Cleveland, a city known for its rich culture and diverse culinary scene, offers a delightful array of dining experiences that cater to every palate. From the bustling streets of downtown to the quaint neighborhoods, the culinary landscape of Cleveland is as diverse as its people. In this vibrant city, you’ll discover a treasure trove of dining options, each offering its unique blend of flavors and ambiance. Join us on a culinary journey as we explore the best restaurants in Cleveland, where world-class chefs craft delectable dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. From classic American comfort food to international flavors, these restaurants showcase the city’s culinary prowess. Whether you’re seeking an intimate dinner for two, a family-friendly atmosphere, or a place to celebrate a special occasion, Cleveland has a restaurant to match your desires. As we delve into the culinary delights of this city, get ready to tantalize your taste buds and savor the remarkable gastronomic experiences that await you in the heart of Cleveland.
You’ll find Slyman’s Restaurant and Deli on St. Clair Avenue, right next to Sterling Park. This casual and welcoming deli is a classic in Cleveland and needs to be on your list for lunch. The interior is old-school, with red and white tablecloths and murals on the walls. Slyman’s is famous for having Cleveland’s most giant corned beef sandwich. This massive sandwich is worth trying when you stop here. If you’re not a fan of corned beef sandwiches, they offer all kinds of deli options. Other popular choices are the pastrami sandwich, burgers, and potato salad.
Il Rione is a little less than two miles from Edgewater Park. This restaurant sits in a modern, black concrete building that was previously a pub after construction in 1917. You’ll notice the chic industrial decor and the friendly staff when you walk inside. Il Rione is the perfect place for hanging out on a Friday night. The cuisine at Il Rione is mainly New York-style pizza with classic and innovative toppings. They also have salads and a delicious meat and cheese plate if you want an appetizer. You can create your own pizza or select from one of their recipes, and I loved the Rosanna pie with white sauce, prosciutto, arugula, and red onion.
Fourteen minutes outside of downtown is Zhug. This fantastic restaurant is in Cleveland Heights on Cedar Road. Zhug is a minimalistic restaurant that has a modern color palette, pillow-covered booths, and plenty of tables inside. The atmosphere is laid-back with dim lighting, and it’s perfect for conversations with friends. Zhug serves traditional Middle Eastern dishes and desserts. They have everything from hummus, feta dip, kabobs, mezze, and more. I recommend starting your meal with their curried lamb and apricot hummus because it’s unique and delicious. My favorite dish besides the hummus is their smoked pastrami short rib.
L’Albatros is only an eight-minute walk from the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. The restaurant is in a red brick building and has a dark black front door. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the inside and patio area is sophisticated and elegant. Even though it’s sophisticated, it’s not pretentious. This French restaurant offers classic French dishes, plenty of cheese courses, and excellent wine. I love dining here with friends and sharing a bottle of wine. Their onion soup is perfect as an appetizer or any of their fresh salads. As for an entree, the shrimp pasta with a dry white wine is divine.
In the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland is Momocho. This casual restaurant has dark red walls on the outside and plenty of Spanish and wrestling decor on the inside. The atmosphere is friendly, and the dim lighting makes it a comfortable place to eat solo or with friends. Momocho serves modern Mexican cuisine. Everything resembles all your favorite classic Mexican dishes, but they add creative touches to presentation and innovative ingredients. If you eat here, I recommend their blue corn enchiladas and a side of rice and beans. For margarita lovers, you can order a sampler of three flavors. I loved the pineapple, classic, and red bell pepper.
Blue Point Grille is on West St. Clair Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The restaurant is huge with two stories and more than enough seating and features brick walls, shades of blue, and wood accents. One of the reasons people love dining here is that it offers beautiful downtown skyline views. If you’re looking for a delicious seafood restaurant, Blue Point Grille is the place to be. Many people call it Cleveland’s premier seafood restaurant. Even if you don’t want seafood, they offer steaks, salads, and other non-seafood dishes. The best dishes are the steamed mussels, grilled swordfish, and their surf and turf.
Dante is a mere half a mile from Lincoln Park. You’ll find this beautiful restaurant in an old bank building, with a welcoming high white ceiling, unique chandeliers, and black and brown tones. The restaurant is usually pretty busy, but the staff finds a way to make everyone feel like the most important people in the room. The cuisine at Dante is a mix between Mediterranean and New American. There are pasta dishes, polenta, risottos, and more. I love that many of their options are small enough to order many and share with friends. Their best meals are their butternut squash risotto, New Zealand venison, and their Florida grouper.
You’ll find Larder Delicatessen and Bakery in Ohio City. It’s about 0.6 miles from Franklin Castle and a great place to grab something sweet or a quick meal. The restaurant feels very homey, and you can see the staff hard at work baking and making the food. There’s seating inside and a few tables outside. The chefs and bakers at Larder make everything fresh daily. They offer fresh-baked foods, sandwiches, soups, and fresh loaves of bread. I stopped in for lunch and couldn’t resist ordering their pastrami sandwich and a side salad. Their soup changes daily, so make sure to check the menu or ask someone there.
West of downtown Cleveland in the suburbs is Molto Bene Italian Eatery. This Italian joint is a comfortable and casual space that locals love eating at on the weekends with friends and family. The atmosphere is welcoming, and my favorite part is they have a few tables on their porch where you can sit. As the name may suggest, Molto Bene serves authentic Italian food. They have multiple pasta dishes, bruschetta, chicken parmesan, and all your other favorites. I noticed quite a few tables eating the arancini appetizer when I ate here, so I had to try it. These rice balls with asiago cheese were rich and delicious. You can’t go wrong with the penne alla carbonara for an entree.
If you’re searching for the best bagels in Cleveland, The Cleveland Bagel Company is the best option. There are two locations to choose from, with one being on Detroit Avenue and the other on Carnegie Avenue. Both locations are laid-back and offer modern surroundings inside. The Cleveland Bagel Company specializes in hand-rolled bagels. They have savory and sweet bagels made fresh daily for you to try. The best part is that they offer a variety of shmears for your bagel. They have six staple shmears and several that rotate depending on the season. The sesame seed bagel with the chorizo chipotle cream cheese was heavenly.
Fat Cats is just south of downtown on West 10th Street. This relaxed neighborhood restaurant is in a converted house, so you feel like you’re dining at a friend’s home rather than one of the restaurants in Cleveland. There is outside, downstairs, and upstairs seating available, but regardless of where you sit, you’ll feel comfortable. The type of food you can expect to see on Fat Cats’ menu is seasonal and global plates. They’re open for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. They have everything from pizza, southern dishes, Spanish-inspired dishes, and more. My favorite meals are pierogies, crab melt, and pork noodle salad.
One of the most popular places for drinks and small plates is Salt. You’ll find Salt on Detroit Avenue, west of downtown. The restaurant has a beautiful and sizeable black front door, a chic interior, and exposed brick walls. The owners have ensured that this is a welcoming and exciting place to dine. Salt serves small plates that are perfect for sharing. Or you can keep them to yourself; they won’t judge. I love sampling a range of dishes when trying new places, so I ordered several small plates. I went with their collard greens, truffle grits, and the pork belly. Everything was delicious, and their cocktails were some of the best I’ve had.
Tommy’s is less than a mile from the James A. Garfield Monument on Coventry Road. The space is warm and artsy. The furniture is mostly wood and Earth tones, and several plants add some welcome greenery to the restaurant. This restaurant is known for catering to many dietary needs. They offer dishes for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. This way, everyone can find something they’ll love here. The menu features classic American dishes and others inspired from around the globe. I recommend giving their falafel or potato pies a try.
The Prosperity Social Club is on Starkweather Avenue and faces Lincoln Park. This beautiful stone building is a casual bar and restaurant that has a few games like skee ball throughout the building. When you walk inside, you feel like you’re at a classic dive bar perfect for a casual bite to eat and a cold drink. The menu at this restaurant features everything you’d expect from a bar. There are chicken wings, burgers and other sandwiches, and globally inspired dishes like potato pancakes. Their beer-battered fish fry is very popular, but I went with their “everything” platter. It had potato pierogies, stuffed cabbage, a potato pancake, and cabbage with noodles.
On Lee Road in Cleveland Heights is Anatolia Cafe. This restaurant features stunning hardwood floors, deep orange walls, and minimal stonework. The vibe is casual, but everything looks elegant. Locals of Cleveland Heights and the surrounding area love dining here for great food and excellent hospitality. Anatolia Cafe specializes in Turkish cuisine. They have great lunch specials, salads, vegetarian dishes, seafood, and everything in between. When I ate at Anatolia Cafe, I couldn’t resist ordering their yogurt kabob served over rice. It was savory and perfect. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, the baklava is terrific.
You’ll find Cassa Kitchen and Catering only three minutes away from the Wolstein Center. This modern restaurant has gray tones throughout and is a quick-service restaurant. It’s always packed at lunchtime but still worth stopping in. The place is casual and perfect for a quick meal with friends. Cassa Kitchen and Catering offers Mediterranean food such as shawarma, falafel, pita chips, and more. My favorite part of this restaurant is that you can fully customize your meal. They offer build-your-own bowls, but I went with chicken shawarma and a side of avocado hummus. I was very impressed.
Less than a mile from Cleveland Public Square is the elegant restaurant, the Marble Room Steaks, and Raw Bar. This restaurant is an old bank building and is ideal for celebrating a birthday, engagement, or another milestone. The interior is classy with marble accents, leather chairs, and professional staff. The Marble Room features many dishes you’d see on a classic steakhouse menu. There are steaks, seafood, decadent desserts, and fancy cocktails. They’re known for their raw bar, and I recommend their tasting. It includes shrimp, oysters, lobster, and ceviche. As for an entree, I loved the New York strip with truffle butter.
Out in Buckeye-Shaker is Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute. Edwins is in a large stone building with a gorgeous white front door. The space is classy with white linen tablecloths, high ceilings, and fireplaces throughout the restaurant. Edwins serves classic French cuisine. There are various meat and seafood plates, plenty of cheeses, and wine. My favorite thing about Edwins is their four for $40 deal. It changes every day, but you get fresh bread, a salad, an entree, and a glass of red or white wine. If you don’t want that, their frog legs and bananas foster are delicious options.
On Detroit Avenue sits Astoria Cafe and Market. This rustic-chic building is brick and combines everything you love about buying fresh produce and meats with an area to dine. This spot gets its name from the Astoria neighborhood in New York and its sizeable Greek population. Astoria is casual and very relaxed. Astoria features a variety of Mediterranean cuisine in their cafe and ingredients in their market. They have great cocktails, tapas, and other elements that are all served on a board. They have traditional charcuterie and cheese boards, but you have to try their Mediterranean board. Some of the items are feta cheese, roasted bell peppers, grape leaves, pita, and more.
Mia Bella Restaurant is less than 400 feet from Tony Brush Park on Mayfield Road. Industrial-style lighting dimly lights the restaurant, and the rest of the atmosphere features white tablecloths on the tables and covered outdoor seating. I recommend sitting outside if the weather’s nice because it’s a quaint street. The cuisine at Mia Bella is a combination of Italian classics and other Mediterranean dishes. They have great soups, salads, raw seafood, pizza, and more. I started with a classic caesar salad when I ate here before moving on to their lobster ravioli. Another delicious option is their grilled lamb chops. You can’t go wrong with either entree.
Luca Italian Cuisine is minutes away from Heritage Park in Cleveland. It’s a beautiful restaurant to eat at after walking along the nearby river or before. Depending on where you’re sitting, you may see parts of the Cleveland skyline. While the dishes feel upscale, it’s a laid-back restaurant that’s welcoming. As you probably guessed by the name, Luca serves Italian food. They have everything from pasta dishes to seafood to creme brulee for dessert. Some of my favorite dishes here are their veal tortellini, the slow-roasted wild boar shank, and their ricotta cavatelli. I highly recommend asking your server for wine recommendations.
Cleveland Chop is an excellent option for a great steakhouse in downtown Cleveland. If you’re walking downtown, be sure to try out this one since it’s one of the best restaurants in Cleveland. The name is in large, bright red letters that stand out against the black and brick building. Inside, the vibe feels like a classic steakhouse. It’s a little upscale but still casual. Cleveland Chop combines everything you love about a steakhouse and an elevated sports bar. There’s plenty of steaks, seafood, appetizers, and classic steakhouse side dishes, so I went with one of their house features. It was filet Oscar which was jumbo lump crab, asparagus, and a bearnaise sauce. Their jalapeno creamed corn was the best side.
About a mile from Scranton Flats, you’ll find Fahrenheit. This modern restaurant has several tables outside, deep red walls on the inside, and fantastic staff. The atmosphere is lively, but it’s still a place you can gather with friends and enjoy catching up with one another. Fahrenheit serves New American cuisine with other Asian-inspired touches. For example, they have mac and cheese on the menu and Vietnamese spring rolls. If you want an appetizer, their Cleveland nachos are delicious with a creative spin of potatoes instead of tortilla chips. My favorite entree was their lobster mac and cheese, which was deliciously rich and filling.
Next door to Fahrenheit is The Bourbon Street Barrel Room. This lively, two-story restaurant features New Orleans decor. Mardi Gras signs are all over, and green, purple, and yellow flags hang from the railings on the second floor. It’s a fun restaurant to dine at, and you almost feel like you’re in Louisiana, not Ohio. The Bourbon Street Barrel Room is an ode to New Orleans with its decor and cuisine. Louisiana staples on the menu include gumbo, gator bites, catfish, and other dishes. My friend and I shared the crispy gator bites, and then I ordered the crawfish and crab sandwich. Everything was perfect.
Taza is on West 6th Street in downtown Cleveland. It’s a sophisticated restaurant featuring warm hardwood floors, white and gold walls, and chandeliers hanging in various parts of the restaurant. While the decor makes the restaurant feel upscale, the atmosphere is very relaxed. Lebanese food is the star of the show at Taza. They feature Lebanese classics, and the chefs prepare many of these dishes in a stone oven. Their menu features plenty of options for meat-eaters and several vegetarian options. Their hummus shawarma, beef kafta, and tomato couscous soup are popular dishes here.
A great date night location is RED the Steakhouse Downtown. Everything about this restaurant exudes class, from the interior design to the staff and the food. While it’s similar to a classic steakhouse in the cuisine sense, it features modern decor and a sleek design. RED features everything you could want in a steakhouse. The raw bar is popular, as are their several cuts of steak. I recommend starting your meal with the French onion dip. As for your entree, the filet mignon is my favorite. If you don’t want steak, the meatball pasta is delicious. If you’ve saved room for dessert, the chai cheesecake is heavenly.
Next to the West Side Market on West 25th street is TownHall. I love how TownHall stands out amongst other restaurants in Cleveland with its wood paneling throughout. It adds a contemporary aesthetic, and it’s almost always a lively place to eat. When the weather’s nice, you’ll always find a crowded patio. TownHall uses ingredients from local farmers to create their dishes. Their innovative menu features bar bites, vegan meals, Asian-inspired dishes, and great drinks. The fresh-cut truffle fries are the perfect snack when sharing a drink with friends. Their keto-deviled eggs are also delicious to snack on.
You’ll find Mabel’s BBQ about a mile from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. Mabel’s BBQ is a two-story restaurant in a chic industrial building. There’s a long bar that’s great for sitting when you’re by yourself and several communal tables where you may just meet some new friends. Mabel’s BBQ serves barbequed meats, the best barbeque side, and they have an excellent selection of bourbons. Everything on the menu looked fantastic, so it was hard to choose what to order. I asked my server to bring me their favorite dish. I ended up with a pork belly sandwich with hot greens and potato salad. Everything was delicious.
Rising Star Coffee Roasters is a Cleveland staple for some coffee to start our day or pick you up in the afternoon. There are three locations in the city. One is near downtown, one in Ohio City, and one near Lincoln Park. These coffee shops are casual and relaxed and perfect for a coffee to grab and go or sit and relax. Rising Star Coffee Roasters features a lot of coffee options. They have traditional drip coffee, teas, and an espresso bar. Coffee drinkers of all preferences can find something they’ll love here. I was drawn to their specialty espresso drinks and went with their lavender latte. It was espresso, lavender syrup, and steamed milk.
On Lakewood Heights Boulevard is La Plaza Taqueria. This restaurant is counter-service and feels more like a little market than one of your traditional restaurants in Cleveland. That said, they still have a few tables outside on their patio for you to enjoy your meal. La Plaza Taqueria serves traditional street tacos, tortas, burritos, tamales, quesadillas, and salads. It smells incredible when you walk in, so choosing what to order was a little challenging. I ended up ordering their classic beef tacos with cilantro, onion, and a spicy red sauce. They were terrific.
Sometimes all you want is a craft beer and a great meal. Market Garden Brewery can help with both of those. This local craft brewery sits near the West Side Market on West 25th street and looks and feels like your traditional brewery. It’s casual, welcoming, and usually filled with people trying new beers. Market Garden Brewery’s menu is limited but still worth trying. They have bar bites like scotch eggs, wings, a giant pretzel, and more. I was drinking one of their blonde ales, so almost anything would have paired well with it. Ultimately, I went with their chipotle maple wings, and I’m glad I did.
A few minutes down the street from the Market Garden Brewery is Porco Lounge and Tiki Room. You won’t find other restaurants in Cleveland quite like this one. It has traditional Polyenisian decor like tiki torches, pineapple glasses, and dim lighting. Porco Lounge and Tiki Room have tropical cocktails for you to try and snack plates to munch on while you’re there. I went with the Planet of the Apes drink that had banana and pineapple rum and other ingredients for my drink. The black bean salsa and chorizo tacos were fabulous.
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When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 4 credible sites and blogs, including Cleveland Magazine and Eater.
We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible.
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