Main Street Shopping Guide
Support local by planning a trip to one of these downtown districts that promise interesting finds, great food and new memories made.
Note: This article originally appeared in our Nov./Dec. 2020 issue. Updates are included below, but verify details before traveling.
Westerville: Make new discoveries at Westerville Antiques & Rustic Revamp Decor, go retro at A Gal Named Cindy Lou and support local artists at Ohio Art Mart. | Read More
Bellefontaine: Downtown Bellefontaine is located just over 2 miles from Campbell Hill (the highest point in Ohio at 1,550 feet) and has seen more than 30 new businesses open in recent years as part of a multimillion-dollar infrastructure and revitalization effort. Just U’NeeQ sells farmhouse-style home decor, candles and clothes. The Fun Company specializes in toys, games and teacher supplies, and Four Acre Clothing Co. sells Ohio-themed apparel. Brewfontaine, a craft beer bar and gathering spot, occupies the downtown space that local favorite Johnson’s Restaurant called home during the 1950s, while the old-school pizzeria Six Hundred Downtown churns out signature pies, like the Cajun-inspired New Orleans and the 11-topping Sanford and Son. downtownbellefontaine.com
Delaware: Just 30 miles north of Columbus, the home of Ohio Wesleyan University offers a downtown district filled with culinary-focused shops, local eateries and antiques stores. Olivina Taproom sells a wide selection of infused olive oils and vinegars that will amp up your home cooking, while the Greater Gouda is a must-visit stop for cheese fans. Sandusky Street Antiques offers an expansive main floor and a downstairs of interesting finds, and Real Big Puppy caters to collars, accessories and treats for giant-breed dogs. Sit-down dining spots include 1808 American Bistro and the adjacent Speck, both owned and operated by chef Joshua Dalton. If you’re looking for something more casual, check out Old Dog Alehouse & Brewery. mainstreetdelaware.com
Granville: The Licking County community of Granville is the home of Denison University and a wealth of restaurants, small museums and independent retailers. Everest Gear offers climbing supplies and apparel, while Green Velvet gift shop promises a “Taste of Paris” in downtown Granville. Village Pet Market specializes in veterinarian-approved food and accessories for your best friend. The city’s more than two dozen eateries range from Knuckle Heads sandwiches and ice cream to the locally sourced Alfie’s Wholesome Food to Steamroller Bagel Sandwiches. Those looking for fine dining will find it at the Granville Inn (the inn’s tavern offers gastropub fare, too). Cultural attractions in the area include the Robbins Hunter Museum and the Denison Museum. visitgranvilleohio.com
Lancaster: Located southeast of Columbus in Fairfield County, the city of Lancaster’s charming downtown is home to more than two dozen shops and over a dozen casual eateries. Sparkle and Rust features beautifully worn wood and repurposed metal pieces alongside nostalgia-inducing knick-knacks. The Flower Pot features beautiful floral arrangements and garden decor, while Odyssey Games specializes in board, card and role-playing games as well as miniatures. While you’re in Lancaster, be sure to visit the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, a museum housed in the historic Reese-Peters House downtown. Casual eats range from Ale House 1890 gastropub to JB’s Downtown Grill, which features made-from-scratch fare. destinationdowntownlancaster.com
Medina: Explore Medina Farmer’s Exchange, browse beautiful creations at Polish Pottery and get in the Christmas spirit at Castle Noel all year round. | Read More
Kent: Acorn Alley was completed in late 2009 as part of a downtown redevelopment aimed at better connecting the heart of the city and the Kent State University campus. You’ll find more than 30 shops, businesses and eateries in the inviting district, from mainstays such as Woodsy’s Music to newer arrivals like Handcrafted, a boutique that offers art and fun home decor pieces made by artisans from throughout Ohio and across the United States. Popped! sells more than two dozen flavored popcorn varieties, and Kent Cheesemonger caters to fans of fromage and wine. Those looking for a more substantial bite can head to Wild Goats Cafe for vegetarian and vegan options or Ray’s Place for classic pub grub. mainstreetkent.org Note: Handcrafted and Cheesemonger have closed.
Millersburg: This Holmes County village has more than a dozen shops on or near West Jackson Street, making it a worthwhile stop when exploring the surrounding Amish communities. Farmhouse Frocks sells stylish clothing that is handmade by local Amish seamstresses and designed for a variety of women, while Three Feathers Pewter (one of the last small family pewter shops in the United States) crafts decorative tableware, jewelry and more. When it’s time for a bite to eat, head to Millersburg Brewing Co. and choose from sandwiches, burgers, flatbreads and other pub favorites. If you’re looking to make a weekend of your visit, check out the 1847 Hotel Millersburg, the second-oldest hotel in Ohio. historicdowntownmillersburg.com
Willoughby: This eastern Cleveland suburb's historic downtown draws locals and travelers with a mix of small shops and restaurants. Stop by GV Art + Design to pick up one of artist George Vlosich’s creative Cleveland- and Ohio-centric T-shirts (and check out his one-of-a-kind Etch A Sketch art creations on display in the shop). W. Brown Custom Jewelry & Design offers personal, on-site design services, helping customers use stones handed down for generations to create an elegant new piece. The several restaurants in the downtown district include Hook & Hoof New American Kitchen & Cocktail, a warm and welcoming spot that serves scratch-made fare and great cocktails. downtownwilloughby.org
Wooster: Twenty stores and nearly as many eateries line the streets surrounding the Wayne County Courthouse. Options range from Blue Spruce Boutique, which sells home decor, beauty products, apparel and handmade gifts, to Everything Rubbermaid, a four-floor retail destination that stocks a deep selection of products from the company that was founded in Wooster in 1920. JAFB Wooster Brewery is a must-visit for craft beer fans, while Local Roots Market & Cafe connects visitors with seasonal and sustainable foods. Those looking for sit-down options can visit Broken Rocks Cafe & Bakery or its adjoining Rox Gastropub. mainstreetwooster.org Note: Everything Rubbermaid has closed.
Perrysburg: Find flowers and gifts at Angel 101, buy beautiful serving pieces at Packer Creek Pottery and make custom scents at Riverfront Candle Co. | Read More
Bowling Green: This college town’s walkable Main Street is filled with great discoveries, including a wonderfully nostalgic Ben’s store, complete with an old-school candy counter. Pick up fun finds at For Keeps Gifts, and for those who love vinyl records, Finders Records & Tapes is stocked with an incredibly large selection of new albums that spans classic titles and new releases alike. (It’s currently only open for pick-up, but you can browse its vast selection online). Grounds for Thought is a great stop for coffee and used books. For those looking for a more substantial bite, Easy Street Cafe is a longtime favorite. downtownbgohio.org
Grand Rapids: This charming village located along both the Maumee River and the Miami & Erie Canal has a historic downtown that covers two blocks and offers more than a dozen shops and eight eateries. Cottage on the River specializes in pictures, pillows and table decor, while The Village Orchard focuses on distinctive gifts and home and garden decor. (Find fruit butters at Grandma’s Pantry and Grand Rapids-focused apparel at The Dam Gift Shop — both located inside The Village Orchard.) For lunch or dinner, head to Miss Lily’s, a from-scratch American restaurant, or hit Knucklehead’s Kafe and select from a variety of creatively topped, 7-ounce burgers. visitgrandrapidsohio.com
Vermilion: Founded in 1837, this Town of Sea Captains is known as a warm-weather destination, certainly, but the shops located along Main Street also offer a place to find unique gifts for the lake lover in your life. Erie and Anchor sells well-designed apparel, totes and blankets that celebrate our Great Lake (with a portion of sales going to support its health). Poppin’ Around offers more than 25 sweet and savory popcorn varieties, while The Olive Scene lets you stock up on infused oils and vinegars. Swan Creek offers home decor, soaps and scented candles, while Cheryl’s Fashion Boutique is stocked with stylish clothing, jewelry, alpaca goods, yarn and more. mainstreetvermilion.org
Sylvania: Located at the northern edge of Lucas County, downtown Sylvania offers more than 30 small shops and eateries. Stop by Ragazza Boutique for women’s clothing and accessories or check out Bowinkles’ apparel for kids. Stellar Blooms is flush with everything floral, and V Collection sells designer clothing for men. Angela’s Angels specializes in angel-themed antiques, gifts and spiritual items, while All Good Things Gift Shop stocks stationery, cards and souvenirs. For a taste of a northwest Ohio classic, stop by Tony Packo’s Sylvania location. If you’re seeking something a little higher end, book a table at Element 112. simplysylvania.org
Marietta: Browse beautiful prints at justAjar Design Press, buy handmade goods at Schafer Leather Store and uncover unique gifts at Wit & Whimzy. | Read More
Athens: As the home of Ohio University, Athens is a hub of activity with its coffee shops and nightlife spots. But you’ll find some great shops in this college town too. Visit Court Street in Uptown Athens and stop into Import House, an emporium for shoes, clothing and artisan-crafted items such as jewelry and soap. Beads & Things, located on the west side of Athens, allows customers to explore their creative side, while Passion Works Studio offers fun, colorful and powerful pieces created by working artists with developmental differences. Fuel up at popular eateries such as Jackie O’s Public House Restaurant (reservations needed for dine-in) and Casa Nueva Restaurant & Cantina. athensohio.com
Cambridge: Cambridge was founded in 1806, and its long history can be seen in the 1881 Guernsey County Courthouse, which is adorned with a light show synchronized to music during the holiday season and draws visitors to town who do a little shopping while they’re there. Country Bits sells locally crafted furniture, home decor, collectibles and affordable gifts. Monarch Mercantile offers succulent planters, handcrafted gifts and local sustainable goods. Find true craftsmanship at Dutch Concepts Home Furnishings, which makes handmade, custom furniture. When it’s time to eat, head to Theo’s Restaurant, a longtime local landmark known for traditional American dishes and housemade pies. If you’re looking for something quick, head to McKenna’s Market for subs and salads. downtowncambridge.com
Chillicothe: This southern Ohio town dates back to 1796 and was the state’s first capital before that distinction was given to Columbus in 1816. Today, Chillicothe’s downtown is home to more than two dozen shops and eateries. Creators of historical dioramas head to The History Store for one of the state’s largest selections of military and civilian miniatures as well as scale-model buildings and military vehicles. Vinyl enthusiasts will enjoy a stop at Apollo Records, and you can add to your collection of Ohio-themed apparel with a “Chillicothe 1796” T-shirt at Hometown Threads. When it’s time to eat, head to Old Canal Smokehouse, which specializes in hickory-smoked barbecue (cooked in its renovated 1850s forge) and a lineup of quality craft brews. visitchillicotheohio.com
Coshocton: If you want your shopping with a side of history, a trip to Coshocton’s Roscoe Village is in order. The re-created canal town offers a fun peek at what life was like here in the 1800s, but also a walkable afternoon of shopping. Stop by Roscoe General Store, a wonderfully, old-fashioned place built in 1870, and browse River Ridge Leather’s variety of beautiful handcrafted goods. Other spots include Abigail Birch & Co. boutique, Canal Cargo gift shop and Coshocton Supply Co. — the local visitors bureau’s headquarters, where you can buy a made-in-Coshocton American flag and other goods. Visit Medbery Marketplace to stock up on local Amish cheeses and meats, chocolates, unusual soda pops and more. roscoevillage.com
Lebanon: Browse home decor at Blume, finds great read at Mulberry Books and grab a bite to eat at the historic Golden Lamb. | Read More
Oxford: This home of Miami University is known for its red-brick street that cuts through the heart of Uptown. The college town supports a variety of businesses, including boutiques such as Leeli & Lou and Juniper, which both sell women’s clothing, jewelry and gifts. The Bird House Antiques is a vintage-focused spot that also carries a variety of Miami memorabilia. Books & Brews is part bookshop and part pub, while the Art Shop Co-Op provides the chance to buy locally made art and gifts. For the classic Oxford experience, stop by Bagel & Deli for one of its unique bagel-sandwich creations, and don’t leave town without grabbing a sweet treat at Oxford Doughnut Shoppe. enjoyoxford.org
Milford: This city’s historic downtown sits along the Little Miami River, with a walkable strip of independent and family-owned shops and restaurants. Primitives and More Milford specializes custom-built farm tables and furniture, while Scintilla on Main offers fun, locally made items for the home, gifts and more. Row House Gallery is the perfect stop for those looking to add art to their home, and Bishop’s Bicycles prides itself on being the oldest bike shop in the Cincinnati area. Dine at 20 Brix, a combination wine bar, restaurant and wine retail store, or opt for its more casual counterpart, Padrino, a family pizzeria also known for pasta and hoagies. downtownmilford.com
Tipp City: Founded in 1840, Tipp City has a downtown filled with interesting shops and eateries. Stop by Browse Awhile Books to find that out-of-print title you’ve been looking for or visit Birch, a local boutique offering trendy clothing and unique home decor pieces. Topsy Turvy Toys features toys and games for all ages, Midwest Memories Antiques specializes in vintage home decor, and Living Simply Soap sells handcrafted bath and body products along with candles and kitchen soaps. When it’s time for a bite to eat, you’ll find great casual fare at Sam & Ethel’s Restaurant. If you’re looking for something more upscale, make reservations at Coldwater Cafe, housed in a converted bank building. downtowntippcity.org
Yellow Springs: Located 20 miles east of Dayton, Yellow Springs dates back to 1856 and is the home of Antioch College. Stop into Epic Book Shop, which dates back to the 1970s, or Bonadies Glass Studio, where you can purchase fused, blown and stained glass that has been crafted by hand. Yellow Springs Toy Co. stocks specialty and educational toys, games, books and gifts, while the Village Artisans Gallery co-op features fine arts and crafts created by its members. When it’s time to eat, head to The Winds Cafe, a casual spot that offers great local and seasonal American fare. If you’re looking for a place to stay, head to the beautiful Mills Park Hotel. yellowspringsohio.org