Casual Dining in Cleveland

There are a lot of great reasons to visit Cleveland and most of them will keep you hopping and cost a bit of cash. So if you’re thinking about dinner and want to skip the fast food and avoid the overpriced fine dining options, try these casual dining restaurants in Cleveland for a good meal that you can sit down and enjoy without worrying about breaking the bank.

Hard Rock Café

Nothing new here, Hard Rock Café is as good in Cleveland as it is anywhere else, the difference is you’re in a rock and roll city. Cleveland is the home of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and so taking in the Hall of Fame and then heading to the Hard Rock Café seems like the perfect way to continue a theme day. The Hard Rock is located in the heart of the downtown area so it’s convenient to a lot of attractions including Progressive Field and The Q.

Wine Bar Rocky River

At Wine Bar Rocky River you’ll get a classy atmosphere with a beautiful patio so you can continue to enjoy the good weather (if you get it) while you’re visiting Cleveland. This is a bit on the nicer end of casual dining but entrees are not too pricey and you can still get a burger, albeit a fancy burger. This really is the spot for a couple to go for a romantic meal that won’t break the bank, especially if the weather is nice and you can enjoy the patio seating.


If its sushi you want the Shuhei is your best bet in Cleveland for great sushi at casual dining prices. The food is always good at the and fresh and there is a large variety of Asian dishes that do not have raw fish for those who are a little squeamish. For the non-squeamish who love a little uni it’s a true delight.


Hoggy’s is a favorite across the state of Ohio simply because they make the best BBQ around. There is absolutely nothing about a good old fashioned BBQ joint that says fine dining and Hoggy’s fits that bill. Come with an empty stomach and a love for quality, homemade BBQ food and you’ll be more than happy that you turned to Hoggy’s. There are several locations in the Cleveland area so no matter where you are there’s one fairly nearby.

Mama Santa’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Mama Santa’s Restaurant & Pizzeria is located in Cleveland’s Little Italy and provides a great stop on a trip through this part of town. There are lots of artists located in the region so the galleries and little local shops create an interesting diversion. But it’s Mama Santa’s pizza that’s the highlight. The décor is exactly what you’d expect from a mom and pop pizzeria but the food is out of this world. Don’t load up on the tempting pastries in Little Italy before dinner because you’ll want to eat all of your pizza and you’ll definitely leave full.

Cornerstone Brewing Company

Cornerstone Brewing Company knows what its doing when it comes to beer but they also know how to put together a pretty good plate of food as well. Sometimes all you want to do on vacation is kick back and enjoy a beer and some good comfort food and the Cornerstone Brewing Company is a great place to do that. This bar is popular among the locals so expect to meet quite a crowd during peak hours.

Shooters on the Water

Shooters on the Water is another local favorite because of the casual atmosphere and the waterfront location. The food at Shooters isn’t known as the best in culinary delights, but it is known for its incredible atmosphere. So if that’s what you’re looking for and fun is more important than the menu then Shooters is really worth more than just a quick stop.

Melt Bar & Grilled

If you’re traveling with children then Melt Bar & Grilled is a must stop on your vacation. Their specialty – grilled cheese sandwiches. Really. They specialize in grilled cheese sandwiches made a whole bunch of different ways. They also have salads, burgers, steaks, soups and beer. But if you’re going to the Melt then you should dig in and have a grilled cheese sandwich.

Sweet Melissa’s

Who says healthy food has to be expensive? Sweet Melissa’s offers travelers a break from the fast food and burger on the run menu and invites them to sit down and enjoy some healthy fare for a change. Sweet Melissa’s prides itself on using the freshest ingredients possible with many organic options when available. The décor is earthy meets trendy (which is a little redundant these days) and there are carry out options if you want to bring something back to your hotel room.

Somer’s Diner

Part old fashioned diner, and part new age fresh food concept, Somer’s Diner is perfect for families who are looking for a healthy alternative and great atmosphere. Somer’s features comfort food with healthy ingredients in a kitschy diner atmosphere. In addition, you may run into local politicians, celebrities, and sports stars as this is a favorite locale for everyone in the area.


Tommy’s Restaurant is currently the golden child of Cleveland, garnering award after award. So why all the hoopla? Well it’s actually nothing new at Tommy’s. With its meager beginning in 1972 as a soda fountain, Tommy’s earned its first award by bringing in the Best Milkshake East of the Mississippi. Since then the restaurant has grown but the quality has stayed the same. Now Tommy’s is much bigger and has gone healthier with filtered water, non-hydrogenated oil, soups made from scratch, and each meal can be tailored to handle every type of dietary restriction there is.

The above restaurants offer great, safe casual dining options for restaurant goers in the Cleveland area. Pick one or several from the list and sit down, enjoy a real, quality made meal and be confident that you’re not spending more than you should.

Creative Commons Licensephoto credit: Flickr/stu_spivack