Best Restaurant: Bricco


Don and Lola Treadwell talk before ordering dinner at Bricco on Monday, April 6, 2015. The Treadwell’s have been happily married for 25 years and the have had many dates at Bricco.

Madeleine Winer



With its upscale Italian dishes and an extensive list of cocktails and craft beers, Bricco edged out last year’s winner, Ray’s Place, as the top restaurant in Kent this year.

From its chorizo sausage pizza to its cajun chicken pasta and goat cheese appetizer served with a spicy marinara sauce, Bricco offers unique ingredients and a chic atmosphere for college students looking for a fine dining experience. The modern eatery, which opened last January to complete Kent’s downtown revitalization project, also boasts an in-house pastry chef who whips up new treats everyday along with a wide martini selection with both sweet and bold flavors.

“Their martinis here are really good,” said Sally Davidoff, a junior health care administration major. “Every time I’ve come here, I’ve gotten something different and have liked it.”


Ray’s Place, Mike’s Place

Both long-time favorite Kent places, Mike’s and Ray’s offer traditional American favorites that students savor.

For 75 years, Ray’s Place has served up its mouth-watering, homemade burgers including the infamous Mo-Fo (you can guess what that stands for) with two beef patties, bacon, sautéed mushrooms and “the works.” On a night out in Kent, both students and locals flock to its wide selection of local and international brews spanning 64 taps on two floors. “The atmosphere is good, and its pleasantly busy,” said Curt Vaught, a Kent resident who has enjoyed Ray’s with his wife, Christina, and their kids—both Kent State alums— for 40 years.

“An atomic cheeseburger and a Guinness, and I’m good to go with a side of fries.”

A claimed “hangover cure” for Kent State students, Mike’s Place’s eclectic decor matches its menu offerings, which include omelets like “The Pat O’Brian” to piled-high sandwiches like “The Frog,” stuffed with Mike’s famous pulled pork. With an X-wing Fighter perched outside its front door, Mike’s Place continues to be a landmark for comfort food and neighborhood hospitality.


Taco Tantos, Laziza

A colorful restaurant downtown both inside and out, Taco Tantos features its fresh and homemade burritos, tacos, tostadas and specialty drinks at college-friendly prices.

“They’ve got good beer, and I like that they grill their burritos,” said Corey Grau, a senior digital media production major. “When I’m feeling like treating myself, I come here.”

With loads of toppings and vegan options to choose from, the non-traditional Mexican joint features daily specials, which range from a ratatouille to a spicy tandoori burrito.

“It’s good Mexican,” said Nick Jackson, a senior English major. “It’s not Chipotle where it’s kind of the same. It’s got variety.”

With Middle Eastern-inspired decor, Laziza plates up Mediterranean favorites including falafel lamb kebabs, shawarma and hummus. Its hand-crafted cocktails match its posh atmosphere for a fancy night out in Kent with friends.

“When we come here, we always get the hummus because it’s a Kent favorite,” said Koreen Lucky, a Kent native. “The service is exceptional, and the atmosphere is a little bit more upscale.”

Contact Madeleine Winer at [email protected].