The NBA Finals Visitor Guide to Cleveland Food

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Yes, we've heard, NBA writers, staff, Warriors' fans and everyone else descending upon our dear city for the Finals. You're sick of coming to Cleveland for the fourth year in a row. Well, guess what, we still have LeBron and that's just too bad. But don't worry, we have plenty of incredible food options and they're all within a 10-minute walk or a 5-to-10-minute drive of the Q. So if you haven't ventured away from the general vicinity of your hotel, and want to try everything Cleveland has offer, here's the guide for you:

Downtown (Within 10 minutes walking distance of the Q)

There's the heavyweights like Michael Symon's Lola and his barbecue joint Mabel's. James Beard award winner Jonathan Sawyer's Greenhouse Tavern. Chinato for Italian. Red or Marble Room for unbelievable steak. There's also Barrio for tacos. Adega is great Mediterranean. And there's under the radar spots like Hodge's, Cibreo, Cowell and Hubbard and Pura Vida.

For lunch, grab a sandwich at Dave's Cosmic Subs, Heck's Express, Butcher and The Brewer's butcher shop or Hatfield's Goode Grub. Get a bowl at ReBol or Heinen's (the grocery store). Otani Noodle has tasty tonkatsu ramen. Ohio City Burrito is our local burrito/Mexican bowl spot. Bloom Bakery has breakfast, coffee, salad, pastries and sandwiches. Tea House Noodles has Thai-style bowls and Sung's has sushi and Korean dishes.

On Wednesday afternoon, there's Walnut Wednesday's, a gathering of over 25 food trucks for lunch in the heart of the city.

For pho there's Pho Thang and Saigon.

Butcher and the Brewer has great beer and Society Lounge has craft cocktails.

Get chicken wings at Winking Lizard or City Tap.

For coffee, there's Erie Island, Rising Star, Phoenix and Pour.

You can feel like you're in the bay with acai bowls and avocado toast at Restore Cold Pressed.

You can sit down for brunch at the greasy spoon Cleveland institution Yours Truly or a more modern spot with pancakes and banh mi sandwiches like Jack Flaps.

Ontario Street Cafe is an old school bar with good late night food.

Bowl the night away at Corner Alley.

Within a 5-10 minute Uber ride:

For a culinary adventure, the West Side Market is the place to go. At the market, Steve's Gyros are a must, grab some popcorn at Campbell's and don't forget the thick cut jerky at Czuchraj Meats (along with Steve's Gyros, it's been featured on Food Network's Best Thing I've Ever Ate.)

Ginko has great sushi - go Omakase style if you're feeling adventurous. For pizza with egg on it, beer and french fries there's Bar Cento and for pizza and craft beer, Edison's is where to go. For other pizza, Dante's Inferno, Crust, Citizen Pie and Noce are all highly recommended.

We also especially love Flying Fig, Salt, Spice, Fahrenheit, Parallax, Toast, Plum Cafe and Astoria.

For hot dogs with unlimited toppings and live music, there's Happy Dog. Banter has sausage, poutine, wine and beer.

Want a donut and a beer? Brewnuts is the spot.

Lago and Luca are where to get the best Italian meals.

Ty Fun and Banana Blossom have great Thai.

For brunch or lunch, hit up Lucky's (featured on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives), Grumpy's or TownHall.

Momocho is an amazing modern Mexican spot. Dante for new American with Italian influence. Collision Bend is a fun brewery with good food.

Black Pig has all the meat. SoHo and Bourbon Street Barrel Room take you down south.

Tremont Taphouse and The Southside serve upscale bar food.

Corner 11 has poke.

Ushabu has traditional Japanese hot pot cuisine. Xinji has ramen.

You won't have a better burger than Heck's. Le Petit Triangle is a fun French cafe.

The best sandwiches in town are a tie between the newly opened modern take on a Jewish deli, Larder and Herb N' Twine.

Mitchell's has delectable, homemade, ice cream. Mason's Creamery has more funky, modern flavors and Sweet Moses is an old-fashioned soda and ice cream shop.

We have a great Asia town just minutes from downtown, where standouts include Superior Pho, dim sum at Li Wah, and authentic Szechuan Chinese at Szechuan Gourmet (don't miss this place, and make sure you get the cucumber in chili oil, tofu with pork, three pepper chicken and beef with cumin.) Siam Cafe has great Thai.

To experience old Cleveland, there's the second oldest restaurant in the city, Sokolowski's, which everyone must go to once in their lives, where you get in a cafeteria-style line with a tray, and grab all the Polish staples like pierogies and chicken paprikash. Slyman's is on the east side of town for corned beef sandwiches as big as your head.

For a night cap, go to the speakeasy/lounge atmosphere of Velvet Tango Room. Or, there's Jukebox, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Porco Tiki Lounge, Platform Beer Co., Market Garden Brewery and many other spots. Grab a burger and a microbrew at Nano Brew.

You can play board games at Tabletop Cafe, video games at 16 Bit Bar+Arcade, bocce ball at Backyard Bocce and shuffleboard at Forest City Shuffleboard.

The Loop is a great coffee house where you can also browse for records.

A little further of a ride, but still well worth it:


Bistro 185 celebrates eclectic global cuisine and is the perfect place to dine before seeing a show at the Beachland Ballroom. French brasserie L'Albatros is one of the best restaurants in town. Tommy's is our favorite vegetarian, milk shake and french fry spot and has been a Cleveland staple since the 70's and then you can go see a show at the Grog Shop. Visit Little Italy and eat at Mia Bella, Etna or Maxi's for a wonderful meal or Mama Santa's for pizza.


Barroco has mouthwatering arepas. Deagan's is the perfect place to share everything and go bowling and see a show at Mahall's after. Thai Thai has Bankgok-style street food. Angelo's usually wins best pizza in town. We love the barbeque at Barabicu and Proper Pig.

And if you still can't find some great food and drinks in Cleveland, well, that's a you problem.

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