Barberton is filled with old-fashioned charm while still bustling with activity. A trip to Barberton is well worth the short drive because there is something for everyone. Perhaps it was the care Barberton’s founders took while laying out the town, but a city doesn’t last 117- years without a heaping of shops, attractions and amenities that make a trip here exciting yet comforting.
Visitors can catch a flick at Lake Cinemas 8 (588 W. Tuscarawas Ave.), take a bit off the sides at Dan’s barbershop (577 W. Tuscarawas Ave.) and bring the little ones to see a show at the Magical Theater Company (564 W. Tuscarawas Ave.)—all on one street. The Magical Theater Company is dedicated to wholesome entertainment in the form of children and family productions.
Those interested in shopping can stroll down Tuscarawas Avenue to Al’s Quality Market which sells spices, fresh cut meat, egg noodles and other specialty items. On the day of my trip, Hungarian sausage was $3.49 per pound.
Across the street is Caso Del Ranchero (562 W. Tuscarawas Ave.). Anything from Mexican stew to tostadas to enchiladas are available here. This ethnic restaurant has an intimate feel without losing the hometown feel of the city.
If movies and shows aren’t on your agenda, but you’re looking for entertainment, stop into Tony’s Speak Easy (560 W. Tuscarawas Ave.). This establishment is called “the best place to chill” and the “best kept secret in town.”
On the corner of Fourth Street, Al’s Corner Restaurant serves Hungarian food at reasonable prices. On the day of my visit, Paprikash with dumplings was $6 and two cabbage rolls were $4.50. At this diner-style restaurant, they have a menu full of choices displayed on a board on the front wall.
Follow Fourth Street and prepare to be wowed at the sight of Lake Anna. During the summer, Lake Anna Gazebo comes alive with its summer concert series featuring music ranging from pop, to big band, to country. During any season, though, Lake Anna is a true beauty. People feed the birds, ducks or simply enjoy their lunches as they gaze out at the serene lake.
Even though Barberton is named the Magic City, many consider it the “Chicken Capital of the World.” Residents know well this dish that has attracted those near and far. The chicken has become famous because of the unique cuts of meat, the crispy outside and the amazingly juicy inside.
The chicken is deep-fried in lard, but little else besides salt and pepper are added, creating a tantalizingly unique, wonderfully delicious flavor. As sides to a traditional serving of Barberton chicken, comes a tomato sauce and rice mixture, dubbed “hot sauce,” cole slaw mixed with vinegar and French fries. Three main restaurants in Barberton serve this much-coveted dish: Belgrade Gardens (401 E. State St.), Millich’s Village Inn (4444 Cleveland-Massillon Road) and Whitehouse Chicken (180 Wooster Ave. N.).
Barberton has much more to offer than their chicken, though. The beauty of nature and an active lifestyle are appreciated. The city has 14 different parks with Tuscora Park (501 E. Tuscarawas Ave.) open for ice skating.
It’s easy to lose track of time while wandering through this enchanting city. If this should happen, just look to Alexandra Square Clock to remind yourself.