On the Menu

June 23, 2015
On the Menu

Craft beer, award-winning chefs, food trucks - it’s time to dine in Cleveland

Jason Freed


Great chefs continue to open new restaurants. More than 100 new bistros, grills, and greasy spoons have opened in Greater Cleveland over the past three years - most of which are locally owned and operated. A new convention center complex has new restaurants popping up within walking distance. Today, there are more than 80 eateries in Downtown Cleveland, from a true farm-to-table steakhouse near the lake, Urban Farmer, to Chinato's upscale Italian dining on quaint East 4th Street.


One year after opening his first restaurant in 1997, Michael Symon was named one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine. Nearly 10 area restaurants later, Symon notched the coveted James Beard Foundation Award in 2009. Symon paved the way for a number of award-winning Cleveland successors, including Chris Hodgson (Hodge's), named Food & Wine's Best New Chef, and Jonathon Sawyer (The Greenhouse Tavern), a finalist for the Best Chef Beard award.


Great food always pairs well with great beer. The neighborhood of Ohio City recently added two handspun craft breweries, bringing its growing list to five, including famed Great Lakes Brewing Co. Brewers are spreading like hop vines in downtown too, with establishments like Cleveland Brewery, Butcher and the Brewer, Brick and Barrel, and Goldhorn Brewery either open or near opening. Perhaps the biggest opening is Hofbräuhaus, a 1,700-seat restaurant and beer garden behind Playhouse Square's theaters.


For those on a tighter schedule, street food in Cleveland has taken on a whole new meaning. Food trucks serving gourmet fare, from smoked barbecue to organic tacos, can be found throughout the city. More than 20 trucks gather for Walnut Wednesdays from May through September, and the rest of the week you can find them camped out at destinations like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, near Public Square, or Crocker Park in Westlake.


Plan an event during our annual fests to get a true taste of Cleveland.

The Taste of Tremont (July) is a giant party with food, libations, and live music that flaunts the uniqueness of this revitalized neighborhood.

Italian foods are showcased at the Feast of The Assumption in Little Italy (August), where the streets give way to a collection of booths from resident restaurants.

Cleveland Beer Week (October) celebrates the craft culture with keg tappings and beer tastings from the best brewers across the city.

Sheer size sets apart the Fabulous Food Show featuring the International BeerFest (November), which showcases nearly 500 exhibitors in a 400,000-square-foot space.

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