Where to Eat in Athens: The Best Restaurants and Bars

April 14, 2018 Jeremy Dunfee

Athens is a city in and the county seat of Athens County, Ohio, United States. Athens is most widely known as the home of Ohio University, a large public research university with an enrollment of more than 36,800 students across all campuses. Located along the Hocking River in the southeastern part of Ohio, Athens is the principal city of the Athens, Ohio Micropolitan Statistical Area. The official population of Athens in the 2010 U.S. Census was 23,832, with a daytime population of over 40,000
Things to do in Athens

1. Restaurant Salaam

21 W Washington St, Athens, OH 45701-2433 Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Wine and Beer, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available International, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 7 - SGD 37 +1 740-594-3800
Excellent
64%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
2%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 184 reviews

Restaurant Salaam

Reviewed By Sheryl B - Bethesda, Maryland

So this was really my fault for not looking at the brunch menu before waiting for a table. I assumed they would offer some lunch or more traditional dishes- and it was pretty much breakfast. Not very Middle Eastern breakfast items either- but things like omelets, and French Toast. The potato cubes were hard, as was the biscuit. I did enjoy their pepper sauce, and husband did enjoy the lamb sausage. I would not return for brunch, but I would be interested in their normal lunch/dinner menu if I found myself in Athens again.

2. Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

24 W Union St, Athens, OH 45701-2818 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar American, Bar, Pub, Contemporary, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks +1 740-592-9686
Excellent
55%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 209 reviews

Jackie O's Pub & Brewery

The operate a pub/brewery on one side and a restaurant on the other. Also listed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JackieOsBrewery

Reviewed By ralphwilhelm1 - Carmel, Indiana

Really special place, but tough to categorize: fine beer selection, wonderful menu, terrific service and still reasonable in price. The almost three dozen beers will challenge you but so will the great bar food, e.g. sandwiches, fries, salads, great pizzas, and ice cream or cheesecake for dessert. Always a good crowd here, as the locals and college crowd do appreciate the beer and food. Recommend highly for a great meal.

3. Avalanche Pizza

329 E State St, Athens, OH 45701-1838 Delivery, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible Pizza, Italian, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 740-594-4664
Excellent
71%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 126 reviews

Avalanche Pizza

Reviewed By Danny J

The pizza i got from Avalanche was excellent. It was prepared quickly without sacrificing great taste. But not only was the food good, but the staff were very friendly and helpful. The owner actually came out and i had a conversation with him. I loved this restaurant and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

4. Casa Nueva

4 W State St, Athens, OH 45701-2510 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar Mexican, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 740-592-2016
Excellent
50%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
4%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 251 reviews

Casa Nueva

Reviewed By ClevelandBeachBoy - Greater Cleveland

NON-TIPPING ESTABLISHMENT (tip included in prices)

I did not know this was a non-tipping establishment until after I ordered. Had I known that, I might have ordered more food. It would have been nice to know after I ordered. Everything seemed like a better value after I realized tip was included.

They charged $4 for a small cheese empanada when the menu said it was $3. That is annoying.

There are some things to be appreciated about Casa Neuva. I appreciated that they had freshly made empanadas, and I ordered one. It was good. The quesadillas were pretty good. We ordered both with ground beef.

The guacamole sucks. It has two major offenses. First off, it is made in a food processor, so it is smooth and not chunky. Guacamole should be smashed. Also, it had cumin in it. Cumin overpowers everything in the guacamole. The meat also had cumin, so I especially didn't need more in my guacamole. The cumin in the guacamole makes me feel like I am eating something at Restaurant Salaam.

The chips did not seem like they were fried on site. They are thick. I tried 4 different salsas. I tried the BBQ, Black Bean, Verde, and Red Chile Roasted Garlic.

BBQ - 0/10
Black Bean - 5/10
Verde - 3/10
Red Chili Roasted Garlic - 3/10

The BBQ salsa was one of the most offensive things I have ever eaten. It was extremely sweet. It tasted like licorice candy. It was terrible. The black bean salsa was okay. It was nondescript. The verde salsa was not green in color. It tasted like a mirepoix; it almost tasted like chicken soup. The red chili roasted garlic tasted like and had the texture of spaghetti sauce.

One downside of the no-tipping restaurant is the poor service. The server was pretty inattentive. I asked for the brownie dessert to go, and I was just given a cold brownie wrapped in foil instead of the warm brownie with its accompanying sauces I was supposed to receive. The server also struggled to comprehend separate checks and dividing the total to about even instead of having one check be significantly more.

5. O'Betty's Red Hot

15 W State St, Athens, OH 45701-2511 Takeout, Seating American, Vegetarian Friendly Lunch, Dinner, Late Night +1 740-589-6111
Excellent
77%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 68 reviews

O'Betty's Red Hot

Hot dog restaurant

Reviewed By WewerClever - Theresa, New York

We loved the dogs and the decor! Awesome little place - great food and open LATE!
We stopped for lunch and it's tiny but comfy cozy and we had an awesome time sitting and looking around while we ate the awesome fries! Coleslaw was great! All dogs disappeared quickly and we went back for more:) Lily & Blaze were our faves but we were going Kraut-free since we are traveling on a rainy day;@
Check out this little gem! It's fun!!

6. Cutler's Restaurant

Ohio University Inn & Conference Center, 331 Richland Ave, Athens, OH 45701 Takeout, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Buffet, Seating, Waitstaff, Parking Available, Free Off-Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Digital Payments, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available American, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Drinks SGD 20 - SGD 51 +1 740-589-3714
Excellent
54%
Good
24%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
6%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 128 reviews

Cutler's Restaurant

Reviewed By Emily Y

The weekend breakfast buffet is expensive for what you get -- $17 -- but it is convenient when you're looking for something easy on the go. I had to ask them to take my check. There was really nobody else in the restaurant, and my server disappeared.

7. Union Street Diner

70 W Union St, Athens, OH 45701-2751 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible American, Diner, Vegetarian Friendly Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch +1 740-594-6007
Excellent
48%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 73 reviews

Union Street Diner

Http://unionstreetdiner.com/

Reviewed By mark l - Highland Park, Illinois

While the food - scrambled eggs, hash browns, omelettes (standard fare) were plentiful on the plate, it was a bit greasy. I was full from it the rest of the day. The waitress was attentive and kept filling our coffee cups which was a nice touch. I am not sure why the line outside for a table there was so long though. The restaurant was on the small side and not worth a long wait, but if you get there without a crowd outside, it is a reasonable place to eat.

8. Miller's Chicken

235 W State St, Athens, OH 45701-1524 Takeout, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible American Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast +1 740-593-6544
Excellent
63%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 93 reviews

Miller's Chicken

Fried chicken

Reviewed By George A

If you like fried anything and home-made sides, this is the place. Their chicken, chicken livers and fried oysters are superb, and their mashed 'taters, mac-n-cheese and green beans are delicious. Save room, because the desserts in the cooler are well worth a try, too. This order-and-pay at the counter place isn't for a fancy romantic meal, and come early as they close at 7:00, but if you try it you'll be back.

9. Thai Paradise

102 W Union St, Athens, OH 45701-2751 Takeout, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Parking Available, Street Parking, Accepts Credit Cards Asian, Thai, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options Lunch, Dinner SGD 13 - SGD 26 +1 740-249-4115
Excellent
57%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 68 reviews

Thai Paradise

Thai Paradise was established in 2008 and is inspired by the traditional beauty of Thailand. Our carefully prepared and fresh cuisine complimented by our inviting ambiance has brought in a stream of loyal fans. Our focus on quality and consistency has made us an integral part of the Pickerington community. We look forward to bringing the same spirit to Athens, which opened in October of 2014. Pride is placed on providing outstanding customer service to compliment the presentation of these fresh recipes. Popular house favorites include the Himmapan Chicken, Pad Ka Pow, and Naum Toak. Our variety of Asian cuisine spans from China, Korea, Vietnam, and to all over the different cities of Thailand. We invite you to enjoy your next dining experience with Thai Paradise. Kop Kun!

Reviewed By sldudding - Athens, Ohio

Thai Paradise use to be one the best restaurants in town, but it has changed management and Bo is gone and so is Thai Paradise's superb service. I normally get my Friday lunch here but today and last week the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. I had ordered the spicy eggplant and it use to be firm baby eggplants cooked gently so it was still firm and crisp with the lovely flavor of Thai basil but not today, it is soggy, no Thai basil and no crispness. The wonton soup is extremely salty. Crappy lunches get crappy reviews!! Where is the old manager, Bo?

10. Texas Roadhouse

996 E State St, Athens, OH 45701-2133 Takeout, Seating, Waitstaff, Television, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol American, Steakhouse Lunch, Dinner +1 740-589-7427
Excellent
50%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
3%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 65 reviews

Texas Roadhouse

Reviewed By mjpk25 - Parkersburg, West Virginia

first time eating @ this one, but the texas chain is very consistent...this 1 served perfectly grilled steak as ordered and delicious seasoned bbq'd pork...the restaurant is large and although busy, didn't seem crowded...service was quick and friendly and the 2 of us ate for $23.00...we love texas roadhouse and will eat here again!~...

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