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Best restaurants in Lorain County: Luxury at Chez Francois or cheesy goodness at Yala's Pizza

You can get dressed to the nines at Chez Francois in Vermilion, or stay in your pajamas and get a pizza in the Yala's drive-thru.

LORAIN, Ohio — Not only is Lorain County home to tons of delicious food options, but it's also a place to relax and enjoy yourself. With most of the cities in this county sitting along the lake, many restaurants offer cute cities to roam, lake views and a feeling of getting away from it all -- and no disconnect from reality is complete without a great meal or two. Check out all Lorain County has to offer with our complete guide to the best spots west of Cleveland. Enjoy!

This feature is part of the "Save Our Sauce" series, which is being done to show support for those in the restaurant industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chez Francois: 555 Main St, Vermilion 

Credit: Chez Francois
The bar at Chez Francois

Perched on the banks of the Vermilion River, this cozy small-town bistro delivers big-city luxury. The finest seasonal ingredients are turned into elegant French fare like lobster bisque, cheese-capped French onion soup, sweetbreads in lemon-butter sauce, and filet mignon wrapped in puff pastry. Thanks to exquisite service, Chez Francois puts the “fine” in fine dining.

Try it yourself and view their menu, here.

The Shipyards: 500 Shipyard Way, Lorain

The Shipyards restaurant in Lorain is a newer spot, but it's become a huge hit. Perched a top a pier of the Black River, this place is a great weeknight spot for dinner, weekend night out, or a destination location. Many weddings and events take place in the main hall that used to be a factory, while the other rooms in the historic building are now home to Monkey Island Coffee, The Boiler Room brewery, and Superior City cocktail lounge.

You can learn more about each place at theshipyards.com.

The Wine Vault: 5581 Liberty Ave, Vermilion

Credit: The Wine Vault
The backyard view from the Wine Vault

Equal parts wine bar and gastropub, this cute Vermillion destination covers all bases. Enjoy a bottle of wine and a charcuterie board or settle in for a full meal by assembling a selection of small plates starring exquisite meat and seafood.

Explore their Facebook page for their full menu.

Yala's Pizzeria: 3352 Oberlin Ave, Lorain, OH

Credit: Yala's Pizza
The pasta pizza at Yala's Pizza

This Lorain favorite has people from all over the county and even the region rushing to get a pie. And the beauty of it all- you don't even have to wear pants. Started in 1954, this mainstay has been serving pizzas through their drive thru to hungry customers. We recommend the pasta pizza (yes, pasta in pizza), the loaded breadsticks, and that you give yourself time to wait in the inevitable drive-thru line.

Their whole menu can be found at yalaspizza.com.

Speak of the Devil: 201 W 5th St, Lorain, OH 44052 

Credit: Speak of the Devil
The bar at Speak of the Devil in Lorain

Many credit this plucky cocktail lounge for kickstarting the comeback for downtown Lorain. The energy that flows from this high-quality speakeasy-style establishment originates in the form of craft cocktails, excellent service, and an upscale vibe that complements the other businesses in town.

You can see their full drink and food menu for yourself, here.

Dodie’s Dockside: 301 Broadway, Lorain 

Credit: Dodie's Dockside
The salmon at Dodie's Dockside in Lorain

Lorain’s newest upscale restaurant can be found on the main floor of the Historic Ariel Hotel, a 1920s-era building that recently was completely reborn. To go with those stellar water views is a menu of Italian-influenced seafood, which offers a pleasant mix of approachable and upscale.

Here is their full menu.

UnionTown Provisions: 422 Broadway, Lorain, OH 

Credit: UnionTown Provisions
The burger at UnionTown Provisions

This is also a newer establishment in downtown Lorain, housed in a refurbished building. UnionTown Provisions specializes in delicious sandwiches- from loaded burgers, to fajita subs. But don't let that stop you- they have every hour covered with a great brunch and newly announced fourth-meal: serving dishes from 9 to midnight. Wash it all down with a great drink.

And check out the full selection here.

Broadway Mary’s: 939 Broadway, Lorain

Credit: Broadway Mary's
A burger and fries from Broadway Mary's

You can’t revitalize a downtown on an empty stomach, and Broadway Mary’s is a great place to kick-start your day. The fun throwback vibe makes the perfect backdrop for satisfying breakfast, brunch and burger dishes. Since the pandemic, those dishes have been combined with the items formerly offered at sister establishment Brew & Stew.

You can explore the decor and the food on their website.

Doughboy's Pizza: 5402 Lake Rd, Sheffield Lake

Doughboy's embodies what Northeast Ohio is all about. Hometown people- serving hometown people. Owner Ryan Sanchez started the business in 2001, at just 20 years old! And though the shop is small, it's pizzas are mighty. Stop in for their pizza with all the toppings, stromboli, and subs.

Yum! Browse their menu, here.

The Feve: 30 S Main St, Oberlin 

Credit: The Feve
Outdoor dining at The Feve

What would Oberlin be without the Feve? For decades, this beloved bar and pub has been enriching the lives of students, staff and local residents thanks to hearty homestyle pub grub, excellent weekend brunches, and a relaxed small-town vibe. For many in the area, there is no better meal than the burger, tots and cold beer combo dished up here.

Why not peruse the menu before heading in?

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