Chicken and waffles from Toledo’s Fowl & Fodder (photo courtesy of Fowl & Fodder)
Food + Drink

Fowl & Fodder, Toledo

Chef Aaron Lawson’s Midwest roots meet southern influences and global flavors at this restaurant along Adams Street. 

Adams Street in Toledo has turned into an urban hub with a dynamic mix of shops and restaurants. It is where you’ll find the chef-driven Fowl & Fodder reinventing classic comfort foods. Chef Aaron Lawson took the helm in 2020, crafting favorites with a twist.

“I fell in love with global, unique flavors like Japanese, Mandarin, coastal southwestern Latino cuisine,” he says. “I started finding ways to take down-home comfort food and put a spin on it, like our southern-style Banh Mi.”

Both locals and out-of-towners flock here for full-service Sunday brunches. (The new country-kitchen-style seating can accommodate 50 diners.) Tuesday through Friday switches to a counter-order system for hurried work-day meals or to-go boxes. No matter the day, the favorite here is Lawson’s chicken and waffles.

Chicken tenders are tossed in seasoned flour, dipped in Ohio hot sauce and served on top of cornbread waffles. Lawson’s homemade Ohio Hot Sauce on the crispy tenders goes well with Milligan’s Ohio Maple Syrup — a perfect balance of savory and sweet. 

Charcuterie box of cured meats, greens, cheese and peppers at Toledo’s Fowl & Fodder (photo courtesy of Fowl & Fodder)

Fowl & Fodder is also hyper focused on providing meal options that are free of gluten, nuts, dairy and eggs. Vegan dishes are available here too, like the coconut-milk waffle with warm house-made almond and cashew granola, seasonal fruit jam and Ohio maple syrup.

Growing up in Toledo, Lawson spent summers with family in Kentucky and Tennessee, which infused his Midwest roots with southern influences. Those visits revolved around down-home cooking, farming and supporting locals. Fresh green beans and tomatoes and eating hot water cornbread shaped his philosophy. Eventually, he returned to the South to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina.

These formative years made Lawson who he is today. Supporting local purveyors is evident in everything he does. On any given day, he’s sourcing Ohio apples drizzled with local honey for sides or pairing signature dishes with small-batch craft cocktails from Toledo Spirits. He also supports local food charities and partners with Toledo Metroparks, embodying the Fowl & Fodder philosophy: “Food for Everyone.”

“There’s no reason why you can’t make chicken and waffles just as beautiful as a $100 steak dinner,” says Lawson. “The food has to speak to people.”

614 Adams St., Toledo 43604, 419/214-1588,