Completing your holiday shopping list can work up quite the appetite, especially when there are so many small businesses to peruse in the Akron area.
It’s a good thing most retailers are near some of the area’s best local restaurants.
And, of course, we happen to know which ones are worth pausing your retail therapy to visit.
Here are six eateries to refuel at during your holiday shopping spree.
If you’re an early bird who likes shopping in the morning, Sunrise Social in Green is the perfect breakfast, brunch and lunch restaurant for you. Not only will you get some of the best chicken and waffles in the county, but also the décor will transport you back to the height of summer.
Nearly everything in the place is sunshine yellow: the walls, chairs and even plastic partitions between booths. That sunny disposition combines with hanging green vines and splashes of teal to become a sort of secret garden — but with some truly delicious breakfast and pastries thrown in.
3875 Massillon Road, Suite 20, Uniontown; 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily; facebook.com/SunriseSocialCafe/
Tito’s Mexican Grill
Shoppers looking for a flavorful break while at Summit Mall or the Montrose shopping district can feast on quesadillas, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos and Mexican street tacos at Tito’s Mexican Grill in Fairlawn.
The eatery serves steak, seafood and chicken dishes as well as 10 chef’s specials. But if cocktails are more your thing, it also has massive margaritas made with fresh-squeezed juices.
Among the restaurant’s most popular entrees are its fish street tacos, which are filled with fried swai fish, red cabbage and pico de gallo. The dish is served with rice. Also popular for lunch is the panchita special, a choice of chicken and/or steak and chorizo over rice, covered with queso dip and served with a slice of avocado and tomato.
25 Ghent Road, Fairlawn; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; titosfairlawn.com
Twisted Tomato Pizzeria
The Stow Community Center and Stow-Kent Shopping Center are always bustling with shoppers during the holiday season, and the area now has a new restaurant to flock to for the post-retail munchies.
Twisted Tomato Pizzeria, which opened Aug. 14, is the latest of three locations that the local chain has opened in as many years. As is the case with the Cuyahoga Falls location, the Stow Twisted Tomato is only open for takeout and delivery. Its Akron location also has a beer wall.
The restaurant serves a variety of pizza, calzones, subs, pasta, wings, salads and desserts.
During a recent visit, Beacon Journal photojournalist and wine columnist Phil Masturzo (who also dabbles in pizza) had a lot to say about the mushroom and pepperoni pizza.
“I love the flavor of the sauce,” he said. “You know, a lot of times [pizza] sauce [has] too much oregano — the sauce was great, and I like the fact that they use fresh mushrooms and not canned mushrooms. I mean, it was a good pie. I’d go back there and get a pizza in a heartbeat.”
And if you’re parched after all that dough, try out Double Shot Coffee or T-Bubbles, which also opened this year in Stow.
3031 Graham Road, Stow; 330-673-9410; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; twisted-tomato.com
Just down the road from Chapel Hill Shopping Center is a Yuki House, a restaurant serving Hawaiian-style hibachi and Thai cuisine guaranteed to leave customers warm and full.
Its most popular menu items are mochiko chicken, Korean fried garlic chicken and Yuki’s barbecue chicken, according to owner Jeni Dalanay, whose favorite dish is the pad thai. The steak hibachi and hibachi noodles are also stars on the Yuki House menu.
All of the restaurant’s sauces, from yum yum to peanut, are made from scratch. Dalanay says she doesn’t hold back on the sauces or spices in her food like some Americanized versions at other restaurants might. This applies to her Thai food especially, as it is made using a recipe from her mother’s region of Thailand.
1194 Tallmadge Road, Cuyahoga Falls; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday and Saturday, noon to 9 p.m. Sunday; Yuki House on Facebook
Butcher & Sprout
Down the street from the busy businesses on Cuyahoga Fall’s Front Street is Butcher & Sprout, a local farm-to-table restaurant with a delicious Belgian pearl sugar waffle on its dessert menu.
This place focuses on food that is locally sourced, organic and non-GMO. Some local vendors include The Farmer’s Rail, Green City Growers and Countryside Public Market.
Customers can also have some fun while they dine. Near the hostess stand are over a dozen tabletop games to entertain guests while they wait for their meal. There are also backyard-style games available for those sitting outside on the wraparound patio.
1846 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; www.butcherandsprout.com
Lock 15 Brewing Co.
Brewpub Lock 15 has been known for putting creations such as kimchi corn dogs and smoked pork ribs lathered in watermelon barbecue sauce on its rotating menu since opening in 2018.
Plus, it sports quite a collection of beers named after nearby parks, neighborhoods and historical figures. A descendant of the Swinehart family even visited once to drink the brewery’s Swinehart stout and shed light on his family’s history in Akron.
“There have been a lot of things that have happened in Akron over the years,” co-owner Colin Cook explained. “There has been a feeling…that you don’t have to be great to be a successful restaurant in this area — you just have to be good enough. To me and with this crew, it’s always been about how we take that expectation level and blow it out of the water.”
21 W. North St., Akron; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday; lock15brewing.com
Got a restaurant recommendation? Contact Beacon Journal reporter Tawney Beans at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TawneyBeans. And follow her food adventures on TikTok @akronbeaconjournal.