Charming Lake Erie resort town Sandusky, OH is best known as the home of Cedar Point, named the world's best amusement park each year for nearly two decades by the prestigious Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards. The park, which is commonly nicknamed "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World," showcases some of the world's best amusement rides, including acclaimed wooden-steel hybrid coaster Steel Vengeance and fast and furious Millennium Force, the world's first coaster to break the 300-foot barrier. After a full day of rides and thrills, couples have their choice of elegant dining destinations throughout the city, including fine dining destinations located on the Cedar Point peninsula within the park's property.


1.Sortino's Little Italy Ristorante

Sortino's Little Italy Ristorante
© kichigin19/stock.adobe.com

Sortino's Little Italy Ristorante was opened in 1952 by Italian immigrant brothers Giorgio and Giacomo Sortino, known for its delicious authentic Sicilian menu offerings crafted from original family recipes. The restaurant is housed within a former historic orphanage facility which has been completely renovated into a traditional Sicilian-style trattoria experience. Couples can enjoy dinner experiences Wednesdays through Saturdays and select from a wide variety of Italian-style classics, including pasta selections like overstuffed sausage lasagna, broccoli fettuccine alfredo, eggplant-stuffed manicotti, and herbed chicken ravioli. Land and sea classics range from veal Oscar and steak marsala to shrimp Mediterranean and walleye filets with Almondine sauce.

1220 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-3776

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2.Zinc Brasserie

Zinc Brasserie
© Zinc Brasserie


Zinc Brasserie was originally opened in 2007 by Cesare Avallone, known as a favorite dining destination today for Sandusky tourists and area residents alike. The refined eatery is known for its French-style classics and wood-fired pizza offerings, offering romantic sidewalk seating throughout the warmer months. It is a great choice for couples looking for romantic dining options on a budget, serving up affordable classics at breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. Classic entree selections include duck Wellington with foie gras and duxelle smothered in mushroom sauce, Maine lobster fettuccine with sea scallops and fennel cream, and butternut squash ravioli with toasted pepitas and beurre noisette. Craft beers and wines are available to complement all meals, served up from the restaurant's bar.

215 E Water St, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-502-9462

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3.Bay Harbor

Bay Harbor
© Bay Harbor

Bay Harbor is a delicious dining destination offering breathtaking views of nearby Lake Erie, located within Cedar Point's property on the banks of the beautiful Cedar Point Marina. The waterfront dining experience makes a perfect choice for romantic dates before or after park visits, serving up casual American-style fare throughout the week at lunch and dinner. Couples can enjoy a wide variety of seafood-focused favorites, including the restaurant's award-winning lobster bisque and Lake Erie perch platters. Main dish selections include three-cheese tortellini with asparagus and sweet bell pepper, Verlasso salmon with braised fennel and multigrain rice, and deep-fried beer-battered Great Lakes walleye with steak frites and Bay Harbor slaw. Patio dining is available in season, offering stunning views of the nearby roller coasters and amusement rides of Cedar Point.

1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-6373

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4.J Bistro

J Bistro
© J Bistro


J Bistro is a delicious contemporary dining destination in Sandusky's downtown Manhattan on Market complex, open each night for dinner for couples looking for romantic dining options following Cedar Point visits. The restaurant is sumptuously decorated in elegant decor, showcasing private chef's table seating experiences for small groups with advance reservations. Couples can enjoy gourmet entree selections like barbecue salmon and shrimp smothered in housemade cherry barbecue sauce, bourbon barbecue chicken breasts with mango salsa and long-grain wild rice, meatball rigatoni with shaved parmesan and basil, and deep-fried Lake Erie perch platters with key lime slaw and sidewinder fries. Shareable plates like shrimp tacos and meatball caprese are served up alongside signature cocktails from the restaurant's ever-rotating drink menu.

129 W Market St, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-502-2280

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5.CRUSH Winebar

CRUSH Winebar
© CRUSH Winebar


CRUSH Winebar is one of the newest restaurant offerings in historic downtown Sandusky, opened in 2010 by acclaimed area chef Cesare Avallone and his wife Andrea. The full-service restaurant celebrates wine offerings from around the world, available by the glass, wine flight, or bottle for romantic tasting experiences. An eclectic food menu showcases small plates and shareables, perfect for splitting with a date after hitting the roller coasters all day. Clever menu selections include Norwegian aukra salmon filets, pork saltimbocca, and asiago cream macaroni and cheese crafted with smoked chicken and basil. A full sushi menu is also served up, along with appetizers like potato and cheddar pierogies, bacon-wrapped dates, and sauteed Gulf shrimp in garlic lemon butter.

145 Columbus Ave, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-502-9463

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5 Best Restaurants in Sandusky, Ohio