Eat like a local with this list of places to dine in Butler County Ohio.
Whenever I go on a trip, I make it a strong preference to dine at local establishments and participate in any local activities. Our weekend trip to Butler County, just north of Cincinnatti, was no different. Check out this first of two posts documenting everything we ate!
BUTLER COUNTY DONUT TRAIL
What better way to start the morning than with a trail of doughnuts! At each location on the Butler County Donut Trail you will receive an official stamp on your passport (which can be downloaded on their website or picked up at a participating shop).
We visited the Central Pastry Shop in Middletown first and picked up several varieties including an apple fritter, which is one of my favorites, and their seasonal pumpkin doughnut. This local shop was founded in 1949 and quickly developed a reputation for quality, taste and service. To this day it remains a full line scratch bakery using the same recipes!
Next up was Holtman’s Donuts in West Chester (which just officially joined the trail in December) for Bob and I’s favorite blueberry doughnut and more exotic choices such as the Lucky Charms doughnut which was better than expected. My favorite part about Holtman’s was actually one of the bakers, who was playfully throwing flour at a little girl protected behind a glass window. I wasn’t sure who was having more fun, the baker or the little girl.
Holtman’s first opened in 1960 in Newton, Ohio. Two sons started the business to provide their father a steady job, who had lost his job as a milk man when grocery stores started emerging and selling milk. To this day the shops are owned by the same family and the doughnuts are still made fresh and from scratch on a daily basis.
Our last stop was Jupiter Coffee & Donuts in Fairfield, known for their cream horn which I had never experienced before – it was a puff pastry shell filled with marshmallow cream! I also seriously loved the Ohio maple syrup glazed doughnut. And if you are a coffee lover, not only are the doughnuts made fresh every morning, the coffee is also roasted on site. They bakers also serve up more than just doughnuts, including danishes, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, and brownies. Fun fact, they open at 4am for all you early risers looking for a doughnut and coffee fix.
Once you visit all nine bakeries, whether it be all in one day (and you may need to get tested for diabetes) or over several trips, return your passport to the Butler County Visitors Bureau in person or via mail and you’ll get a t-shirt!
SAWASDEE THAI CUISINE
After dining on doughnuts all morning we worked up an appetite for something savory for lunch and Sawasdee Thai Cuisine (right around the corner from Jupiter in Fairfield) fit the bill. Upon first arrival, we were alerted that the kitchen ventilation was down and thus prevented their ability to cook. However, our disappointment quickly dissipated when they clarified that we could still order food, just not anything fried. Phew! Bob and I gravitate towards curry anyway.
Like many Thai restaurants, when ordering you are asked to what heat level you would prefer, 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest (there’s also an extreme level called the Fire Breathing Dragon). However, a sign when you walk in indicates that a 2 was about equal to a jalapeno. Note to self, stay at or below a 2. I ordered the Massaman curry at a 2 and that was perfect for me. Bob ordered his at a 3 which I think I could have handled as well but I would rather enjoy my food, not just tolerate it. And enjoy it we did, devouring every last morsel and drop of broth we could soak up with rice.
Starting in 2009, selling dishes at the West Chester Farmers Market, Lek’s loyal customers convinced her to open Sawasdee just a year later. All dishes are made to order using fresh and local meats and vegetables and homemade sauces. Fun fact Sawasdee means “Hello” in Thai!
MUNICIPAL BREW WORKS
Prior to dinner we stopped at Municipal Brew Works found in a gorgeous historic Art Deco building, located across the street from our hotel, Courtyard by Marriott in Hamilton. Lucky for us, the timing was perfect as both the Penn State and Ohio State games were being aired on TVs placed side by side. His and hers. Unfortunately, our merry time drinking their craft beer and watching out respective teams turned into drowning our sorrows as both Penn State lost to Michigan State and Ohio State lost to Iowa. Thankfully there were board games to distract us. As for food, while there’s no designated kitchen, there is a food truck on the patio where you can hang out during warmer months. We held off however as we did not want to spoil our dinner plans.
STONE CREEK DINING COMPANY
For dinner we ventured to the Stone Creek Dining Company, just a short drive away from Hamilton in West Chester. We ordered one more round of drinks to put the losses behind us and then dove into our food selections. The menu has a wide variety of sandwiches, salds, seafood, pastas, steaks, chops, and chicken, making. But to make our decision east they also offer combos. I ordered a combo of baby back ribs and sirloin paired with grilled asparagus and white cheddar au gratin potatoes. I finished every last bite. Bob ordered the beer-battered shrimp and the sirloin as well paired with the broccoli with lemon-chive butter and the Parmesan risotto which he also dominated. Needless to say we returned to our hotel room very content and ready for a relaxed evening before hitting the sack.
For breakfast the next morning, we multi-tasked with a couple rounds at Top Golf back in West Chester (across the street from Holtman’s Donuts). I’ll save the details of the play for my next post, Things to do in Butler County, and stick to just the food for now. I ordered the THe G.O.A.T (The Greatest Of All Time) which is an epic compilation of caramelized French toast, Cap’n Crunch breaded fried chicken, over easy egg, bacon, jalapeno gravy, and maple syrup. There were so many flavors going on and yet it all worked so well together.
Bob stuck to more of a classic dish with the Texas brisket hash skillet. Somehow after all that we were still a bit hungry and ended up sharing a order of the prosciutto, artichoke, and olive flatbread made on naan which totally hit the spot (olives on the side thanks). Who knew such deliciousness could be found at Top Golf? Heck I’d go there just to eat (and lucky for me there’s one opening in Columbus soon). As for the golfing aspect, that’s to be continued…
Looking for more? Check out there posts from my Columbus blogger friends who also ventured to Butler County:
- Exploring Butler County: Middletown, OH – A City Explored
- Exploring Butler County: Top Golf – A City Explored
- Exploring Butler County: Jungle Jim’s Market – A City Explored
- Exploring Butler County: Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park – A City Explored
- Exploring Butler County: Butler County Donut Trail – A City Explored
- Butler County (the mecca of posts) – Breakfast with Nick
- Road Trip to Butler County: The Food – Cbus Local Love
- Road Trip to Butler County: Part II – Cbus Local Love
- Two Days In Butler County // Day One – Cook Eat Explore
- Two Days In Butler County // Day Two – Cook Eat Explore
- Butler County Donut Trail – Eat Play Cbus
- Pyramid Park – Eat Play Cbus
- Wake Nation – Eat Play Cbus
- Butler County Staycation – Fervent Foodie
- Weekend in Butler County: What to Eat! – Fervent Foodie
- A Sprinkle Filled Adventure on the Butler County Donut Trail – NeighborFood
- Butler County Adventure – Part 1 – Sweetly Cbus
- Butler County Adventure – Part 2 – Sweetly Cbus
- Butler County Donut Trail – Sweetly Cbus
- Eating in Butler County Ohio – Wander & Whine
One year ago: Gingerbread Brownies with Eggnog Frosting
Three years ago: Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Candied Walnuts and Sage Vinaigrette
Four years ago: Quick Turkey Noodle Soup
Five years ago: Gluten-Free Ooey Gooey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
Six years ago: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake
Sevenyears ago: Matzo Ball Soup