In Cleveland, we’ve got world-class experiences without the world-class ego. And for that, you’re welcome.
Here in Cleveland, we’ve got beef cheek in our pierogi, truffles on our hot dogs and beer in our donuts. Balance.
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People from all over the world have made their home here in Cleveland, each putting their own stamp on the city. Want to get in on the authenticity? Head to Cleveland’s AsiaTown, just a few blocks east of Downtown.
The story starts back in the 1860s when Chinese immigrants began settling in Cleveland. Many of these folks were railroad workers escaping anti-Chinese sentiment on the West Coast. As their numbers grew (especially after the rise of communism in China), the area around Rockwell and East 22nd streets became Cleveland’s first Chinatown and subsequently filled with restaurants and other businesses.
Cleveland’s Korean and Vietnamese populations similarly grew in the second half of the 20th century, as many were refugees of political and military conflicts in their home countries. They, too, began to settle in and around Chinatown. As their communities and businesses grew, what is now AsiaTown expanded east to where it now sits between East 30th and East 40th street. It’s home to people of Thai and Taiwanese heritages, as well.
Listen, we could go on and on about the resilient people you’ll meet, amazing food you’ll eat and the fabulous shopping you can expect in AsiaTown. But words won’t do it justice. Check out just a few of the things we love about AsiaTown. We bet you’ll fall in love with it, too.
Image © Nathan Migal
You really can’t go wrong with any of the food in AsiaTown, but Li Wah is special. Indulge in Dim Sum dishes like steamed buns, dumplings and more, not to mention authentic Chinese dishes like Peking Duck and Salt Baked Squid.
Swing by one of the neighborhood’s many Asian grocery stores so you can bring home a little piece of AsiaTown to cook up in your own kitchen. Foodies love the grocery options like the impressive Asia Food Co., Park to Shop (pictured), Tink Holl, Good Harvest Market, Kim’s Oriental Market and Kim’s Oriental Food. After you’ve filled your cart, reward your hard work with a cool milk tea.
Asia Plaza and Asian Town Center are indoor shopping meccas offering silk dresses, jewelry, collectibles and even Asian herbal remedies. It’s hard to walk through the myriad of retail shops without standing in awe of the eccentric swords and real-life nunchucks lining the walls or admiring the countless jade figurines and brass buddha bellies. Just don’t leave without waving goodbye to the lucky cats.
Image © Instagram.com/krngirleats
A good bakery can make a neighborhood, and AsiaTown hit the jackpot with Koko Bakery. Steamed buns are a specialty, featuring sweet and savory flavors, as well as other desserts like Green Tea Mousse and Japanese style cheesecake. No, you’re drooling.
Image © Instagram.com/jopanese
Tucked inside Asia Plaza, Ball Ball Waffle brings the Honk Kong bubble waffle to Cleveland. Whether you choose sweet chocolate or savory cheese, these warm bits of deliciousness may look like bubble wrap, but we can assure you they taste like heaven.
Image © Instagram.com/furiious007
A relatively new addition, Galaxy KTV has quickly become a crowd favorite. Grab a microphone in one of their 15 private karaoke rooms, or grab the one on stage in the lounge and sing songs in a variety of languages.
Image © Instagram.com/day_glow_raven
You can’t walk very far in AsiaTown without seeing a gorgeous piece of art. From the colorfully painted animals representing the Chinese zodiac, to Negative Space art gallery in Asian Town, there’s plenty of beauty and creativity on display.
Image © Instagram.com/bel.eat.land
In a town that celebrates the pierogi as much as we do, did you really think we’d neglect its Asian cousin? There are dumplings aplenty served throughout AsiaTown, but the soup dumplings at LJ Shanghai are definitely worth a try.
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A battle rages among Clevelanders as to whose pho reigns supreme. The aptly named #1 Pho and Superior Pho both elevate the Vietnamese noodle soup to a true art form, revealing the clear winner: all of us.
Image © Instagram.com/eateabee
Can’t you already hear the sizzling of steak on the grill? That’s what Korean barbeque is all about. Grab a table with a group of friends at AsiaTown faves like Rising Grill Korean BBQ or Miega Korean Barbeque for mouth-watering Korean fried chicken, pork belly and duck scallion.
The heart of Cleveland's Chinatown. The complex consists of 20 tenants providing a variety of retail, dining, and services and host to many events....
Asian Town Center is home to a Full Service Supermarket, Authentic Asian Restaurants, a Beauty Supply and Showroom, Herbal store, and offices like the...
Tucked away in Cleveland’s bustling Asia Town sits a Vietnamese restaurant that’s earned massive popularity thanks to its following of celebrity chefs...