Cleveland’s culinary scene blends influences from the more than 100 diverse ethnicities found throughout the city with traditional cooking techniques as well as modern twists. Nationally recognized and award-winning chefs create deliciously memorable experiences that bring visitors back for seconds.
New and Noteworthy
James Beard‐nominated chef Jill Vedaa and business partner Jessica Parkison of Salt+
fame added Poppy
to their growing restaurant group in March 2023. Guests can enjoy lunch and dinner while dining in a turn-of-the-century Craftsman-style home or on the expansive garden patio.
Juneberry Table and Pearl Street Wine Market & Café.
Acclaimed chef Karen Small opened two new restaurants in 2022: Juneberry Table
, a contemporary urban diner with an Appalachian-inspired breakfast and lunch menu, and the European-inspired bistro Pearl Street Wine Market & Café
With a menu of sharable “modern Grandma” cuisine highlighting in-house butchering, fermentation and curing, Cordelia
joined the culinary offerings of Downtown Cleveland’s East 4th
Street in July 2022.
Recognized chef Doug Katz’s Indian fusion ghost kitchen, Amba
, became a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in May 2022. Adjoining Amba is A Bar, where visitors can enjoy cocktails in a casual, lounge-style atmosphere.
Wolf Pack Chorus.
Chef Chris Wolf and partner Katie Wolf opened their modern brasserie
in February 2023 inside a historic carriage house in Little Italy, blending the styles of a neighborhood trattoria with an upscale special-occasion restaurant.
Chef Josh Admon relocated his family from Jerusalem to Cleveland Heights to open neighborhood bagel shop and bakery Nubeigel
in July 2022. Admon’s fresh-baked bagel flavors of plain, salt, sesame and mish-mosh are paired with schmears, lox, fish salads and vegan spreads.
A Cleveland-creation, a Polish Boy consists of kielbasa sausage placed in a bun and covered with French fries, coleslaw and barbecue sauce or hot sauce. For a taste of this unusual, yet oh-so-good native sandwich, visitors can stop by Beckham’s B&M Bar-B-Que
and Whitmore’s BBQ
. At Mabel’s BBQ
, the addition of pulled pork creates the Polish Girl variation.
Savory, salty sandwiches piled high with brisket are a local favorite, served at notable spots like Slyman’s
, which claims to have the best and biggest corned beef sandwiches, Corky & Lenny’s
, Mr. Brisket
and Flannery’s Pub
These pillowy Eastern European dumplings are prominent on menus throughout The Land. There’s no shortage of traditional pierogi
to try, along with riffs like the Parmageddon gourmet grilled cheese sandwich at Melt Bar & Grilled
, pierogi poutine at Rowley Inn
and pierogi pizzas at Pizza 216
and P.Jays Pizza
Visitors catching a professional sports game in The Land will quickly notice a local favorite, ballpark mustard
, as a staple offering. The spicy brown mustard was introduced at baseball games in the 1930s and grew into a local fixture. Famed chef Michael Symon even created a BBQ sauce featuring the ubiquitous condiment.
West Side Market
. The more than 100-year-old West Side Market
is one of the first indoor public markets in the country. The subway-tiled, barrel-vaulted concourse is home to a variety of food stands, many of which have been family-operated for generations.
Cleveland native and James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Symon brought Cleveland’s food scene to the national spotlight. Today, Symon operates B Spot Burger
and Mabel’s BBQ
Chef Zack Bruell is known for his fusion cuisine and ability to cook a wide variety of styles. He shows off his mastery at French brasserie L’Albatros
and contemporary, global restaurant Table 45.
James Beard-nominated chef Doug Katz showcases his expertise at Amba, a stylish Indian fusion small plates restaurant, and Zhug
, which features Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors and was named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America”
by Esquire magazine in 2020.
A pioneer of the local food movement and farm-to-table before it was trendy, James Beard-nominated chef Karen Small highlights fresh and refined dishes at Juneberry Table
and Pearl Street Wine Market & Café
Two-time James Beard semifinalist chef Jill Vedaa brings small plates to the forefront at the nationally recognized Salt+
restaurant. She opened Poppy
in March 2023, a revamp of a longstanding neighborhood restaurant in a restored Craftsman-style home.
Known for his innovative work in foraging and fermentation, Jeremy Umansky opened Larder Delicatessen and Bakery
– a James Beard semi-finalist – in the historic Ohio City Firehouse. The modern take on an old-world delicatessen offers house-made breads, pastries, koji-cured pastrami and root beer fermented in-house.
With experience working at Nobu/Milan and restaurants in Italy, France and England, chef Dante Boccuzzi mastered his craft abroad before returning to his hometown. Twice nominated for a James Beard Rising Star Chef Award and awarded a Michelin Star, Dante now operates multiple restaurants in the Cleveland area, including Japanese fusion at Goma
, modern American restaurant DANTE
, underground sushi spot Ginko
and live music venue CODA
A few blocks east of Downtown, visitors will find the bustling markets and restaurants of AsiaTown
. A beacon for foodies, restaurants and shops offer savory dumplings, spicy Szechuan dishes and sweet and chewy Hong Kong waffles. Popular destinations are Li Wah
for dim sum, Superior Pho
for warming bowls of the namesake dish, Ball Ball Waffle
for dessert treats and Koko Bakery
for steamed buns, green tea mousse and Japanese style cheesecake.
The hip and hungry can seek out the latest bistros and bars in the Detroit Shoreway
neighborhood. The theaters and stages of the Gordon Square Arts district are joined by eclectic restaurants such as Il Rione Pizzeria
, Ninja City Urban Asian Cuisine
and Astoria Café & Market
. For a sweet treat, Brewnuts
offers the delicious combination of fresh doughnuts made with local craft beer.
The Little Italy
neighborhood is known for its family-owned restaurants and bakeries, intimate art galleries and a Feast of the Assumption celebration that fills the streets with music, food and wine. Visitors can dive into sprawling pizzas at Mamma Santa’s
, classic dishes at Guarino’s
and contemporary Italian at Mia Bella
and La Dolce Vita
. Saving room for cannoli at Presti’s Bakery
or cassata cake at Corbo’s Bakery
is a must.
One of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods, Ohio City
is located just across the Cuyahoga River from Downtown. Known as the unofficial brewery district, it is a craft beer lover’s paradise with Great Lakes Brewing Co.
starting the trend in 1988. The area is home to the historic West Side Market, one of the country’s largest urban farms
and diverse eateries like Larder Delicatessen and Bakery
, modern Mexican at Momocho
, Mediterranean flavors and natural wines at Alea
and the headquarter kitchen for Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream
With a blue collar legacy, the Tremont
neighborhood features onion-domed churches, remarkable downtown views, independent artists’ galleries, award-winning restaurants, laidback pubs and boutique shops. One of the city’s original foodie hot spots, visitors can enjoy a leisurely brunch at Lucky’s Cafe
or Grumpy’s Café
, fine dining at Dante
or visit neighborhood fixtures like Prosperity Social Club
, The South Side
and Fat Cats