After spending the day jamming at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, appreciating some of the astounding exhibits at the Cleveland Museum of Art, or hiking the trails of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you’ve undoubtedly worked up an appetite! Now, you’re wondering where to eat in Cleveland. Luckily for you, this Midwestern city has so many amazing places to eat!
From celebrity Chef Michael Symon’s casual BBQ joint to mouth-watering locals-only pub fare, Cleveland is full of tantalizing meals! So come hungry and leave happy, because the perfect meal is waiting for you here.
Top 15 Best Cleveland Restaurants
Upscale Restaurants in Cleveland
Cleveland is home to amazing chefs like Dante Boccuzzi, and that means there are more than a few delightfully refreshing and innovative moves to enjoy in the city’s fine dining scene. Here are a few of my favorites!
2801 Bridge Ave. // +1 216-862-7551
Located in Ohio City, Cleveland’s historic and popular neighborhood just west of downtown, The Black Pig is where farm-to-table meets upscale, European-inspired cuisine.
With a menu that changes often based on what’s available and in-season, Chef Michael Nowak keeps it fresh with delicate seafood, tender duck, and the most mouth-watering pork shoulder you’ll ever taste. Don’t bother using a knife, it’ll fall right off the bone. And, it’ll be perfect every time. We should know… we’ve ordered it a lot.
Combine that with one of this place’s famous cocktails, and your night will be off to the perfect start.
2058 E 4th St. // +1 216-621-5652
This is 100% the best restaurant in downtown Cleveland. Why? Two words: bone marrow.
What?! I know that sounds weird, but it is so good!
Leave it to Chef Michael Symon to come up with amazing dishes like beef-cheek pierogi, perfectly cooked sea scallops with kale, Parmesan, and white beans, and a decadent ending with a deconstructed “Lola S’more.” We’re talking bourbon marshmallow, graham cracker ice cream, and dark chocolate ganache. It’s not your childhood s’more!
Pair this with a selection from their extensive wine menu, and you’re set with a perfect date night spot.
2247 Professor Ave Suite C. // +1 216-274-1200
I wouldn’t call all chefs artists, but at Dante, Chef Dante Boccuzzi combines his love of music and food with harmonious pairings like Hawaiian tuna tartare with poached egg, olive caper remoulade, and a crisp potato nest.
But, the best thing to order here (and maybe all of Cleveland) is the tasting menu. The 5-course tasting menu is a bit of a splurge, but trust Dante’s instincts. You’ll be amazed at what he comes up with.
We’ve ordered the tasting menu a few times, and every single time we’ve been served new and exciting dishes like squid-ink pasta, delicious white salmon over a creamy cauliflower sauce, and the most decadent chocolate cake I’ve ever tasted. Opt for the wine pairings. It’s worth the heavy-handed pour that goes with each dish!
Cheap Eats in Cleveland
While there are plenty of fine-dining establishments in Cleveland, sometimes, you just want a cool restaurant that is cheap and fun. These restaurants will satisfy that desire!
5801 Detroit Ave. // +1 216-651-9474
As far as dives go, Happy Dog is the best by far. While it doesn’t look like much on the outside, when you enter, you’ll notice the huge bar in the middle of the restaurant, a barely-put-together stage, and loads of old booths and tables that clearly haven’t been replaced since the 1970s.
While this place may look like a scene from Cheers, it is the best spot to order one of the many beers on tap. If you’re hungry, take a pencil and menu and custom-order your dream hot dog. The possibilities are endless! Think all-beef hotdogs with Spaghetti-O’s, fried egg, and sriracha ranch.
My favorite is the vegan dog with garlic aioli, garlicky escarole, chunky peanut butter, feta, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Trust me on this one: it’s AMAZING!
Order it with tots and a few of their countless sauces, like Japanese yum-yum, chipotle ketchup, buffalo wing sauce, and more!
1404 W 29th St. // +1 216-206-7699
If there’s one place on this list that’s well known by locals, it’s Jukebox. While many flock to West 25th Street for great eats (it’s where the majority of Ohio City’s restaurants are located) those in the know head to Jukebox.
A staple in the Hingetown part of Ohio City, it is the place for perogies. Pan-fried and filled with plenty of different things, these are the best in the city. Try the traditional potato and cheese, or get buffalo chickpea, potato and bacon, even spicy chicken. Thank me later.
Pro-tip: this is also the best spot for late night pizza bagels and ramen!
3030 Superior Ave #105 // +1 216-781-7462
While Asia Town on the east side of Cleveland has many delicious locations, Superior Pho is the best place to go.
Though it’s a bit hard to find inside a shopping complex, this restaurant is known for cheap bowls of that amazing and delicious soup we all know and love: pho.
Order some pho, classic banh mi, or a hefty bowl of bun cha complete with tender pork and silky rice noodles. While it may cost more than in Vietnam, it’s definitely cheap for Cleveland!
Best Pizza in Cleveland
While here in Cleveland, I’ve made it my quest to find and eat the best pizza in Cleveland. And, I certainly have come close to eating at almost all of the pizza joints around town. Looking for pizza? This is where to go.
13715 Madison Ave. // +1 216-221-0440
For a thick, chewy crust and endless options, Angelo’s Pizza in Lakewood is where you need to go.
Feel free to customize everything or order from their unique offerings. Of course, they have the traditional cheese, pepperoni, and margherita pizzas, but jump for some off-the-wall ones, like their seafood pizza with lobster cream sauce, shrimp, crab meat, and spinach, or baked potato pizza with onion, bacon, potatoes, butter, and lots of cheese.
2365 Professor Ave. // +1 216-298-4484
If you’re craving a perfect, extra-cheesy, large pizza-by-the-slice with a ridonkulous amount of pepperoni, go to Edison’s.
Hands down, this place has the best formula for both sauce AND crust. Both are the key components for the perfect slice. So spend a night out at Edison’s Pub, maybe play trivia, and enjoy that amazing slice of the heaven known as their pizza.
1303 W 65th St. // +1 216-282-1451
One of the best new restaurants in Cleveland, this little pizzeria is tucked away on the west side of Cleveland. With a romantic ambiance, perfec, brick-oven barely charred and perfectly cooked crust, and fresh, authentic ingredients like sliced mozzarella and basil, this place will transport you to Italy in one bite.
Prepare for a bit of a wait here, and maybe grab a pint at Stone Mad Pub across the street before your meal!
Best Casual Restaurants in Cleveland
If you’re looking for sit-down but casual eats, these are the places for you.
1835 Fulton Rd. // +1 216-694-2122
Known for its modern take on Mexican food, Momocho serves up delicious cuisine.
Of course, they have great tacos and tostadas, but the absolute must here is the guacamole sampler and margarita flight. Make sure to include the crab guacamole and red bell pepper margarita in your samplings!
2050 E 4th St. // +1 216-417-8823
Located on the hip and trendy East 4th Street downtown, Mabel’s is Chef Michael Symon’s take on “Cleveland BBQ.” Not sure what that is? Well, think kielbasa, brisket, and smoked turkey. And that combination makes perfect sense!
Grab some cracklin’ with your meat and down it with a glass from their whisky menu.
12718 Larchmere Blvd. // +1 216-938-9301
Start with a welcome shot of tequila served in a lime prior to finding a seat in this eclectic and, at times, rowdy restaurant. Then, prepare to feast on some scrumptious Colombian cuisine.
Arepas are the name of the game here. Their menu stuffs the delicious corn cakes with all kinds of meats and cheeses. Get the cheesy corn queso as an appetizer and be sure to add yuca fries to your hot and tasty arepa.
Best Bars & Restaurants in Cleveland
Looking for a great pint of beer or glass of wine to wash down a fantastic dinner? Look no further than these amazing restaurants.
2516 Market Ave. // +1 216-771-4404
Great Lakes Brewing Company is a Cleveland staple. One of Cleveland’s oldest operating breweries, they actually started the trend of breweries in Ohio City! Fun fact: there are now close to 10 breweries just in this neighborhood alone!
But, aside from making some of Cleveland’s best and most famous brews, like Dortmunder Gold Lager, Burning River IPA, and Great Lakes Christmas Ale, they also serve up some pretty tasty pub fare.
Start with the potato kegs (giant tater tots with cheese inside). Then, check out their burgers and fish and chips with Edmund Fitzgerald Porter batter.
5417 Detroit Ave. // +1 216-266-0834
This café and market is perfect for casual drinks and small plates. Choose a drink from their giant wine and beer menu, then peruse the many shareable dishes, including meat and cheese boards, Greek classic dishes like saganaki and hummus, and even octopus alla Karvouna and duck confit.
Grab a few small plates, get cozy, and sip some wine as you chat and catch up with friends.
7320 Detroit Ave. // +1 216-801-0305
Banter Beer and Wine has delicious beers and sometimes hard-to-find wines from around the world. But, this wine bar isn’t like the others. It apirs its impressive wine selection with none other than…poutine?
Yes it does! And it may be the most genius combination ever. Get the classic and always-tasty fries, gravy, and cheese curd poutine, or try something new! Their interesting concoctions include the pogo (fries, corndog, slaw, mustard, ketchup, cheese curds, and gravy) or chicken paprikash (fries, smoked chicken, spaetzle, cheese curds, and crème fraîche).
With so many more amazing places we didn’t even mention here, Cleveland is truly a foodie’s paradise. From classic fare to cuisine from around the world, the Cleveland food scene has a way of taking something and making it its own. So, what are you waiting for? Your next great meal is waiting!
Kat is the founder of World Wide Honeymoon—a blog about couples travel. She is a travel hacking addict who is passionate about helping other couples experience the world through travel and getting there for less (and maybe in a little luxury). In her spare time, she enjoys running half-marathons, listening to podcasts, and taking too many photos of her cat, Professor. You can follow her on social media here: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.