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Kent, Ohio Downtown

Kent is a college town in Northeast, Ohio. Kent, the home of Kent State University, is a quaint town with a very diverse community (particularly on the liberal to conservative scale) and is home to an annual Folk Music Festival.


Kent (Ohio)
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Kent, a city of 29000 people on the Cuyahoga River in Northeastern Ohio, is part of the greater Akron area. Established in 1805 as Franklin Mills, initial settlement exploited the river to operate water-powered mills. 1830s and 1840s development was based around the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal. Franklin Mills was a waypoint on the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War and in 1864 was renamed for Marvin Kent, who brought the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad maintenance shops to town.

Since 1910, Kent is a college town, now infamous as the site of the 1970 Kent State shootings. "The Tree City" as the home of the Davey Tree Expert Company, Kent offers public bus service and hike-and-bike trails. The town has nearly 20 parks and preserves with a number of annual festivals related to Earth Day, folk music and the U.S. Independence Day.

Get in

By car

State Route 59 is the main east–west highway, following East and West Main Streets and Haymaker Parkway. Summit Street is another major east-west road mainly on Kent's eastern side, passing through and linking much of the Kent State campus. Fairchild Avenue is an important east-west road on the city's west side connecting with Stow and Cuyahoga Falls. State Route 43 is the main north–south highway, mainly following North Mantua and South Water Streets. SR 43 connects Kent with Interstate 76, approximately 3 miles (5 km) to the south via exit 33 in Brimfield and to the Ohio Turnpike/Interstate 80 and the eastern terminus of Interstate 480, approximately 7 miles (11 km) to the north via Turnpike exit 187 in Streetsboro. Both SR 43 and SR 59 are four to five-lane roads within the city limits. State Route 261 passes through the southern and eastern edges of the city and is a four-lane divided highway for a short distance with the remainder a two-lane highway. It serves as a bypass between SR 43, SR 59, and Summit Street on Kent's south and eastern sides and to Tallmadge on the southwest.

By bus

By plane

The nearest major airports are Akron-Canton Regional Airport (CAK IATA) which is about 30 minutes away by car, and Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE IATA) which is about 50 minutes away by car.

Kent State University also operates Kent State University Airport (FAA LID: 1G3), in nearby Stow, Ohio, which is for educational and public use.

Get around



  • Kent State University Golf Course, 108 Macc, KSU, +1 330-672-5390.
  • Canoeing. is popular in the Kent, on the Cuyahoga River.


  • 1 Kent State University, +1 330-672-2444, fax: +1 330-672-2499. Kent State, a public research university founded 1912 as a teachers' college, offers 300 degree programs on eight campuses. The main campus in Kent houses 28800 of the system's 42500 students. Programs include nursing, liquid crystals, business, history, library science, aeronautics, journalism and fashion design.



  • Figleaf, 138 E Main St, +1 330-676-1906. M-W 11:30AM-6PM, Th-Sa 11:30AM-7PM. Decidedly dressy and surprisingly affordable, Figleaf Boutique sits on the recently renovated Acorn Alley. The small chain (this is Figleaf's fourth store) is right at home in college towns, as its inventory marketed towards young women. The store also provides quality accessories, including a small but select inventory of shoes and purses.


  • Dr. Greenbee, 138 E Main St, +1 330-673-5540. M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-7PM, Su noon-5PM. Dr. Greenbee is an eco-friendly home improvement store that provides area residents with an array of environmentally-conscious products and workshops. Products offered include kitchen and bathroom items, paints and stains, eco-friendly flooring and carpets, cleaning products, alternative lighting and more. Additionally, the store hosts a variety of workshops such as beekeeping and beer making.
  • Off the Wagon, 152 E Main St, +1 330-474-1330. Jan & Feb hours: Tu-Th 11:30AM-5:30PM, F 11AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su-M closed. Fun, unique and quirky toy store.



  • Anthony's Cafe & Cakes, 128 N Water St, +1 330-678-9520. M-F 8AM-4PM, Sa 8AM-3PM, Su 8:30AM-2PM (open later for dinner seasonally). The independent cafe and bakery adjacent to the Home Savings Bank Plaza not only serves up a full breakfast menu and plenty of sandwiches and wraps for the lunchtime crowd.
  • Backerei, 120 S Water St, +1 330-677-0380. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su-M closed. The Backerei may be hard to pronounce (say "BACK-er-rye"), but it's bound to offer something to please just about any palate. Soups are made fresh daily, and in general, the recipes offer a twist on old favorites like tomato basil, chicken vegetable and pumpkin. Sweetbreads, cookies, pastries, sandwiches, coffees and juices are also offered alongside kind and helpful service. There are a few tables by the sunny front window and lots of raving fans. If you've got a favorite item or a crowd to please, order a few days ahead to give the staff a chance to get it ready.
  • Baked In The Village Cafe, 123 N Water St, +1 330-256-0790. Tu-Sa 8AM-4PM, Su 9AM-2PM, M closed. Baked In The Village Cafe is a bakery and cafe offering breakfast and lunch. The menu at this establishment features pastries and coffee, sandwiches and soups, as well as sides such as macaroni salad, potato salad and coleslaw.
  • Euro Gyro, 107 S Depeyster St, +1 330-678-4976. M-W 10:30AM-3AM, Th-F 10:30AM-3:30AM, Sa 11AM-3:30AM, Su 11AM-2:30AM. serves pizza, wings, gyros, and sandwiches. They also have bar and drink specials. A large 1 topping pizza is $5 on Wednesday. Open late.
  • Franklin Square Deli, 108 S Water St, +1 330-673-2942. M-Sa 10AM-9PM, Su 11AM-7PM. In addition to its wide array of sandwich selections, Franklin Square Deli offers a full breakfast menu, soups and dessert items. The restaurant provides quick, courteous service and maintains a large local customer base.
  • Mike's Place, 1700 S Water St (corner of SR 43 & SR 261), +1 330-673-6501, . M-Th 6AM-11PM, F-Sa 6AM-12AM, Su 7AM-10PM. Mike's place has a huge menu, and all items have an unusual name (Ms. McNaster's Disaster, The Nunsiatta Devita, etc.). The atmosphere is similar to Dick's Last Resort's. Dinners $6-15, Sandwiches $5-10.
  • 1 Ray's Place, 135 Franklin Ave, +1 330-673-2233. Open daily; hours vary seasonally. Bar and restaurant, popular with college students and locals. Burgers, sandwiches, food and drink specials, great variety of beers. Serves a relaxed public.
  • Taco Tantos, 123 Franklin Ave, +1 330-677-0223. M-W 11AM-10PM, Th-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su closed. Made from scratch delicious Mexican style foods. Cheap huge tacos, burritos, tostados , taco salads , pizzaritos , chips and salsa. Can call ahead for pick up or place order in the store. One can place an outdoor by phone and can pick up their order from the outside carryout window at the nextdoor Zephyr Bar. If you want a beer with your food then you have to go to Zephyrs. The website is a little outdated and food is a little more expensive but totally worth it.
  • Wild Goats Café, 319 W Main St, +1 330-677-2326. Really good place for breakfast or lunch. They have great coffee, and food that is fresh and not "brought in". Try the corned beef hash. A nice alternative to the endless chain restaurants in Portage County.


  • Cajun Dave's, 132 S Water St, +1 330-474-0800. M-Th 4PM-10PM, F noon-11PM, Sa 4PM-11PM, Su closed. Cajun Dave's serves gumbo, po' boys and other spicy fare inside the Water Street Tavern. Because it's a restaurant inside a bar, a few rules are worth noting: Guests under 18 must always be accompanied by an adult, age 21 or older; guests over 18 but younger than 21 may eat inside Cajun Dave's until 9pm.
  • Guy's Pizza, 146 S Water St, +1 330-678-5368. These "guys" offer good pizza and good service, but even better, the company is truly committed to giving back to the communities it serves. Also nice: Guy's sells its hot pies by the slice, so it's a great place in downtown Kent to stop in for a quick lunch or snack. It's worth noting that all Guy's Pizza locations use fresh ingredients from local vendors, so menu variations (from location to location) occur. In addition to the regular and specialty pizza pies, nine different fresh salads are on the menu, as are subs, calzones, and traditional and boneless wings.


  • 2 Bistro on Main, 1313 W Main St, +1 330-673-9900. M-Sa 11:30am-close; Sun, closed. This high-class, full-service restaurant serves deliciously prepared dishes and has established itself in a few short years as one of Kent's very best dining options. Bistro is dark and quiet, with an extensive wine list and innovative menu selections.
  • Laziza, 195 E Erie St, +1 330-677-7000. Laziza is a Mediterranean-style restaurant in the downtown Kent area that offers lunch and dinner dining. The menu here offers steaks, seafood and Mediterranean specialities. The space here features two levels available for dining, a bar and an area for private parties. The restaurant also provides catering services for private events and functions. Michael and Nicole Awad are the owners of Laziza.


  • Zephyr Pub, 106 W Main St, +1 330-678-4848. Daily, opens 4PM. Zephyr has a reputation as a friendly drinking establishment that's not really frequented by any one social group. Plenty of groups get together here, whether they're current KSU students or grads from long-ago gathering for a casual night. Customers use the large outdoor patio as long as the weather permits and service on the patio is every bit as good as inside.
  • The Loft, 112 W Main St.


Go next

  • Columbus is the capital of the American state of Ohio.
  • Cleveland is a culturally diverse city on the shores of Lake Erie.
Routes through Kent
ClevelandStreetsboro  N OH-43.svg S  HartvilleCanton

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