It all started with two slices of bread and a fistful of cheese, but Melt has mushroomed into a nationally recognized brand. That has happened for a number of reasons, beginning, of course, with the fact that grilled cheese is pretty much the ideal form of comfort food. But if we didn't have so much damned fun at Melt while eating those corpulent fist-fillers, we wouldn't be planning our return before we even managed to depart. From the wacky-ass memorabilia to the stellar craft beer list to the illustrated staff, Melt is like a three-ring circus disguised as a restaurant (but without the terrifying clowns). Founder Matt Fish has built an empire of fun, accessible and affordable sandwich shops where kids and adults can actually agree. For that he deserves a Nobel Prize, not a crappy Best of Cleveland.
Multiple locations, meltbarandgrilled.com. Staff Pick: Cleveland Pickle