Hot Restaurants in Cleveland

Cleveland has a lot to offer its visitors from sports arenas to its multiple museums, its noted festivals and its International Film Festival to the most famous attraction in the city, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. But one thing Cleveland is not really noted for is its great restaurants, which is too bad because the city is literally brimming with culinary delights.

Flying Fig

The Flying Fig is a Cleveland treat. This small restaurant is quaint and unassuming but the meals are grand and explosively delicious. The cuisine is wine-oriented and the ingredients are only the finest available and as often as possible locally grown. Chef Karen Small was actually one of the first in Cleveland to take note of the locally grown food trend and bring that concept to her eatery. If you’re headed to the Flying Fig make sure to take the wine suggestions to heart and definitely leave room for dessert as they’re all made in house, even the ice cream.

Felice Urban Café

Felice Urban Café is led by Chef Ricardo Sandoval who also owns and runs local favorites Lava Lounge and Fat Cats. A converted craftsman style home is the setting and the service follows the homey atmosphere, making you feel welcome and comfortable. The food has a predictable Spanish flare that doesn’t disappoint. Felice is a place where you’ll want to relax and spend some time, so order the bottle of wine because they’re more than happy to have you even after the dessert course is through.

Lola

Famed chef Michael Symon owns Lola and its twin restaurant Lolita. Lola brings a sexy and sophisticated atmosphere to the party as it sits smack dab in the center of a happening nightlife district. Taking a cue from the lively atmosphere outside, Lola brings an excitement to the dining experience as evidenced by one of their most popular dishes, French toast with maple bacon ice cream. With an Iron Chef at the helm you know that every dish is near perfection but unfortunately the complaints seem to lie with the wait staff and not the food. So go to Lola to expecting to experience delightful food and not so delightful service.

Bodega

Two words describe Bodega, hip and happening. This trendy eatery is tucked into the Cleveland Heights’ Coventry neighborhood, a welcome addition and popular place to wile away the time. Bodega features three distinct spaces for dining, the traditional dining area, a sleek bar, or the laid back lounge. Although full sized meals are available, gather your friends and order a slew of tapas instead. The tapas give you a great taste of everything this wonderful restaurant has to offer and if there’s any waiting in between you have time to enjoy some cocktails. If you do decide to order entrees, be prepared, you’ll be swapping tastes anyway.

Tartine Bistro

Located in the Shoppes of Old River road in Rocky River, Tartine Bistro actually seems to sweep you back in time or to a quaint European café. The market based neighborhood with its cobblestone streets helps lend authenticity and an air of Europe to the Bistro but the atmosphere in the restaurant and its delightful menu pushes the bar just a little bit higher. Local ingredients are featured whenever possible and nothing is fried, healthy and delicious no matter how you slice it. A tartine is a French open faced sandwich, similar to a little pizza and this restaurant knows how to deliver tartine’s that make it worthy of adopting the name. If you’re looking for a relaxing and slightly romantic way to spend the evening then a few hours in the shops and Tartine Bistro should do the trick.

Americano

Americano occupies the northern half of the first floor of One Bratenahl Place. The mid-century French dining room is formal yet inviting, with spacious table placements, period mirrors, and original artwork.

Americano occupies the northern half of the first floor of One Bratenahl Place. The mid-century French dining room is formal yet inviting, with spacious table placements, period mirrors, and original artwork.

In this case, Americano does not mean hamburgers and French fries, instead it refers to the small cup of espresso that was designed to be a little milder for the American palate, thus the Americano. This restaurant was the brainchild of a European chef and an American vintner who wanted to sift some European based classics through an American cheesecloth and see what came out on the other end. And what resulted is a delightful mix of European cuisine with an American flare. The menu changes with regular frequency but always has a fair mix of food so there is something for everyone. Stay to enjoy the dessert, you won’t be sorry.

Mallorca

With all the vibrance and electricity of Spain and Portugal, Mallorca delivers culinary delights to its patrons and keeps the drinks flowing. Mallorca’s highlights include their incredibly fresh seafood dusted with Spanish and Portuguese spices and some English translations of authentic Spanish dishes that bring a new twist to old favorites. Be warned you will leave Mallorca feeling very full and satisfied, so save this stop for the last one of the night.

Chez Francois

Rather than just relying on local ingredients, Chez Francois believes in gathering all of the best food sourced from the finest farms and purveyors in the country and then expertly combining it to make pleasantly pleasing gastronomical delights. Chez Francois has been in business for more than 20 years and refuses to see itself as hip, but hip is exactly what this restaurant may be. As people educate their palates and discover what true fine dining is they keep coming back to Chez Francois for more. Is there anything more hip than standing the test of time and proving excellent food and service to your clientele? In addition it must be mentioned that the incredible setting with beautiful river views simply can’t be beat.

Pier W

And what would a list of hot Cleveland restaurants be without including one of the most popular dining trends today, steakhouses? So our choice for top steakhouse, is not really a steakhouse. In a town that features many beef-centric restaurants, is Pier W. Selected as much for its culinary offerings as for its stunning location and incomparable view. Pier W rests atop a cliff with sweeping views of Lake Erie. And has long been noted for its incredibly fresh seafood selections, but its little secret are the few steak options on the menu. To take advantage of everything Pier W has to offer, order the surf and turf and delight in the excellent combination of the two specialties of this delightful restaurant.

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