Fabulous Foodie Spots Around NEO

Cleveland has earned a national reputation as a fabulous city for foodies. But in a town with so many amazing restaurant options, it can be tough to know where to begin. So, here’s a bird’s eye view of where you need to go to get a true taste of Northeast Ohio.

Celebrity (and Celebrated) Chefs

Cleveland’s booming restaurant scene is founded on a bedrock of some famous and celebrated chefs.

Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro is located in the heart of East 4th Street, a neighborhood not to be missed in visiting Cleveland. The menu is high-end, but accessible, with seafood, steak, and pork. Don’t miss the beef cheek pierogi, a foodie take on a Cleveland classic dish.

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Mabel’s BBQ is the latest Michael Symon addition to East 4th Street, making Cleveland-style barbecue the new hot style. Don’t miss the giant beef rib with pastrami spices.

Michael Symon’s B Spot offers delicious burgers and sausages in a casual atmosphere, with multiple locations around the Cleveland area. Don’t miss any of the burgers that have won Best Burger Award at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

The Greenhouse Tavern is the first and flagship restaurant from Cleveland-native and James Beard-award winning Chef Jonathon Sawyer. The menu is inventive and playful and inspired. Don’t miss the crispy chicken wing confit, which will reinvent what you think about wings.

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Noodlecat, also from Jonathon Sawyer, is a ramen and steam buns mecca. Don’t miss the fried chicken ramen, for a bowl of spicy deliciousness!

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Trentina is Jonathon Sawyer’s Italian-inspired restaurant that utilizes a woodfired oven with amazing precision in many dishes. You can enjoy the inventive tasting menu or order a la carte. Don’t miss the table bread, which is chewy and delicious and served with a beef suet candle that melts to edible oil as you enjoy.

Dante Tremont is the flagship of Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s dining group. Located in a gorgeous former bank building in Tremont, the food and the atmosphere are the height of elegance. Don’t miss any of the specialty polenta dishes, which are creamy perfection.

Ginko Tremont is also from Dante Boccuzzi and has the most delicious, melt-in-your-mouth sushi you’ll find in Cleveland. Don’t miss the spicy scallop chips, served on top of Pringles: little bites of amazing!

Hodge’s Cleveland takes the concept of one of Cleveland’s most popular food trucks (which was featured on Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race)and turns it into a restaurant featuring haute comfort food. Don’t miss the shrimp and grits!

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Ethnic Institutions

Cleveland honors the various ethnic backgrounds that make up this city in many ways, including great restaurants.

Sokolowski’s University Inn is Cleveland’s oldest family-run restaurant, which will fill your belly and your heart with Eastern European cuisine. Don’t miss the pierogi, a Cleveland staple!

Mama Santa’s dishes up generous portions of Italian classics. While Cleveland’s Little Italy is filled with fantastic options, this place is one of the most classic of the bunch. Don’t miss the pizza, which is delicious perfection.

Superior Pho dishes up bowls of award-winning Vietnamese pho and is a must-stop among the many restaurants in Asiatown. Don’t miss the banh mi.

Can’t-Miss Classics

Fahrenheit Cleveland is one of the original restaurants in the rebirth of Tremont and has been consistently been putting out amazing food. Don’t miss the Kobe beef short ribs that literally melt in your mouth.

Pier W consistently wins awards for “Most Romantic,” “Best View,” and “Best Seafood” in town. The food and the service are always top notch, making for an entire experience, not just a meal. Don’t miss the iced seafood tower, which features the highest quality seafood.

Johnny’s Downtown makes you feel a bit like a member of the Rat Pack when you step in, with a menu that features elevated Italian favorites. Don’t miss the bone-in veal chop.

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Hopefully this gives you a good place to start in your culinary exploration of one of the best food cities in the country!

Jen Rome
Jen Rome

Jen Rome is the author of Why CLE?, a lifestyle blog that is continually providing readers with new answers to why living in Cleveland is so wonderful.

Jen is a born and raise Clevelander who has lived in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado, but always come back home by choice, not by chance.