With a handful of Ohio’s oldest and most iconic restaurants being featured in this issue of AAA Magazine, including Bun’s Restaurant in Delaware, it seemed fitting to shine a brighter spotlight on Delaware County’s emerging culinary scene.
Delaware County, right in the heart of Ohio, is a place brimming with charm, indoor and outdoor attractions, arts and history. It also has been growing an exceptional reputation as a foodie destination. The options are boundless and the food is a chowhound’s dream. Here are a few of the county’s fan favorites.
Local Roots: (see headline image) Local Roots is in the center of quaint downtown Powell. Its philosophy is rooted in a commitment to its community. It has its own farm and sourced food/meat from local vendors as well. Its menu – including a signature cocktail – changes weekly. And its seasonal menu changes, well, seasonally. It also offers gluten-free options and a brilliant kids’ menu. Some of the crowd favorites include the zucchini fries, fresh avocado salsa, Lobster Mac-N-Cheese and the Seared Aukra Salmon. All its salads, of course, feature its own farm-fresh veggies, and its handmade salad dressings are amazing.Oak Hill Barbecue: This place in Sunbury offers chicken, pork, brisket and ribs that are melt-in-your-mouth, off-the-charts good. Sides include well-seasoned greens, slaw and the house favorite: Dirty Beans. Its sauces and desserts are homemade. And here’s a hint: If it has the Wood-fired Cheesecake, do yourself a favor and eat that first while it fixes your ‘cue.
Firehouse Tavern: Also located in Sunbury, home of the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial, this local restaurant bills itself as “Your Hometown Heroes Gathering Place.” Firehouse Starters, Battalion Sides and Chief’s Big Burgers are some of the categories you can choose from, but you’re not limited to just these offerings. Foodies will love its salads and wraps and, of course, its 5-Alarm Chili.
Vittoria: Vittoria serves authentic Italian cuisine in an Old-World, Tuscan-style setting. With its hand-painted murals and its open dining area and barrel-vaulted ceiling, this Powell restaurant exemplifies the ambiance and flavors of the quaint village of Alvito, Italy. An impressive wine list and warm hospitality compliment housemade focaccia bread, chicken cacciatore, grilled lamb chops and seafood risotto. You will feel right at home, or maybe as though you’re visiting Italy. And bring your friends; Vittoria loves group gatherings as well as romantic dinners for two.
12 West: In the middle of downtown Delaware, this modern, comfortable restaurant serves quality Mexican cuisine along with classic Midwestern dishes recreated with a Mexican flair. Patrons love their refreshing margaritas, tasty tacos and unique entrees like the green chili meatloaf. Sweet potato fries are a must-try and all its dishes incorporate seasonal local vegetables. The tostada is a favorite, and you can add chicken, steak, salmon or blackened shrimp. Street tacos are always on the menu, but it throws in some crowd favorites on the specials board, such as calamari or fried oyster tacos.