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Kelsey Davis: My Top 10 Stark County restaurants of 2022

By Kelsey Davis, The Repository,


What makes a restaurant a favorite? The food, obviously. But it’s more than that.

Ambiance, service, prices and the overall experience − they're factors, too.

While thinking about the restaurants I reviewed this year, the food isn’t the only thing that stands out. I remember the way I felt. And if it’s a restaurant about which I keep telling family and friends, there’s a reason why.

Today, I'm sharing my favorite restaurants of the year and why they landed on my list. They're in no particular order, and have different reasons for gaining a spot.

1. Tugboat’s Pub

To say I was shocked when I tried the food here is an understatement. Everything I ordered was delicious and beyond what I thought I would get from a small restaurant at a golf course. The pizza egg rolls still live rent-free in my mind. Reasons for being a top choice: delicious food; amazing prices; welcoming atmosphere.

Contact: 1211 39th St. NE, Plain Township; Find Tugboat’s Pub on Facebook

Restaurant Review:Tugboat's Pub at Meadowlake Golf a gem with 'shockingly' delicious food

2. Granite Grille at The Quarry Golf Club

This place is tucked away, which is good and bad. I tend to forget about it, but when I went, I was reminded just how beautiful and peaceful it is. On top of the beautiful views of the golf course, the food was delectable and the atmosphere in the covered patio was fun and relaxing. Reasons for being a top choice: amazing views; tasty food; indoor/outdoor dining.

Contact: 5650 Quarry Lake Drive, Osnaburg Township;

3. Mélange

From the food to the ambience to the staff, everything was top-notch here. This high-end restaurant definitely delivers what you expect. Reasons for being a top choice: winning atmosphere; delicious food; welcoming and helpful staff.

Contact: 221 Market Ave. N, Canton;

4. Rack It Up! Arcade

This old-school arcade has some of the best sandwiches around. The Reuben was the best I’ve ever had, and the vibe itself takes you back to simpler times. Reasons for being a top choice: amazing food; one-of-a-kind atmosphere for the area; amazing customer service.

Contact: 3208 Whipple Ave. NW, Plain Township;

Restaurant Review:Best Reuben I've ever had, at Rack It Up! Arcade in Plain Township

5. New Berlin Brewing Co.

When you immediately feel welcome at a new restaurant, that says something. That’s how I felt at New Berlin. The menu was intriguing with German fare, and the flatbread, beer and gouda cheese bites I ordered were delicious. Reasons for being a top choice: menu like no other; welcoming staff; tasty food; comfortable atmosphere.

Contact: 1664 N. Main St. in North Canton;

6. Thatsa Wrapp Shack

Thatsa Wrapp Shack has been a favorite for a long time. I’m a big fan of restaurants that are consistently delicious, and Thatsa Wrapp never disappoints. Bonus points for the chips and dip; they’re always a must. Reasons for being a top choice: delicious, homemade food; reasonably priced takeout; large portions.

Contact: 7944 Cleveland Ave. NW, Plain Twp.;

7. Stone Age Pizza

I’m not sure many locally owned pizza shops offer both New York-style thin-crust pizza and Chicago-style thick-crust pizza, but Stone Age does. The thin-crust pizza and cinnamon sticks were delectable. And the staff was very friendly. Reasons for being a top choice: high-quality, delicious pizza; friendly and helpful staff.

Contact: 1704 S. Liberty Ave., Alliance;

8. Tlaquepaque Mexican Restaurant at Oakwood Square

From the friendly staff to all of the delicious food to the fun vibe, Tlaquepaque was an easy pick for my favorites list. I still dream about the gooey cheese in the chimi trio. Reasons for being a top choice: tasty food; great prices; fun atmosphere.

Contact: 2682 Easton St. NE, Plain Township;

9. Bella Sera

Huge portions, exquisite Italian cuisine and a welcome vibe. What more could you want? Bella Sera has it all. If you can wow me with a house salad, you deserve to be on my list. Reasons for being a top choice: tasty food; huge portions; comforting atmosphere.

Contact: 248 Federal Ave. NW, Massillon;

Restaurant Review:Bella Sera in Massillon swayed my opinion of red sauce

10. BAM! Healthy Cuisine in North Canton

I love when healthy food isn’t boring and really brings the flavor, and that’s what BAM! has achieved. The North Canton location is also a perfect spot to have a healthy meal outside, weather permitting, followed by a nice walk on Hoover Trail. Reasons for being a top choice: healthy, tasty options; indoor and outdoor dining.

Contact: 2185 E. Maple St., North Canton;

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