Wooster, Ohio is a charming city that kind of takes you by surprise. Wooster is located in Wayne County which is a little over an hours drive from Cleveland, 1.5 hours from Columbus and a little over 3 hours from Cincinnati.
On the drive in, you will see rolling hills and farming communities. The downtown in Wooster is tight knit community, full of life with unique shops and eateries. My friend Heather from The Food Hussy describes the downtown of Wooster to be kindred to the fictional town of Stars Hollow from the television show Gilmore Girls. She absolutely loved it!
It’s also important to note that Wooster is pronounced (WUSS tur) NOT (Woo-ster). If you pronounce it wrong, it’s a given that you are from out of town.
You can’t help but notice all of the great architectural details on the buildings as you walk the sidewalk or step inside the shops downtown. If you look closely in the image above, you will see a face on the building located above a window.
With dozens of stores downtown, you will find something for everyone’s interests. (antiques, books, boutiques, fitness, furniture, art and jewelry)
A few of my favorites of the day were the Blue Spruce Boutique and Poppy by Pursesnickety that both had great merchandise and creative presentation of their merchandise.
A few shops to mention are Lucky Records old-school vinyls that will take you down memory lane with music from some of your favorite artists. At Motts Oils & More – you can sample more than 50 different varieties of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars and get inspired for your next meal or personalize a gift.
Organizers, or those who need organizing supplies, will want to stop at the Everything Rubbermaid Flagship Store. There are four floors filled with the largest selection of Rubbermaid products anywhere.
Downtown Wooster Food & Drinks
With all of that shopping downtown, you will definitely work up an appetite. Wooster has a lot of options when it comes to downtown dining for all price points.
For a sweet treat, you will definitely want to try the creative speciality cupcakes at The Faithful Little Cupcake. The hardest part is making a selection because there are a LOT of delicious combinations and all of them sound amazing.
Here is a small sampling of some of the options
(Almond Joy, Banana Split, Birthday Cake, Black Forest, Blueberry Cobbler, Blueberry Swirl, Boston Cream Pie, Buckeye Blitz, Butterfinger Crunch, Buttery Turtle, Carrot Cake, Caramel Apple Streusel, Caramel Banana Pecan, Cherry Blossom, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate Caramel Delight, Chocolate Cherry, Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Chocolate Covered Candy Cane, Chocolate Covered Strawberry, Chocolate Marshmallow, Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Salted Caramel, Cinnamon Spice, Cinnamon Caramel Pecan Roll, Confetti Fun , Cookie Monster, Cookies and Cream, Curly Q, Death by Chocolate)
Now you understand why it’s hard to pick!
City Square Steakhouse boasts “2014 Best Steakhouse’s in America,” by OpenTable. This is the perfect spot for a nice evening out with friends or a loved one. During my visit, I tried the City Square Signature Seafood Bisque which came highly recommended (With Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops, Crabmeat & Crayfish) and the Twin Center-Cut Filet Mignon Medallions.
You can’t go wrong with either of those choices! Mike Mariola, owner and restauranteur, has also started The Rail, a popular gourmet burger joint based in Cleveland, Ohio. You can opt to sit in the dining area or enjoy the large seating area by the bar with a late night happy hour from 9-10pm.
Broken Rocks Cafe and Bakery – A local favorite, Broken Rocks is a staple within the community and specializes in freshly baked artisan bread and features delicious modern takes on various Italian dishes.
I opted for the Cajun Chicken (grilled chicken or shrimp with mixed peppers in a spicy cream sauce on fettuccine) which had the perfect amount of heat and flavor.
Spoon Market & Deli – Is a local favorite with a large bar and deli-style sandwiches. The Menu covers a full range with ethnic and ecletic food items. You can enjoy the breakfast menu all day or order from the lunch/dinner menu.
We ended up enjoying drinks and appetizers during the towns annual meeting which allowed us to meet several members of the community that were excited and proud of how far Wooster has come and what is coming up next.
Make sure that you check out the detail in the bar stools make from barrels.
Muddy’s located at 335 E Liberty St, Wooster is another local favorite hangout that once was a former Cadillac/Buick dealership.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a space with plenty of seating. During our breakfast visit, I opted for the Skinny Cowboy (3 Egg omelet with fire cheese, peppers, onion, provolone, wrapped in a tortilla that’s grilled) A great place to go with a large group or if you want to watch a game.
Sleep in a Modern Boutique Hotel
St Paul Hotel – This contemporary hotel was definitely a surprise in a good way. The modern furniture and lobby design set the tone that this hotel is doing things differently.
The rooms are simple and modern with bathrooms that have an extra large shower, large vanity with flat screen tv, and heated floors that make it hard to ever want to leave the bathroom.
Home to the original St. Paul Hotel until the late 1970’s, the building has been completely renovated and now features a sleek modern and elegant design that will make you think you are in a metropolitan city. With a total of 12 rooms, two of which are two-person suites, the St. Paul experience is like none other in northeastern Ohio.
Take a Nearby Drive
Dutch Kitchen Bakery located at 14278 Lincolnway East (on Rt. 30) Dalton- (15 minutes from Downtown Wooster) What started as a small Restaurant in the original 1858 farm house has continued to grow into quite an establishment that is really popular with bus tours. Groups can even make arrangements to help fill pastries during their visit.
Lehman’s located at 4779 Kidron Rd, Dalton, OH (20 Minutes from Wooster)- Family owned and operated since 1955, this place is truly unbelievable. What started as a hardware store has grown into so much more! Located in the heart of Amish country in Kidron, Ohio, Lehman’s is almost 3/4 mile long chock full of goods that help you live a simpler life. There is a special Treasure hunt for kids available by the entry to buy you more time while you are browsing.
There are 4 barns connected that date back to Pre Civil war times. The Toy section barn was built in 1830. This store has a little bit of anything and everything.
There is a mix of old and new which will make any antique lovers heart flutter. This is a go to store for the Amish Community as well, with supplies that are helpful for simplicities. The supplies are also purchased by many who help bring aid and supplies to third world countries.
Most of the food sold at Lehman’s is locally made and sourced. There are also plenty of tools and machinery for those who want to prepare and prep their food.
Make sure that you check out the gallery of woodworking by artist Paul Weaver. The incredible detail used in each of his pieces are truly a labor of love, crafted from one piece of wood.
Allow a lot of time for your first visit to Lehman’s. The more you look, the more you discover.
Quince Bakery & Cafe – Directly across from Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio. After you shop at Lehman’s you will have worked up an appetite and this is a great stop for sweet treats or a meal. This hometown bakery and cafe is family owned and takes pride in making everything from scratch while sourcing ingredients locally whenever possible.
Be prepared to take a while deciding on your options.
Shisler’s Cheese House located at 55 Kidron Rd. Orrville – (Less than 15 minutes from Wooster) Family owned and operated since 1958, this cheese house sells 2000 lbs of cheese in a week and ships to 30 countries! Make sure that you try the local favorite homemade trail bologna during your visit.
The JM Smucker Company Store & Cafe – Learn more about the history of the Smuckers brand and their products. Everything and anything you’d like to know about Smuckers you will find here. You will find lots of merchandise to choose from and you can even create personalized labels on your product of choice in minutes that you can use as a special gift. If you are hungry, there is a cafe and an ice cream bar.
Troutman Vineyards located at4243 Columbus Road (Route 3 South) Wooster (located 10 minutes from Downtown Wooster)
This stop was a last minute addition to our itinerary and a favorite winery of Heather from Ohio Girl Travels on our tour, who attended a wine festival near Columbus and discovered Troutman. Stop in for a tasting and discover which wines you will want to take home.
The grounds are really beautiful with indoor and outdoor seating, weather permitting. There are goats onsite who will also welcome the attention of visitors.
Pine Tree Barn– located at 4374 Shreve Road, Wooster, OH (10 minutes from downtown Wooster) – This is another store that you could spend hours at. There is so much decorative eye candy to discover on both floors.
The Pine Tree Barn is a restored Dutch bank barn featuring over 25,000 sq. ft. of home furnishings.
Enjoy gorgeous views of the property at The Granary, Pine Tree Barn’s dining spot featuring luncheon cuisine. The lemon crumb muffins are a MUST during your visit and you will probably want to take some to go as well. The Sour Cream fruit pie with Blackberry is also another winner that can be served a la mode