Hippie or hipster, young or old, meathead or vegan, Clevelanders have been flocking to this culinary landmark since 1972, hungry for the big assortment of creative and unusual sandwiches, soups and salads. After a healthy hummus-stuffed ripe tomato or a grilled-cheese sandwich with veggies, sunflower seeds and sesame sauce, be sure to splurge on a creamy, old-fashioned malt or milkshake.
Owner, chef, host, server, bartender, and busser: Junior Battiste really does it all. As a result, dining in this teensy Cajun restaurant can be an adventure, marked by warmth, whimsy, and occasionally slow service. Still, those who value style and substance over speed won't be disappointed: Junior's made-from-scratch cookin' is some of the best in town.
Too tired to cook, but too cool for McBurgers? Family-friendly, quick-service Tom-Tom is just the ticket. The large menu includes lots of salads, soups, sandwiches, and build your own pizza options, freshly prepared in an open kitchen. Order at the counter, and before you know it, your meal is delivered to your table by cheerful staffers, no tipping required.
Since opening at Beachwood's posh lifestyle center Legacy Village, this Asian bistro has been turning heads as much for its splashy décor as for its food — a collection of Southeast Asian staples like pho, pad Thai and many other noodle, rice, and stir-fry dishes. In the process, Gia Lia gives Eastsiders an elegant space to sip, twirl, and spoon up some approachable Asian grub.
Just steps from the John Carroll University campus but nearly 40 years removed this outpost of Dave Lombardys original psychedelic sub shop is big, colorful and comfy, with the same 1960s-style art and artifacts that decorate his numerous other area locations. Same big menu of giant, overstuffed subs too, along with a few salads, some chips and cookies for dessert.
Diners can expect the typical Tex-Mex, South-of-the-Border assortment of tacos, burritos, fajitas, and combination plates; for fast, friendly, filling, and cheap Mexican fare, Los Habaneros definitely fills the bill.
This is the spot where Dave Lombardy actor, playwright, and hungry guy launched his Cosmic Sub empire way back in 1997. Now he has branches all around the region, where he and his crew create nearly three dozen types of mouthwatering subs, stuffed with the finest ingredients (including vegetarian options), bundled up in the region's best buns, and served in a space as colorful as your favorite tie-dyed T-shirt.
Besides providing breads for some of Clevelands top restaurants, The Stone Oven sells a variety of European artisanal loaves for at-home enjoyment. If the sight of all those golden-crusted beauties leaves you famished, treat yourself to a fat sandwich (on your choice of fresh-baked bread, of course), a colorful salad, homemade soup, or a giant piece of fragrant Sicilian-style veggie pizza. Counter service, with plenty of tables.
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.
A little bit Greek, a little bit Middle Eastern and perhaps even slightly northern Indian, the names, ingredients and flavor notes of Anatolia's authentic Turkish cuisine will strike familiar chords for veteran tabletop travelers. "Don't-miss" dishes include sleek and smoky baba ghannouj, lamb-and-beef doner kebab and its yogurt-topped sibling, iskender. To drink, splurge on a bottle of Kalecik Karasi, a full-bodied red from Turkey's most prestigious vineyard.
Essentially a carry-out-only affair, Taste of Kerala specializes in South Indian food. Bright, cheery and tidy, the storefront shop offers made-to-order fare like chicken biryani, chicken curry, and goat curry. Like other South Indian eateries, this one devotes a large portion of the menu to vegetarian dishes, including steamed idli with sambal or chickpea curry. Rather than rice, dishes here are served with chapati, wheat flatbread.
Although the kitchen at this Caribbean-themed restaurant (part of the Darden Restaurants chain) tends to keep the heat turned down, much of the food such as pressed Cuban sandwiches, butterflied coconut prawns, pan-seared pork tenderloin in a rummy demiglace is flavorful and attentively prepared. Still, the real draw is the bustling bar scene, fueled by shooters, beer, and boozy, fruity, and frozen concoctions designed to make every night feel like a week at the beach.
Our pick for one of the best "casual eats" values in town, this nicely appointed osteria inside Whole Foods Market offers sit-down dining, friendly service, and a small but appealing menu of freshly prepped Italian fare at prices you'd be hard-pressed to match at home. Drinkers can choose from an inexpensive beer and wine list or buy a bottle at retail, which staffers will uncork and pour for free.
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.
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