Best Of 2010

Readers Poll Winners: Food & Drink

Best Restaurant

Melt Bar & Grilled

Seemingly nonstop national TV coverage sure hasn't hurt the rep of this two-headed grilled-cheese beast, but the real appeal is in the endless slabs of gooey goodness that is their stock-in-trade.

14718 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3699; 13463 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-965-0988;

Best Restaurant for Romance

Pier W

Great wine and seafood, sure. But unparalleled lakefront views of Cleveland will always be the top draw here.

12700 Lake Ave. (Winton Place), Lakewood, 216-228-2250,

Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurant


A longtime leader in Cleveland's meatless eats scene, Tommy's remains a venerable outpost when it comes to tasty vegetarian alternatives.

1824 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-321-7757,

Best Deli


What else to say? Once the king, always the king. Raise a corned beef sandwich in praise of everyone's favorite purveyor of corned beef.

3106 St Clair Ave. NE, Cleveland, 216-621-3760,

Best New Restaurant

Amp 150

Chef Ellis Cooley's stronghold isn't just outstanding hotel food; it's outstanding food, period.

4277 West 150th St. at the Airport Marriott, Cleveland, 216-252-5333,

Best Ice Cream Parlor


You have not eaten ice cream till you've savored the concoctions churned out by brothers Mike and Pete Mitchell. Make ours a key lime pie or, actually, anything at all.

19700 Detroit Rd., Rocky River, 440-333-4563; 2101 Richmond Rd. at LaPlace, Beachwood, 216-831-2722; 26161 Detroit Rd., Westlake, 440-250-0952

Best Patio Dining


The party always spills out onto the patio at this Detroit Shoreway neighborhood haunt that overlooks the exclusive new Battery Park townhouses.

1261 West 76th St., Cleveland, 216-651-6969,

Best Chef

Michael Symon

With about as many TV shows as he has restaurants — and more of both every day — Symon has outgrown his peerless Cleveland reputation. He's now among the best in America. Taste his magic at Lola, Lolita, Bar Symon, or any of his growing number of B Spots.

Best Nightclub

Happy Dog

The Happy Dog has it all: a cool crowd spanning college kids to scene lifers, gloriously overgarnished hot dogs, hot local bands and a polka happy hour.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474,

Best Chinese

King Wah

Turns out Cleveland's Chinatown is in the West Side suburb of Rocky River, where King Wah has been a fixture since 1973.

20668 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River, 440-331-0330,

Best Brunch

Lucky's Café

Lucky's and chef Heather Haviland are among the lucky few to be courted by the Food Network's Guy Fieri — but with or without the celeb-chef nod, this place deserves its accolades.

777 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland, 216-622-7773,

Best Taste of Cleveland

Great Lakes Beer

Whether you're toasting year-round with Burning River or celebrating with a seasonal variety, Great Lakes is the undisputed king of handcrafted beer.

Available at retail stores everywhere and at the brewery: 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-2085,

Best Place to Eat on a Budget

The Happy Dog

Five bucks for a dog topped with as many of their 50 offerings as you'd like? Now that's dining of the highest order.

5801 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-651-9474,

Best Sandwich Shop

Melt Bar & Grilled

Even if their menu consisted solely of the infamous pierogi sandwich called the "Parmageddon," this place would win on style points alone.

14718 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 216-226-3699; 13463 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Hts., 216-965-0988

Best Beer

Great Lakes

Little wonder Great Lakes would earn Best Beer in town — it also swept the category Best Taste of Cleveland. Who are we to argue with beer this good?

Available at retail stores everywhere and at the brewery: 2516 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-771-2085,

Best Upscale Restaurant


The flagship of Michael Symon's restaurant empire is also the keystone of Cleveland's thriving East Fourth Street entertainment district.

2058 East Fourth St., Cleveland, 216-621-5652,

Best Place to Cure

2 a.m. Munchies


Panini's famous overstuffed sandwiches are just one way this venerable 18-location chain helps us soak up the booze after hours.

Best Bakery

Blackbird Baking Company

Even if you don't know Tom and Adria Clark's fantastic little bakery, you probably know their high-profile clients, including Bar Symon.

1391 Sloane Ave., Lakewood, 216-712-6599,

Best Barbecue

Famous Dave's

Part of a national chain that's 36 states strong, Famous Dave's here is known for its North Olmsted location. If your adventures take you toward Cedar Point or the Erie Islands, look up Dave's in Sandusky too.

26410 Great Northern Shopping Center, 440-777-0200

1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky, 419-609-2054

Best Mexican


A far cry from tacos and chips, Momocho in the heart of Ohio City will reinvent your notion of what Mexican food can be.

1835 Fulton Rd., Cleveland, 216-694-2122,

Best Japanese

Pacific East

This Cleveland Heights legend has a reputation for using only the highest-quality ingredients.

1763 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216-320-2302,

Best Coffee


A local chain now five cafés strong, Phoenix reminds us that delicious coffee in a relaxed and inviting setting wasn't invented in Seattle.

Best Thai

Ty Fun Bistro

Little Ty Fun offers an elegant setting and tasty, artful dishes — including a host of vegetarian options — for way less than most of its neighbors.

815 Jefferson Ave., Cleveland, 216-664-1000,

Best Sushi

Sushi Rock

Fabulous sushi and sashimi are the main hooks for this hip little Warehouse District hideaway. It's a fun, more refined alternative to the other action that's all around on West Sixth.

1276 West Sixth St., Cleveland, 216-623-1212,

Best Middle Eastern


The rest of the world is learning what Clevelanders have known for years: The local chain now boasts outposts as far-flung as North Carolina and Virginia.

11 area locations;

Best Irish

The Harp

There's no bad night to visit the Harp, but our favorite time is when the warm crackling fire meets the falling snow out on the lake.

4408 Detroit Ave., Cleveland, 216-939-0200,