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. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


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



Attraction Spotlight: Kalahari

Kalahari in Ohio is a family-friendly vacation resort that offers a relaxed and fun-filled experience for the whole family. Located in Sandusky, the property offers comfortable African-themed accommodations, exceptional dining options and amenities, an Indoor and Outdoor Water Park, a thrilling Outdoor Adventure Park, and an exclusive Spa.

The resort features a variety of accommodations ranging from one-, two-, and multiple bedroom suites that have stylish African-themed décor, comfortable furnishings. Modern amenities include 32” inch flat-screen televisions with pay-per-view movies, telephones with voice mail services, mini-fridges, microwaves, in-room safes, iron and ironing boards, and complimentary high-speed wireless Internet. All guests have access to the nearby fitness center.

The Hut, Desert, and Nomad Rooms feature two queen-size bed in crisp linens, en-suite bathrooms with showers/bath combinations, spacious living areas with tables, chairs, full-size sofa sleepers, and wood-burning fireplace and private patios/balconies with beautiful views.

King Whirlpool Suites feature king-size beds with crisp linens, en-suite bathrooms with showers and large whirlpool tubs, spacious living areas with tables, chairs, twin size sofa sleepers, and wood-burning fireplace and private patios/balconies with beautiful views.

Hospitality Suites have two queen-size Murphy beds (fold-down from the wall), en-suite bathrooms with showers and bathtubs, spacious living areas with lounge chairs, queen-size sofa sleepers, wood-burning fireplace, and wet bar. Private decks overlook the outdoor waterpark.

Lodge Suites feature king-size beds with crisp linens, en-suite bathrooms with showers and large whirlpool tubs for two. Spacious living and dining areas have tables and chairs, queen-size sofa sleepers, and wood-burning fireplaces, while fully equipped kitchens have all the necessary appliance for comfortable holiday living. Private patios/balconies have outdoor furniture with beautiful views.

The resort offers four types of two-bedroom suite – Two Room Family Suites, African Queen Suites Combination Suites, and Presidential Suites.

Two Room Family Suites feature master bedrooms with king-size beds, second rooms with two queen-size beds, spacious living rooms with queen-size sofa sleepers, wood-burning fireplaces, two 32” inch flat-screen televisions with pay-per-view movies, and two full bathrooms with showers and baths. Private patios/balconies have outdoor furniture with beautiful views.

African Queen Suites feature king-size beds, second rooms with two queen-size beds and one and one-half bathrooms with showers and baths. Spacious living rooms have queen-size sofa sleepers, wood-burning fireplaces, and three 32” inch flat-screen televisions with pay-per-view movies and private patios/decks have outdoor furniture with beautiful views.

Combination Suites are a comfortable combination of the Lodge and one Hut and feature two bedrooms - one with king-size beds and the second with two queen-size beds and two full bathrooms with showers and whirlpool tubs. Flat screen televisions can be found in each bedroom, as well as in the living rooms, which also boast queen-size sofa sleepers and wood-burning fireplaces. Fully equipped kitchens and dining rooms are ideal for entertaining and private patios/balconies with outdoor furniture offer lovely views.

Presidential Suites are large and luxurious with two bedrooms - one with king-size beds and the second with two queen-size beds and two full bathrooms with two-person steam showers and whirlpool tubs. Flat screen televisions can be found in each bedroom, as well as in the living rooms, which also boast queen-size sofa sleepers and wood-burning fireplaces and a dining room set and full-size wet bar is perfect for entertaining. Private balconies have deluxe four-person hot tubs, outdoor furniture, and gorgeous views.

The resort offers three types of multiple bedroom suites – Village Suites, Nyumba Entertainment Villas, and the Entertainment Villa Duplexes.

Village Suites feature three bedrooms – masters with king-size beds and two with two queen-size beds and two full bathrooms with two-person steam showers and whirlpool tubs. Flat screen televisions can be found in each bedroom, as well as in the living rooms, which also boast queen-size sofa sleepers and wood-burning fireplaces and a dining room set and full-size wet bar is perfect for entertaining. Private balconies have deluxe four-person hot tubs, outdoor furniture, and gorgeous views.

Nyumba Entertainment Villas are 4,100-square-foot, two-level, stand-alone units with five bedrooms, including master bedrooms with king-size beds and four bedrooms with two queen-size beds. Four bathrooms feature walk-in showers and whirlpool tubs, while spacious living areas have wood-burning fireplaces, flat screen televisions, and comfy furniture. Nine flat-screen televisions can be found throughout the villas, including 55" flat screen televisions with surround sound system in the recreation rooms, which also feature full bars with mini-fridges and pool tables. Fully equipped kitchens offer all the creature comforts of home, and private balconies have deluxe six-person jetted tubs, outdoor furniture, and gorgeous views.

The Entertainment Villa Duplex is a combination of two Entertainment Villa units and features five bedrooms, including master bedrooms with king-size beds and four bedrooms with two queen-size beds. Four bathrooms feature walk-in showers and whirlpool tubs, while spacious living areas have wood-burning fireplaces, flat screen televisions, and comfy furniture. Seven flat screen televisions can be found throughout the villas, including 55" flat screen televisions with surround sound system in the recreation rooms, which also feature full bars with mini-fridges and pool tables. Fully equipped kitchens offer all the creature comforts of home, and private balconies have deluxe six-person jetted tubs, outdoor furniture, and gorgeous views.

There are nine dining options around the resort, ranging from casual fare to fine dining.

The Reserve Restaurant and Bar are decorated in an African theme and serves traditional American fare, signature drinks, and fun kid’s menus in a casual, relaxed setting. The Great Karoo Marketplace presents an out-of-this-world buffet of fresh, homemade fare for the whole family to enjoy, while Longnecks at Kalahari, located inside the Kalahari Convention Center, is a unique dining destination that serves innovative all-American cuisine and signature drinks.

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The Ivory Coast Restaurant offers a range of casual food, such as sandwiches, salads, appetizers and classic beverages and Java Manjaro is the best place for freshly brewed gourmet coffees, frothy cappuccinos, freshly-baked pastries, and sweet desserts. Café Mirage has something for everyone, from garden salads and healthy sandwiches to burgers, burritos, tacos and wraps along with beers and wines. Pizza Pub is a pizza lover's paradise with a variety of freshly made deep dish pizzas, ribs, burgers, and salads. The Candy Hut offers something sweet for every taste, including homemade fudge, hand-dipped chocolates, salt water taffy, and sticky caramel apples.

Guests can choose from an array of family-friendly facilities and amenities from America's largest indoor waterpark to a Safari Outdoor Adventure Park.

The resort has an Indoor Waterpark with a 12,000 square foot wave pool, uphill water rollercoaster waterslides, bowl raft rides, lane mat slides, Victoria Falls raft rides, a meandering river, indoor/indoor spas and a swim-up water bar. The park also features private indoor cabanas with refrigerators, chaise lounges, and tables.

Kalahari's Outdoor Waterpark offers fun in the sun with a range of various sized activity swimming pools, luxurious hot tubs, large sun decks, sand volleyball and shuffleboard courts and private outdoor bungalows with refrigerators, chaise lounges, and tables.

A Safari Outdoor Adventure Park presents a piece of Africa in the heart of Ohio. The Park features a variety of up-close animal encounters for visitors of all ages, thrilling zip line tours, challenging ropes course, 32 foot high climbing walls and much more.

Kalahari in Sandusky has a state-of-the-art fitness center where guests can stay fit. The center features a range of equipment from treadmills, recumbent bikes, cardio equipment, elliptical trainers, free weights section, stretching areas and changing rooms with showers.

The Kalahari Adventurer’s Club is a special club for the kids, which offers a wealth of supervised activities and adventures for all ages. Activities include morning yoga sessions, photo tours, coloring contests, cookie decorating and eating, scavenger hunts, safari challenges, finger painting, arts and crafts, and flower pot decorating. Children are supervised by trained professional who cater for every need and keep kids safe and active while their parents enjoy some free time.

The Spa Kalahari is the perfect place to unwind with an array of rejuvenating, revitalizing and re-energizing body treatments, massages, facials and other salon services.

Located in a quiet section of the resort, the Spa features soothing treatment rooms decorated in the calming, earthy hues of Africa, and offers a comprehensive menu of spa services presented by professional therapists. Spa specials include Relaxation Massages, Swedish Massage, Gentlemen's Facials, Spa Manicures, Teen Special Packages, Junior Manicure, Makeup Application and Hair Styling.

Inspired by the beauty of Africa, The Sandusky Kalahari Resort offers over 215,000 square feet in the modern Kalahari Convention Center, as well as 39 beautifully appointed rooms of event space for weddings, receptions, conferences and corporate meetings. State-of-the-art features and highly personalized services are included in the use of any event space and function packages include event planners, world-class catering, exceptional service, and plenty of recreational activities.

Located in the contemporary, African-inspired Kalahari Convention Center, a variety of event venues and flexible space covering 215,000 square feet range from an elite executive boardroom ideal for small meetings to a magnificent 38,000 square foot ballroom for weddings, receptions and special social engagements up to 5,000 guests. Each carpeted space in the conference center has state-of-the-art audio visual and communications technology, including surround sound systems, independent heating and air conditioning, varied lighting and complimentary wireless Internet.

Back to: Romantic Weekend Getaways in Ohio.

7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870

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