Kent is home to a vibrant, diverse restaurant scene populated mostly by independently owned and operated kitchens. There’s perhaps no better time to explore Kent’s locally-owned restaurants than participating in Kent Restaurant Week. Get out, get to know your local chefs, and you’ll not only be helping the local economy, but you’ll add a trusted partner in your food exploration journey. I’m endlessly surprised by the talent, skill, and friendliness that can be found in our restaurants. From grab-and-go meals, brunches, to fine dining, Kent is a foodie’s delight. We’ll be highlighting all of our restaurants with upcoming posts and features!
Fine Dining in Kent, Ohio
Treno Ristorante is more than just the architectural centerpiece of Downtown Kent, its also an exquisite Italian restaurant offering everything from robust, earthy salads to Mozzarella Spiedini, Goat Cheese Ravioli and Italian mainstays like Lasagna Con Carne (with a delightful smoked provolone béchamel) and Spaghetti & Meatballs (hand rolled with a blend of ground beef, pork and veal, grated parmesan and fresh herbs). No matter where you are seated, you’ll delight in the rustic interior. Sound extravagant? It can be. But, we’ve also seen a fair share of dressed down patrons cozy up to Treno’s gorgeous bar for a craft beer. Follow Treno on Facebook!
Franklin Hotel Bar
Franklin Hotel Bar’s chef, James Crookston, is inventive with his weekend features and seasonal small plates. Recent offerings include everything from Fajitas de Lingua (with slow braised beef tongue, pineapple pico, and roasted salsa) to Cumin Seared Scallops with tomato-saffron Arborio rice. Equally creative are their handcrafted cocktails – available daily with weekend features developed to pair nicely with Crookston’s small plates. Everything on the menu will delight, so order a few small plates to share with friends or business associates. You’ll love the cozy comfort of the soft seating near their fireplace or the retro, red leather booths. Everything about Franklin Hotel Bar invites you to enjoy in the conversation of both friends and strangers alike. Follow Franklin Hotel Bar on Facebook!
Bistro On Main
Bistro on Main is a chef-driven restaurant with hand-tossed pizzas, fresh wild caught seafood, fresh pasta, burgers and sandwiches. Chef/Owner Aaron Ruggles and his wife Jeniffer, manager/partner, make sure you have a satisfying stay at Bistro On Main with a welcoming staff and atmosphere, incredible knowledge of wine (see Jeniffer for wine needs!), and a creative menu that is both earthy (Fire Charred Hanger Steak, Baby Blue Salad) and refreshing (Chicken Salad & Avocado Toast). Follow Bistro On Main on Facebook!
Breakfast & Brunch
Tree City Coffee
When I’m on the run, Tree City Coffee & Pastry is my first go-to for a quick breakfast or brunch. Their overnight oats are always fresh, flavorful, and a good energy boost to my endless running around. I’ll gladly swap out overnight oats for an Avocado Toast or a Rosemary & Sea Salt bagel (made by Cleveland Bagel Co.) with either whipped cream cheese or fresh hummus. Their seasonal beverages are always a delight, but I tend to stick to their large assortment of teas or Nitro Cold Brew – throughout the wintery months. Follow Tree City Coffee on Facebook!
Over Easy Morning Cafe
When I want something more substantial in the morning, Over Easy (next to Tree City Coffee) surprises me with their quality breakfast and brunch staples that are so reasonable for what you receive, you’d think there’s no way they’re covering their costs. Their Sausage Gravy & Biscuit has just the right amount of sage and pepper. And, for the health conscious, it is prepared with turkey sausage (though you’d never know the difference). Brunch items like their not-to-be-missed Venison Chili & Biscuit are available after 11am. Follow Over Easy Morning Cafe on Facebook!
Roger Hoover is a photographer, songwriter, founder of local marketing agency Rust Creative, and serves on Main Street Kent’s Marketing Committee. Rust Creative helps small businesses reach larger audiences through search engine optimization, social media management, and advertising. There is nothing he loves more than cooking for his wife Ysabel and their daughters Ava & Margo.