8 Cleveland Food Standards: Where to Dine Like a Local - Cleveland Article
Now the million-dollar question: Where to eat?
Cleveland is at no shortage of excellent restaurants. The award-winning dining scene boasts a unique mix of upscale contemporary restaurants led by celeb chefs to small, mom-and-pop eateries with an ethnic flair.
But when it comes to those restaurants that make Cleveland…well…Cleveland, you’ll find the city has a flavor all its own.
Add some of these to your quintessential Cleveland food itinerary:
Melt Bar & Grilled: Ask any local for a Cleveland foodie bucket list and you’ll likely see Melt on the top. Celebrating its 10th year, Melt’s been serving up mile-high gourmet grilled cheeses at its seven Ohio locations to hungry fans near and far. Enjoy everything from a grilled cheese piled high with potato and onion pierogi, or a sandwich stuffed with jalapenos and then deep fried.
Sokolowski’s University Inn: Owned by third-generation Clevelanders, Sokolowski’s offers the best of authentic Polish cuisine – butter-laden pierogi, huge stuffed peppers, savory cabbage & potatoes and homemade desserts.
It’s one of the last few remaining public markets in the country and an experience in and of itself. With more than 80 family-owned booths, the West Side Market vends everything from freshly butchered steaks and gourmet sausages to tantalizing pastries and homemade breads. With a nod to Cleveland’s Eastern European roots, the market is a not-to-be-missed foodie fantasia.
Slyman’s: You can eat a corned beef sandwich. And, then you can eat a corned beef sandwich from the world-famous Slyman’s. The difference? Slyman’s corned beef sandwiches are—no joke—bigger than your head.
Lola Bistro: Fine dining is taken to a new level at celeb chef Michael Symon’s beloved East Fourth Street eatery. He brings Midwest comfort food to contemporary, white-tabled-clothed dining. Favorites include the beef-cheek pierogi and pork chops. Reservations highly recommended.
Happy Dog: This is what happens when you take an old-school workingman’s bar and add in a James Beard Foundation nominated chef. We’re talking all-beef hot dogs with more than 50 different kinds of toppings ranging from bahn mi pickled veggies and bacon-spiked southern-style greens to Fruit Loops and Spaghetti-Os. Better still, you can wash down one of these gourmet dogs with a craft beer and plenty of live tunes. Now two locations!
Great Lakes Brewing Company: Cleveland’s craft beer scene is exploding in national publications, online beer blogs and along the streets of Ohio City. But it was brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway who started the trend almost 30 years ago when they opened Great Lakes Brewing Company. Any local will tell you that if you want to experience Cleveland, then you’ve got to have yourself some Great Lakes beer.
Tommy’s: What started as a small operation on the east side of Cleveland has grown to one of the most beloved family-owned eateries in the city. Tommy’s, located in the hip neighborhood of Coventry, offers a menu that caters to just about anyone – vegetarians, vegans and everyone in between. Don’t leave without having one of their world-famous milkshakes and an order of fries.