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Stroll along Mayfield Road in Little Italy and you'll pass by restaurant after restaurant after restaurant. Sure, most of them serve Italian food, but that doesn't mean they're all the same. Primo Vino (12511 Mayfield Rd., 216-229-3334) has been here since time immemorial. From the quirky basement layout to the menu of Italian chestnuts, this place is a Cleveland institution that warrants a visit. We recommend dropping in for a glass of vino and stuffed sweet peppers.
The charming Mia Bella (12200 Mayfield Rd., 216-795-2355, miabellacleveland.com), tucked into a stately corner perch, has a way with gnocchi. Their pairs the pillowy potato dumplings with kalamata olives, onion, peppers, tomatoes, shallots and roasted garlic.
Survey a dozen locals about their favorite pizza and more than half will say Mamma Santa’s (12305 Mayfield Rd., 216-421-2159, mamasantas.com). If you've never tried it, dig into a slice of the small pizza with pepperoni and pepperoncini; it's a great first stop.
Veer off Mayfield Road to find Michaelangelo’s (2198 Murray Hill, 216-721-0300, mangelos.com), a well appointed restaurant that offers very different feel from others on the main drag. We adore the aragosta con capesante e burro di tartufo – also known as a lobster and scallop martini with cognac and truffle honey butter.
Cannoli. End of story. Hit up Corbo’s Bakery (12200 Mayfield Road, 216-421-8181) for a taste of a true Italian classic. Grab some to go while you're at it.
You can’t really call the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood up and coming anymore. It’s here, with enough restaurants and entertainment options to keep just about anybody happy and well-fed.
For a little taste of Puerto Rican, hit the loveable and family-run Rincon Crillo (6504 Detroit Ave., 216-939-0992), where intoxicating scents of cumin, garlic and braised beef fill the air. Pop into the spare restaurant for its famous jibarito sandwich, a meaty sandwich served on plantains.
As Cleveland's oldest Vietnamese restaurants, Minh Anh (5428 Detroit Ave., 216-961-9671, minh-anh.com) has been serving pho longer than anybody in this town. Pair the soup with a lotus root salad with shrimp and chopped peanuts, and a shrimp spring roll with peanut sauce. You're welcome.
Switch gears with a stop at the all-American Happy Dog (5801 Detroit Ave., 216-651-9474), where hot dogs and beer are the name of the game. Choose from 50 gourmet toppers for that quarter-pound, all-beef weenie. While you're at it, order some crispy tots.
When it comes to dessert in Gordon Square, Sweet Moses Soda Fountain (6800 Detroit Ave., 216-651-2202, sweetmosestreats.com) enjoys a delicious monopoly. Take in the gleaming retro vibe while enjoying the Mount Caramel sundae, constructed with vanilla ice cream, salted pistachios, warm caramel, candy sprinkles, whipped cream and, or course, a cherry on top.
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