Student Spotlight: Best Places to Eat Around Wooster

Skyelar Rock: Best Places to Eat Around Wooster as an Ohio State ATI Student  

As a college student, finding the best place to eat while not breaking the bank can be tough. Also, the same old fast food and chain restaurants tend to get boring after a while. Whether you’re an incoming or returning student, these local restaurants are guaranteed to become your new favorite. Here I have compiled some well-known favorites among the students at Ohio State ATI, which are also some of my own personal favorites.  

Guerne Heights Drive-In: 1.5 Mi — $5 to $15 

Right down the road from campus, just a short 2-minute drive, is the Guerne Heights Drive-In. Family owned and operated, this mom-and-pop shop offers lunch and dinner items along with their signature ice cream. While they aren’t open year-round, you can enjoy the Guerne well into the fall semester and towards the end of spring semester. One of my favorite specials they offer in the fall is a warm apple dumpling with vanilla ice cream and caramel syrup. The best part? They offer 10% discount with a valid student ID (a.k.a. your BuckID). 

The Barn: 8 Mi — $10 to $25  

The Barn Restaurant is a fond favorite of my friend group; every Tuesday is “da barn” night for us, with an all-you-can-eat bread and soup bar, plus the salad wagon. Yes, you saw right, a salad wagon. True to its name, The Barn Restaurant is a reclaimed and remodeled barn that was owned by a local cattle farmer in the early 1900’s. It’s a rustic atmosphere where the staff is always warm and welcoming. 

Omahoma Bob’s: Downtown (2 Mi) — $11 to $30 

Omahoma Bob’s Barbeque is another family-owned and operated establishment in downtown Wooster, with quality meat products from local producers as well as Certified Angus Beef. Many on-campus events use Omahoma Bob’s for their catering, which is where I’ve had the most experience with their BBQ. They are a student-friendly establishment, offering a 15% discount off your purchase. 

Basil Asian Bistro: Downtown (2 Mi) — $6 to $25 

By far my personal favorite on this list, Basil Asian Bistro has some of the best sushi I’ve ever had! They offer the pan-Asian experience, including Pacific/Southeastern Asian cuisine, Thai dishes, and some traditional Asian dishes like stir fry or General Tso chicken. For a budget friendly meal, stop by during lunch for a sushi roll or classic entrée, which range from $6-$20 

Mariola Italian: Downtown (2 Mi) — $12 to $30 

One of Wooster’s newest editions, Mariola Italian, debuted in spring of 2023. As one of a few restaurants owned and managed by local entrepreneur Mike Mariola, Mariola Italian has high quality food and service. From classic Italian pasta and entrees to their own “Pizza Pie,” the food here is exceptional, whether dining in or catered. Though it may be a bit expensive for an everyday type of meal, this would be a great option for a Friday night dinner or a group get-together. 

City Square Steakhouse: Downtown (2 Mi) — $25 to $50+ 

Though it is a bit on the expensive side, City Square Steakhouse is a high-quality establishment great for date nights, special occasions, and the like. Named in the Top 100 Steakhouses of America, City Square is “Big City Dining, Small Town Feel” right within reach of campus. The service is professional, the wait staff is always very helpful and accommodating, and—not to mention—the food is amazing. If you’re looking for something a little fancier or just want a high-quality steak, I definitely recommend The City Square.  


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