Eating Your Way Through Wooster, Ohio in 48 Hours

Located outside of Akron and Cleveland, Ohio, the micro-city of Wooster has the charming, fun personality of a long-lost friend. To pack the most punch in two day stay, we have gathered the best places to eat while you enjoy the many wonders of Wooster.
By Annelise McAuliffe

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Located 45 minutes from Akron and just over an hour from Cleveland, Ohio, the micro-city of Wooster has the charming, fun personality of a long-lost friend. With the liberal College of Wooster and a armful of antique shops nestled within, the town was named after David Wooster, a general of the Revolutionary War. A weekend in Wooster will be short and sweet, but still keep you looking forward to a trip back for another stroll down the revitalized main streets. To pack the most punch of two days, we have gathered the best places to eat at stay while you enjoy the many wonders of Wooster.

Day 1

Breakfast
Upon your early arrival in Wooster, because there is a lot to see and do, head straight for Tulipán Hungarian Pastry and Coffee Shop. Owner Elizabeth Lakatos, came to Ohio from Hungry in 1976 with her mother’s recipes in tow. With authentic pastries, coffees, and breakfast selections, it is highly recommended that you start your day here and take back pastries for later. Be sure to try the many-layered Dobos Torte and nut Kiflis.

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Spend the rest of the morning exploring the square and Main Street of downtown Wooster. Pop into the plethora of antique stores and be sure to make a stop at the rare books store, Books in Stock.

Snack Time
From there walk to Local Roots Market. By this time you should be ready for a snack and some interesting food to stimulate your foodie mind. Dive into the year-round marketplace of local jam, jerky, cheese, and meats.

Next up is a visit to the The College of Wooster to take a stroll through the 240 acre campus. If you visit during the school year be sure to check out their free art museum.

Lunch
Head back into downtown Wooster for lunch at Matsos Family Restaurant & Pizza. A Greek restaurant, opened by Spiro Matso in 1970 in New Haven, Connecticut. Eventually the restaurant moved to Wooster when Mr. Matso met and married his Ohio-based wife. We strongly recommend you order the addictive spaghetti pizza. It may sound like a strange carbohydrate overload, but it is worth every calorie. Spiro created the pizza to cheer up his sick son, it worked and became a favorite on the menu. Before you head out, order baklava for dessert and take a couple bottles of Matsos Greek Dressing as a souvenir.

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Before your next meal, take a ten to fifteen minute drive outside of downtown to be surrounded by nature and cattle. Home of the Certified Angus Beef brand headquarters, Wooster is filled with restaurants serving delicious beef and is surrounded by farms raising some of the best angus cattle. If you have the opportunity, take a tour of the Chippewa Valley Angus. Rod Ferguson and his team are knowledgable about the beef industry and what it takes to make the best beef.

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Beer Time
Next up on the food trail is Buehlers. It may seem weird to be heading to a supermarket while you are on vacation, but it is totally worth it. Walk through their beautiful display of Amish produce and head to their beer bar. Yes, that’s right this grocery store has a bar where you can try some of the best local beers. Take a growler to-go for the hotel room.

Check in at your boutique, but affordable, hotel at the St. Paul. This beautifully redesigned hotel shows it’s age and original late 1800’s build in the exposed brick and original tin ceiling in the lobby. The new touches feature local, contemporary art, modern furniture, and luxury bathrooms. For someone who appreciates a classic feel with a modern twist, this hotel has paired the two vibes perfectly for a relaxing home away from home. Don’t forget to put in your request for tomorrow’s breakfast. It will be delivered to your door!

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http://www.stpaulhotelwooster.com

Before dinner, go five miles out of town to Spangler Park. With over 320 wooded acres, the secluded trails and overlooks offer a beautiful way to unwind before dinner.

Dinner
Head to the state-of-the-art Education & Culinary Center at the Certified Angus Beef headquarters in Wooster for their Grill Talk dinner. Their Executive Chef Michael Ollier, dishes out the secrets to perfect grilled steak. While he demos you get to sit back and enjoy the delicious meal the team has prepared. You may even get the chance to see a half of a cow being broken down.

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Dessert
You will think you are too full to ever eat again, but trust us there is still room. Located conveniently next door to the St. Paul hotel is South Market Bistro. Indulge in any of their delicious plated desserts, and be sure to try their dessert wine flight to cap of your night.

Day 2

Breakfast
Get a relaxing start to the day in the comfort of your cozy hotel robe. With delicious breakfast offerings, the hotel delivers food to your room at the time of your request. While you enjoy your morning meal, read the Wooster High School Newspaper. Besides being an impressive example of school journalism, you will instantly be propelled back to your high school days while getting a better feel of the town.

Start your day at the free Secrest Arboretum right in Wooster. Founded in 1908, the arboretum has a beautiful display of plant life with a history of research on display.

Lunch
Eat lunch at the aromatic Broken Rocks Cafe & Bakery for more of the beef that you were dreaming about since the grilling demo last night. Serving up local craft beer, Certified Angus Beef, and freshly baked bread this is the perfect establishment for an early and filling lunch.

The Ohio Light Opera runs through the summer and showcases some of the best acting and musical talent from around the world. Shows play every day but Mondays and start at 2pm or 7:30 at night. At an affordable price, it would be silly to pass up on the opportunity to see such impressive shows.

Dinner
The First Amendment Public House on Main Street makes some of the best Angus burgers and craft beer. Stay after dinner to hear fun music and maybe even join in the dancing, too.

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While the night is still young, guzzle one last beer before your departure. JAFB Brewery has an impressive selection of their local brews that should not be passed up. Take a tour or just enjoy a great beer in their bustling taproom.

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You can now return home and brag to your foodie friends about how much good beef, beer, and pastries you had in Wooster, Ohio. An unlikely gem, but a spectacular one to say the least.


36 Comments
  1. Totally missed out on Spoon! Great sandwiches, beer selection and an in house deli to boot. They have so many hand made sausages it’ll make your head spin. Definitely eat there for breakfast day 2, especially because it’s not even a whole block away for St.Paul. Also, you NEED to go to Coccia house for their pizza, if you love garlic as much as I do you might cry when you take a bite. Lastly, do yourself a favor and head to Hartzler Family Dairy Creamery. One hundred percent grass fed beef dairy. Mitchel’s ice cream in Cleveland actually uses their milk due to its quality, but their in house ice cream (and custard) is to die for. It is a Wooster pride. Great list! Thanks for coming to Wooster. It has grown ten fold since I left after high school, now I kinda wish I would have stayed.

  2. Along with great bread, Broken Rock also has the best mojito in town. And don’t forget City Square Steakhouse! It’s fabulous.

  3. More suggestions: The Grande Ranch for better, lighter pizza than Coccia’s and Bishop’s Restaurant (don’t order anything but the Nutty Muffit and onion rings, though you might want to wash it down with a chocolate coke and follow it with a home-made pie).

  4. Hello, just wanted to take a second and let you know you missed one of the not-so hidden gems of Wooster, The Hero House, home of some of the best subs in America,I’ve had Philly cheese steaks and these are better.You owe it to yourself to try it next time your there.

  5. another good place for dessert, is The Faithful little Cupcake! Another good place to eat some good meat, Omahoma’s Bobs barbeque! And Breakfast, The Parlor, all the way!

  6. This makes me want to run downtown to try some of these places I’ve not really been sure of. Definitely going to add a lot of them to the date night/day list! Thanks for reminding the foodie in me that I don’t have to travel far for great food.

  7. Hi Annelise!

    I was so happy to see that you hit many of the wonderful gems in my hometown on your visit to Wooster. Because of all we have to offer food and culturally related, I am very proud to show them off with Wooster Food Tours! You hit a number of our partners, but you need to come back to experience others (City Square Steakhouse, Tulipan, Omahoma Bob’s, Spoon, Muddy Waters, Wooster Inn, The Wooster Book Company, TJ’s Restaurants, Ride On, and on and on!). It is so exciting to see Wooster get its due with this glowing article, and I hope we get many more hungry visitors to town!

  8. Between my wife and I one of us is in a Beuhlers about every day , when did they get a beer bar and which one ? Milltown or town market?

    1. Hi Allen, I went to a store outside of Wooster for the beer. But good news, I went on a tour of the Buehler’s in Wooster that is under construction and beers on tap were mentioned as part of the addition!

  9. The Hero House, Coccia House, and Hartzler Dairy must be part of your itinerary if you make it back again. Try the Philly Cheesesteak with an order of malt vinegar fair fries. Coccia House is the ultimate pizza stop in town, but be sure to get plenty of toppings on the pizza to stand up to the mound of cheese that tops it.
    Glad to see you came to Wooster! Try the Hero House for lunch next time you stop in!

  10. you really do need to try hero house for a great sandwich!! plus there is no mention of coccia house pizza!
    I think you may need to take a longer weekend next time!! Thanks for visiting!!!

  11. Coccia House pizza is a must when you come to Wooster. You may have to wait an hour or so as they are fresh on the spot and made to order, but well worth the wait!

  12. Faithful Little Cupcake, would have a been a great place for a dessert.
    And Muddy Waters Café is also very nice for a bite to eat and coffee :D

  13. Thanks for coming to our amazing little town. Glad you enjoyed it as much as I do. I know others probably agree, but if you make it back, you should really try to get to The City Square Steakhouse and Spoon. They’re 2 of our best!

  14. HOW in the world can you go to Wooster and not have Coccia House Pizza???? All of us College of Wooster alumni FLOCK to it! DELICIOUS!

  15. My kids beg for Hartzler’s chocolate milk. I’m starting to suspect there’s addictive chemicals in it, but the cows are hormone free…so I doubt it :) I grew up in Wooster, but live in Columbus now, excited to see Hartzler’s carried in the stores here.

  16. Definitely look up Lerch’s donuts! Almost 80 years of family owned and operated donuts. They’re a staple of of the Wayne County fair!

  17. I just moved to Wooster from the East Coast … not necessarily because of all the good food and vibrant revitalized downtown, but that sure helped seal the deal. Annelise scratched the surface; other readers/writers have mentioned most of the places she missed (Broken Rocks & Spoon top my personal list) — although The Wooster Inn deserves a nod, especially for its Pub food and drink … to be consumed after watching the Fighting Scots defeat whatever rivals might come to play D3 college basketball on wintry Saturday nights. However, one thing to keep in mind is that if you’re coming to Wooster on a weekend, don’t expect to find too many places still open by the time dinner rolls around on Sunday evening.

  18. As a recent graduate of The College of Wooster, I can verify that First Amendment and JAFB (which stands for Just Another Fucking Brewery, funny enough) helped me get through my senior thesis (better known as I.S.) while Spoon and Tulipan helped me nurse my resulting hangovers on those tricky mornings after.

    And to whoever recommended Hero House, A+ work.

  19. The good thing about the article is that for anyone that reads it as an outsider. An increased awareness of “other places” in Wooster that are not the staples of the community are going to be brought to light. That being said…The article mentioned the “best” places to go if you have only 48 hours. Based on the comments I’ve read. If you read this as a potential visitor. Go with the places mentioned in the comments by the locals. Hero House for lunch, Coccia House for dinner, Hartzler’s for ice cream. City Square Steakhouse on your second evening. Those are “the best” places. One person mentioned CW’s. I’ve always personally liked the atmosphere at the Olde Jaol. How Coccia House was not mentioned in this article leaves me shaking my head.

  20. you totally missed out if you didn’t go to the Coccia house for a pizza. I traveled all over Europe and never found anything that could top it. David Bowie loved it while his son went to college. you can order one from where you are. They will mail it to you.

  21. Of course there would have to be one bad comment, I am from wooster, born and bred there. The restraunts in this town are amazing, it has been a long time since I have been home but did anyone forget about the Olde jaol restraunt,OMG amazing food when I was there. Top five list,

    1. Hero house
    2. Coccia house
    3. Matso’s
    4. Olde jaol restraunt
    5. Green leaf restraunt

  22. You totally missed Spoon, Coccia House and Muddy Waters cafe! Spoon has good food, an awesome deli and lots of exotic foods and imports. Coccia House is hands down the most popular pizza for locals, and its unique in that its run out of the first floor of old Joe’s house. Muddy Waters is great for the coffee fanatic that wants a change of pace (and a better price) than Starbucks. Plus if you’re looking for some excellent concrete malt mixers for dessert you won’t find any better than Dari Land! Also, for even better enjoyment of nature I would recommend a stroll through the OARDC gardens and trails. And if you like live music, Fiorres has good beer and live bands performing all summer long. And don’t even get me started on the Wayne County fair, held in Wooster in the late summer. Everyone goes to the fair, there’s animal shows, fair food, concerts every night, tractor pulls and demolition derbies, fair rides and carnival games, and also fair vendors selling their wares. Not to mention the different projects and competitions people from all over the county compete in. Wooster also has a nice sized farmers market during the summer on early Saturday mornings, its a great way to pick up some produce and local products straight from the farmers themselves! And if you want a fancier dinner, TJs is the place to go!

  23. Hands down best kept secret is the homemade cheesecakes to be found at Fiores there’s usually 5-6 different flavors to choose from.

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