Holiday Guide to Eating Like a Local
Were you born and raised in our amazing city of Cleveland, Ohio? Well, so we're all of these spectacular restaurants. Help support our local community while also making your belly happy!
Cleveland is rapidly becoming a global dining destination while maintaining a culinary connection to its past. If you're a foodie, like us here at Keep It Local, you're going to love some of these "must eat" restaurants. In addition to eating really good food, you get to explore the neighborhoods and small surrounding towns of Cleveland, trying craft cocktails at local bars, and just chatting with fellow locals!
Check out some of these restaurants that were brought to life right here in our city of Cleveland, Ohio. Born and raised and PROUD.
Cafe Avalaun: I’m Brian Doyle; father, chef, and proprietor of the all-new Café Avalaun in Warrensville Heights. My family and I have been preparing delicious, whole foods for a number of years with our catering company, and we’ve heard your call for another unique dining establishment in the southeast suburbs. You inspired us to create Cleveland’s very first 100% gluten-free gourmet café, bakery, and crêperie. We’ve opened our doors for our friends who live and work in the Beachwood, Highland Hills, Orange, Solon, Warrensville Heights, and Woodmere area. I invite you to stop by tomorrow morning for a cup of our custom-roasted Crooked River Coffee®, then come back for lunch to ask me what the heck a Crêperitto™ is. Seriously. And, bring a friend.
Common Grounds: Common Grounds is a 24-hour Coffee shop with awesome specialty drinks, tasty sandwiches, and pastries. Enjoy free wifi that is both gamer and business friendly.
Solstice Roasters and Distributors: We roast really, really good coffee and distribute tea and coffee to local Cleveland Restaurants!
Vintage Tea & Coffee: Vintage Tea & Coffee is a local artisan cafe offering specialty tea and coffee in downtown Cleveland, OH. Our main philosophy is to serve every customer a quality beverage which highlights the uniqueness and special characteristics of each tea or coffee. We believe “quality” is a combination of three things: Source of products, Craftsmanship, and Relationships.
Blue Point Grill: Blue Point serves the absolute freshest and highest-quality seafood available anywhere; and shucks over 75,000 fresh oysters per year. With exceptionally attentive service and an award-winning wine list, Blue Point has earned Cleveland Magazine’s Silver Spoons Award “Best Seafood Restaurant” title every year since opening. Experience thoroughly hip dining in the heart of Downtown Cleveland’s spirited Warehouse District at the Blue Point Grille. The cosmopolitan dining room’s towering windows overlook the heart of the city. Zagat Survey has named this landmark, “Cleveland’s Most Popular Restaurant
EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute: EDWINS is a full-service fine dining French restaurant, training formerly incarcerated men and women in all aspects of the food and hospitality business.
Lago East Bank: Now located in the brand new Aloft Hotel in the newly redeveloped East Bank of the Flats! Lago is located on the street level of the hotel at 1091 West 10th Street in downtown Cleveland. Lago is an F. Salerno Restaurant, independently owned and operated. Offering upscale Italian dishes and cocktails with Lake Erie views. The doors are opened and are ready to welcome back old friends, invite the new & enjoy the view!
Fire Food and Drink: At fire on historic Shaker Square, Douglas Katz, chef-owner, Cameron Pishnery, executive chef, and our team create globally inspired dishes using the best quality local and artisanal ingredients. Our menu offers vegan and gluten-free options, as well as a variety of pasture-raised meats and sustainably raised fish, prepared in our wood-fired ovens. Our weekend brunch at Fire is recognized as one of the best in the United States. Our wine list, craft cocktails, third wave coffee program, and loose tea offerings are carefully created by wine guy/director of operations Todd Thompson and his team to compliment your dining experience.
Local West: Local West is a locally owned and operated craft sandwich and Beer bistro that focuses on providing the majority of its ingredients from local farms and purveyors. Our signature “craft” sandwiches feature handmade burgers made of 100% Ohio local beef, Ohio Gerber Amish Chicken coupled with local cheeses, artisan bread, craft beers, and wine.
Quick Easy Bites
Flame Urban Chicken Grill: Welcome to Flame Urban Chicken Grill! We view ourselves as the superhero of fast food chains: still fast food, but of superior quality and caliber. We offer a selection of fresh, delicious open flame-grilled chicken served off the grill bone-in, or in a bowl or wrap and available for eating in, taking out or catering.
Ohio City BBQ: Ohio City BBQ: 1960’s, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Cleveland/Memphis, and Elvis Presley paraphernalia decorates this smokehouse that serves saucy BBQ meats, Ribs, Beef Brisket, Pulled Pork, BBQ Chicken, Sandwiches, Wings, Salads and more.
Murray Hill Market: A contemporary neighborhood corner store located in University Circle’s historic Little Italy. Home of the “Irresistible Zucchini Pancake”, we specialize in homemade foods from sandwiches to full-service catering. A convenient and delicious for lunch, dinner, or just that last minute item.
Xinji Noodle Bar: Ramen, dumplings & other Pan-Asian fares in a contemporary, laid-back setting with beer & wine.
Zaytoon Lebanese Kitchen: Located in the heart of Downtown Cleveland at Playhouse Square, Zaytoon is an urban eatery offering authentic, Lebanese cuisine for breakfast and lunch. Zaytoon means “olive” in Lebanese. At Zaytoon, everything is made with the freshest ingredients. From the pita bread to the baklava, everything is made in-house. We welcome you to our kitchen.
Becky’s Bar: Located just north of Chester Avenue on E. 18th Street and steps from Playhouse Square and the campus of Cleveland State University, aptly dubbed “Downtown’s Neighborhood Bar”. Serving an eclectic group of actors, stagehands, students, lawyers, police officers, county workers, etc. Signature burgers, award-winning wings, and fun staff are legendary far and wide among Clevelanders and visitors alike. It’s the friendly atmosphere and excellent food that quickly turn strangers into regulars!
Flat Iron Cafe: Located in the Cleveland Flats, across from the Center Street Swinging Bridge. Cleveland’s oldest Irish Pub! Flat Iron Cafe Irish Pub, offers an exceptional menu of food and drink, domestic and draft beers and spirits, appetizers including the popular powerhouse pierogies, monthly specials, and live music every Friday.
Forest City Brewery: Neighborhood Brewery located in the Duck Island Neighborhood of Cleveland. Forest City Brewery is the older Beer Garden in Ohio. there is a beer hall rental for groups of 100 or less, a tasting room, and 10,000 square feet of the old beer garden on site. The beer philosophy is to make old-school European beer, that people would have been drinking in the beer garden 150 years ago.
Jack Frost Donuts: Jack Frost Donuts has been a staple in the community since 1937 and we specialize in “Every Batch From scratch ” our donuts are made fresh daily and we offer 200 varieties. We also offer special orders that include celebration donuts or birthday donuts that can excitement to any celebration! We are expanding our horizons and will be expanding our current creations into the Cleveland market. Recently we re-opened our building after almost a year of renovations to better serve our guests!
The Root Cafe: We are an organic cafe with an espresso bar, full tea menu, and a vegan & vegetarian kitchen & bakery. We love vegetables: ours are all organic & local when available. We make everything with love & from scratch: from our pizza dough to sauces, syrups, dressings & more. We have music and events at least 4 nights a week. People love to hang out at the Root, play dominoes or chess, read, work, socialize it’s like your second living room!
Cabin Club: The Cabin Club in Westlake is the West Side’s favorite steakhouse. This historic timber-framed log cabin, once a private hunting lodge, dates back to World War II. Cabin Club features a casual – yet upscale atmosphere and is famous for its exceptionally attentive service and a loyal following of patrons that embrace it as a second home. Thick juicy steaks, the absolute freshest seafood, and an award-winning wine list make Cabin Club the perfect spot for any business or social occasion.
La Campagna: We provide an authentic Italian dinner, catering and gift baskets. We have a wide selection of wines that compliment every meal we prepare. We are able to host private events. We also have a wine tasting that is available once a month. Local honey, chocolate, and a family orientated staff.
Rosewood Grille: We strive every day to bring you the very best and freshest products offered at real-world prices. We work with local partners to bring in awesome eats cooked by an expert staff in our wood-stone oven and delivered by service professionals that care about our guests. Our goal is to deliver a unique dining experience with absolutely incredible cocktails, craft beer and boutique wines for every palate. from family get-togethers to big events to business dinners in our private rosewood room, we will do whatever it takes to make you feel like guests in our own home.
Other locations: Strongsville and Hudson
Distill Table: Located on Madison Ave in the heart of Lakewood. A locally sourced full-service restaurant that is Fresh and Eco-Sustainable. Offering handcrafted cocktails and food inspired by Chef Eddie Tancredi.
Melt Bar and Grilled: Melt Bar and Grilled is a nationally recognized restaurant group specializing in gourmet grilled cheese, a great craft beer list and a fun, eclectic atmosphere. Melt has received many local and national accolades including numerous awards for Best Restaurant, Best Sandwich, Best Vegetarian, and Best Comfort Food. Melt has also appeared on much national food and travel shows including Diners, Drive-ins & Dives, Man v. Food and Food Paradise. Melt currently has 4 full-service locations and 2 quick service locations in the greater Cleveland area. Melt also has recently expanded regionally with 2 locations in Columbus, Ohio.
Other locations: Avon & Independence
Pier W: This landmark Cleveland restaurant has been serving a critically acclaimed seafood menu since 1965. The unique building architecture is designed to resemble the hull of a luxury liner cruising along Lake Erie. This full-service, white tablecloth, contemporary seafood restaurant, and bar serves lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch and private functions in a unique waterfront location in Lakewood, Ohio. Its minimalist dining room design frames the spectacular views of Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline.
Voodoo Tuna: Located on Detroit Ave in Lakewood, Voodoo Tuna is Cleveland’s premier chef-driven Asian fusion restaurant. Chefs Andrew Jackson and Joe Koskovics create fun and unique variations of sushi while still passionately serving up the sushi classics. Sushi is not Voodoo Tuna’s only focus, the cocktails come with the same exact attention to detail. Up and coming bartenders Matt McLaughlin and Dave Sebille handcraft each cocktail and prepare house-infused spirits and liqueurs with fresh fruits and spices. Voodoo Tuna boasts an original experience in a modern environment with Asian inspired decor, lights to fit the mood and murals from local artist Adam Jorgensen. Voodoo Tunas food, cocktails and atmosphere offers everyone a great night out.
Yuzu: Located right in the heart of Lakewood on Madison Ave and Elbur Ave. Craft cocktails, ramen & innovative Asian fusion dishes presented in a relaxed tavern setting.
Erie Island Coffee Company: Erie Island is an ultra-premium, locally roasted brand of coffee. It comes in a number of light, medium and dark roasted blends as well as several single origin offerings. You can find it at Heinens, Costco, Reiders Market, West Point Market and all of the Erie Island coffee shops (Rocky River, East 4th, Constantino’s cafe Erie Island Coffee in the Ernst & Young headquarters, NEOMED in Rootstown and, Hyland Software serves it in their cafeterias as well as all of the ABC and XYZ Taverns around town.)
Salmon Dave’s: Salmon Dave’s Pacific Grille has been pleasing dinners with Guaranteed Seafood since 1993. The menu features a fusion of Pacific Rim cuisine with all-American favorites. Staples such as the award-winning Lobster Bisque, Sushi-grade Ahi Sashimi or savory Cedar-Planked Salmon never go out of style. Seasonal culinary celebrations such as the Maine Event Lobster feast and the Taste of N’awlins in February give Salmon Dave’s an energetic pulse you’ll want to be a part of. Located in the Old River District of Rocky River, the comfortable trappings provide the perfect setting for a light bite or a fabulous dinner.
River Dog Cafe: Local chef owned and operated, River Dog Cafe is a family-friendly fast-casual restaurant that offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We specialize in gourmet hot dogs with unique toppings such as brisket, house made mac n cheese, and crispy BBQ pork belly. But we are so much more than hotdogs; try our crispy duck BLT, grilled salmon, many vegetarian options, wraps, or homemade soup. And the list goes on. We use only the best ingredients including pasture-raised non-GMO eggs, local produce, Gerber chicken and our hot dogs are 100% Angus beef, grass fed and uncured meaning there are no chemical nitrates added. Enjoy your meal with a frosty mug of our draft root beer or infused lemonade made from only three ingredients; lemons, 100% pure cane sugar, and water. Our coffee is fair trade and organic and we boast a pretty awesome kids menu. Our goal was to create a place that kids would love to eat at and so would their parents. Everything is made to order so it may not always be super fast, but we promise it will be super good.
Delmonico’s Steakhouse: Delmonico’s Steakhouse features Prime Steaks, Fresh Seafood and Italian Classics. The swanky retro-design with luxurious red leather furnishings and romantic mood lighting makes you feel as if you’re in a 1950’s Manhattan Supper-Club. Conveniently located in the center of Northeast Ohio at the bustling crossroads of Rockside Road and Interstate 77, Delmonico’s is just minutes from Downtown and the airport. With an extensive menu, attentive service and award-winning wine list, Delmonico’s is the perfect choice for a power lunch with clients or a cozy dinner with that someone special.
Mr. Chicken: What makes Mr. Chicken so special? It’s simple—sort of. See, there’s no one thing we do that makes our chicken taste so good. It’s the end result of a lot of little things that we do every day to make sure you get the best-tasting, highest-quality food, at a reasonable price. For us, going the extra mile just means we’re doing the job right. When you eat at Mr. Chicken, you’re family, and we only serve the best for our family. That means we use only the freshest farm-raised chickens. How fresh? Our chickens go from farm to restaurant in just two days. Our famous coleslaw is made in-house, hand chopped, every day. The same is true for the vegetables in all of our side dishes. From our creamy mashed potatoes and scratch-made gravy to our warm, buttery biscuits and our crispy, juicy chicken, you can count on us for food you’ll be happy to enjoy.
Other locations: Maple Heights, Northfield, Willoughby
The Cute Little Cake Shop: Gourmet Cake Balls, Cake Pops, Cupcakes, & Sweet Treats! Vegan & Gluten Free options available.
Luna Bakery: Luna Bakery & Café is located in the historic Cedar Fairmount district in Cleveland Heights. All items in the cafe are made fresh daily on-premises, using the best quality ingredients. Luna patrons enjoy delicious baked goods and light fare, including crepes and paninis, salads and soup, in a relaxed and cozy atmosphere. Custom cakes, cupcakes and wedding cakes are their specialty. Staff is on hand for a wedding, catering, and event consultations. The cafe is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and seats 40 with additional patio seating in the warm weather.
Willoughby Brewing Co: Located in historic downtown Willoughby, the Willoughby Brewing Co. was established in 1998. The century-old, historic building, an old trolley repair depot, is the home of Lake County’s oldest, state-of-the-art brewery. Original, award-winning beers are freshly brewed an on top for connoisseurs of all styles. Crowds, young and old alike, swarm to Willoughby Brewing Co. for fresh-brewed beer, food, and live entertainment.
Executive Caterers: For almost six decades, Executive Caterers has served the civic, corporate, and social communities of Cleveland and beyond. Providing remarkable care and industry expertise, Executive Caterers continues to be Cleveland’s premier caterer by producing exquisite celebrations and milestone events. They take pride in creating one-of-a-kind events that provide their clients with incredible value and unforgettable memories. With a forward-thinking team and an innovative approach, they look forward to another six decades of serving the Northeast Ohio community.