Dining in the North

There’s no shortage of places to find great food in the North.

For those who live in the North there is no shortage of dining options. Cities are no longer the only place to find a variety of cuisines—the area north of Ronald Reagan Highway is home to Asian food of all kinds, traditional barbecue, comfort food favorites and more. If you’re looking for something new, exciting or just delicious the following eight restaurants offer that and more.

Gracie’s in downtown Middletown mixes high-end touches with comfort-food classics for a menu that is both familiar and new. Its burger, for example, features crispy onion straws, bacon jam, Cambozola (a cow’s milk cheese that is a mix between French cream cheese and Gorgonzola) and arugula. Many of the menu items are staples, but Gracie’s also has a theme each night, such as Meatloaf Mondays and Fried Chicken Wednesdays, that makes each evening different. 1131 Central Ave., Middletown. graciesmiddletown.com

The Pacific Kitchen
For those looking to taste the flavors of the Pacific Rim while staying close to home The Pacific Kitchen in Montgomery offers ingredients from 22 different countries. In fact, the flag of each item’s country is listed alongside the dishes in the menu. The menu’s 11 pages ensure that everyone in the family can find something to enjoy while trying something new. 8300 Market Place Lane, Montgomery. thepacific.kitchen

Cozy Café & Pub
With Cozy Café & Pub diners can expect classics with a twist. The menu features items like its fried chicken (which comes with a chili infused maple syrup), short rib fries (duck fat fries side egg) and a charred Caesar salad. 6440 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Liberty Township. cozyscafeandpub.com

Jag’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant
Jag’s Steak & Seafood Restaurant, located in West Chester, is known for the quality of its food as well as its awards. It’s won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, Best Steakhouse in Ohio by Business Insider and others. All steaks are topped with fried onion straws and a veal demi-glace. Diners can also enjoy the restaurant’s raw bar and pasta dishes. 5980 West Chester Road, West Chester. jags.com

Thai Koon Kitchen
Thai Koon Kitchen in West Chester specializes in traditional Thai flavors served in both classic and new dishes. The menu covers everything from spring rolls and crab Rangoon to pad Kra Pow (a stir fry with onion, red and green peppers, and green beans in a chili-garlic sauce) and lava chicken (fried chicken with vegetable and pineapple chunks in a sweet chili sauce). 9114 W. West Chester Towne Center Road, West Chester. thaikoonkitchen.com

Two Cities Pizza
Mason’s Two Cities Pizza makes it so that pizza lovers don’t have to choose between New York and Chicago pizza styles. Those who favor New York can order the cabbie, a New York-style pizza that feature gouda, bacon, red onion, potato, scallion, chipotle aioli drizzle and garlic crema drizzle while those who favor Chicago can order the deep-dish Yul Kravitz featuring garlic spinach, pepperoni and chunky red sauce. 202 W. Main St., Mason. 

Wildflower Café
For those looking for seasonal dining Wildflower Café in Mason is worth a visit. The restaurant is located inside a converted farmhouse and uses its farm roots as inspiration for its menu. The restaurant changes its menu seasonally, so there’s always something new to try. For example, the winter menu featured Chardonnay Roasted Local Squash and Dogwood Farm Chicken Pot Pie. 207 E. Main St., Mason. wildflowergourmetcafe.com

SmoQ’s barbecue is all about the smoke—all the meats are cooked low and slow over wood. Chicken, brisket, ribs, pulled pork and more are featured on the menu. While emphasis is put on the cooking process, SmoQ also serves up a variety of sauces, such as “Burnin” Peter, Carolina Hot and Kansas City Sweet. 275 Pictoria Drive, Springdale. smoqbbq.com

Lotus Pad
Liberty Township’s Lotus Pad believes in using fresh and organic ingredients in its Asian-inspired dishes. Organic chicken, beef and pork; wild seafood; farm eggs; and organic vegetables can be found all over the menu. In addition to traditional favorites like pad Thai, drunken noodles and cashew chicken, adventurous eaters can try the pumpkin curry (curry, pork belly, kobocha squash, peanuts, green beans and shitake mushrooms) or crying tiger (wagyu steak, Thai chili spice rub, tomatoes, cucumbers, baby spinach and mint). 7521 Gibson St., Liberty Township. lotuspad.net