Best of Kent: best restaurant to take your family


A crowd on the first floor of Ray’s Place in Kent on April 8, 2017. FILE.

First place: Ray’s Place

Known to students, family members and local residents, Ray’s Place is a local favorite that appeals to all ages. Having been open since 1937, Ray’s has a rich history and sense of tradition that you feel as you walk through the door. 

The menu at Ray’s contains typical bar foods such as burgers, wings and sandwiches, but it also caters to kids with its Kids Korner section. The food is  filling and some things, like the fries, can be shared with the whole family. 

With seating spread out between two different levels with large tables and booths, Ray’s has room for even large parties. Seating at the bar and TVs all across the first floor offer a space for sports fans, while the booths and large tables offer a quiet getaway for families. 

Ray’s Place has won several Best of Kent awards over the years including best restaurant to take your family to and best restaurant for the past two years. 

From the number of awards it has gotten to the raving reviews from customers, Ray’s has been a favorite for generations and likely will be for many more.

Second place: Mike’s Place

Before you even enter Mike’s Place, you are greeted by a large spacecraft that sits by the entrance. Once inside, the decor is a mix-and-match of items ranging from a bus and a boat, to a booth dedicated to Elvis memorabilia and another to a Hobbit character. 

The menu matches the restaurant by offering its customers anything they can think of. With everything from breakfast omelettes and pancakes, to burgers and pizza, Mike’s Place has something for everyone. The menu even includes interesting titles like “I am so confused, but I like it!” and “Mommy I have a tummy ache & and should have eaten at home sandwich.” 

With all the options it offers, including a kids menu with smaller versions of some of the meals, and the quirky personality of the restaurant it is no wonder it has kept people coming through its doors since it opened in 1987. Having been a family run location from the start, Mike’s Place coming in at No. 2 for best restaurant to take your family to is no surprise. 

Third place: Bricco

On the corner of East Erie Street and South Depeyster Street, Bricco is a well known Italian restaurant with plenty of room for the whole family. With room for “groups of 10 to 250,” according to its website, Bricco is perfect for big get togethers and small events as well. 

The menu offers a range of food including appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees for lunch and dinner. There are even separate sections just for pasta and pizza, where customers can find some classic Italian dishes but also some different ones like zoodle pasta and black truffle buffalo pizza. 

Beside its Kent location, Bricco has three locations in Akron. One location is  a cafe and another is a pub and each location has its own daily specials that vary per day. Bricco came to Kent in 2014 as part of the downtown Kent revitalization project and has been open seven days a week for lunch and dinner ever since.

Contact Rachel Karas at [email protected].