From Meatloaf Monday to each Friday Night Fish Fry, weeks at the Firestone Park Hideaway are filled with hearty American food. Recently reopened under new management, the bar features simple items such as breaded mushrooms, chicken wings in six types of sauce, and beef burgers, as well as a list of draft and bottled beers to help wash down every bite. At a stage in one corner of the retro, wood-paneled watering hole, DJs spin late into the night and live bands play on Saturdays.
One of Akron’s oldest Irish pubs, Kevin O’Bryan’s menu showcases authentic Irish dishes in addition to inventive spins on American classics. Signature starters such as Vinnie’s pizza dip, a baked concoction of cheese, tomato sauce, and pepperoni designed to be excavated with grilled ciabatta bread ($6.99), vie for gastronomic supremacy with hearty sandwiches that include the Classic Prime burger ($7.99) and the Chicken O’Bryan—grilled chicken and ham canoodling on a toasted ciabatta roll ($7.99). Traditional tastes of Ireland include the fish 'n' chips ($8.99) and the grilled chicken boxty, which is swaddled in potato pancakes like the orphan left on Mrs. Butterworth's doorstep ($7.99). Although this Groupon can't be redeemed for alcohol, the pub's happy hour stretches 2 p.m.–7 p.m. every day, with bartenders pouring discounted draft beers ($2), mixed drinks ($3), and wines ($3).
Though it opened without the draw of liquor or advertising, Karma Kafe always had one thing going for it: more than 30 hookah flavors. Word of mouth quickly spread about the wide selection, which ranges from cinnamon spice and gummy bear to double apple, a tasty take on apple pie smothered in applesauce. To supplement the hookah frenzy, Karma Kafe has since added a concise sampling of domestic and imported beers alongside cocktails such a Long Island Iced Tea. Savvy servers also soothe taste buds with an assortment of green teas and herbal tea infusions such as the Calm blend, a caffeine-free mix of relaxing herbs including chamomile.
Nothing goes with a trip to the ballpark quite like a hot dog. Well, almost nothing. For fans heading to Canal Park for an Akron RubberDucks matchup, however, the neighboring The Game crafts one minor improvement: combining three hot dogs in one. The result is the aptly named 3 Dog Night, a hot dog stuffed inside a bratwurst, which, in turn, comes wrapped inside a half-pound kielbasa and is served by a waiter singing "Mama Told Me Not to Come.".
Of course, not everything from the kitchen requires such a hearty appetite. Dedicated to upscale spins on bar food classics, the culinary team crafts BLTs with house-cured duck bacon and tops certified Angus beef burgers with Guinness-braised mushrooms and onions. That creativity even extends to breakfast with everything from housemade corned beef hash to gluten-free hotcakes. Craft beers from local and regional breweries complement feasts, which unfold amid exposed brick walls, sun-streaked windows, and flat-screen TVs showing the day's biggest games.
At Barley House, friends mingle over tasty libations while supping on juicy burgers, tender cuts of chicken, and satisfying soups and sandwiches. The ample bar spans an impressive 14,000 square feet—enough space to fit disc-spinning DJs to mix beats Friday and Saturday nights, a dance stage, and 4,617 bonsai trees. The kitchen proffers a smorgasbord of sliders, hoagies, pizzas, and wraps to hungry visitors refueling after jamming out to the seasonal live bands or those watching the bar’s numerous flat-screen TVs.
Crowned the Best Irish Pub of 2010 by CityVoters, Brubaker's serves up an extensive menu of pub edibles alongside a lively atmosphere and TVs sporting the latest in athletic endeavors. Quiet nagging hunger mufflers with appetizers such as barbecue-chicken potato skins ($5.75) and the super pretzel with mustard, salsa, or nacho cheese ($2), or tongue-dive into a specialty dish, such as the chicken cordon "bru" ($6.75), the buffalo-chicken wrap ($5.50), or the mega dog ($4). Brubaker's burritos wrap various fillings in the fresh-baked arms of nine-inch tortillas and come in varietals such as the Popeye ($5.50), a hulkifying combination of spinach-artichoke dip, tomatoes, onions, shredded cheddar, and ranch dressing. Brubaker's also offers a wide-ranging beer selection to indulge the fermented fantasies of Prohibition-era taste buds.