Cleveland’s restaurant scene is a force to be reckoned with, and one you’d be mistaken to overlook. Some of the country’s best chefs have infiltrated Cleveland to make this city a serious dining destination. Read on for a few favorites to make the most of every meal.
Above image of Greenhouse Tavern, credit to offMetro
1. Jonathan Sawyer and his restaurants are a pretty big deal here—and that’s not just us saying it, the James Beard Foundation thinks so too, so much so that they named Chef Sawyer the Best Chef of the Great Lakes. Chef has also received nods as “Best New Chef” from Food & Wine, and Bon Appetit called his flagship restaurant, Greenhouse Tavern, “Best New Restaurant.” The unofficial holy trinity of foodie authority makes it pretty clear that not hitting up one of Sawyer’s spots in CLE is a mistake not worth making. Here’s where to go for a taste of Chef Sawyer:
- Greenhouse Tavern—Farm to table, and environmentally conscious
- Noodlecat – Japanese American mash-up
- Trentina—Northern Italian cuisine
Photo credit to breakfastwithnick.com
2. Courtney Bonning isn’t about to let you walk out of Cleveland without a heightened appreciation for the sweeter things in life, with her delightful pastries at Bonbon Pastry & Café. You may recognize her from Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, or perhaps her old stomping grounds at The Ritz-Carlton where she helmed the pastry program, but it is her own shop where she (and you, quite literally) take the cake. Stop in for cupcakes, muffins, and also savory items at the café.
Photo credit to Go Rare
3. Michael Symon is, simply put, unstoppable. He won Iron Chef in 2007 took home the James Beard Foundation’s award for Best Chef-Great Lakes in 2009, and has since become a regular on ABC’s The Chew. More excitingly for Clevelanders are his hot restaurants right in the city.
- Lola Bistro—Contemporary American cuisine
- B Spot Jack Casino Cleveland—Gourmet burgers, brats, beer and bourbon
- Mabel’s BBQ—Cleveland-style barbeque
Photo credit to Menuism
4. Zack Bruell knows a thing or two about mixing it up—he’s known as the godfather of fusion cuisine here in Cleveland. Chef Bruell is a Cleveland native, but he has worked and gathered influence from all over the U.S., from Philadelphia to Santa Monica, which has leant itself to his eclectic fusion cuisine found all over the city.
- Chinato—Italian cuisine
- Cowell & Hubbard—French inspired dishes
- Dynomite Burgers—Burgers, shakes, and beers
- L’Albatros Brasserie and Bar—French cuisine
- Parallax Restaurant and Lounge—Asian fusion
- Table 45—World cuisine from Cuba, Morocco, Portugal, and more
Photo credit to Realneo
5. Matt Fish wins hearts with his gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches at Melt Bar and Grilled. This isn’t your parent’s white-bread-American-cheese kind of deal, at Melt Bar and Grilled you’re ordering the likes of the “Parmageddon,” oozing with cheddMelar, onions, vodka kraut and pierogis. He takes a casual approach to the dining experience, serving ridiculously cool sandwiches and craft beers in a space featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and Man vs. Food. Feel relaxed while you eat that expertly crafted sandwich.
- Melt Bar and Grilled—Grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, homemade soups, and a large beer selection