Sabah Drabu

5 mins read

Feb 15, 2024


Culinary Hotspots to explore in Cleveland

Hungry for a food adventure? In a city pulsating with history and culture, Cleveland’s food scene is more than just a collection of eateries; it’s a vibrant tapestry woven with flavors that defy expectations.

This blog will discuss must-visit restaurants in Cleveland when you are on a food hunt. So, if you’re ready to swap the ordinary for the extraordinary, join us as we explore the unexpected, the unique, and the utterly delectable culinary hotspots that make Cleveland a haven for food lovers.


Nestled in the heart of Ohio City, Alea beckons with its captivating demonstration of real-fire cooking. As you step into this culinary haven, your senses will immediately draw to the wood-burning cooking suite strategically placed in the center of the dining room. The room radiates the irresistible charm of a backwoods chalet, creating an ambiance that perfectly complements the transformative powers of their dishes.

  • Location: 2912 Church Ave., Cleveland

Cent’s Pizza + Goods

Prepare your taste buds for a journey at Cent’s Pizza + Goods, where the scenes of bubbly, charred Neapolitan crusts are enough to induce hunger. This pizza haven is located on Lorain Avenue and offers an experience that transcends the ordinary. As you delve into the dinner-only offerings, the absence of reservations becomes a testament to the spontaneous and vibrant atmosphere.

  • Location: 5010 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
  • Timings: Dinner only, no reservations.

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Venture into the world of Barroco and discover the irresistible allure of arepas. Originating from Colombia and Venezuela, these grilled white tortillas are stuffed with various ingredients, such as the mouthwatering ‘La Gringa’ and ‘Buffalo Chicken.’ However, it’s not just about the arepas; Barroco elevates the experience with extravagant milkshake creations that push the boundaries of flavor.

  • Multiple Locations

Juneberry Table

Amidst the culinary landscape of Cleveland, Juneberry Table stands out as one of the best restaurants in Cleveland. This unassuming gem, located at 3900 Lorain Ave, surprises diners with a menu featuring standard breakfast and lunch fare but with a twist. The restaurant’s commitment to sourcing ingredients locally adds a touch of authenticity to every dish, making it a must-visit for those seeking a taste of the region.

  • Location: 3900 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH 44113
  • Timings: Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.


Bearden’s is a timeless establishment that has been perfecting burgers since 1948. The slogan, “Always fresh, never frozen, original recipe since 1948,” is a testament to the commitment to quality. Beyond the classic burger experience, Bearden’s introduces unexpected delights, such as burgers adorned with peanut butter, challenging traditional notions of comfort food.

  • Location: 19985 Lake Rd., Rocky River


Cordelia marks its presence in Cleveland’s list of best restaurants with shareable plates and a limited, rotating menu. Whether you opt for the evening meal or the Sunday brunch, the experience is akin to solving a delightful puzzle. The restaurant’s commitment to treating vegetables, meat, and fish with equal regard adds a layer of sophistication to the dining experience.

  • Location: 2058 E 4th St, Cleveland, OH 44115
  • Reservations: Essential

Buckeye Express Diner

Venture a bit farther for a unique dining experience at the Buckeye Express Diner at 810 State Route 97 W in Bellville. The diner brings nostalgia and comfort and is inside an Ohio-themed train car. With a menu offering all your favorite dinners and comfort meals, the effort to reach this destination is undoubtedly worthwhile.

  • Location: 810 State Route 97 W., Bellville

Mabel’s BBQ

Challenge your preconceptions about Ohio barbecue at Mabel’s BBQ, owned by Cleveland native and chef Michael Symon. The menu, heavily influenced by local flavors, introduces a unique twist to the Polish Boy sandwich – the Polish Girl. A mouthwatering combination of kielbasa pulled pork and barbecue sauce; this dish is a testament to the creativity that defines Mabel’s BBQ.

  • Location: 2050 E 4th St, Cleveland, OH 44115
  • Reservations: Not required

Acqua Di Luca

For those seeking a culinary celebration fit for life’s big moments, Acqua Di Luca emerges as the perfect choice. This restaurant is the latest offering from the husband-and-wife team behind Luca Italian Cuisine and Luca West. Its unabashedly extravagant menu, filled with shellfish, fin fish, veal, filet mignon, Kobe beef, and tomahawk chops, sets the stage for a luxurious dining experience.

  • Location: 500 West St. Clair Ave., Cleveland

Wolf Pack Chorus

In the heart of Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood lies Wolf Pack Chorus, offering a departure from the traditional Italian fare. The restaurant’s interior, adorned with a hip-looking bar and white tablecloths, might initially create a riddle for diners. However, a glance at the menu reveals globally inspired cuisine that is friendly, approachable, and reasonably priced during lunch hours.

  • Location: 2175 Cornell Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106
  • Reservations: Recommended

Cru Uncorked

In the affluent neighborhood of Moreland Hills, Cru Uncorked reigns supreme as a bastion of French fine dining. The restaurant, located at 34300 Chagrin Blvd, boasts a setting reminiscent of the Normandy countryside, creating an atmosphere that blurs the line between public restaurant and private estate. The menu, adorned with lavish offerings such as saffron, brown butter, Nebbiolo wine reductions, and freshly shaved truffles, invites patrons to indulge in an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

  • Location: 34300 Chagrin Blvd., Moreland Hills


In an old bank building on Professor Ave, Dante is a testament to Chef Dante Boccuzzi’s fusion of global flavors. The restaurant offers a unique 21-course tasting menu, allowing diners to sample various dishes in an opulent setting. The candy bar experience and the option to dine in the vault add an extra layer of indulgence to an already over-the-top culinary adventure.

  • Location: 2247 Professor Ave. Ste. C, Cleveland

Good Night John Boy

For a trip back to the ’70s, venture into Good Night John Boy, a 1970s-themed nightclub. Conceived by the Forward Hospitality Group after two years of planning, the nightclub is a visual feast of wood paneling, shag carpet, linoleum floors, and eccentric wallpaper. Co-owner Bobby Rutter’s passion for disco permeates every corner, making it one of the must-visit restaurants in Cleveland for those craving a unique blend of retro design and nightlife excitement.

  • Location: 1050 West 10th St., Cleveland

Unleash the Personal Chef Magic with CookinGenie

Now, let’s talk about turning your dining escapade up a notch. Have you ever dreamt of having a personal chef curate a delicious and tailor-made menu for your cravings? CookinGenie brings a squad of talented personal chefs to your doorstep, ready to whip up a culinary storm.

Whether you’re in the mood for a cozy dinner at home or planning a small gathering, these culinary maestros know how to turn your food fantasies into reality. With CookinGenie, your dining experience becomes an event. So why settle for the ordinary when you can have a personal chef in Cleveland to add a touch of culinary magic to your Cleveland adventure?


And there you have it, fellow food enthusiasts – our flavorful journey through the culinary wonders of Cleveland. As we wrap up this gastronomic adventure, remember that Cleveland’s dining scene is a dynamic canvas, ever evolving and ready to surprise your taste buds. Whether you’re a local seeking a new haunt or a traveler eager to uncover hidden gems, this city has something for every palate.

So, the next time you find yourself in Cleveland or any city with a vibrant food culture, dare to step out of your culinary comfort zone. Embrace the unexpected, savor the flavors, and let each meal be a celebration of diverse tastes and culinary creativity.

Sabah Drabu

Co-Founder & CEO

Sabah Drabu is a foodie, engineer, and the Co-founder & CEO of CookinGenie. She created the platform in 2019 to connect local chefs with at-home diners, making hiring personal chefs more accessible. Sabah's idea has evolved into a service people use for parties, vacation rentals, and family gatherings.

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