A new addition to the downtown scene, the Cafe behind Imagination Station might be easy to miss without taking a stroll along the Maumee River.
H2O Cafe is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy the summer weather, offering cocktails, tasty appetizers, desserts and sandwiches that will keep you coming back for more. There is an obvious atmosphere of camaraderie at this place. More than a dinner stop, it is a destination for friends to have a beer and share a pizza for a couple of hours, waiting to see where the night takes them. We listened to live music playing in the distance while watching pontoon boats and jetskis pass by. H2O is truly a unique location for casual summertime dining.
Bring on the cheese
We arrived at H2O Cafe in time for half-off appetizers and to take advantage of their monthly drink specials, both of which you can enjoy from 4-6pm, Thursday through Saturday. The quaint cafe, the only restaurant on Toledo’s downtown side of the Maumee River, provides a pleasing view of summer fun on the Maumee, and the mild breeze was comfortable as we sat on the patio sipping a couple of Maumee Bay Glasshopper IPAs.
We spent some time soaking in the atmosphere of the Cafe, which became busier and busier as the evening progressed. Starting with a huge Atomic Pretzel served with a copious accompaniment of nacho cheese on the side, we also sampled a pepperoni flatbread pizza, our favorite part of the meal by far. Clearly fresh from the oven, its crispy thin crust and sweet tomato sauce made the dish irresistable. The generous topping of cheese on the flatbread rendered it best to fold each piece like a sandwich. But, hey, we’re not ones to complain about too much cheese.
The appetizers at H2O, which could definitely serve as a full meal, didn’t stop us from ordering a brisket sandwich topped with barbecue sauce and served on a toasted bun. Though lacking in terms of presentation, the sandwich was surprisingly good. The tender brisket and tangy sauce made for a satisfying meal.
We also tasted a couple of cocktails. First, the Angry Mule, a refreshing summer concoction made with strawberry cocktail mix, a shot of Tito’s vodka, and Angry Orchard rosé. The drink is an Icee for adults— yum. We shared a piña colada, another specialty cocktail to end our riverside evening at H2O.
While the food and the view gave us ample reasons to visit the Cafe, we’d like to hit up one of the many trivia or name-that-tune nights, among the several scheduled activities you’ll find on the H2O Cafe calendar listed on their website. Having a restaurant on the river is a welcome addition to downtown, and we certainly wouldn’t be averse to spending time there again.
Access the H2O Cafe behind the Imagination Station.
Open 11am-4:30pm. Tues.-Wed. 11am-9pm. Thurs.-Saturday. Noon-9pm. Sun.
H2O Cafe, 1 Discovery Way. 419-244-2674. imaginationstation.org/h20cafe.