In a neighborhood where you can't swing a pizza box without hitting an Italian restaurant, this is one of the best, with generous servings of thoughtfully prepared foods, at reasonable prices. Specialties include angel-hair pasta loaded with plump, intensely flavored sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, and chopped kalamata olives, tossed with garlic and olive oil.
Come to Bo Loong to sample some of the city's most authentic dim sum tiny sweet-and-savory dumplings, buns, and tarts whose name translates as "dot the heart." If you order from the menu, consider the golden, pan-fried noodles, topped with seafood, meats or vegetables. Dim sum is served daily, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bo Loong is open until 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.
Part of a national chain that attempts to recreate the experience of a boisterous Italian wedding circa 1950, Buca di Beppo is crowded, noisy, and fun. The wall-posted menu includes gargantuan appetizers, salads, pizza, pasta, veal, and chicken dishes made for sharing. The food is good, even if it is overshadowed by sheer portion size.
A tried-and-true combo of handsome surroundings and familiar fare makes this snug Chagrin Falls tavern a popular neighborhood spot.
Whether you are a meat-lover or vegetarian, there are many entrees from which to choose at this authentic Indian restaurant. Don’t forget the tandoori breads, especially the garlic naan and onion kulcha.
Despite its small size, Casa D'Angelo has a remarkably large and varied menu of Italian meals, including some you aren't likely to find anywhere else. Excellent choices include lemony Chicken alla Palermo and the creamy Veal Gamberetti Luigi with shrimp.
Despite its bright new decor, Corky & Lenny's remains that most venerable of urban eating establishments: a good Jewish deli. From garlicky dills waiting at each table to the fizzy chocolate phosphates, all the traditional noshes are on hand. Corned beef is lean and flavorful, latkes are fat and tender, and the creamy cheesecake may be the best in town.
This neighborhood eatery and tavern may be far removed from the cutting edge; still, it draws big crowds, hungry for ample helpings of well-prepared ribs, chicken, salads, sandwiches, and chops. In season, a pretty outdoor patio in the namesake courtyard makes a popular lunch and dinner retreat.
Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s third Cleveland restaurant, D.C. makes high-quality, house-made pastas fun and affordable. Sold by portion size — taste, appetizer, or main — the various combinations can be mixed and matched to create a wide-ranging feast. The rest of the menu is equally accessible, with sections for cured meats, Italian cheeses, marinated veggies, meatballs, entrées — even olives. Top it all off with 25 bottles of Italian wine priced south of $25 and you have the makings of an affordable Italian banquet.
Behind the doors of Empress Taytu awaits an exotic culinary adventure of the first order. The restaurant serves authentic Ethiopian foods, including beef, lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes cooked with a variety of spices and herbs.
The eclectic, contemporary menu at this Tremont fixture is a good match for its shabby-chic decor; and somehow, dishes like bouillabaisse, seared duck breast, and sausage-and-goat-cheese rigatoni taste better when devoured 'neath the light of candles and lava lamps. Friendly staffers and a full bar are other reasons to pad on into this neighborhood gem.
One part vacation-town bar and one part homestyle restaurant, Fisher's is a favorite stop for brewskies and burgers (or salads and ice cream) after biking or hiking on the nearby Towpath Trail. In warm weather, seats on the shaded patio become prime real estate.
Except for the Saturday-only prime rib dinner, there is nothing fancy about this comfy little restaurant and bar. But Fisher's is still immensely popular with area workers for its big sandwiches and salads, as well as homemade soups and desserts. After 5 p.m., entrées like ribs, New York strip steak, and fettuccine Alfredo are also available. If you can, get a table on the charming enclosed sunporch. Or, in warm weather, eat on the shaded deck.
The little sushi bar that could now tosses a mean lobster tail and steak on the hibachi. Wash everything down with a thimble of sake or a cold Kirin. And save room for some green tea ice cream.
A reliable choice for flavorful Thai and Chinese food, this good-looking East Sider offers options ranging from the traditional (think General Tso's Chicken) to the upscale (including specials like buttery rib-eye steak in spicy red-bean sauce), all served by efficient staffers in a charming if sometimes noisy room.
Little Hunan Solon is operated by some of the same people responsible for the excellent Hunan by the Falls, and it offers much the same menu of meticulously prepared Asian foods served in a serenely contemporary space. "Can't-miss" choices include Sichuan sesame noodles in a thick sesame-peanut sauce, Hunan-style dry-roasted green beans with garlic and remarkably luscious walnut prawns.
You've got to love a place that makes Ohio City feel like a beach shack in Cozumel, and Johnny Mango a "world café" and juice bar does just that, with a blend of Asian, Mexican, and Caribbean flavors, and items that range from burritos to pad Thai to Jamaican jerk chicken. Service is speedy, portions are hearty, and there are plenty of choices for vegetarians. Full bar and small patio.
This colorful Mexican restaurant produces what may be the city's best mole, that thick, mahogany-colored sauce of tomatoes, peppers, chocolate, ground nuts, raisins, and spices. The rest of the kitchen's output isn't bad either, with virtually everything made from scratch.
Mexican homecooking can be made palatable to the American masses yearning to breathe fire. The enchiladas, burritos, mole, and hand-clapped tacos translate across the brick city, but each dining room reflects a different neighborhood.
This dim cantina hosts blues and rock bands during and after dinner. Mexican decor includes pottery and photos of Pancho Villa with his motorcycle.
This big, beautiful American brewpub is the newest addition to Ohio City's hopping "brewery district." The house's own freshly brewed beers are joined by a worthy lineup of craft brews, spirits, and wine. To eat, classic pub fare like soft pretzels and pickles is joined by tacos, burgers, salads and the like. In summer, outdoor seating makes a great backdrop to the all the suds.
Although it has the sleek brass, glass, and polished-wood look of a chain restaurant, this charming pub is locally owned and operated. The large menu goes well beyond colcannon and boxty to embrace quiche, gyros, and even burgers; no matter what you pick, the warm, custardy bread pudding makes a sweet ending. Irish brews on draft.
Located on the second floor of Asian Town Center, this Korean restaurant is bright, modern, and roomy. Meals begin with cups of nutty barley tea and a huge spread of panchan: pungent side dishes that range from fiery kimchi to steamed broccoli. Miega prepares its flavorful kalbi and bulgogi atop a tabletop hot plate. The galbi dolsot bibimbap — rice, beef, veggies, and a fried egg served in a sizzling earthenware bowl — is one of the best in the city.
Cleveland's version of a theater-district deli, this Playhouse Square staple has been entertaining arts lovers and downtown lunchers for more than 100 years, with a cast of soups, salads, steaks, chicken, and stacked-up sandwiches, many like the W.C. Fields and Fanny Brice named in honor of old-time stage stars. Dinner hours vary with the theaters' schedules; calling ahead is always a smart move.
Some of the city's top players belt out a soundtrack of classic blues and R&B from their perch tucked away in the corner of this neighborhood bar in one of Cleveland's hottest neighborhoods.
With a handsome lounge, a shady porch, and a pan-Asian menu that includes Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai standards, as well as sushi and even some gently handled fusion fare, the Pearl is a gem for casual dining. Small but thoughtful wine list.
The tastefully exotic decor at this national chain is almost more interesting than the food, an array of generally well-prepared Chinese cuisine with a Californian accent. Portions are large, prices are reasonable, and service is remarkably attentive. Further hooks are the sophisticated list of mostly West Coast wines (priced at a premium) and an assortment of good ol' American desserts (think cheesecake and chocolate).
From the elegant crowd to the complementary gourmet pizza served on the hour during happy hour, Players is top-shelf, all the way.
Dont let the subterranean location fool you: This Little Italy mainstay, settled at the bottom of a long flight of stairs, is as warm and welcoming as nonnas kitchen, with a neighborly vibe and the wallet-friendly prices to match. Offerings are mostly traditional Italian pastas, polenta, eggplant parmesan with a few stylish twists. And to drink, check out the short but interesting list of wines-by-the-glass.
The lights are low and the vibe is friendly inside this snug neighborhood tavern, a recently remodeled gem where the kitchen belts out tasty riffs on all-American bar food, including fresh-ground burgers, zesty fried calamari, and saucy, spicy chicken wings. Besides a solid collection of artisanal brews, the bar serves up inventive cocktails — some with a seasonal twist. Come summer, the secluded patio is the place to be.
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