Cleveland Ohio: Best Things To Do, Summer Activities & Restaurants
Cleveland Anthem — We’ve got world-class experiences without the world-class ego. And for that, you’re welcome.
Welcome to Cleveland! If you’re here for a visit, looking for something new to do or are relocating/moving here, these are some places to visit you won’t want to miss this summer. (List of the 100 best restaurants at the bottom!)
Summertime in the Cleveland, Ohio area is full of activities and things to do. With four, full seasons and the weather always changing, this time of year brings out true appreciation for sunshine, Lake Erie, our gorgeous Metro parks, biking, baseball, fairs, carnivals, parades, concerts, flea markets, barbecues and simple, lazy days spent with family and friends.
Below, area residents chime in on their favorite things to do around Northeast, Ohio. Add to the list by sharing your favorite thing to do in the Cleveland area during the summer in the comments section. Follow me, (Cleveland Real Estate) on Facebook to stay up-to-date with Cleveland events, real estate market news and more!
Here are just some of the things to do this summer in Northeast, Ohio. If you’re looking for a new activity or something new to do, take a look at this list!
Some of the classic places to visit if you’re in town visiting or new to the area:
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland Botanical Garden
West Side Market
Great Lakes Science Center
GoodTime III Boat Cruise
Cleveland Museum of Art
Greater Cleveland Aquarium
A Christmas Story House
Lake View Cemetery
Lolly The Trolley Tour
Cleveland Indians: Progressive Field
Jack Cleveland Casino
Hard Rock Cafe & Rocksino
Thistledown Race Track & Casino
Concerts at Quicken Loans Arena
Museum of Contemporary Art
USS Cod World War II Sub
Western Reserve Historical Society
International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Glenn Research Center
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Memphis Kiddie Park
Cleveland Public Library
Wild Water Kingdom
Cleveland Flea Market
Cleveland Public Theatre
Old Stone Church
Galleria At Erieview
Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica
Euclid Beach Park
Blossom Music Center
Edgewater Live (Thursdays 5:30-8:00pm)
Canterbury Golf Club
So if you haven’t eaten enough at the hot spots above, here is the list of the best 100 restaurants in the greater Cleveland area. Cleveland is known for great eats. From small cafes to gourmet, award winning cuisine. If you’re a foodie, you’ve come to the right city! (Thanks to Cleveland.com for the list below.) – Also coming to Cleveland Wahlburgers and Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville on the East Bank of the Flats.
Best Restaurants in Cleveland – The Classics
Aldo’s Restaurant, 8459 Memphis Ave., Brooklyn, 216-749-7060: Enthusiastic appreciation for well-executed Italian classics and an ever-changing menu of fresh dishes (especially seafood) make this small, noisy spot the place for a cheerful evening. $$-$$$, major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Italian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Bistro 185, 991 East 185th St., Cleveland, 216-481-9635, bistro185.com: Imaginative American pub grub in North Collinwood gets elevated with globally infused dinner fare. Good burgers, sandwiches at lunch. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Chez Francois, 555 Main St., Vermilion, 440-967-0630, chezfrancois.com: True four-star dining experiences and exacting French preparations are a rare thing in Northeast Ohio. That makes the trek to Vermilion and an evening at Chez Francois all the more vivid and romantic an adventure. $$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Traditional French. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Crop Bistro & Bar, 2537 Lorain Ave. (Ohio City) Cleveland, 216-696-2767, cropbistro.com: Crop Bistro & Bar occupies two expansive floors in a behemoth painstakingly restored 1925 bank building. The main dining room’s soaring 35 ft. ceiling and Beaux-Art detailings are breathtaking. Think New York City’s Grand Central Station’s Main Concourse slightly downsized and reimagined as an agora of gastronomy. The menu gets more personal, it delectably reflects chef and co-owner Steve Schimoler’s culinary imagination and joyful sense of experimentation. $$$-$$$$. ALSO: Crop Kitchen, 11460 Uptown Ave. (Uptown) Cleveland, 216-696-2767, cropkitchen.com: Sandwiched between UH and CWRU, the culinary star of the rising Uptown neighborhood is a more casual and collegiate version of the bistro. $$-$$$. Both take all major credit cards. Cuisine: Modern American. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Dante, 2247 Professor Ave., Cleveland (Tremont); 216-274-1200, danteboccuzzi.com: Trained in New York and Europe, chef Dante Boccuzzi has established an eating boutique aimed at every whim: a little something to temper a cocktail, rich things for small appetites, and full-blown meals. A chef’s chef, he seduces meat into peak succulence, not letting any ingredient make a fool of itself. The former bank building can get noisy on a busy night, but still feels grand. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Don’s Pomeroy House, 13664 Pearl Road, Strongsville; 440-572-1111, donspomeroy.com: Don’s Pomeroy House, which dates to the 19th century, remains a comfortable, classic setting for special meals. Menu choices include seafood, steak and more. $$$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Traditional American. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Fahrenheit, 2417 Professor Ave., Cleveland, 216-781-8858, chefroccowhelan.com: Fahrenheit in Tremont is often mentioned near the top of any list of the city’s best, and for good reason. If there is a common thread among chef-owner Rocco Whelan’s eclectic dishes, it’s the kitchen’s ability to highlight a wide range of flavors, both bold and subtle, that beautifully complement the main ingredients. $$$-$$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Fire Food & Drink,13220 Shaker Square, Cleveland, 216-921-3473, firefoodanddrink.com: Free of gimmicks and trend chasing, Douglas Katz’s industrial-chic, minimalist spot has made a national name for itself with a deep menu. $$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: New American. $$$. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Flying Fig, 2523 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-241-4243, theflyingfig.com: When you have one of the best chefs in town at the helm and a longstanding commitment to locally grown fare, it’s hard not to have a good meal. Chef Karen Small is as devoted to artful preparations of fresh, sustainable ingredients as she is operating a place that resonates “good times.” In a word, dining at the Flying Fig can be exhilarating. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Modern American. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Giovanni’s Ristorante, 25550 Chagrin Blvd., Beachwood; 216-831-8625, giovanniscleveland.com: Old World charm heightened by exceptional cuisine, tableside preparations and exacting service combine to make dining at Giovanni’s a singular experience. Truly, a classic. $$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Greenhouse Tavern, 2038 East Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-443-0511, thegreenhousetavern.com: This is the flagship of one of Cleveland’s most-awarded chefs, Jonathon Sawyer, who forged his style for local and rustic flavors with fine attention to meats. Don’t miss the confit chicken wings, barbecued apple, clams with foie gras and Fred Flintstone Short Ribs. It sounds like a gimmick, but it can make a perfect Sunday dinner for four or more. $$-$$$$ All major credit cards. Cuisine: New American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Johnny’s Bar, 3164 Fulton Road, Cleveland, 216-281-0055, johnnyscleveland.com: Head to the original restaurant on Fulton Road for upscale Italian, seafood and pasta. Johnny’s has not slipped a bit. The menu is still dotted with many of the favorites from 20 years ago, dishes like grilled long-bone veal chop, cold-smoked filet mignon, and a variety of pastas and seafood specialties. $$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Italian. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
L’Albatros Brasserie & Bar, 11401 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, 216-791-7880, albatrosbrasserie.com: Veteran Cleveland chef and owner Zack Bruell marries classic French cuisine and contemporary American to create the right sparks. Don’t miss the cassoulet, lamb (sandwich or entrée), grilled salmon with spanking Bernaise, or the chocolate Napoleon, most at comparatively bargain prices. Gorgeous day? Hit the gorgeous patio. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary French. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Lola Bistro, 2058 East Fourth St., Cleveland; 216-621-5652, lolabistro.com: Critics, including readers of the Zagat Survey, bestow a grade of “extraordinary to perfection” to Chef Michael Symon’s artsy eatery. Lola is still a master of flesh, whether fish, poultry, or red or white meat – and the same holds true for its voluptuous veggies. $$$-$$$$, major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com; Updated by Joe Crea)
Momocho, 1835 Fulton Road, Cleveland, 216-694-2122, momocho.com: Chef Eric Williams’ sanctuary to “Mod Mex” cuisine. The fun of Momocho lies in exploring new tastes in an exuberant, funky and hip atmosphere. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Mexican. (Eric Susyne, Special to The Plain Dealer)
Moxie the Restaurant, 3355 Richmond Road, Beachwood; 216-831-5599, moxietherestaurant.com: Exacting preparations and attentive service are hallmarks of this Beachwood bastion. The fare is made with precision yet maintains a kind of casual, home-cooked deliciousness. $$$-$$$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com; Updated by Joe Crea)
Parallax, 2179 West 11th St. (Tremont) Cleveland; 216-583-9999, parallaxtremont.com: Imaginative contrasts are part of chef Zack Bruell’s craft. Parallax is a showcase for precise executions of diverse dishes, reflecting gastronomic influences of Asian cookery. Wonderful sushi to be had here, too. $$$, All major cards. Asian-, global-inspired Contemporary American. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com; Updated by Joe Crea)
Pier W, 12700 Lake Ave. at Winton Place, Lakewood; 216-228-2250, pierw.com: From its lovely vantage on the cliffs above Lake Erie to its artful handling of seafood and meat dishes, a destination for special occasions, big dates, or just a fine meal anytime. $$$. Cuisine: Seafood, contemporary American. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Red the Steakhouse, 3355 Richmond Road, Beachwood, 216-831-2252, redthesteakhouse.com: The original Red remains a trove of pleasures. With its handsome stone and burnished burgundy walls, and the inviting gleam of its chic wine room, this austere “cave a boeuf” whets the appetite as it draws you in. Don’t hesitate to succumb; the food is especially delicious. Note: The location is scheduled to move to Orange in 2017. Also: Downtown location, 417 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, 216-664-0941: Apart from décor, which mimics its suburban cousin, Red’s downtown incarnation is every inch its equal – superb steaks and seafood, sides, appetizers and desserts. $$$-$$$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: Steakhouse, seafood, contemporary American. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Sokolowski’s University Inn, 1201 University Road (Tremont), Cleveland, 216-771-9236, sokolowskis.com: Like our city, Sokolowski’s is unassuming but proud, a high-quality and hearty mix of Old World and New. Food is ordered from a cafeteria-style line and it’s still packed for lunch and Friday and Saturday dinners. It’s a family-friendly restaurant for all ages – drawn to the home-made pierogi, soups, chops, fish fries, stuffed cabbage and much more. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Adega, 2017 East Ninth St. (in The Metropolitan at the 9), Cleveland; 216-331-6302; metropolitancleveland.com/restaurant. Seafood and superb pork (especially rarely seen Iberico and Serrano ham) are highlights at this Spanish-influenced contemporary Mediterranean restaurant. With all the imaginative approaches to traditional fare on this well-conceived menu, any gastronomically curious diner will find too many tempting choices – so gather a party and share. Intelligent wine service. $$$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish, Seafood. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Alley Cat, 1056 Old River Rd, Cleveland, 216-574-9999, alleycatoysterbar.com: Famed Cleveland chef Zack Bruell has done it all: Italian, New American, Intercontinental, Asian, even chili-dogs and absinthe. Last year he added oysters and seafood to his culinary resume with the August opening of Alley Cat Oyster Bar in the new Flats East Bank development. Bruell does seafood with the same sophistication, flair and dedication to perfection as he has done everything else. Alley Cat is located in a prime location with huge picture windows and a large patio right on the Cuyahoga. The spectacular setting is matched by what’s on the plates. The menu ranges from oysters to fried whole fish, wild striped bass, king crab, whole lobster, beer battered cod, walleye and grilled octopus. $$$$-$$$$$. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Amp 150, 4277 West 150th Street, Cleveland , 216-706-8787, amp150.com: Amp 150 is a hotel restaurant. But Amp 150 is not a “hotel restaurant.” Since the New American restaurant that specializes in small plates and shareables opened in 2009 in the Cleveland Airport Marriott, it has established itself as one of the most innovative, locally-sourced kitchens in Cleveland. Cuisine: New American. $$ – $$$. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Anatolia Cafe, 2270 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights; 216-321-4400, anatoliacafe.com: Long-standing Anatolia is a family-friendly restaurant that brings a long-overlooked ethnic cuisine to Cleveland, Turkish. It’s also a chic cocktail wine bar with an extensive beer and wine list – a sophisticated eatery that caters to both an ethnic crowd and non-Turks alike. Don’t miss the the Chicken Adana, a savory twist on the usual kebabs, with chopped chicken mixed with ground bell peppers, reshaped and cooked on skewers, with a sprinkling of paprika. $$-$$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: Turkish. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Bac Asian American Bistro and Bar, 2661 West 14th St. (Tremont), Cleveland, 216-938-8960, bactremont.com: : Lovely pan-Asian flavors served in a languid retro-hip-post-Colonial restaurant. Some of the dishes are on the mild side, but if you like it hot, they can make them blazing. $$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Asian fusion. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Bar Cento, 1948 West 25th St. (Ohio City), Cleveland, 216-274-1010, barcento.com: This haute urban/rustic boite maintains its comfortable mix of neo-Tuscan country and rehabbed Cleveland. The sweet menu of affable and imaginative food includes crackling thin Neapolitan pizzas topped with local eggs and pancetta and some of the very best pommes frites (tossed with slivers of caramelized garlic and rosemary) in town. While waiting for your fries, you can pore over the 100 plus list of wines and almost as many beers. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: American bistro. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Batuqui, 12706 Larchmere Blvd, Cleveland, 216-801-0227, batuquicleveland.com: Until recently, it was almost impossible to experience the flavors of Brazil here. That changed in 2015 when two immigrants from the Brazilian Bahia and Minas Gerais states, Carla Batista and Gustavo Nogueira, opened Batuqui cafe on Larchmere Blvd. Batuqui’s simple, rustic menu highlights the cuisine of both the coastal Afro-Brazilian state of Bahia, and the inland state of Minas Gerais, where more Native American flavors abound. It is heavy on seafood, stews and small plates, but also has a nice selection of vegetarian and chicken options, plus a classic Brazilian tri-tip sirloin. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Biga Wood Fired Pizzeria, 9145 Chillicothe Rd, Kirtland, 440-379-7313, bigapizzeria.net: All the big crunch of a European bread crust, plus a wisp of wood-fired flavor, plus some well-placed toppings make this pizza parlor a destination. Don’t like pizza? They do some fine meatballs and pile high the well-studded salads on the plate. $$ All major credit cards. Cuisine: Pizzeria (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
The Black Pig, 2801 Bridge St. (Ohio City), Cleveland, 216-862-7551, theblackpigcleveland.com: Almost hog heaven, and now in a new location. The move to Bridge Ave. has inspired chef/owner Michael Nowak to up his game. There’s a new finesse to his carnivorous cuisine, creative cocktails and inspired desserts. Amidst all this porcine elegance, there’s still room for the Pig’s lower-brow but highly praised hamburgers. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Seasonal, Euro-inspired with international flavors. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Blue Door Cafe & Bakery, 1970 State Rd, Cuyahoga Falls, 330-926-9774, bluedoorcafebakery.com: Want a meat-and-potatoes entrée that covers your plate? Look elsewhere. This elegant restaurant, with limited dinner hours, is about plating, chef’s creativity, and fresh and local ingredients. It’s a dining experience for foodies who enjoy “Iron Chef America.” $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Bruno’s Ristorante, 2644 West 41st St. (one-way north between I-90 and Clark Avenue), Cleveland, 216-961-7087, brunosristorante.net: Bruno DiSiena left the Cleveland Browns as executive chef when it looked like they were leaving town. Our advantage. This is Cleveland’s red-sauce capital, especially with pasta and eggplant. The room is charming in a homestyle way, but tiny. Expect eavesdropping to be part of the deal. Reservations a must near the weekend. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian-American (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Butcher and the Brewer, 2043 East Fourth St. 216-331-0805; butcherandthebrewer.com Communal dining is the key to this playful, interactive space. Proximity to your neighbors inspires discussions about flavors and textures of their dishes. And pretty soon you’re ordering more. Butcher is one of East Fourth Street’s feasts for the senses—sleek modern meets historically-geared black-and-white, casual and animated atmosphere. Elevated gastropub fare and homespun craft beer anchor are in the offing. $$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: American gastropub/brasserie. (Peter Chakerian, special to cleveland.com)
Cabin Club, 30651 Detroit Road, Westlake, 440-899-7111, thecabinclub.com: Great steaks, seafood and clubhouse vibe in Westlake. The Cabin Club, a consistent Hospitality Restaurants spot, is a popular draw in this West Side suburb. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American, Steakhouse. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Choolaah Indian BBQ, 27100 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere. 1-800-459-8860; choolaah.com: The name plays on sanja chulha, the communal Indian ovens of northern India. And Choolaah goes a long way in demystifying a cuisine that many consider one of the world’s most complex. Drawing on the Chipotle model – choose your ingredients to create the meal you want – Choolaah skips the quasi-cafeteria food line. Instead, it’s replaced with bold menu boards and small, photo-illustrated “menu tour” handouts available as you enter the ordering area. Together these provide an easy-to-follow guide to key options available. Choose from among five mains (chicken; lamb meatballs; veggie croquettes; salmon, or paneer cheese) then select the way you’d like it presented. Plates, bowls, sandwiches and salads are all available. Some options include one or more side dishes or add-ons. Or put together a meal from the list of sides. $-$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: Indian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Chowder House Cafe, 2028 Chestnut Blvd., Cuyahoga Falls, 330-794-7102, chowderhousecafe.com: With its whimsical pipedream decor and genial service, the Chowder House Café’s casual bistro setting belies lusty preparations of mostly local fare. Well-prepared seafood is the star, but options abound. If your style is earthy and laid-back, the food and the experience will make you want to linger. $$-$$$, cash or checks only. Cuisine: Seafood, American fusion, casual. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Cibreo Italian Kitchen, 1438 Euclid Ave. (Playhouse Square), Cleveland, 216-862-9212, cibreocleveland.com: Rich pastas, buttery cheeses, crisp pan-fried fish and tender braised meats in a Tuscan countryside setting- just across from Playhouse Square. Convenient, though a little chaotic, for before theater dining, a quiet respite if you choose to eat while everyone else is at the show. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Cork & Cleaver, 8130 Broadview Rd. Broadview Heights, 440-627-6449, ccsocialkitchen.com: Destination dining in a strip mall in Broadview Heights! Witty, pretty and delicious food, superb service and parking just steps away- suburban splendor, indeed. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Cuisine: Modern American. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Corleone’s Ristorante, 5669 Broadview Road, Parma; 216-741-0220, corleonescleveland.com: Sophisticated Italian fare of this restaurant in Parma offers so much more than simple red sauce. Great selection of steaks, veal, pastas and sauces. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Cowell & Hubbard, 1305 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, 216-479-0555, cowellhubbard.com: The glittering outdoor chandelier of Playhouse Square shines down upon this well-tailored pre- and post-theater spot. Zack Bruell, the region’s most painterly chef when it comes to flavors, satisfies with common and uncommon cuts of meat, precision cooking and a swanky setting. This is, after all, a former glam jewelry store. Check out the historic photos on the web site. $$$; all major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
D’Agnese’s, 1100 W. Royalton Road, Broadview Heights, 440-237-7378, dagneses.com: It’s easy to understand why so many food-savvy Italians of my acquaintance frequent this relative hideaway. It’s one of those rare spots you look forward to revisiting – for the unvarnished pleasure of well-prepared fare (especially the seafood, lamb and veal) served in a genial atmosphere. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Traditional Italian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Dante Boccuzzi Akron, 21 Furnace St. Akron, 330-375-5050, danteboccuzzi.com: Luxurious, inventive modern American cuisine. Perfect sauces, desserts among the delicacies enjoyed in a dreamlike rock ‘n’ roll-themed space close to the heart of downtown Akron. $$$-$$$$, all major cards accepted. Cuisine: Modern American. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Dante Next Door, 2247 Professor Ave. (Tremont), Cleveland; 216-274-1201, danteboccuzzi.com: Get dinner-quality meals at lunch and brunch with this Wednesday through Sunday little brother of the acclaimed Dante restaurant. Look for pizza, pasta, classic entrees at lunch. You can’t go wrong with the signature Triple Pork Saltimbocca sandwich or, at brunch, freshly wrought cocktails. $$; all major credit cards. Cuisine: American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
DC Pasta Company, 12214 Pearl Road, Strongsville; 440-238-8500, danteboccuzzi.com: An array of pastas and toppings, plus appetizers, meatballs and sides – not to mention various portion sizes – beckon you to try lots of dishes. Gather friends and pass the plates. The combined and skillful team of Dante Boccuzzi (Dante, Ginko, DBA) and Carmella DelBusso (Oggi and the former Portofino) – are the “D” and “C” in the name. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com
Deagan’s Kitchen & Bar, 14810 Detroit Ave., Lakewood; 216-767-5775, deagans.com: It seems you can’t walk a block without walking into a gastropub these days — but Deagan’s in Lakewood remains one of the best. It’s a true neighborhood watering hole — with an extensive import and craft beer list and cool vintage cocktail menu, and a kitchen that turns out food worthy of any fine dining establishment. $$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Diamond Grille, 77 W. Market St., Akron, 330-253-0041. Diamondgrille.com: With an old-fashioned feel, the Diamond Grille is a hidden gem in Akron, a throwback that features sumptuous steaks. $$-$$$, no credit cards. Cuisine: Steakhouse, American. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
District, 1350 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 216-858-1000, districtcleveland.com: A Playhouse Square district star plays the character actor role here, with humbly manifold dishes that can impress across multiple “foodie” levels. Pairing a blue-collar town with a world-class theatre borough and smart, diverse menu spells longevity; delicious and fanciful pre-show options to be had here across the board. $$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: American bistro-brasserie informed by Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and French cuisine. (Peter Chakerian, Special to cleveland.com)
Eddie’s Pizzeria Cerino, 7305 Broadview Road, Seven Hills, 216-236-6007, pizzeriacerino.com: Quality Italian fare, perfect pizzas, modest prices and a comfortable atmosphere have patrons flocking to Eddie’s in Seven Hills. $$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Italian, pizza. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
El Carnicero, 16918 Detroit Ave., Lakewood; 216-226-3415, elcarnicerolakewood.com: Owner Eric Williams (he also operates Momocho, Ohio City) is known for high-energy, big-flavor food – and at El C, he’s firing on all cylinders. Few Latin-inspired restaurants in town produce so expertly prepared dishes with such lively, vivid and authentic flavors, built around top-quality ingredients. Excellent margaritas and selection of tequilas. $$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Mexican. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Fat Cats, 2061 West 10th St. (Tremont), Cleveland, 216-579-0200, coolplacestoeat.com: Fat Cats’ best visual may be downtown Cleveland’s urban splendor as seen from its big bay windows — but the food looks mighty good, too. Owner Ricardo Sandoval’s restaurant has been around for a long time and through the years it’s evolved into a sort of Modern American Melting Pot. But though the menu pulls from Asian, European and North and South American culinary influences, most of the food is locally sourced, some from as close as the herb garden and vegetable plot behind the restaurant. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: International Eclectic. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Flour, 34205 Chagrin Blvd., Moreland Hills; 216-464-3700, flourrestaurant.com: Flour bills itself as an Italian kitchen, “polished, sophisticated and urbane” eatery and “starkly modern” (zinc-topped tables, cement floor, gray walls). Executive chef Matt Mytro and chef-owner Paul Minnillo anchor the menu with fresh pastas (like Lobster Strozzapretti, with pancetta and bone marrow), solid starters and wood-fired pizzas. Great monthly featured dishes as well. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Modern Italian. (Peter Chakerian, Special to cleveland.com)
Forage Public House, 14600 Detroit Ave. Lakewood, 216-226-2000, foragepublichouse.com: Forage doesn’t “dumb down” food for kids or adults. It’s one of the most inventive, flavorful and smart kitchens in town. The menu not only describes your food, but also where it came from. Choices range from healthy to decadent, meaty to vegan. Favorites include poutine with Lake Erie Creamery cheese curds; vegan macaroni and cheese; the Dinosaur Kale Salad; and of course mushroom fettuccine with seasonal foraged mushrooms, braised leeks, lucatelli cheese and mushroom nage broth. $$$ – $$$$. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Ginko, 2247 Professor Ave., Cleveland (Tremont); 216-274-1202, danteboccuzzi.com: This modern and colorful eatery features the talented Taishi Noma, a tall, bespectacled chef with the bearing of a Zen master. To be sure, his fish and rice are worthy of contemplation. $$$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Japanese. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com)
Graffiti: A Social Kitchen, 1261 W 76th St,, Cleveland, 216-651-6969, graffitisocialkitchen.com: The social whirl continues with another fine restaurant by Cork and Cleaver Social Kitchen’s chefs, Brian Okin and Adam Bostwick. The brothers-in-law have set their sights on the inner city this time, Battery Park in Detroit-Shoreway. Graffiti illustrates yet again their big-fun creative cuisine. The menu is filled with bright exuberant food that celebrates our dining experience. Can you even think about eating their Momofuku-inspired Cereal, a bowlful of cereal milk panna cotta topped with fruit and chunklets of marshmallow treats made with Lucky Charms and Rice Krispies without smiling? $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Cuisine: Modern American. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Great Lakes Brewing Co., 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-4404, greatlakesbrewing.com: The food menu at Great Lakes Brewing Co. is proof that dining at the Ohio City restaurant offers a lot more than typical bar food. $$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: American, traditional. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Grove Hill, 25 Pleasant Drive, Chagrin Falls, 440-247-4800, grovehillchagrin.com: Tim Bando has established himself over the years as a chef for hire with four-star chops both here and in New York. Now he finally has a place of his own. The restaurant itself seems plain and restrained, but the menu is filled with celebratory food. It’s gala bistro with the Bando touch. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: American bistro with Mediterranean accents. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Hodge’s, 668 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 216-771-4000; thedriftwoodgroup.com/restaurants/hodges: This vibrant restaurant remains part of the bustling Gateway district downtown, with great energy and patrons ranging from business to couples to sports fans. Traditional dishes are given creative twists (Scallops with Mexican street-corn risotto? Fantastic.) You can feel the city’s vibe as you enjoy a meal here. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse, 123 W. Prospect Ave., Cleveland, 216-344-2444, hydeparkrestaurants.com: This elegant downtown eatery is an exemplar of one of America’s great, indigenous restaurant genres and cuisines – the classic, formal steakhouse. The atmosphere and service make you feel important immediately, from the red tufted upholstery to the starched tablecloths and apron-clad wait staff. $$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Steakhouse, seafood. (Eric Susyne, Special to The Plain Dealer)
Johnny’s Downtown, 1406 West Sixth St., Cleveland (Warehouse District); 216-623-0055, johnnyscleveland.com. Sister stop to the original Johnny’s Bar on Fulton, Downtown launched in 1993 in a refurbished, mid-19th century building that once housed a general store. Cozy, upscale environs, piano music in the bar, and appeal to the upscale and business crowds, Johnny’s Italian menu is anchored by steaks, chops, veal, fish and pastas. Bonuses: two wine cellar-like private rooms and a grape selection that has earned them Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian with Steaks, Chops, Seafood. (Peter Chakerian, Special to cleveland.com).
Ken Stewart’s Lodge, 1911 N. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Bath, 330-666-8881, kenstewartsonline.com/lodge: For a business dinner or romantic night out, the restaurant’s mouthwatering menu beckons diners from Summit County and beyond. $$$$-$$$$$, major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
La Campagna, 27337 Detroit Road (just west of Dover Center Road), Westlake; 440-871-1771, lacampagnaonline.net: Rarely have I found Italian food as lusty and nuanced. Rather than leaning heavily on the garlic-and-oregano crutch, chef-owner Carmella Fragassi coaxes all sorts of flavor from a broad battery of ingredients. Here, the menu changes more-or-less daily. Though you’re likely to find a handful of offerings carrying over from day to day, Fragassi hews to the old-world tradition of embracing both the season and … well, whatever looks good in the market. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Lago Restaurant & Wine Bar, 1091 W. 10th St., Cleveland (Flats East Bank); 216-862-8065, lagoeastbank.com: Friendly service and mostly very good food makes dining at Lago in Cleveland’s Flats East Bank a memorable affair. $$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com)
Le Bistro du Beaujolais, 8134 Columbia Road, Olmsted Falls, 440-235-8883, lebistrodubeaujolais.com: In its simplicity, Le Bistro brims with charm. Set in a historic 1830s farmhouse, there’s nothing “haute” about this cozy little boite. French Provencal dishes – delectable renditions of duck, skate and rabbit mingle among more familiar classics such as cassoulet or lamb rack – populate its menu. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: French. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Lockkeepers, 8001 Rockside Road, Valley View; 216-524-9404, lockkeepers.com: Affordable options and sophisticated fare meet on an Italian-inspired menu by Venetian native chef Alberto Leandri at this restaurant in Valley View. Traditional dishes, modern interpretations and house-made pastas merge here. Portions are generous, and likely will leave enough for lunch. $$$. All major credit cards: Cuisine: Italian. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com; updated by Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Lopez SouthWest Kitchen & Tequila Saloon, 2196 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-932-9000, lopezonlee.com: Chef Michael Herschman delivers a delectable mix of bright, bold, seasonally based culinary musings and inspired interpretations of Lopez’s classic dishes. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Southwest, Modern Mexican. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Luca Italian Cuisine, 2100 Superior Viaduct, Cleveland, 216-862-2761, lucacleveland.com: Who knew Cleveland was so beautiful? From the windows of this luxe ristorante perched on top of the Superior-Viaduct bridge, the night-time city shimmers in urban splendor. The food is just as glamorous, big bowls of sweet succulent shellfish, massive slow roasted boar shanks, black and white striped ravioli stuffed with lobster, divinely decadent tiramisu. Almost everything here is deluxe, but chef/owner Luca Sema knows how to make it fun without pretense or stuffiness. He seems to be operating the very clubbiest of chic clubs. And every one with the wherewithal is welcome to bask in the cosmopolitan luster that makes it one of the most glamorous places in town. $$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Italian. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Luxe Kitchen & Lounge, 6805 Detroit Ave., Cleveland; 216-920-0600, luxecleveland.com: Gordon Square Arts District’s chic revival is owed in no small part to the roots Luxe Kitchen & Lounge put down in 2008. A bountiful hang with a great bar, friendly and knowledgeable staff and reclaimed decorative elements, Luxe sports one of the area’s best Happy Hours and Sunday Brunches, as well as locally-brewed beers and rotated-quarterly cocktails. Don’t miss the duck confit pizza. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Mediterranean, Italian. (Peter Chakerian, Special to cleveland.com).
Mallorca, 1390 W 9th St, Cleveland, 216-687-9494, clevelandmallorca.com: Mallorca is one of the few old school fine dining establishments thriving in hipster foodie Cleveland – from its white linen tablecloths to its leather-bound menu and tuxedo-clad waiters. As elegant as it is, however, Mallorca is neither stuffy or boring. For two decades, the Iberian restaurant has served sumptuous Spanish and Portuguese food to an area lacking many choices in those areas. Its wide ranging menu is heavy on seafood. Shrimp, lobster, tilapia, scallops, crab, surf and turf, sole and orange roughy all swim through their menu, which is also dotted with standards such as broiled filet mignon, veal scaloppini, lobster ravioli and chicken in white wine sauce. Don’t miss the classic Paella Valenciana. $$$ – $$$4. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Michaelangelo’s, 2198 Murray Hill Road, Cleveland, 216-721-0300, mangelos.com. Italian fare beyond the familiar? Few restaurants in town rival Michaelangelo’s. Chef Michael Annandono treats humble or glorious fare with equal respect. Terrific pastas (especially the stuffed varieties), boldly flavorful sautes and toothsome braised meats are highlights. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Morton’s the Steakhouse, 1600 West Second St. (Tower City Center), Cleveland, 216-621-6200, mortons.com/cleveland: Although competition among high-end steakhouses in Northeast Ohio has soared since it first opened, Morton’s Cleveland retains its bar-no-expense cachet. Superb steaks, impressive appetizers and shareable desserts pair perfectly with well-rehearsed service in a lively see-and-be-seen downtown setting. $$$-$$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Steakhouse, seafood. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Nighttown, 12383 Cedar Road, Cleveland Heights, Cleveland; 216-795-0550; nighttowncleveland.com. Go back in time in this wonderfully clubby atmosphere, with dozens of posters and prints and art adorning the walls. The flagship Famous Dublin Lawyer – a lobster-bisque-like entrée – is not to be missed. Established in 1965, it’s also a jazz club. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Ninja City, 11311 Euclid Ave. (University Circle), Cleveland; 216-860-0510, ninjacity.com: This pop-culture explosion is every bit as fetching to the eye as it is to the stomach. Hard not to be overwhelmed by the solid a la carte menu at Bac Nguyen’s avant-garde spot—one that mimics the Happy Dog/Barrio approach. The specials here are often quite good; the Bacon Egg Ramen is one of the popular items, and for good reason as its flavors and textures pack a wallop. $$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Avant-garde Asian. (Peter Chakerian, Special to cleveland.com)
Noodlecat 234 Euclid Ave., Cleveland; 216-589-0007, noodlecat.com: Chef Jonathon Sawyer’s Noodlecat is the restaurant downtown has always lacked: a funky, fun and imaginative eatery. The Japanese-leaning menu answers the call by offering a variety of ramen-noodle specials that might feature barbecued ribs one day and Buffalo chicken skin another. $$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Japanese. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com)
Olesia’s Place, 11204 Royalton Road, North Royalton, olesiasplace.com: Contemporary flourishes and a greenhouse-like environment belie old-world flavors and satisfying fare. $$, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Cuisine: Ukrainian, American. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
One Red Door, 49 Village Way, Hudson, Hudson, 330-342-3667, onereddoorhudson.com: One Red Door in Hudson features a global wine list, a menu that touches all sorts of flavors, and scrumptious desserts. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: American. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Orale Mexican Kitchen 1834 West 25th St., Cleveland, 216-862-3117, oralecmc.com: Great salsas, sophisticated entrees and premium margaritas here give trendy Market District neighborhood a Mexican treat. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Mexican. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Pacific East, 1763 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights. 216-320-2302, pacificeastcoventry.com: Where do you start at a restaurant with an 11-page Japanese menu, 10-page Malaysian menu, and one of the largest sushi and sake selections in the region? You just dive into the deep blue — as suggested by the décor. This corner spot in Coventry’s lively street scene is popular with Asian diners, always a big reason to follow. $$-$$$; all major credit cards. Cuisine: Japanese and Malaysian. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, 28601 Chagrin Blvd. (Eton Chagrin Boulevard), Woodmere, 216-896-9020, paladarlatinkitchen.com: Don’t worry, be happy. For a meal at Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar, it’s a cheery bromide that’s contagious. It may take awhile to get a table – weekdays it’s lively and weekends it’s packed – but once you’re seated, it’s Woodmere meets Margaritaville. The impressive range of sunny Latino food sambas to a Nuevo suburban beat. Which means that the cuisine’s distinctive south-of-the-border flavors are nuanced to appeal to an Americano palate. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary Latin American. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Pura Vida, 170 Euclid Ave. (Public Square), Cleveland, 216-987-0100, puravidabybrandt.com: Pura Vida chef Brandt Evans has joined Michael Symon, Jonathon Sawyer and Zack Bruell in adding to the important critical mass of culinary talent in the East Fourth Street neighborhood. It’s a bit of class off Public Square with something for everyone, including vegans. $$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Restaurant Europa, 30519 Pinetree Road, Pepper Pike. 216-591-1273; restauranteuropacleveland.com: This is fine, but never boring, dining, from the vodka room to the strolling musicians on weekends to the ceviche bar and dance lessons in the banquet rooms in the basement. But as entertaining as these extras are, they’re still just side dishes to the main course: Europa’s fine Continental menu. It’s heavy on dishes from Shneyder’s native Russia and Lithuanian co-owner/ chef Asta Staniskis’ homeland – a nice touch in a city lacking Russian and Baltic flavor. But this is not just an Old World Russian restaurant. For every blini or latke or Stroganoff there’s a Nicoise Salad or Scallops Provencal or duck breast. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Sarita, 14523 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-5200, sarita-restaurant.com: This makeover of the old Players pizza restaurant has a snazzy look and creative menu influenced by a world of cuisines and covering plenty of price points. Don’t miss the potato-wrapped mahi mahi, chorizo nachos, Caprese and Sarita salads and any of the chocolate desserts. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American.(Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Sasa, 13120 Shaker Square, Cleveland, 216-767-1111, sasacleveland.com: A vast menu of mostly small plates featuring top-notch sushi, pan-Asian tapas and fun fusion cuisine like kimchee-topped lamb sliders, served up in a cool space with a capacious bar that dispenses the best sake selection in town.(Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Shuhei 23360 Chagrin Blvd.(Commerce Park), Beachwood; 216-464-1720, shuheirestaurant.com: Few Japanese restaurants in the region rival this landmark for classic raw fish art. Shuhei still packs ’em in, all day long, as it has for almost two decades in its tucked-away location in the back of an office building on Chagrin Boulevard. $$$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
SoHo Kitchen & Bar 1889 West 25th St., Cleveland, 216-298-9090, sohocleveland.com: Down-home Southern cooking gets some modern twists in the booming West Side Market District at this eatery. $$-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Southern. (Bob Migra, Special to cleveland.com)
Spice Kitchen & Bar, 5800 Detroit Ave. (Gordon Square), Cleveland, 216-961-9637, spicekitchenandbar.com: Chef/owner and chief locavore advocate Ben Bebenroth takes the best of what’s in the garden right now and makes it even better. There’s a lot to like on the menu, but try not to fall in love. What’s there today may not be around next week, or even tomorrow. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Farm to Table. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Square Bistro, 205 Main St., Chardon, 440-279-0101, square-bistro.com: This is a small place with big ambitions, bringing a needed fine dining anchor to the town’s village green. Filet mignon, steak, scallops, salmon, trout, chicken, duck, walleye and long-bone pork chops are among the selections, often with local connections. Expect a reasonable price for such a high culinary aim. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
The Standard, 779 East 185th St. (Collinwood), Cleveland, 216-531-9643, thestandardclevland.com: Outside, passers-by can check out what is arguably the best show on the block, an enormous picture window that looks into the busy kitchen from the street. Inside, the urban-chic environment features a big vintage bar, pressed tin ceilings, a few random crystal chandeliers, and some very fun food on many small plates and some large ones as well. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Bistro comfort food. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Stino da Napoli, 19070 Old Detroit Road, Rocky River, 440-331-3944, stinodanapoli.com: Classic and creative pastas (generally excellent sauces; the smoky Vesuvio is memorable) and interesting veal, chicken and tilapia dishes (especially a version that combines a beautifully sauteed filet with three perfect shrimp) populate Stino’s menu. A procession of specials are daily highlights. The chef’s version of Veal Marsala should be the template for all others. $$-$$$, no credit cards, cash or check only. Cuisine: Italian. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Superior Pho, 3030 Superior Ave. (rear entry off East 31st Street), Cleveland, 216-781-7462, superiorpho.com: A good pho — a fragrant, clear soup that makes use of freshly prepared meat broth, noodles and meats in various stages of cooking, plus all kinds of aromatic herbs, crunchy bean sprouts and zesty sauces — is a national dish of Vietnam. It’s primo here, in many versions. Fried rice and chicken and cabbage salads. $-$$. Most major credit cards. Cuisine: Vietnamese. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Sweet Melissa, 19337 Detroit Road, Rocky River; 440-333-6357, melissa-rriver.com: This easygoing space belies reliably delicious sandwiches, bountiful and imaginative entree salads and entrees. A good destination for vegetarians, and those seeking gluten-free fare. There’s no up-sell pressure but plenty of tasty choices (and really good desserts) $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Taki’s Greek Kitchen, 377 Lear Road, Avon Lake, 440-930-8888, takisgreekkitchen.com: Gyros are easy. There’s great pita-wrapped lamb in almost every part of town. But upscale Greek food in Cleveland is about as rare as Jason’s golden fleece. So you’ll feel like a happy heroic argonaut at Taki’s. The menu is replete with inspired updated Hellenic cuisine from the sea and the shore plus an intriguing Greek-centric wine list. $$-$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary Greek. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Thyme 2, 113 West Smith Road, Medina; 330-764-4114; thymetherestaurant.com. This restaurant sets a classy tone by serving an amuse-bouche – always a great start. The menu covers a range of tasty options, with a star being a half crispy boneless chicken with maple-glazed root vegetables, Yukon gold mashers and roasted chicken jus. Service is dependable. Work up an appetite and head down I-71 to this quaint square. $$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary. (Marc Bona, cleveland.com)
Toast, 1365 West 65th St., Cleveland (Gordon Square); 216-862-8974, toastcleveland.com: A wine bar with a venerable menu and seasonal specials that never disappoint, Toast is exactly that in Cleveland’s Gordon Square neighborhood. Chefs Joseph and Jennifer Horvath take local produce (including their own homegrown), products and handcrafted foods to the next level in an approach they call “revitalized farm fare.” At once quaint, contemporary and rustic, with a fortuitous wine and craft cocktail list. The menu packs a wallop across all avenues even the “Toasty” happy hour. $$-$$$. Major credit cards. Cuisine: Contemporary American. (Peter Chakerian, Special to cleveland.com)
TownHall, 1909 West 25th St, Cleveland, 216-344-9400, townhallohiocity.com: This casually chic West 25th Street destination in a restored warehouse with exposed brick walls and mod-metal tables lives up to its welcoming name. It’s a gathering place for young and old, a cutting edge restaurant and a trendy bar, a family-friendly and vegan-friendly eatery. The menu is wide ranging, from “Proper Plates” to rice and noodle bowls, to flatbreads, soups and salads, and handhelds (aka burgers and sandwiches). Whether it’s done with meat or vegetarian or vegan, it’s all non-GMO. (Laura DeMarco, The Plain Dealer)
Trentina, 1903 Ford Drive, Cleveland. 216-421-2900; restauranttrentina.com: Here is a kitchen that looks deeply — although not exclusively — into terroir, that French term for the unique results a local chef can craft from the local landscape. Jonathon Sawyer, his wife Amelia, and his staff are on it, with influence from Northern Italy and Germany on the plate that pose flavors so different, so challenging, many of them create a sense of wonder and contemplation. $$-$$$$; all major credit cards. Cuisine: New American. (Debbi Snook, The Plain Dealer)
Urban Farmer Steakhouse, 1325 East Sixth St. (in the Westin Cleveland Downtown Hotel). 216-771-7707; urbanfarmercleveland.com: Urban Farmer embraces the farm-to-table motif as its theme, and does it justice. Northeast Ohio farmers and artisan-food producers, along with livestock ranchers elsewhere, get prominent billing on the menu. Steaks are offered strictly a la carte; other meats and fish are paired with sides. (A separate list of sides are generally delicious.) Excellent cocktails, charcuterie and cheese service. $$$-$$$$, all major credit cards. Cuisine: Steakhouse. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Vero Pizzeria, 12421 Cedar Rd. (Cedar Fairmount), Cleveland Heights, 216-229-8383, verocleveland.com: Stylish, svelte and flash-baked in a 900 degree firewood oven, Vero’s pies raise the craft of Neapolitan pizza-making into a fine, and delicious, art. When the restaurant is full, the wait can be long, but there’s a variety of beautifully constructed meat and cheese boards, well-designed salads and veggie dishes to hold your interest. $$-$$$. Most major credit cards. Cuisine: Pizza, Contemporary Bistro. (Beth Segal, Special to cleveland.com)
Washington Place Bistro & Inn, 2203 Cornell Road, in Cleveland’s Little Italy, 216-791-6500, Bright, bold flavors with plenty of subtle touches are hallmarks of chef-owner Scott Kuhn’s style. Some of the standouts are humble-sounding dishes such as an excellent pot roast, shrimp-and-grits, and the wild mushroom meatloaf. The refurbished Baricelli Mansion (formerly the much loved Baricelli Inn) exudes sunny warm colors, lots of light and now sports a bar. $$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Contemporary American, bistro. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Wild Mango 362 Westfield Great Northern, North Olmsted, 440-979-1888; Consistently one of the finest Asian restaurants in the region. Sculpturally beautiful dishes produced by a chef from Beijing herald vivid flavors at this restaurant in Westfield Great Northern. $$$-$$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Asian, seafood. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Wonton Gourmet & BBQ, 3211 Payne Ave., Cleveland, 216-875-7000. New owners have maintained the near-landmark status Wonton Gourmet has earned. Step up into this narrow storefront off of Payne Avenue and you might easily imagine yourself in a food shop in Hong Kong. A destination for down-to-earth, “real” Chinese dishes. $-$$$, all major credit cards accepted. Cuisine: Chinese. (Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
XO Prime Steaks, 500 W. St. Clair Ave., Cleveland (Warehouse District); 216-861-1919; xoprimesteaks.com: Contemporary steakhouse offering USDA Prime cuts, including a fine Delmonico. Non-beef gourmet dishes and seafood are also available, including sushi roll. Also has a Pepper Pike location. $$$-$$$$. All major credit cards. Cuisine: Steakhouse. (David Farkas, Special to cleveland.com; updated by Joe Crea, cleveland.com)
Believe it or not, the list above barely scratches the surface! Do you have a favorite eatery or favorite food hot spot? Add it to the list below! I’m surprised some restaurants in or near Cleveland didn’t make the list including The Melt Bar and Grilled, Barrio, Angelo’s Pizza, B to B (in Lakewood, just east of Cleveland) Cleveland Vegan, Blue Point, Bomba, Texas De Brazil, Luchita’s, Slyman’s, Joe’s Deli, The Place To Be, Pickle Bills, Yardhouse, Michael Simon’s Mabel’s BBQ, Chocolate Bar, Flannery’s, just to name a few. Whew, that’s quite a list! Pop one of those places in your GPS and trust me, you won’t regret it…
As a Realtor in the Cleveland, Ohio area, I wanted to put together this list for the many newcomers to the area. A lot of people relocate to Northeast, Ohio for some of our unique job offerings and specialties like our medical centers, colleges, banks and national headquarters. This is a great list of places to eat, events to attend and must-see Cleveland hot spots.
Here’s what the fine folks on Facebook said were their favorite things to do in the summertime…
Amanda DeLauder I love that there’s a different event around Cleveland almost every weekend, but my favorite summer activity has to be getting ice cream from one of our many amazing ice cream shops…Mason’s, Mitchell’s, Ice Cream Joy, Scoops, Sweet Moses…best way to keep cool!
April Smith This is beautiful basket of stuff I would love to be able to win I never win anything. Being pregnant this would make me happy
Chanice James My favorite summer activity is doing different things around the city of Cleveland so that my children can have some understandings of different cultures
Tracey Dempsey Workman Bike Cleveland was always a great event. Getting to see all the great shops you may drive by never knowing what a treasure they are.
Rebecca Stein-Levet I’d have to say mine is pretty simple. I love to watch all my kids play together in the back yard! There is nothing like watching your kids enjoy good old fashioned backyard creativity!!
Linda Cooper going to edgewater and fishing with the fiancé and sons sometimes the granddaughters. we always take snacks cause we stay so long and the little one always want snacks…the candles would be great for all the bugs that are down there…we camp and do road trips through the metro parks…..always need snack for road trips…
Jenny Jen Ice cream at Edgewater with the family. Sitting on the rocks watching the boats, fishing, tossing the baseball, flying kites, feeding seagulls, and enjoying the sunshie n beautiful sunsets! ?????⚾⛵???
Raquel Alvarez Favorite activity in Northeast Ohio is enjoying any of the parks from lakewood park to the metro parks..Edgewater party days, rocky river dog park/beach , valley, cuyahoga valley..ect
Cathy Rospotynski Just enjoying the weather and cooking on the grill, driving through the parkway, walking through the neighborhood park or sleeping with the windows open.
Heather Lias Forsythe My favorite summer activities is taking advantage of all of the great Parks in our area and being able do it with my family without spending a lot of money
Stevie Ozanich 4th of july fireworks with my family, it’s also my 2nd born birthday he will be 8 this year
Melissa Kaufmann Love going to the Cleveland metro parks and walking with my 4,yr old and 4 months old twin boys its beautiful #loveCleveland
Joie Fugate I love bike riding down to the beach with my kids a new summer adventure for us and we’re loving it!!!!
Mary Sneed Indians game in the summer, cookouts with friends and family, checking out the hotspots in Cleveland. Love my city <3
Megan Therese Enjoying the valley spending time with friends, family and our pup eating good food and drinking delicious drinks
Joseph Pritt Favorite activity in summer is bicycling with family and friends
Valerie King Favorite activity in summer bbq in metroparks with family and friends.
Valerie Taylor One of my favorite things that I enjoy doing in Cleveland is going on the Goodtime dance cruise.
Tara Hayes I love to go to any festival that our city has. Its the one place u can go where u see everyone having a good time.
Jessica Marie Favorite summer activities are getting all of our family and friends to enjoy picnics and cook outs..nothing beats family time and great weather to enjoy them all
Chris Blocker Goodtime and boating. friends have jetskis. cultural festivals. indians games. summer nightlife.
Kelly McGinty Supek Favorite summertime activity is hanging out with the family either cooking out or fishing or boyh
Sharon Smith Not sure if this one counts but I love the feast of the assumption in little Italy and pizza Fest
Sherry Thomason This is pretty cool. Wish I lived within 30 minutes of Cleveland, for just a day! haha
Carla Steele Carnivals, festivals, sunny days, cold drinks and fireworks.
Al N Jennie Porter I love taking my daughter swimming at my parents house.
Stacy Huddleston 4th of July weekend
Chera Rovny Bonfires, camping & cookouts! 🙂
Michelle Lee Just have fun w the kiddos!!! Love the carnivals !!!
Lemonia V Kowalski Edgewater Live Concerts ??
Angel Marie Victor West Side Market is my favorite summer activity
Rhonda Dozier-gillenwater Happy 4th July
Kimberly Bentley Running thru our beautiful metroparks !!
Tana Fry Yoga on the lake
Todd Frish A great day at cedar point with the family!
Jessica D’Ettorre Sitting in the pool with adult beverages?
Amanda DeLauder YES!
Carmen Feliciano Caminata en el lagos con los niños,See Translation
Chelsie McCray Dotson Edge water
Windy Heckathorne Favorite activity is swimming with my kids
Maximum Title & Escrow Services, Inc. Taking in a Tribe Game!
Lisa M Booher Thomas Booher. We sure would love to win
Adam Lipscomb My favorite thig to do in Cleveland. During the summer is to ..take advantage of the warm weather. .and go to edge water park ..swim and watch fireworks. ..and enjoy the view of the city ..#216WeTheChamps.
Lisa Armbruster My favorite summer activity is hitting a CLE Indians game, GO TRIBE GO! ❤️?, exploring dowtown CLE, the shops of Lakewood, hitting pubs, restaurants, or 4th St. with our friends & family on nights out; or to be honest as of recently– celebrating our CLEVELAND CAVALIERS CHAMPIONSHIP WIN BABBBYYY! ????❤️?? #ALLIN216
Vanessa Wakut Cleveland we are the Champions! Check out our home teams give a winning performance at any arena or stadium in downtown Cleveland! Try your own luck and win big at Jack Casino Cleveland! Enjoy live Entertainment at the Nautica pavilion, take a tour…See More
Joshua N Kelly Petruna My kids love Cedar Point and the zoo! A zoo membership makes going super affordable and we can go when it’s sunny out or even visit the Rainforest for a few hours if the weather isn’t cooperating. Cedar Point can be pricey, but there are tons of discounts out there and they’ve made lots of improvements to accommodate small kids.
Lisa Torres Great Basket !! Having 35 friends & family over for a kareoki party were gonna sing eat great food watch the fire works and eat & sing some more.
Bridget Johnson My favorite summer activity is taking the kids to the therapeutic horseback riding festival in the Cleveland metropolis. $5 pony rides, shows, kids stick pony races all for such an amazing cause we have gone every year for the past 20+ years!
Tara Roy, Realty of Maine Love reading about local fun summer activities. I need to plan a visit to your area Cleveland Ohio Real Estate – Re/Max – Youshouldown.com!
-4th of July festivals with Fireworks (this weekend)
-Art Festival including Lakewood Arts Fest…See More