There is perhaps no better way to pig out than with a plump hamburger! Ohio has some excellent burgers, and to prove it, I have compiled a list of The Top 5 Burger Joints in Ohio (according to ME), as featured on DISCOVERING OHIO, THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE OHIO DIVISION OF TOURISM.
1. Swensons Drive-Ins: Swensons has only seven locations and they can all be found in beautiful Northeast Ohio. The very first of these yummy establishments was erected in 1934 near Market Street in West Akron. Now, you can also find Swensons in North Akron, Kent, Montrose, North Canton, Jackson Township, and Seven Hills. These restaurants have been recognized numerous times as having some of the BEST burgers in the nation, including Forbes Magazine, who gave Swensons the title of America's Best Burger. Swensons was also featured on The Food Network's show "Food Feuds" in which it won the title of the "Best Juicy Double Cheeseburger in the Akron Area." These are just some of the morsels of praise Swensons has received throughout the decades. The Galley Boy hamburger is what to get when you go there. It is famous for its two mysterious special sauces that are slathered all over a double cheeseburger and garnished with a single green olive.
2. Kewpee Burger: I had never heard of Kewpee Burger until a coworker and I made a random trip toNorthwest Ohio. In search of a cheap yet different lunch, my coworker spotted the Kewpee Burger restaurant and excitedly squealed into the parking lot. The building looked like it was straight from the 1960s and had an over-sized baby doll donning a chef's hat on its sign. Looking past the weird baby dolls and inspecting the menu, it looked like your standard McDonald's menu - only cheaper! The prices seemed as frozen in time as the burnt orange decor! I ordered the cheeseburger combo meal that came with fries and a soda. As it turns out, there are only five Kewpee Burger locations still in existence, three of which are in Lima, Ohio. It was founded in 1923 and is the 2nd oldest hamburger fast food chain in the world! In fact, Kewpee Burger is where Dave Thomas used to go growing up as a kid and served as his inspiration for Wendy's. This was some rich fast food history that originated right here in Ohio!
3. Thurman Cafe: Located in the quaint neighborhood of German Village in Columbus, this burger joint has garnered a great deal of fame, as it has appeared on national television, most notably on the Travel Channel's hit show "Man Vs. Food." On the show, the host takes on the challenge to attempt to eat the ginormous burger "The Thurmanator." It's quite an impressive sandwich that consists of two 3/4 pound beef patties under a half a pound of ham and bacon, covered in mozzarella, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sauteed onions, pickles, jalapeno peppers and mayo. WHEW! It's so massive that the bodybuilders who come to Columbus each year for the Arnold Fitness Classic come here to wolf one down. The normal sized burgers are indeed delicious here as well, but be warned that because of its appearance on TV, there is often a wait involved.
4. Fathead's Saloon: Take one look at the photo above of the gargantuan burger with roasted red peppers, bacon, cheese and a side of homemade chips and you will know why it's called Fathead's! Located in North Olmsted (a suburb of Cleveland), you can not go wrong by visiting this fan favorite brew pub! The amazing food is paired with fantastic award winning beers like Head Hunter Pale Ale, Up In Smoke Porter, and Bumble Berry Honey Blueberry Ale. Fat Head's also offers tours, which is an added bonus! The ambiance here is laid back and perfect for a pre-concert or pre-Cleveland Indians game meal & brew.
5. Tank's Bar & Grill: If you're ever in the Dayton area, you owe it to yourself to head to Tank's Bar & Grill located not far from the Oregon District. This place may look like a dive bar, but they sure know how to throw together one hot, juicy, amazing beef patty! Tank's is known for their Tankburger, which consists of a half a pound of ground chuck on an onion, kaiser, or wheat roll with mushrooms and grilled onions. Additionally, Tank's offers one of the best vegetarian options around with Lori's Veggie Burger (I couldn't forget about all of you herbivores out there). After a long day of fun in Dayton with friends, I stopped here for a refreshing PBR and to find out why Tank's has been dubbed "The Best Burgers in Dayton."