Let's say you're hungry, and you don't want to just head over to a chain restaurant. After all, you're on vacation, right? Here are some of our absolute favorite spots where you can get a true taste of Sandusky. Some of them have won Funcoast.com Readers' Choice Awards, some are top-notch with the locals and, of course, some of them are our guilty pleasures. Whatever you're craving, you can find it here — we'll help.
New Sandusky Fish Company (RCA Winner)
235 East Shoreline Drive, Sandusky
Summer Hours: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Estimated cost per person: under $10
When it comes to perch on the North Coast, Readers Choice Award winner New Sandusky Fish Company stands out. Find an array of fried delights like perch, walleye, catfish, shrimp, hushpuppies and frog legs. There are also hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, french fries and onion rings. A surprising local favorite: the collard greens. It’s also conveniently located near a city park with tables and a gazebo.
145 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky
419-502-9463 or sanduskywinebar.com
Hours: 3 p.m.-midnight Wed.-Sat., 3-10 p.m. Sun., closed Mon.-Tue.
Estimated cost per person: $20 to $35
Whether you want a low-key evening or a swanky night on the town, this hot destination is perfect. Located in the historic waterfront area, the urbane venue is the second downtown venture by Chef Cesare Avallone and wife Andrea Avallone. In addition to an impressive wine list, it offers an eclectic menu featuring snacks, small plates, shareables and daily dinner features. Start the dining off with crispy duck wings or fried calamari, or dive right into entrees such as a seafood dish, a steak, pork saltimbocca or various pastas.
Water Street Bar & Grille (RCA Winner)
101 East Water Street, Sandusky
Carryout or Dine-in
Hours: 11 a.m.-2:30 a.m. Mon.-Sun.
Estimated cost per person: $9-$15
Whether it’s catching a brew after work or taking someone out for a nice dinner, this cozy, upscale-casual place has live music and a festive vibe. Exposed brick and stone walls create a perfect atmosphere. Menu-wise, you’ll enjoy upscale bar food (including deli sandwiches) and dinner options like roast beef, crab cakes, quesadillas, New York strip steaks, roasted chicken, rib eyes and salads. With a great downtown location and a large patio facing the bay, it offers a refined experience for a reasonable price.
Ming’s Garden (RCA Winner)
3317 Milan Road, Sandusky
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. & 4:30-9:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 12-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Estimated cost per person: $5-$9
For over 30 years Ming’s Garden has been a popular and affordable choice among locals and vacationers. In fact, the venue likes to boast best food in town, which is why it attracts generation after generation of customers.
One thing that makes Ming’s Garden unique is its wide variety of selections. Take for instance its soups, which range from Wonton to Go-Ba and San-Sien. Its dinner menu includes many flavors of chicken-based entrees as well as the popular roast duck. There’s also lo mein (soft noodle) and chow mein fun (rice noodles), and beef, seafood and pork options.
Berardi’s Family Kitchen (RCA Winner)
1019 Perkins Ave., Sandusky
Carryout or Dine-in
Hours: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sun.
Estimated cost per person: $10
For nearly 70 years, Berardi’s Family Kitchen has offered the Go Coast memorable American cuisine in a family-friendly environment. It’s known for its fresh-cut french fries and great homemade meals at affordable prices. You can start salivating now with its menu boasting breakfast delights such as shredded beef hash and sausage gravy over biscuits to belgian waffles and omelets galore.
As far as lunch and dinner is concerned, perhaps you’ve never had french fries as a side for Italian dishes but you’ll be tempted at Berardi’s Family Kitchen where lasagna, spaghetti and eggplant parmesan rule. There are also plenty of salads, burgers, perch and more options to cater to any appetite. And if you’re looking for a wedding rehearsal dinner or a large group of people, the Bella Rosa Banquet Room holds up to 50 people comfortably.
For more Funcoast.com reader favorites (and some of our own), check out our dining reviews here.