From healthy vegan eateries and contemporary American cuisine to legendary seafood and gourmet hot dogs, Youngstown and Boardman, Ohio, share a thriving dining scene more than fit for any discerning foodie. Read our guide to the cities’ best ten restaurants and discover why Youngstown and Boardman are becoming Ohio foodie hotspots.
Located within the DD and Velma Education and Visitor Center at the beautiful Fellows Riverside Gardens, the Garden Café is a perfect local spot for lunchtime dining, boasting spectacular views of the nearby Lake Glacier from its high glass walls and scenic outdoor terrace. Regular menu items include a wide range of hot and cold sandwiches, salads and wraps and a number of seasonal weekly specials and desserts. A delicious brunch is served every Sunday and diners looking for an extra special experience can try its Wednesday evening ‘Grilling over Lake Glacier’ outdoor event, weather permitting, or its special Easter and Mother’s Day buffets. Visitors enjoying the park can also order lunches in advance for picnics.
Based at the stunning DeYor Performing Arts Center Overture is the preferred choice for pre-show dining and offers diners an elegant, cosmopolitan space in which to sample chef Jeff Crystal’s creative American dishes. Crafted from quality, fresh market produce, seafood and meats Overture’s menu changes daily, though guests can expect standout dishes along the lines of herb-crusted chicken parmesan with Overture’s signature red sauce, tangy melted provolone cheese and pasta or grilled fresh salmon on a bed of fresh vegetables all complemented by a variety of palate-pleasing wines. Overture is also open Monday through Friday for lunch.
An absolute must-try for any beer and wine-lovers out there, Vintage Estate Wine & Beer is an intimate market selling an impressive 1,200-plus craft beer varieties and over 1,000 wines, complete with its own lounge in which its many beverages can be enjoyed alongside its delicious, casual food. Appetizers include tempting options such as baked brie with local honey and almonds or fresh, salted pretzels served with a honey mustard dipping sauce. Heartier plates come in the form of a range of gourmet flatbreads, salads and paninis; and irresistible desserts like fresh baked cinnamon sticks will perfectly round out the repast. Vintage Estate’s lounge also offers an extensive scotch and bourbon list and the area’s only mean bar.
V2 Wine Bar offers guests a concise menu of Italian-American inspired fare that includes a number of salads and small plates, sandwiches, pizza and pasta dishes. Perfect when paired with a selection from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. V2 is a stylish, industrial-chic space ideal for intimate dining. Try a selection of small plates like the crispy fontina polenta or edamame hummus and if V2’s wine doesn’t take your fancy, a good range of beers and martinis are also available.
The perfect destination for vegans, vegetarians and fans of healthy eating, Ely’s To Go is operated by Ely Pugh, who hails from Vietnam and brings her Asian and French influences to the restaurant, along with her husband Jim! A vegan, plant-based menu and an ethical commitment to offering ‘food for a lighter footprint’ by using local, organic ingredients and recycling waste, guide the ethos of Ely’s To Go and the popular joint has attracted a devoted following of both vegan and non-vegan diners. Ely’s menu changes daily, though guests can expect healthy, nutritious dishes like its recent vegan ‘chicken’ with green lentils, French green beans and a lemon-pepper vinaigrette.
Combining contemporary American cuisine with the eclectic flavors of Italy and Asia – as well as a reverence for fresh, seasonal ingredients – Culinary Arts Restaurant promises each and every guest an unforgettable, sophisticated dining experience. From its elegant dining room featuring stylish white booths perfect for relaxed dining or its charming patio, Culinary Arts Restaurant offers guests tempting and inspired dishes, such as the slow-cooked tender pork shoulder, fennel sausage and veal meatballs with crushed garlic, chilies and chianti wine on a bed of pappardelle pasta or the green tea roasted duck breast with buckwheat udon noodles, spicy teriyaki, toasted sesame seeds and scallions.
Home of the legendary Alaskan king crab leg, Youngstown Crab Company is a popular, upscale local seafood restaurant featuring a large, rustic bar, two nautically-themed dining rooms and a charming patio area ideal for al fresco dining in the warmer, summer months. Guests can choose from appetizers such as pan-fried Boston crab cakes with dill tartar sauce or clam chowder; before feasting on entrees such as the peppercorn-crusted South Pacific ahi tuna with spicy wasabi, sweet soy sauce and fresh pickled ginger; or choose from a number of meat and chicken dishes.
Blue Wolf Tavern is a popular haunt for local diners. With its cozy, homey interior featuring plenty of natural woods, a stone fireplace and comfy, secluded booths, Blue Wolf Tavern is the ideal place to relax with friends over a drink or two. Hungry diners will delight in its hearty, homemade fare which includes dishes like the chicken and shrimp jambalaya with bell pepper, onion, garlic, Andouille sausage and sherry wine marinara served on a bed of rice.
Another popular local vegan and vegetarian joint, The Flaming Ice Cube is a vibrant cafe with a dedicated diverse and health-conscious clientele. Alongside its nutritious fare, the cafe also sells a range of craft gift items. Try a healthy, hearty bowl of fruit and fennel organic quinoa with mandarin oranges, apple, red onion and a black pepper vinaigrette; or the vegan burger topped with sautéed mushrooms and onions, mozzarella and mayo; before perusing The Flaming Ice Cube’s cute gift shop.
Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts is a hip downtown Youngstown joint specializing in gourmet hot dogs and draft beers enjoys a dedicated clientele due to its specialty dogs and innovative toppings. Guests start by choosing a type of dog (super, corndog, veggie or local) and bun before choosing from 50 different creative varieties of toppings ranging from house ketchup or local bacon to pear ginger chutney and spiced chocolate chips. Alternatively, those spoilt for choice with all the toppings can opt for a house dog like the green chutney, coriander, curry sauce and carrot dog while Suzie’s stylish, laid-back space makes for the perfect spot in which to try a few of its 26 on-tap beers and regular live music events.