10 Famous Foods In Ohio: Dishes Ohio Is Known For

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Ohio might not be the first place that pops into mind when you think of unique and exciting cuisine, but the state has got some seriously tasty dishes. A bunch of the famous foods in Ohio actually draw their flavor from a variety of influences which makes it a great destination for a delicious food adventure.

What’s Special About Foods In Ohio?

One of the things that makes Ohio food unique is its diversity. Ohio is a melting pot of cultures, and you can taste that diversity in the food. From German-inspired dishes to Swiss and Serbian immigrants who brought their own culinary traditions to the region, Ohio’s food scene is a true fusion of flavors.

Another unique aspect of Ohio food is the use of local ingredients. The state is home to some incredible farms and producers, and many chefs and restaurants take pride in using locally-sourced ingredients in their dishes. These ingredients combine to create some truly special dishes that are a treat to the tastebuds.

Whether you’re visiting or just want to explore the culinary wonders of this great state, here are some famous foods from Ohio that you should hunt down and try. 

Most Famous Ohio Food

Buckeye Candies

Buckeyes are the pride of Ohio’s food scene and for good reason – they’re delicious, they’re cute, and they’re a symbol of the state – that is why Ohio’s official nickname is the Buckeye State.

This is essentially a sweet treat made of peanut butter and chocolate. Imagine a ball of creamy peanut butter dipped in chocolate so that only the top is exposed, just like a real nut of a buckeye tree! 

It’s kind of like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but in ball form and controversially… a hundred times better!

They are often served during football games, tailgates, or family get-togethers around the holidays. The sweet and salty combination gives them an irresistible flavor that’s hard to beat.

The recipe for Buckeye Candies dates back to at least the mid 1900s. They have become so beloved over the years that it is estimated more than 6 million pounds of buckeyes are consumed each year in Ohio. 

So be sure to indulge in this proud food of Ohio when you visit. They also make for great souvenirs that are representative of the Buckeye State.

Famous Foods From Ohio

Cincinnati Chili

Cincinnati Chili is a famous Ohio food that originates from, you guessed it, the city of Cincinnati.

It is a thin, meaty sauce that’s flavored with a unique blend of spices, including cinnamon, allspice, and cocoa powder. Cincinnati Chili is usually served over spaghetti or a hot dog, and topped with cheese, onions, and sometimes beans.

Skyline Chili is one of the most popular restaurants to try this famous Ohio food. It is served over spaghetti noodles in what is known as a 3-way, 4-way or 5-way depending on how many toppings you add. 

If you want your Cincinnati Chili with spaghetti and cheese, you order a “3-way”. To add on the onions or beans, you order a “4-way”. And of course, the best option to enjoy it is the 5-way which includes chili, spaghetti noodles, beans, onions, and shredded cheese. Some people even like to add diced jalapeños for an extra kick!

Cincinnati Chili is a comfort food that’s perfect for a cold winter’s day, but it’s also a fun and delicious dish to enjoy any time of year. It’s a great example of how Ohioans take traditional recipes and put their own unique spin on them, creating something truly special.

This is one rich and flavorful food Ohio is known for and it is not difficult to see why once you have tried it for yourself.

The Thurmanator Burger

No list of famous foods in Ohio would be complete without mentioning The Thurmanator Burger. This monstrous burger is a signature at the Thurman Cafe located in Columbus, Ohio.

This delish creation is a legend in the Ohio food scene, and for good reason. It’s massive, it’s delicious, and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

The Thurmanator consists of two 12-ounce giant patties between two buns that is piled high with a bunch of toppings like cheese, bacon, lettuce, mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes. Not to mention any sides like coleslaw and french fries.

While this burger is known for its size, don’t think for a moment that the taste is anything to scoff at. Each bite is bursting with flavor. It’s the kind of burger that you need two hands to hold and a whole lot of napkins to clean up after.

The Thurmanator is so outrageous that it has gained national fame. Thurman Cafe has been around since 1942 and has become a beloved spot for locals and visitors. 

In fact, the walls are covered in photos of famous people who have stopped by to try out The Thurmanator for themselves.

So if you’re feeling brave enough to take on this challenge, head over to the Thurman Cafe and get ready for an unforgettable experience! 

Polish Boy

This hearty sandwich has been around since the 1900s and is beloved by locals all over the state. It’s a mishmash masterpiece that combines a bunch of different flavors and textures to create something truly unique.

The Polish Boy is a classic Cleveland-style street food made with a grilled kielbasa sausage that’s topped with french fries, coleslaw, or sauerkraut, and smothered in barbecue sauce. It’s messy, greasy goodness that will leave you coming back for more!

It may sound like a strange combination at first glance but it works. The kielbasa is savory and smoky, the fries add a delicious crunch, the coleslaw adds a bit of tanginess, and the barbecue sauce ties it all together. It’s a match made in sandwich heaven!

You can find this delicious treat at many of the famous hotdog stands that dot the city of Cleveland. Plus it’s also becoming quite the popular food of Ohio gaining steam in other parts of the state. You can also find it at fairs and festivals.

Cultural Foods Of Ohio

Goetta Sausage

Goetta is a famous German sausage-like dish that has become an integral part of Ohio’s food culture. It was created by German immigrants in Cincinnati back in the 19th century and has since then been adopted by locals as their own.

The most popular version of this dish consists of ground meat, steel-cut oats, and onions, flavored with spices like salt, pepper, and bay leaves. The ingredients are combined into one big loaf that is then sliced and pan-fried until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. 

Goetta is usually served for breakfast but can also be enjoyed in sandwiches or as a side dish with any meal. Pair it with eggs and toast or even use it as a burger patty. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the smell of Goetta sizzling on a skillet in the morning.

Goetta sausages are one of the famous foods in Ohio, known for their unique flavor. It’s a delicious and iconic representation of Cincinnati’s German heritage. If you’re looking for a hearty breakfast to kick off your day of exploring the amazing landmarks in Ohio, make sure to give this dish a try!

Barberton Chicken

Barberton Chicken is a famous food in Ohio that has been around since the early 1900s. This dish was created by Serb immigrants who settled in the city of Barberton.

It’s a crispy, juicy, deep-fried chicken packed with flavor. Barberton Chicken is typically served with hot sauce, french fries, and coleslaw for a wholesome experience.

The recipe for this delicious dish is surprisingly simple. The chicken is first marinated in a salty brine before it’s dipped in flour and spices, then fried to golden perfection. Its crunchy texture contrasts wonderfully with its juicy interior, making it an unforgettable experience for the taste buds! 

Barberton Chicken has become so famous throughout Ohio that you can now find restaurants all over the state serving up their own unique version of the dish. It’s always fun to try out new spots and compare.

Snack Foods In Ohio

Cheese Coney Hot Dog

When it comes to the famous foods from Ohio, we cannot forget this classic hot dog that is popular all around the state. 

The Cheese Coney Hot Dog is made by topping a steamed hot dog with Cincinnati-style chili, a mound of shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of diced onions. The result is a delicious, messy, and incredibly satisfying hot dog that’s become a staple of the Ohio food scene.

The cheese adds a rich creaminess to the dish, while the chili and onions add a smoky flavor that complements the beefy goodness of the hotdog perfectly. All combined, these ingredients create an unforgettable taste experience that will make your mouth water.

You can find this famous hot dog in many places throughout Ohio and it’s particularly popular in Cincinnati where it originated. So if you’re ever visiting Cincinnati be sure to try out this famous Ohio state food!

Be sure to grab plenty of napkins as it can become a messy affair quickly as you sink your teeth into the hearty goodness.

Sauerkraut Balls

One of the most popular Ohio food out there is Sauerkraut balls. These fried morsels are made with sauerkraut, cream cheese, sausage meat, and spices all blended together into a delicious ball, then deep-fried until crispy and golden.

They’re crunchy on the outside, but once you take a bite, you’ll be hit with a burst of savory, tangy flavor that’s absolutely addictive. The combination of diverse ingredients with varying textures and tastes is what creates that interesting blend.

The crispy outer shell helps to hold them together and seal in all the juices. It’s truly something special! You can find this tasty treat at pubs, restaurants, and fairs across Ohio. They’re the perfect snack to enjoy with friends or to munch on while you’re watching a game.

Sauerkraut balls actually have a rather confusing or mysterious history. It is believed to be first created in Akron Ohio in the 1960s, but some claim it has german roots, while other think it draws influence from Polish cuisine. In addition, Sauerkraut is also widely debated to be from China. 

But really, it doesn’t matter what the exact origins are as long as it’s super tasty. Nothing is going to stop us from indulging in them.

Desserts And Sweet Foods In Ohio

Shaker Lemon Pie

This classic pie dates back to the 1800s when it was prepared and served by the religious communities of Shakers. The Shakers were known for their simple, wholesome, and delicious cooking, and Shaker Lemon Pie is a perfect example of that.

What makes Shaker Lemon Pie special is that it uses an entire lemon – yes, you read that right! There is no waste, from the peel to white pith and inner flesh are all used in the making of this masterful dessert.

The pie filling only requires a few simple ingredients: eggs, sugar, butter, flour and lemons. They combine to create a gooey paste that’s tart, sweet, and bursting with lemon flavor.

The crust is light and flaky while the lemon filling is perfectly balanced with just enough sweetness and tartness to keep you coming back for more!

The essence of this pie is its simplicity – it doesn’t need any additional toppings or frills as it stands perfectly on its own without them. Although you can certain pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate indulgence. 

It’s a delightful treat that has become a staple and famous food in Ohio over the years.


Pawpaw is one of the famous foods in Ohio that is unique and distinctively local. Many describe it as a cross between a banana and a mango. Yum!

Pawpaws are a tropical-tasting fruit with a creamy texture similar to bananas. It’s about the size of a small mango and has a sweet, custardy flesh. They have large yellowish-brown seeds that run down the middle and are packed with nutrients like vitamin C, iron, and magnesium.

One of the coolest things about Pawpaws is that they are a truly local food. They only grow in certain eastern parts of the United States, and Ohio happens to be one of them. This means that if you’re lucky enough to try a Pawpaw, you’re getting a taste of something that’s unique to the area.

The flavor of pawpaws can range from sweet to tart depending on how ripe they are when picked. You can enjoy them fresh, but they also make delicious pies, jams, or muffins.

So if you come across them, give them a try! The locals have enjoyed this gem for centuries.

Tasting The Famous Ohio Foods

Not only does Ohio have some of the most iconic dishes in America, but it also boasts an abundance of regional specialties that will tantalize your taste buds. 

With influences from both the surrounding areas, as well as global cultures, Ohio cuisine offers it own unique take on gastronomy.

From famous classics like Cincinnati chili and Cleveland-style Polish Boy sandwiches to more creative inventions such as the Thurmanator, there is plenty to love about for foodies.

So if you ever come across any of these famous foods from Ohio, be sure to give them a try! The locals have been enjoying them for centuries and they form a big part of the yummy Ohio food scene.



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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