Local Faves: A Guide to 2018's Best of Warren County Winners

Blog by Scott Hutchinson

Whether you're planning an overseas adventure or a simple weekend road trip, one of the surest ways to plot a perfect getaway is to talk to the people who know your destination best - the folks who call it home. Each year in Warren County, we gather that valuable inside scoop for ourselves, asking locals to vote for their favorite Warren County restaurants, shops, attractions and events in our annual Best of Warren County Awards. Here's what our locals loved in 2018:

Best Festival/Event - The Ohio Renaissance Festival
Recently named one of the nation's top renaissance events by the Travel Channel, this annual autumn affair in Harveysburg features incredible entertainment, delicious era-inspired food, hundreds of unique art and craft vendors and so much more. Visit just once and you'll understand why Warren County locals and out-of-towners alike come back year after year.

The Ohio Renaissance Festival
The Ohio Renaissance Festival | Harveysburg, Ohio

Best Shopping Area - Cincinnati Premium Outlets
Home to an enormous collection of more than 100 name brand retailers (and deeply discounted prices) this beloved indoor/outdoor shopping center in Monroe is a bargain hunter's heaven!

Cincinnati Premium Outlets | Monroe, Ohio

Best Antique/Unique Store - Village Salvage
Looking for a gift or trinket you literally can't find anywhere else? Look no further than Waynesville's Village Salvage. Specializing in beautiful, handmade home goods made primarily from recycled and re-purposed materials, it's truly a shop unlike any other.

Village Salvage | Waynesville, Ohio

Best Place for Coffee - Breakfast Club
Every great day starts with a great cup of joe, and according to our local caffeine lovers, it's hard to beat the coffee at Lebanon's long-standing Breakfast Club.

Breakfast Club | Lebanon, Ohio

Best Pizza - Pisanello's
There's no such thing as "bad pizza" if you ask me, but some of the very best in Southwest Ohio is served up at this family-owned Franklin pizza parlor. The dough's tossed in front of you, the ingredients are fresh, and every slice of Pisanello's pie is big enough to pour over your plate.  No wonder the locals love it.

Pisanello's | Franklin, Ohio

Best Burger - The Golden Lamb
In addition to being Ohio's most iconic and historic restaurant, Lebanon's Golden Lamb also happens to serve up one of the state's very best burgers, according to Warren County diners. In fact, it offers a slew of mouthwatering burger options, including a classic "Tavern Cheeseburger", an aptly named "Lamb Burger" (made with lamb), and an "Original Sticky Burger" smothered in house-made peanut butter and caramelized onion. 

Burger at The Golden Lamb | Lebanon, Ohio

Best Fine Dining - The Golden Lamb
Speaking of the legendary Golden Lamb, our Warren County locals also voted it their favorite fine dining establishment of 2018. Having been open for more than 200 years and served 12 U.S. Presidents, it's safe to say they've mastered the art of great food service!

The Golden Lamb | Lebanon, Ohio

Best Lunch Spot - Village Family Restaurant
As its name suggests, Waynesville's Village Family Restaurant has been family owned and operated since first opening its doors in 1980. As its placement on this list suggests, it's also downright delicious. While it serves breakfast and dinner as well, the restaurant's homestyle lunch dishes were voted best in the county by locals.

Village Family Restaurant | Waynesville, Ohio

Best Breakfast Spot - Breakfast Club
Lebanon's Breakfast Club may have great coffee, but its offerings don't stop there. Its overstuffed omelettes, specialty waffle and pancake platters and more traditional breakfast staples also make it one of the region's most popular early morning eateries.

Banana Nut Waffle at Breakfast Club | Lebanon, Ohio

Best Bar/Pub - Stone House Tavern
Warren County has welcomed a number of awesome new additions to its bar and brewery scene over the past few years, but it was Stone House Tavern - a Warren County standby since 2012 - that took home the Best Bar/Pub honors for 2018. Tucked in the heart of historic downtown Waynesville, the gorgeously decorated tavern features both a terrific beer selection and tasty lunch and dinner dishes.

Stone House Tavern | Waynesville, Ohio

Best Sweet Treat - Whit's Frozen Custard
A summer (and spring...and early fall) staple for sweet-toothed locals, this downtown Lebanon hot spot swirls a seemingly endless array of pick-your-own toppings into its delicious, made-in-house custard. When the weather warms up - Warren County flocks to Whit's.

Whit's Frozen Custard | Lebanon, Ohio

Best Date Night Spot - La Comedia Dinner Theatre
Warren County may be known as Ohio's Largest Playground, but that's not to say it's just for kids. If you're looking for more of a grown-up getaway, look no further than Springboro's La Comedia Dinner Theatre. Boasting both tasty buffet-style dining and professional Broadway-inspired entertainment, it's a one-of-kind date night that Warren County locals love. 

La Comedia Dinner Theatre | Springboro, Ohio

Best Dish: The Golden Lamb's Fried Chicken
Sensing a a bit of a trend here? The Golden Lamb racked up three 2018 Best of Warren County Awards in all, including this one for its mouthwatering, golden-brown fried chicken. While the restaurant's menu offerings have been known to change from time to time, its fried chicken is always available - and for good reason.

Fried Chicken at The Golden Lamb | Lebanon, Ohio

Best Outdoor Adventure - Caesar Creek State Park
Whether you're into hiking, biking, boating, fishing, fossil hunting or almost any other outdoorsy endeavor, Waynesville's beautiful Caesar Creek State Park has your fresh-air fun covered! 

Caesar Creek State Park | Waynesville, Ohio

Best Place for Family Fun - Kings Island
Record-breaking roller coasters, hair-raising thrill rides, a kids' area named "best in the world" 18 years and running and an awesome accompanying water park make Kings Island in Mason one of the most incredible places for family fun not only in Warren County, but anywhere at all!

Kings Island | Mason, Ohio

Best Hangout for Teens - Kings Island
Not many teenagers get to grow up with an award-winning amusement and water park in their backyard. The Warren County locals who do, however, certainly take advantage of it! If you're visiting with teens of your own, be sure to have Kings Island on your to-do list.

Kings Island | Mason, Ohio

Best Place to Explore History - Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve
Home to more than 2,000 years of Native American history, this awe-inspiring site in Oregonia treats guests not only to fascinating lessons on Native American lore, but also gorgeous hiking trails and overlooks. A hit with locals and visitors alike, it's must-stop spot for any history lover.

Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve | Oregonia, Ohio

Ready to check out these local favorites for yourself? Plan all of your Warren County fun right here on!