September 22, 2021

The Best Cleveland Restaurants Of 2021, According To Scene Readers

Once a year, we turn over the entire issue to you, the readers, to tell us what the very best things in Cleveland are.

It's a chance to celebrate the certified best the city has to offer, the plum perfect shops, restaurants, people, businesses and more that define this great city.

After tens of thousands of votes, the winners have been decided.

These are the best restaurants of Cleveland for 2021.

 

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 Best Local Snack: Terranean Herbs Za’atar Chips
Za’atar is a variety of wild thyme that is used in Middle Eastern Cuisine to spice up the food native to their region.  Tina Chamoun took her knowledge when she was marketing director for Aladdin’s Eatery and the website and Instagram account Your Lebanon and opened Terranean in 2019, with their awesome pita chips, which come regular and spicy, being the star of the show. Their products are used locally at establishments like Aladdin’s, Boaz Cafe, Taza, Sittoo’s, Cocky’s Bagels and more and are sold at Heinen’s, The Olive Scene, Happy Cow Group Share and Chuppa’s Market.
Photo via Terranean Herbs

Best Local Snack: Terranean Herbs Za’atar Chips


Za’atar is a variety of wild thyme that is used in Middle Eastern Cuisine to spice up the food native to their region. Tina Chamoun took her knowledge when she was marketing director for Aladdin’s Eatery and the website and Instagram account Your Lebanon and opened Terranean in 2019, with their awesome pita chips, which come regular and spicy, being the star of the show. Their products are used locally at establishments like Aladdin’s, Boaz Cafe, Taza, Sittoo’s, Cocky’s Bagels and more and are sold at Heinen’s, The Olive Scene, Happy Cow Group Share and Chuppa’s Market.

Photo via Terranean Herbs
 Best Seafood Market: Kate’s Fish
1979 West 25th St., Cleveland 
For 20 years, one of the biggest draws to the West Side Market has been Kate’s Fish, the seafood stand with some of the best quality fish in town. Whether you’re looking for their house smoked salmon, sushi grade fish, whole fish, homemade crab cakes or whatever’s fresh that day, you’re sure to find something delicious to take home and throw on the grill or stove. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Seafood Market: Kate’s Fish

1979 West 25th St., Cleveland

For 20 years, one of the biggest draws to the West Side Market has been Kate’s Fish, the seafood stand with some of the best quality fish in town. Whether you’re looking for their house smoked salmon, sushi grade fish, whole fish, homemade crab cakes or whatever’s fresh that day, you’re sure to find something delicious to take home and throw on the grill or stove.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Restaurant: The Marble Room
623 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Located 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 is up there for the best in town. Get the ribeye and thank us later.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Restaurant: The Marble Room

623 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Located 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 is up there for the best in town. Get the ribeye and thank us later.

Photo via Scene Archives
Best New Restaurant: Cloak and Dagger
2399 West 11th St., Cleveland
This bookish cocktail lounge has nicely settled in at the revolving-door space in Tremont that has been home to many short-lived restaurants. Billed as a neighborhood craft cocktail bar, the library-themed salon boasts a book-like menu filled with libations described with tasting notes like herbal, floral, smoky and spicy. The beverages are buoyed by an all-vegan roster of bar bites like fries, “pork” rinds, BBQ “chicken” skewers and banh mi sammies. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Best New Restaurant: Cloak and Dagger

2399 West 11th St., Cleveland

This bookish cocktail lounge has nicely settled in at the revolving-door space in Tremont that has been home to many short-lived restaurants. Billed as a neighborhood craft cocktail bar, the library-themed salon boasts a book-like menu filled with libations described with tasting notes like herbal, floral, smoky and spicy. The beverages are buoyed by an all-vegan roster of bar bites like fries, “pork” rinds, BBQ “chicken” skewers and banh mi sammies.

Photo via Scene Archives
Best Coffee: Rising Star
Multiple Locations
Coffee connoisseurs sing the praises of Rising Star baristas, who are as knowledgeable as their keenly sourced coffee is potent. Each cup is meticulously brewed to order using beans straight from the onsite roaster. The results are nothing short of the perfect pour over imbued with nuanced, undiluted flavor. We're not surprised that after just eight years in business, the successful shop already has expanded to seven different locations.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Coffee: Rising Star

Multiple Locations

Coffee connoisseurs sing the praises of Rising Star baristas, who are as knowledgeable as their keenly sourced coffee is potent. Each cup is meticulously brewed to order using beans straight from the onsite roaster. The results are nothing short of the perfect pour over imbued with nuanced, undiluted flavor. We're not surprised that after just eight years in business, the successful shop already has expanded to seven different locations.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Teahouse: Cleveland Tea Revival
1434 West 29th St., Cleveland
This pretty-as-a-picture Hingetown shop caters equally to the casual tea drinker and the fine tea connoisseur. Knowledgeable staffers can guide one through an extensive menu of organic varieties, from herbal to oolong, plus custom blended specialty teas with names like Church Avenue Lavender. Take some home to steep on your own time or enjoy it on-premises in sweet little tea kettles. A lovely, relaxing hideaway with vintage style, this Ohio City nook feels made for unwinding with a good book or good friend. Pair sips with snacks like avocado toast (of course!) for the full experience.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Teahouse: Cleveland Tea Revival

1434 West 29th St., Cleveland

This pretty-as-a-picture Hingetown shop caters equally to the casual tea drinker and the fine tea connoisseur. Knowledgeable staffers can guide one through an extensive menu of organic varieties, from herbal to oolong, plus custom blended specialty teas with names like Church Avenue Lavender. Take some home to steep on your own time or enjoy it on-premises in sweet little tea kettles. A lovely, relaxing hideaway with vintage style, this Ohio City nook feels made for unwinding with a good book or good friend. Pair sips with snacks like avocado toast (of course!) for the full experience.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Chef: Dante Boccuzzi
Multiple Locaitons
After earning a Michelin Star and multiple James Beard nominations in New York City , Boccuzzi moved home to Cleveland and opened his namesake restaurant Dante in Tremont in 2010. Since then, the chef has quietly built up a mini-restaurant empire. Located below Dante is Ginko, possibly the best sushi joint in the state. Next door to Dante you’ll find the aptly named Next Door, a breakfast and brunch spot with Coda in the basement, Dante’s music venue and bar. Outside of Dante’s block in Tremont, he has DBA and Northside Speakeasy in Akron, the newly opened Japanese restaurant Goma on East Fourth, a great pizza spot Inferno in the Flats plus Pasta al Dante at Progressive Field and Air Dante, a craft cocktail lounge out of an old Airstream Trailer, coming soon. And he’s just getting started.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Chef: Dante Boccuzzi

Multiple Locaitons

After earning a Michelin Star and multiple James Beard nominations in New York City , Boccuzzi moved home to Cleveland and opened his namesake restaurant Dante in Tremont in 2010. Since then, the chef has quietly built up a mini-restaurant empire. Located below Dante is Ginko, possibly the best sushi joint in the state. Next door to Dante you’ll find the aptly named Next Door, a breakfast and brunch spot with Coda in the basement, Dante’s music venue and bar. Outside of Dante’s block in Tremont, he has DBA and Northside Speakeasy in Akron, the newly opened Japanese restaurant Goma on East Fourth, a great pizza spot Inferno in the Flats plus Pasta al Dante at Progressive Field and Air Dante, a craft cocktail lounge out of an old Airstream Trailer, coming soon. And he’s just getting started.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Best Ramen: Otani Noodle
234 Euclid Ave., and 11472 Euclid Ave., Cleveland 
Otani Noodle, from the same owners of long-standing Mayfield Heights hibachi restaurant Otani, recently 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 make for some of their ramen is delectable.
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Ramen: Otani Noodle

234 Euclid Ave., and 11472 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Otani Noodle, from the same owners of long-standing Mayfield Heights hibachi restaurant Otani, recently 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 make for some of their ramen is delectable.

Photo via Scene Archives
Best French Fries: Tommy’s Restaurant
1824 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights
Known for their vegetarian and healthy options, this Coventry Road staple has been serving up Clevelanders since 1972. While they had vegetarian and vegan options before those became popular, they have more than just healthy options. The thick-cut french fries are divine and their milkshakes, especially black cherry, is a must try.
Photo via Tommy’s Restaurant/Facebook

Best French Fries: Tommy’s Restaurant

1824 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights

Known for their vegetarian and healthy options, this Coventry Road staple has been serving up Clevelanders since 1972. While they had vegetarian and vegan options before those became popular, they have more than just healthy options. The thick-cut french fries are divine and their milkshakes, especially black cherry, is a must try.

Photo via Tommy’s Restaurant/Facebook
 Best Mexican Restaurant: La Plaza Supermarket
13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood 
All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best Mexican in Cleveland is venturing to this Lakewood supermarket. This grocery store cooks up tacos with barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire. In addition to their infamous tacos, you’ll find burritos, quesadillas, tortas and all the Mexican sides you desire. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Best Mexican Restaurant: La Plaza Supermarket

13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood

All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best Mexican in Cleveland is venturing to this Lakewood supermarket. This grocery store cooks up tacos with barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire. In addition to their infamous tacos, you’ll find burritos, quesadillas, tortas and all the Mexican sides you desire.

Photo via Scene Archives