Various businesses around Butler County are getting national notice.
Here’s a sampling of a food court, two restaurants, a donut shop, a donut trail and grocery store that made headlines as being a worthy places to visit and patronize.
1. Queen City Food Court
A 60,000-square-foot, open-air food court is expected to open by spring at 7782 Tylers Place Blvd in West Chester. Featuring about a dozen concepts, it will be the first food truck court in the region.
Queen City Food Court will feature about a dozen food trucks and include on-site restrooms and sheltered seating. The plan is to eventually outfit the 60,000-square-foot space with infrastructure, such as electrical drops, a deck for live entertainment and new blacktop.
So how much are people looking forward to this first-of-its-kind attraction? Food & Wine magazine recently listed it among the forthcoming spring restaurants that have the most people talking.
2. Butler County Donut Trail
Food & Wine magazine also has brought to the attention of its millions of readers an 80-mile-long trail of doughnuts and its 12 stops. The March 2 article noted that Butler County has “more doughnut shops per capita than almost anywhere else in the country.”
Formed by the Butler County Visitors Bureau in 2016 to celebrate that “unique feat,” the Butler County Donut Trail has attracted more than 9,000 people from 44 states and nine countries have completed it.
“Yes, this is a real thing that exists and it’s lovely,” said Jillian Kramer, the Food & Wine contributor who wrote the article.
3. Jag’s Steak & Seafood
Business Insider ranked West Chester Twp.’s Jag’s Steak & Seafood as the best steakhouse in Ohio and one of the best in the nation.
“Stop by Jag’s in West Chester on Friday nights for its all-you-can-eat appetizer buffet, and enjoy your steak with the sounds of local bands filling the restaurant,” reads a caption under the Jag’s steak photo, which quotes a Foursquare user as saying, “Try the steak and lobster tail — simply amazing!”
The publication teamed up with Foursquare in 2016 to create a list of the top-rated steakhouses in every state and Washington, D.C., according to Business Insider’s website. The choices were based on explicit ratings, visit popularity and tip sentiment by users of the city-guide app.
Jag’s refreshed its decor late last year and added new items to its menu.
4. Cozy’s Cafe and Pub
The most charming restaurant in Ohio? Cozy’s Cafe and Pub received that honor in January from LoveFood.com, which said the business offers “a memorable meal in a historic venue.”
The restaurant opened at 6440 Cincinnati-Dayton Road in Liberty Twp. in 2016, two years after owner Jan Collins opened Cozy’s Cottage.
Cozy’s Cafe and Pub is an expanded version of Cozy’s Cottage, an eatery featuring wine, tap handles pouring beers from Cincinnati breweries and signature cocktails made from the restaurant’s herb garden. A spacious backyard includes fire pits, bocce ball, ping pong and a trellised courtyard.
5. Milton’s Donuts
Middletown’s Milton’s Donuts was named the sweetest bakery in Ohio and third-best nationally by bakery ingredients and products company Dawn Foods in December.
Milton’s Donuts was saved from closing in 2014 after long-time owner Dan Milton said he and his wife Beverly were looking to retire after 54 years.
The business is now part of the the Butler County Donut Trail, which has 12 featured locations representing a combined 306 years of doughnut-making experience. The trail has been featured in publications nationwide, including NBC News, Country Living and USA Today, according to the Butler County Visitors Bureau.
6. Jungle Jim’s International Market
Food & Wine in January named Fairfield’s Jungle Jim’s International Market “a total spectacle,” popular tourist attraction and “a terrific place to do your food shopping.”
In “One of the Best Grocery Stores in America Is Hiding Out Near Cincinnati,” Food & Wine senior editor David Landsel sings the praises of Fairfield grocer Jungle Jim’s International Market.
Tweeted to the magazine’s nearly 6.7 million followers, the article notes that the store’s massive selection means “any keen-eyed shopper will understand that they have actually set foot in one of the most impressive grocery stores in the country—and certainly between the two coasts.”
“Whatever you’re looking for, Jungle Jim’s is one of those places that is likely to carry at least ten different kinds of it,” Landsel writes. “The produce section alone will leave you aghast.”