18 women-owned restaurants, eateries to check out in Greater Akron (2024)

In honor of Women's History Month, we've put together a list of women-owned or co-owned restaurants and food businesses in the Akron area that we've profiled in recent years.

That said, it doesn't have to be March to patronize these businesses, if you catch our drift. Note that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all women-owned eateries in Akron.

With offerings that range from authentic Mexican cuisine and made-from-scratch breakfast dishes to vegan options and ice cream, doughnuts, cupcakes and other fun treats, here's a list of women-led restaurants and food businesses to check out.

9 Black-ownedrestaurants, eateries to check out in Greater Akron

La Loma

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This authentic Mexican spot in Ellet is co-owned by Blanca Saucedo.

La Loma’s most frequently ordered dishes are from the seafood section of its menu, the most popular of which is the molcajete —shrimp, octopus, scallops, crab legs, mussels and fish served sizzling in a mortar, reporter Tawney Beans found out in 2021.

“All the restaurants say they're authentic,” Saucedo said at the time. “Only when the customer will taste the food can [they] say that this is authentic. I know there are many, many, many Mexican restaurants, and even in their names it says authentic, but [our] food is seriously different in that sense.”

Read on:La Loma brings authentic Mexican tacos and more on the menu in Akron's Ellet neighborhood

Main Street Saloon

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Marlene Denholm owns the saloon in Akron after taking over for her father David Kennamore (also known as Big D) after he died.

The restaurant’s most popularmealsare its jumbo burger, smoked wings, egg rolls and alligator nuggets.The assistant manager and Denholm's daughter, Brooke Kennamore,assured Beans during a 2021 visit that thealligator is shipped overnight from Louisianaand is the freshest you’ll get in Ohio.

“[My parents] built their business on that jumbo burger,”Denholm said.“My dad waslike, ‘Everybody wants a good hamburger.’ I remember hearing him saying that.”

Read on:Main Street Saloon in Akron lives up to its motto: ‘Often imitated. Never duplicated’

Honey Girl Donuts

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Honey Girl Donuts is co-owned by Katie Vasiloff. After she and her husband couldn't find a doughnut truck for their wedding, they decided to create their own.

“We tried a ton of different recipes,” Vasiloff said. “We ended up actually finding a guy on Facebook Marketplace that was selling his doughnut machine but also his doughnut recipe as well. So, we drove about six hours and met him, got all of that info and it ended up being the best doughnut we had ever had.”

More about local food trucks:Fuel up at the best food trucks in Summit County + some sweet additions

Henry's Creamery

Henry's Creamery is co-owned by Heather Girves. The truck offers unique ice cream flavors such as honeycomb, Vietnamese coffee, and smoked sea salt chocolate.

Match those flavors with locally sourced quality ingredients, 90% of which are organic, and you’ve got yourself a sweet treat with minimal guilt. It’s the real deal. Girves still remembers how numb her fingers became after hand-peeling more than 400 peaches from their peach tree in the summer of 2020 for the ice cream.

“We have some flavors that you'd find other places like cookies and cream, but we definitely take it to the next level,” Girves said.

EbboNique's Bake'Arie

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During Beans' visit in July 2022, she took exception to EbboNique's Bake'Arie's desserts, particularly the navy bean pie.

Beans explained that the sweetened pie made from navy beans came to prominence through the Nation of Islam, a Black nationalist organization that was founded in the 1930s. The bakery’s owner, Ebony Woods, who goes by Ebony Somone, joined the Nation of Islam at age 16 and is introducing its pie to Akron residents.

"Despite my last name, I was a bit skeptical at first about the use of navy beans as a dessert," Beans wrote. "My doubts were proved wrong at first bite. The pie wasjust as sweet and flavorful as pumpkin pie, with some added heft to it."

Read on:EbboNique's Bake'Arie's navy bean pie, scrumptious carrot cake located in Akron food park | Local Flavor

Sunrise Social

Food doesn’t lie, and these dishes made it clear that the business’ co-owners are breakfast people. Not people who just happened to choose breakfast for the menu — individuals who have a passion for the day’s first (and arguably most important) meal.

“We make everything from scratch,” said co-owner Jeannie Hopkins. “We're not a greasy spoon, we’re not serving things out of a bag or a box. Our gravy, hollandaise, all of those things get made every single day.”

One of the restaurant’s other points of pride is its use of locally sourced ingredients. Even the fresh flowers on each table are delivered weekly by Flowers by Dick and Son, a florist shop in New Franklin.

Read on:Sunrise Social serves innovative, traditional breakfast in Green

The Tea Lady

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Now located at 35 S. Main Street, The Tea Lady is a charming haven that gave reporter Kerry Clawson a special chance to dress up, slow down and enjoy tea, finger foods and wine during her visit with a friend. It is owned by Renea Woods Baylor.

"I've had afternoon tea at the Ritz in Cleveland and at the Drake in Chicago, among other tea outings over the years," Clawson wrote. "But I'd never experienced all the fine touches and assortment of foods that I enjoyed at The Tea Lady."

Read on:The Tea Lady a delicious experience in luxury, elegance

SRINA

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Owned by Akron native Monaqui Porter Young,SRINA Tea House & Cafeopened in Kenmore in 2022. It's her first brick-and-mortar establishment forSRINA tea, the organic tea company she founded in 2002 that offers 52 varieties of tea from Paradise Farm in the rain forests of Sri Lanka.

A huge, colorful mural runs down the entire length of the business's left wall, creating a bright scene of mountainous Sri Lankan tea fields, palm trees and vibrant, native Sri Lankan birds.

"We wanted to transport the customer to a space that was green and natural," Young said. "It's upscale but really warm."

Read on:New business fits neighborhood to a tea: SRINA Tea House and Cafe healthy oasis in Kenmore

Moe's Restaurant

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Moe's Restaurant is an Akron institution we haven't visited in a while, but we would be remiss not to include it.

The Cuyahoga Falls restaurant "has an eclectic menu featuring meat and seafood entrees, lobster pierogi, braised short-rib sliders and salads," former Beacon Journal reporter Katie Byard wrote in 2020.

Byard even had this nugget to share about owner Maureen "Moe" Schneider's beginnings with the eatery.

"Moe’s trivia: In 1998, Schneider bought the Front Street building, which had been home to a bar, and started renovations. She opened the place amid construction so she could start generating money. For seven months, while the renovations went on and she prepared to open for full-service dining, she served only locally made potato chips and Lawson’s chip dip, along with booze. To retain her liquor license, she had to offer some type of food," Byard wrote.

Looking back:Moe’s offers unusual dining al fresco and more amid pandemic; tomato tasting goes virtual

Nite Owl

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You don’t have to be a night owl to enjoy the Nite Owl. It’s open late, but you can dine any time after 4 p.m. for an earlier meal. Owner Sharness Dowdy opened the corner restaurant in September 2021.

"Rollies, the Nite Owl’s take on egg rolls, were a revelation to me," reporter Mark J. Price wrote after a fall 2023 visit.

The menu offers several deep-fried variations, including a Cheeseburger Mac Rollie (ground beef and macaroni and cheese), a Firecracker Chicken & Rice Rollie (grilled chicken, spicy gravy and rice) a Philly Rollie (thinly sliced seasoned steak, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese) and a Veggie Rollie (seasoned cabbage and carrots).

Read on:From ribs to rollies: The ultimate guide to dining in Akron’s Kenmore neighborhood

Graze Craze

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Kim and Josh Leeser opened Ohio’s first Graze Craze location in Stow in October 2023. The national franchise specializes in customizable fast-casual charcuterie boards.

Since opening (as of early November 2023), the Leesers have sold over a dozen charcuterie boards, but nearly a hundred grab-and-graze plates — miniature charcuterie boards designed as a small meal for one, the perfect "girl dinner" size.

The franchise was founded by Air Force veteran Kerry Sylvester and her partner J.A. in Oklahoma in 2018. It was bought by United Franchise Group, which also owns The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill, Signarama and many other businesses, in 2021.

Read on:This new fast-casual charcuterie franchise serves brunch, snacks and 'girl dinner' | Local Flavor

Chameleon Café

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There's a reason this spot has the word "chameleon" in its name. The chameleon is known for its adaptability, a characteristic the owners of Chameleon Café and catering company The Culinary Chameleon, Adria and Mike Buzek, strive to embody, Beans found out during an August 2023 trip.

The downtown Akron business’s motto, “Our menu changes to meet your needs,” certainly shines through on the menu, where nearly any dish can be made vegan, vegetarian, dairy free or gluten free.

Those looking for less traditional café fare at Chameleon Café also have quite a few options.

Adria Buzek’s passion for cooking with new ingredients is the reason behind their twist on many café classics, like the candied bacon club wrap, chicken caprese salad and khao soi Thai curry chicken power bowl.

“I have a hard time just doing everyday food. I kind of go global when I come up with menu items,” Adria Buzek said. “I like to play with new ingredients that I've never tried before. I watch a lot of street food videos on YouTube and go to all the Asian markets and European markets and grab new ingredients that I've never heard of, never tasted, never cooked with, and just come up with different ways to use them.”

Read on:Is this downtown Akron's best-kept secret? Chameleon Café shows its colors | Local Flavor

Yuki House

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Yuki House owner Jeni Dalanay's Hawaiian-style hibachi and Thai cuisine she whips up leaves her customers warm and full.

The restaurant gained traction online last September after a complimentary post from Does It Suck?, a local Facebook page that reviews snacks, drinks and sometimes restaurants. Good thing, too, since we likely wouldn’t have known of its existence otherwise, Beans wrote.

Yuki House is tucked away next to Clayton’s Laundry in a small brick building at the six corners where Howe Avenue, Tallmadge Road and Brittain/Bailey Road meet.

Yuki House’s most popular menu items are mochiko chicken, Korean fried garlic chicken and Yuki’s barbecue chicken, according to Dalanay, whose favorite dish is the pad Thai.

Read on:Is it worth the hype? We tried Yuki House after social media blow up | Local Flavor

Rocco's Cupcake Café

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Owner Michela Rocco opened the café last February at 295 S. Water St. Suite 108 in Kent. In addition to cupcakes, the shop sells cake pops, tea and coffee from Dirty Girl Coffee, a women-owned craft coffee roaster based out of Columbus.

She worked at a cupcake shop in Painesville throughout high school and college while earning a special education degree. After two years of teaching, she decided to start her own business.

Rocco's has 10 flavors in its rotation including lemon drop, cinnamon roll, birthday cake, turtle and red velvet, among others.

Read on:Rocco's Cupcake Café in Kent opens, sells out within hours in first two days

Boss ChickNBeer

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Owners Heather Doeberling and Emily Moes made Boss ChickNBeer a fully “OMNI” restaurant, meaning that every item on thechicken menuhas a counterpart on theplant-based menu.

One thing you won't find at this wing spot, however, is sauced chicken wings. And yes, you read the menu right: you will be charged $100 for sauced wings at Boss ChickNBeer. Brined overnight, baked each morning and fried to order, the whole process comes to a halt at the usual sauce 'n toss step.

Although there is an upside to paying the hefty fine, since that $100 goes to any charity of your choosing.

It’s not just wings of the chicken variety that this rule applies to. Their cauliflower and tofu counterparts are no exception.

What's new the in Falls:We went to Cuyahoga Falls’ newest downtown restaurants. Here’s what to get

Veg+

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When Beans went to try Veg+, a vegan- and vegetarian-friendly restaurant, last December, she observed a family on the other side of the restaurant.

"I don’t know exactly what each person ordered, but I do know that the little girl was adamant her lunch was '1,000/10.' In fact, after the rest of the family was in the car, her dad came back in to tell our server and the restaurant’s owner, Betsy DuWaldt, how much they enjoyed the food," she wrote.

She was impressed by their beet salad, a customer favorite, as salads aren't a go-to restaurant order for her.

"I’m glad I gave it a chance. The pickled beets brought a bright color and flavor to the dish while the candied nuts provided texture, and the vegan French dressing made everything work together – greens and all," she wrote.

Read on:Boston Heights' Veg+ has vegan, vegetarian meals and desserts for all | Local Flavor

Divine

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The Cuyahoga Falls restaurant, owned by Renee Kintz and Aric Frank, features scratch-made food in an artfully decorated space, Clawson wrote during a spring 2023 trip.

Attention to detail could be seen everywhere, from the décor and all the drapes and window treatments Kintz made to the table accoutrements and the hammered and patinaed copper bar top she created with Frank.

The restaurant is housed in a 110-year-old building with a tin-roof ceiling and gives off a cool neighborhood pub vibe with an elevated ambiance and menu. Just check out the more than 60 Don Drumm pieces adorning the walls, which Kintz and her mother, Donna, have collected for years, Clawson found out.

There's even live music on Saturdays.

Read on:Scratch food, décor with flair make for great evening out at Divine in Falls | Local Flavor

Revival Room

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Revival Room co-owner Gretchen Erb and her partners, brother- and sister-in-law Chris McCauley and Gina Garofoli, bought the Hudson property in 2018 before opening in November 2023. The architectural style of the building is French revival, which inspired the restaurant's name.

They've kept the old New England charm of the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, but have made cosmetic changes, Clawson reported.

"It's an old building and we're kind of reviving it, bringing it new life, kind of almost like a phoenix," Erb said. "And then I wanted to take a lot of classic co*cktails and classic dishes and kind of just give them a new twist."

Dishes include duck confit pot pie and a 2¼-pound smash burger served on naan with paneer Indian cheese and spicy tandoori aioli. Snacks (appetizers) range from fava bean hummus with green chickpeas to pickled scotch eggs, which are beet-brined, pickled eggs deep-fried in panko and chorizo, served with roasted Romesco (a roasted tomato base and walnuts).

Read on:New Revival Room restaurant owners have fun with historical aspect of Hudson building

18 women-owned restaurants, eateries to check out in Greater Akron (2024)

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