February 11, 2022

Downtown Cleveland's Essential Restaurants and Bars

While downtown has certainly took its fair share of hits to the restaurant and bar industry in the last couple years, there are still a ton of options for getting a good meal and a stiff drink. These are the essential bars and restaurants in downtown Cleveland.

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 Saigon
2061 East Fourth St., Cleveland
Nestled into a relatively small storefront on downtown's bustling East Fourth Street, the room is cozy, comfy, and contemporary. The best bets here are the meal-sized phos — fragrant beef-broth soups featuring rice noodles and several different styles of beef. On the side, an array of condiments — Asian basil, fresh lime wedges and bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, earthy hoisin sauce, and peppery sriracha — allows diners to customize the dish to their preference. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Saigon

2061 East Fourth St., Cleveland

Nestled into a relatively small storefront on downtown's bustling East Fourth Street, the room is cozy, comfy, and contemporary. The best bets here are the meal-sized phos — fragrant beef-broth soups featuring rice noodles and several different styles of beef. On the side, an array of condiments — Asian basil, fresh lime wedges and bean sprouts, sliced jalapeños, earthy hoisin sauce, and peppery sriracha — allows diners to customize the dish to their preference.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The Foundation Room at the House of Blues
308 Euclid Ave., Cleveland 
Whether it’s before or after a show or just on any night you want to get a drink in a quiet place, you should check out the Foundation Room at the House of Blues - but make sure you know someone who’s a member in order to get in. This funkily-designed bar makes you feel like you’re somewhere in the far East, with Persian rugs and Indian designs giving the place a very relaxing feel.
Photo via Scene Archives

The Foundation Room at the House of Blues

308 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Whether it’s before or after a show or just on any night you want to get a drink in a quiet place, you should check out the Foundation Room at the House of Blues - but make sure you know someone who’s a member in order to get in. This funkily-designed bar makes you feel like you’re somewhere in the far East, with Persian rugs and Indian designs giving the place a very relaxing feel.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Otani Noodle
234 Euclid Ave., Cleveland 
Otani Noodle, from the same owners of long-standing Mayfield Heights hibachi restaurant Otani, opened their second location, this time in the heart of Downtown in addition to their University Circle home, and if you haven’t been yet, you’re missing out. The tonkotsu broth they use for their ramen is delectable.
Photo via Scene Archives

Otani Noodle

234 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Otani Noodle, from the same owners of long-standing Mayfield Heights hibachi restaurant Otani, opened their second location, this time in the heart of Downtown in addition to their University Circle home, and if you haven’t been yet, you’re missing out. The tonkotsu broth they use for their ramen is delectable.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Acqua Di Luca
500 West St. Clair Ave., Cleveland 
For those looking for a restaurant to celebrate life’s big moments, thankfully, there’s Acqua di Luca, the latest restaurant from the husband-and-wife team behind Luca Italian Cuisine and Luca West. In true “special-occasion restaurant” form, the menu is unabashedly extravagant. The walk-in coolers are filled to the brim with shellfish, fin fish, veal, filet mignon, Kobe beef and menacing tomahawk chops. Those luxe foodstuffs are gilded with saffron, brown butter, Nebbiolo wine reductions and freshly shaved truffles. 
Photo by Douglas Trattner

Acqua Di Luca

500 West St. Clair Ave., Cleveland

For those looking for a restaurant to celebrate life’s big moments, thankfully, there’s Acqua di Luca, the latest restaurant from the husband-and-wife team behind Luca Italian Cuisine and Luca West. In true “special-occasion restaurant” form, the menu is unabashedly extravagant. The walk-in coolers are filled to the brim with shellfish, fin fish, veal, filet mignon, Kobe beef and menacing tomahawk chops. Those luxe foodstuffs are gilded with saffron, brown butter, Nebbiolo wine reductions and freshly shaved truffles.

Photo by Douglas Trattner
 Cleveland Chop
824 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland 
In the center of Downtown Cleveland's nightlife, the upscale-casual is a relaxed spot for sharply-dressed diners to enjoy microbrews, juicy, thick steaks, and live jazz on weekends.
Photo via @ClevelandChop/Instagram

Cleveland Chop

824 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland

In the center of Downtown Cleveland's nightlife, the upscale-casual is a relaxed spot for sharply-dressed diners to enjoy microbrews, juicy, thick steaks, and live jazz on weekends.

Photo via @ClevelandChop/Instagram
 Taza
1400 West 6th St., Cleveland
Another output from the owners of Aladdin’s, this local favorite, where kabobs are grilled over charcoal and you can watch warm pita bake in a Lebanese stone oven, makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Middle East. An upscale, opulent decor adds a touch of authenticity to the proceedings, where colorful textiles offer a warm embrace. Hummus is spiked with spice, pita is fresh as can be, and a well-rounded mix of meze — items meant to be shared — is at the ready to bring the table together. A vegetarian’s paradise, the menu has no shortage of meat-free options, from the perfectly crisp falafel to the garden-fresh salads.
Photo via Taza Cleveland/Facebook

Taza

1400 West 6th St., Cleveland

Another output from the owners of Aladdin’s, this local favorite, where kabobs are grilled over charcoal and you can watch warm pita bake in a Lebanese stone oven, makes you feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Middle East. An upscale, opulent decor adds a touch of authenticity to the proceedings, where colorful textiles offer a warm embrace. Hummus is spiked with spice, pita is fresh as can be, and a well-rounded mix of meze — items meant to be shared — is at the ready to bring the table together. A vegetarian’s paradise, the menu has no shortage of meat-free options, from the perfectly crisp falafel to the garden-fresh salads.

Photo via Taza Cleveland/Facebook
 The Marble Room
623 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
In the old National City Bank building, it’d be hard to find a more beautiful restaurant in town than the swanky Marble Room. The name says it all - the beautiful marble columns and intricately designed molding is absolutely stunning. And the steak and seafood are up there for the best in town. Get the ribeye and thank us later.
Photo via Scene Archives

The Marble Room

623 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

In the old National City Bank building, it’d be hard to find a more beautiful restaurant in town than the swanky Marble Room. The name says it all - the beautiful marble columns and intricately designed molding is absolutely stunning. And the steak and seafood are up there for the best in town. Get the ribeye and thank us later.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Butcher and the Brewer
2043 East Fourth St., Cleveland 
This East Fourth spot brews their own beer, has a lively atmosphere, and a butcher shop where delicious sandwiches are made to order. Their meats, which are aged and cured in-house are fantastic and their house smoked corn dogs coated in buttermilk batter were featured on the program. So was their Stop-Hop-Kaboom IPA. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Butcher and the Brewer

2043 East Fourth St., Cleveland

This East Fourth spot brews their own beer, has a lively atmosphere, and a butcher shop where delicious sandwiches are made to order. Their meats, which are aged and cured in-house are fantastic and their house smoked corn dogs coated in buttermilk batter were featured on the program. So was their Stop-Hop-Kaboom IPA.

Photo via Scene Archives
Indie
2038 East 4th St., Cleveland
Owners Gabriel Zeller and Julie Mesenburg have reshaped the former Greenhouse Tavern space on East 4th into a shrine to independent music. To the many diners who have made their way through this iconic space, the changes are dramatic enough to stop one in his or her tracks. And for lovers of indie music, the dining room offers near limitless eye candy in the form of 240 framed concert posters that span the musical spectrum. Indie features a Southern-styled menu starring appetizers like green tomato hush puppies, spoon cornbread and braised and seared pork belly with slaw. Mains include a shrimp Po' Boy, chicken and waffles, a seafood boil and Hatch chili mac and cheese.
Photo via Scene Archives

Indie

2038 East 4th St., Cleveland

Owners Gabriel Zeller and Julie Mesenburg have reshaped the former Greenhouse Tavern space on East 4th into a shrine to independent music. To the many diners who have made their way through this iconic space, the changes are dramatic enough to stop one in his or her tracks. And for lovers of indie music, the dining room offers near limitless eye candy in the form of 240 framed concert posters that span the musical spectrum. Indie features a Southern-styled menu starring appetizers like green tomato hush puppies, spoon cornbread and braised and seared pork belly with slaw. Mains include a shrimp Po' Boy, chicken and waffles, a seafood boil and Hatch chili mac and cheese.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Pho Thang Cafe
815 Superior Ave. East, Cleveland 
Pho Thang’s pho is delicious, with 10 different varieties ranging from lean to a combination bowl with round steak, brisket, tripe and meatballs. Chicken varieties are there, too. Soups come in only one size and are served with usual accompaniments of bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno and lime. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Pho Thang Cafe

815 Superior Ave. East, Cleveland

Pho Thang’s pho is delicious, with 10 different varieties ranging from lean to a combination bowl with round steak, brisket, tripe and meatballs. Chicken varieties are there, too. Soups come in only one size and are served with usual accompaniments of bean sprouts, cilantro, jalapeno and lime.

Photo via Scene Archives