Dining Guide: 25 Tasty Restaurants in Mentor and Mentor-on-the-Lake

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Dining Guide: 25 Tasty Restaurants in Mentor and Mentor-on-the-Lake

Blue Fin Hibachi and Sushi Bar
Why we love it: At this casual Asian fusion hibachi and sushi bar, you’ll discover the tasty aforementioned staples, along with soup, salad, tempura sushi and a bento box lunch menu in a simple upbeat ambiance. Try this: A sushi lunch ($17) with four pieces of nigiri, one maki roll and four pieces of sashimi. 8820 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-290-7383, facebook.com/bluefinmentor 

Billy's A Cappelli Martini Bar
Why we love it: Known for specialty martinis, this cocktail lounge on Route 306 offers more than 50 apps, salads, burgers and entrees that are perfect drinking companions. Try this: Snack on Billy's Brie ($12), a simple presentation of baked cheese, cranberry, drizzled raspberries, crostini, French baguette and apples. 7338 Industrial Park, Mentor, 440-585-8815, billysacappellimartinibar.com

Campola’s Italian Bistro
Why we love it: Regulars visit this
family-style restaurant and patio with a traditional scratch kitchen multiple nights a week. “The ambiance is almost like you’re at a friend’s house having dinner,” says owner Nikki Campola of the 15-year-old restaurant with lots of charm. Try this: The Penne Florentine ($20) is crafted with homemade garlic oil sauce, fresh sausage, spinach and Parmesan cheese with roasted pine nuts. 7224 Center St., Mentor, campolas.com, 440-290-8676

Crab King Pholicious Restaurant
Why we love it: Finally, Lake County locals have a great option for fresh seafood and Vietnamese fusion. “When I was a kid, I had a dream to open a restaurant,” says owner Sky Lam, whose grandparents inspired many of the homestyle recipes. “My whole family worked in the nail salon industry for a long time, and I wanted to start something new.” Try this: Despite many classic Vietnamese dishes being offered, pho ($15.95) reigns supreme here. “The soup takes 12 hours a day to get the juices from bone marrow,” Lam says. 8900 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-290-0691, crabkingmentor8900.com  

Dynamite Dawgs
Why we love it: Since opening in 2020, this simple, fair-inspired joint has developed a following around its Brats, hand-cut fries (loaded or regular), desserts (think deep-fried Oreos) and, of course, hot dogs. Try this: The signature Dynamite Dawg ($6) is topped with Coney chili sauce, nacho cheese, diced onion and grilled bacon. 6312 Center St. Suite A, Mentor, 440-290-0286, dynamitedawgs.com


(Photo courtesy Issho Ni Poke Bar)

Issho Ni Poke Bar
Why we love it: This small, bright, locally owned spot whips up sushi burritos, bubble tea and other Hawaiian-Japanese fusion cuisine — and best yet, has a build your own poke bowl option. Try this: Create your own poke bowl with one protein ($13.50) and pile on unlimited toppings. 9570 Mentor Ave. #L, Mentor, 440-754-8204, isshonipokebar.com

Happy Moose Bar & Grill
Why we love it: Who doesn't love a no-frills, familiar sports bar? This bright, friendly pub with wooden decor on Route 306 and Route 2 features the usual suspects: wings, burgers and other bar food. With ample bar and table seating and tons of TVs, you can almost always find a seat for the big game at this chill place to relax with friends. Looking to throw a party? The covered, 70-seat patio can be rented for events. Try this: Dive into the homemade Buffalo chicken dip ($10.99), served with tortilla chips. 7693 Reynolds Road, Mentor, 440-953-9464, happymoosebarandgrill.com/mentor

The Hooley Pub & Kitchen
Why we love it: Though it has four other Northeast Ohio locations, this fun pub is headquartered in Mentor. In addition to Irish-leaning fare, pizza, wings, 20 specialty cocktails and 20 craft beers on tap, the gastropub has made its name on being a community gathering space for trivia, live performances and games.  Try this: Many diners can't bring themselves to use the phrase "boneless wings." Luckily, you don't have to when ordering hand-cut Hooley Hunks ($14) with spicy, creamy firecracker ranch. 7861 Reynolds Road, Mentor, 440-942-6611, 1funpub.com


(Photo courtesy Kiko's Kitchen)

Kiko’s Kitchen
Why we love it: Since turning her food truck into a brick-and-mortar spot this year, owner Sonya Davis has created a casual fusion concept inspired by her upbringing. “I have a passion for feeding people," she says. Try this: The Yakiniku fries ($11.29), topped with shredded cheese, Yakiniku meat, yum yum sauce, teriyaki, green onions and sesame seeds, are the best of both her worlds. 9179 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-290-7022, kikos-kitchen.square.site

Longo's Pizza
Why we love it: The family run spot has been Mentor's independent pizza choice for 54 years, opening in 1969. Try this: The menu of gluten-free pizza, chicken Parmesan, pasta and other delicious items are godsends for those with dietary restrictions. 8907 Mentor Ave., 440-974-8282; 7314 Lakeshore Blvd., 440-946-8222, longospizza.com

Maki Mentor
Why we love it: In addition to savory Asian fusion such as hibachi, sushi and noodles, this relaxed, modern joint whips up fruity bubble tea in every color of the rainbow. Try this: The salmon hibachi dinner ($19.50) is grilled and served with veggies and rice. 9582 Diamond Center Drive, Mentor, 440-853-8685, facebook.com/makimentor

Mama Roberto’s Italian Restaurant
Why we love it: The 20-year family-run spot touts its “original
Cleveland-style pizza” and other Italian dishes, such as veal and seafood. Try this: Opt for a classic chicken marsala ($21) with mushroom marsala wine sauce and a side of pasta. 8658 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-205-8890, mamarobertos.com 

Manhattan Deli
Why we love it: Since 1987, Tim and Siham Shaker have offered a taste of New York City with their menu of Jewish deli, fresh-baked bagel with schmear and diner classics. Try this: The Uptowner ($16.95) stacks corned beef and pastrami. Dip it in some matzo ball soup ($7.50). 8900 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-974-0055, manhattandelimentor.com


(Photo courtesy Pastina Rustic Italian Kitchen)

Pastina Rustic Italian Kitchen
Why we love it: This modern take on farm-to-table Italian fare focused on locally sourced scratch-made dishes is run by a local family. Try this: Combine health and flavor with the grilled Atlantic salmon ($27) served with herb risotto and orange-fennel salad. 9354 Mentor Ave. # 1, Mentor, 440-255-3117, pastinarusticitalian.com

(Photo courtesy The Spot on Lakeshore)

The Spot on Lakeshore
Why we love it: With Eastern European influence from the chef’s background and the community, “it’s our uniqueness,” that makes The Spot on Lakeshore stand out, says Zachary Bond, chef and owner of the comfort food haven that recently added dinner. “You’re going to find things on the menu that you’re not going to find anywhere else. To go along with (the) uniqueness of our restaurant, we use the restaurant as a creative platform for local artists and local musicians.” Try this: The chef’s standout dish is the pastrami salmon ($11). You heard that right: house-cured pastrami rubbed salmon, on an everything bagel with scallion cream cheese and herb vinaigrette on top, says Bond. You also probably don’t want to miss dishes like the short rib hash, french toast and tiramisu pancakes with vanilla mascarpone. “Breakfast and lunch are a big hit in the community,” Bond says. It’s no shock that The Spot on Lakeshore is unveiling a dinner menu. 7272 Lakeshore Blvd., Mentor, 440-510-8504, thespotonlakeshore.com

Market Street Family Restaurant
Why we love it: Find breakfast staples and classic American dishes at this updated family-style restaurant. The large menu of sandwiches, pasta, salads, omelets and other delights satisfy any type of craving. Try this: Start with the fresh, housemade tabbouleh ($5.99) before moving on to a burger, breakfast, seafood and almost anything else. 8450 Market St., Mentor, 440-255-4962, marketstreetmentor.takeout7.com/ourmenu


(Photo courtesy Malley's Chocolates)

Malley's Chocolates
Why we love it: The Mentor location, one of four that serve ice cream, carries that classic parlor decor with  old-school booths and '50s-style bar seating. Families enjoy ice cream before taking home treats like truffles, chocolate bars and candies. Try this: Drench your selection from 25 flavors in house-made hot fudge. 8920 Mentor Ave. B, Mentor, Mentor, 440-974-1440, malleys.com


(Photo courtesy Melt Bar & Grilled)

Melt Bar & Grilled
Why we love it: East siders remember the days of driving to Lakewood for these epic grilled cheese sandwiches. That all changed in 2012, when Melt opened a huge, 140-seat bar and restaurant with kitchy decor like light-up snowmen and classic beer signs. Try this: The Dude Abides ($19.75) is a fan favorite with homemade meatball, basil marinara, fried mozarella and other cheeses. 7289 Mentor Ave., Mentor 440-530-3770, meltbarandgrilled.com

Ninja JAPANESE
Why we love it: This Mentor-on-the-Lake spot serves some of Northeast Ohio's best sushi. Try this: The Mentor Lake Special ($27) is a seafood lovers' dream with tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, salmon and yellowtail on top. 7873 Munson Road, Mentor-On-The-Lake, 440-853-8685, ninjainmentor.com

The Indian Kitchen
Why we love it: For authentic Indian flavors with some innovative twists, this classy eatery packs big flavor into biryani, momos, curries, naan and all your Indian favorites. Try this: If you've had your fill of tandoori chicken and goat biryani, try the chicken saag ($16.95), a boneless chicken breast tossed in traditional creamy Indian spinach sauce. 9552 Mentor Ave., Mentor 440-701-8293, theindiankitchenmentor.com

Thai Orchid
Why we love it: Don't let the strip mall fool you. Inside you'll find solid curry, rice and noodle dishes as well as seasonal specials. Try this: Add shrimp to the sweet massaman curry ($14.50). 7502 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-942-6752,
facebook.com/thaiorchidkitchen

TJ’s on the Avenue
Why we love it: Owner Cameron Pulling  says, “We have a lot of dishes we created in-house that the community is very fond of, like the Chicken Madison.” The Pulling family has been cooking up homemade Italian dishes and daily made pasta, bread and sauces since 1992. Some staff members have been there for more than 30 years. Try this: “Chicken Madison ($18.29) is my go-to dish to recommend,” says Pulling. Breaded chicken sauteed with fresh mushrooms and a white wine sauce, topped with melted provolone and cheddar, finished freshly cut scallions. 7485 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-953-5959, tjsontheavenue.com

Trios Italian Grille & Catering
Why we love it: Three families came together to whip up a modern concept focusing on traditional Italian favorites. Their combined heritage and travels inspired the fresh menu of pasta, pizza, calzones, strombolis and specialty dishes. Try this: Choose from the carnivore ($11) calzone or stromboli packed with all the meats: pepperoni, sausage, soppressata, pepperoncini, ricotta and provolone cheese. 7537 Mentor Ave. #23, Mentor, 440-571-5306, triositaliangrille.com

Yours Truly
Why we love it: This beloved spot is part of a local chain purveying comforting American fare in a friendly homey atmosphere. Stop by for breakfast, lunch or dinner for a three-egg omelet, fire-grilled burger, Monte Cristo or a signature cocktail. Try this: Who doesn’t love a place with an all-day breakfast? We love the Killit Skillet (11.95) with two eggs, bacon, sausage, golden hash browns with onion, green pepper, mixed cheese and toasted ciabatta. 7280 Center St., Mentor, 440-255-3003, ytr.com/mentor

Zappitelli’s
Why we love it: For 36 years and counting, this self-described Old World Italian restaurant whips up all the flavors of Italy through family recipes. Stop by for good old-fashioned mom-and-pop traditional dishes, including homemade pizza, pasta, subs and specialty dishes made with the fan-favorite sauce. Try this: You can’t beat potato gnocchi ($17) made from scratch. 9570 Mentor Ave., Mentor, 440-352-1185, zappitellismentor.com

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