5 local food spots that have been recognized by national experts

Various businesses around Butler County are getting national notice.

Here’s a sampling of two restaurants, a donut shop, a donut trail and grocery store that made headlines as being a worthy places to visit and patronize.

Butler County Donut Trail

Formed by the Butler County Visitors Bureau in 2016 to celebrate that “unique feat,” the 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.

READ MORE: National magazine recognizes Butler County for this delicious point of pride

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!”

MORE: Best steak in Ohio? You’ll find it in West Chester

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.

MORE: Jag’s Steak & Seafood menu update: 5 things to know

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.

MORE: This Butler County café was named ‘most charming restaurant in Ohio’

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.

MORE: This local donut shop was named sweetest bakery in Ohio

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.”

MORE: Jungle Jim’s recognized as ‘one of the best grocery stores in America’

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