If Cleveland’s culinary biz had a “Lilith Fair,” there would be no shortage of women taking the stage. With a focus on fresh, local ingredients, bold flavors, and creativity, these women are rock stars at their craft.
Up and at ‘em types know the importance of solid breakfast offerings can’t be overstated. Watch as they assemble in real-time each day outside Lucky’s Café in Tremont—where lines form 30 minutes before the doors open for Heather Haviland’s biscuits and gravy, decadent waffles, and, of course, the pecan-crusted bacon.
Dedicated fans are also flocking to the new Juneberry Table, a cheery spot serving up hyper-local dishes by chef Karen Small in the former Jack Flaps space on Lorain Avenue in Ohio City. It’s an in-and-out kind of place, where regulars pop in for a counter coffee to scroll through emails and the perfect start of a day of exploration.
Speaking of lines, if you see one outside the Vegan Doughnut Company store in Lakewood, jump on in! Sisters Kharisma and Kyra Mayo whip up whimsical offerings like cookies-and-cream and raspberry lemonade. (For purists, there are Boston cream and glazed twists.)
On the Healthy Tip
And that’s just scratching the surface of the plant-based offerings around CLE. Laura Ross has made Cleveland Vegan the go-to spot for organic, hearty scratch-made favorites and off-the-hook bakery goods. Going well beyond the requisite beans and tofu, she’s reimagined regional favorites and craveable snacks that even meat-eaters enjoy.
For raw food and juices, Cleveland’s pro athletes turn to Anna Harouvis, and so can you. Take five and fuel up at Anna in the Raw Café for organic, non-GMO snacks, smoothies, and a dose of positivity from Harouvis herself.
Craving Latin-American flavors? Laurie Torres welcomes you to Mallorca—Cleveland’s only Spanish and Portuguese restaurant. (It’s been around for 25 years for a reason.) If a Mediterranean vacation isn’t in the cards, this spirited seafood-centric spot will tide you over in the most delicious way.
Locals also love Kiwi Wongpeng’s Thai Thai, where she shares the flavor-intense Bangkok street food of her homeland and some playful pop-up offerings. Case in point: unicorn bubble tea, a multi-colored concoction that’s perfect for the ‘gram.
Continue the culinary exploration at Empress Taytu, Cleveland’s longest-running Ethiopian restaurant founded by Senait Robeson. Communal dining and sharing are part of the experience. No cutlery here—the saucy dishes are scooped with injera bread, not a fork or spoon.
Jill Vedaa and Jessica Parkison make big things happen on small plates at Salt. Between Vedaa’s long list of culinary accolades and Parkison’s front-of-house hospitality and cocktail prowess, insiders know that early reservations are a good idea. (And now you do, too!)
Meat-eaters likely know the name Melissa Khoury of Saucisson. Known as the “Lady Butcher,” Khoury is a whole animal artisan butcher and an ardent champion of local farms and sustainability. (Even Oprah’s a fan, having featured Khoury in the Winter 2021 edition of her magazine.) Expand your cooking prowess with Khoury’s guidance and check out the selection of locally-made products inside the shop.
For the sweetest encore, head to Fear’s Confections. Owner and chocolatier Cassandra Fear created her whimsical candy shop with a nod to pop culture. Load up on decadent treats like lacquered bacon, sponge candy, truffles, and other creative oddities from Fear’s imagination.