that earned the Mason eatery Warren County’s “Best Burger” nod in 2011.
Golden Lamb Restaurant & Inn
A Warren County icon, the Golden Lamb Restaurant & Inn opened in 1803 and is Ohio’s oldest continuously operating business. Serving up modern American fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this legendary Lebanon eatery won “Best Dish” honors in both 2012 and 2013 for its succulent, sweet Prime Rib Sliders.
Little River Cafe
A favorite among locals and bikers alike, Little River’s drinks, large menu and entertainment from local musicians make it a great stop along the Little Miami Trail. Nachos and burgers fill out the menu, along with surprising inclusions–filet mignon and frog legs. The Oregonia eatery was voted “Best Local Restaurant” in 2010.
The Scoop on Sweet Treats
What would a food blog be without mention of dessert? Should you suffer from a sweet tooth during your Warren County stay, be sure to visit Lebanon’s Whit’s Frozen Custard, Franklin’s Mr. Frosty Ice Cream, or Waynesville’s Cobblestone Village Cafe–all previous winners of the “Best Dessert” category.
Stay tuned for updates, as more Best of Warren County winners are coming soon!
Check out all of Warren County’s local dining gems at OhiosLargestPlayground.com.