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.
A smartly appointed alternative to the food court that sits below, this handsome downtown restaurant serves a solid assortment of salads, sandwiches, seafood, and pasta, with speedy service designed to get you back to your desk, or into your theater seat, with time to spare.
Exotic, authentic flavors of the Mediterranean are the specialty of this comfortably upscale restaurant in downtown’s historic Warehouse District.
This Tremont taqueria puts the power of the pen in the diner's hand. Guests design their own tacos from a list of some 30 components — from shell to filling to salsa to toppings. The best part: They are all just $3 each. This blissfully informal approach is a great fit for the unpretentious food. In addition to the tacos, the menu features a few starters and sides, not to mention a landslide of tequilas and margaritas. The delightful patio makes a perfect perch to enjoy them.
Filled with maps (of Ireland, Cleveland, and the world), this downtown pub is big enough for the small airplane hanging from the ceiling to fly around in.
This sleekly outfitted restaurant and bar has a view like no other, overlooking the promenades of the elaborate, historic, and exquisitely restored Arcade. The glam setting, in combination with well-prepared breakfast and lunch fare, makes it a fine choice for travelers and downtown workers alike.
Luxe flourishes turn up around every bend in this beautiful pub, from the hand-laid cobblestone parking lot to the hand-rubbed walnut woodwork. In contrast, the menu is as straightforward as it comes: Burgers, meatloaf, pasta and steak, served alongside the indoor bocce court. 21 and over only.
Mallorca, with its large portions of classic Spanish dishes and formal, friendly service, has developed a devoted following. Best bets include paella Valenciana a generous portion of shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, half-lobster tail, chicken, and chorizo sausage in a saffron-flavored seafood broth.
This being Zack Bruell's fifth Cleveland restaurant, diners now know they can expect high-caliber service, an interior pulled from the pages of Architectural Digest, and a menu the size of Atlas Shrugged. What Bruell calls "modern French-American" might just as well be billed New Mediterranean, with nods to Morocco, France and Italy. In the end, the food is characteristically Bruellian: tidy stacks of meat and veg resting in an opulent sauce, diamond-cut by the acidity of lemon.
Artful, ambitious, and urbane, this Ohio City bistro disproves the notion that Clevelanders are strictly a steak-and-taters crowd. At dinner, a tightly composed "progressive American" menu treads fearlessly from braised pork belly to eggplant flan and beyond, always focused on seasonal, sustainable, locally grown foods and always playing to an enthusiastic audience.
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.
The two-story guitar outside the Hard Rock is a beacon for music lovers, who pack the place every weekend to feast on mammoth burgers and music videos. The dining area is sometimes cleared for concerts, which typically feature rockers on the rise.
Cozy and candlelit, this club uses gourmet music to attract a mellow crowd.
A little cramped, occasionally noisy, and quite possibly the city's smallest restaurant, this tiny French bistro still manages to turn out superlative crepes, earthy pâtés, and one of the best Croque Monsieur sandwiches this side of the Seine.
This Tower City location is elegant without being stuffy, and the menu is a meat-eater's delight, with a wide selection of steaks and chops. Service is attentive and efficient. The restaurant maintains an impressive wine cellar.
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