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Cleveland’s culinary scene: Top chefs, institutions and hot nabes

The historic West Side Market is home to

The historic West Side Market is home to nearly 100 food vendors. Photo Credit: Jeff Greenberg /

When considering Cleveland, rock ’n’ roll, LeBron James and the Lake Erie shore might come immediately to mind. But in recent years, the Ohio city has also built up its food cred, with top chefs investing in the city alongside cherished institutions.

Here’s a look at some of the big names in Cleveland’s culinary scene.

Top chefs

Cleveland native Michael Symon, a James Beard Award-winning chef and co-host of “The Chew,” has steadily set the record straight that Cleveland is the place to eat with successful restaurants Lola Bistro, Mabel’s BBQ and the B Spot burger chain.

Fellow Beard winner Jonathon Sawyer works his magic at Noodlecat, Trentina and The Greenhouse Tavern (where you should order fried Brussels sprouts with maple aioli and crispy chicken wings confit, below).

Chef Zack Bruell has an empire, too, with Parallax, Table 45, DYNOMITE Burgers, Alley Cat Oyster Bar, Chinato, Cowell & Hubbard and L’Albatros. He’s also involved in the new Collision Bend Brewing Company, where you can feast on ale-brined chicken breast and BBQ pork sausage while sipping on craft beer.

Trendy nabes

Head to Tremont for breakfast at Grumpy’s Cafe, Ohio City for French-inspired food at The Black Pig, and Shaker Square for wood-fired American fare at Fire Food & Drink.

Market mainstay

At the 100-plus-year-old West Side Market in Ohio City, Cleveland’s oldest public market, find pierogi, falafel, sweets from around the world, meats, cheeses and much more from the nearly 100 vendors.

While you’re there...

Here’s what to do in Cleveland beyond eating.

Explore University Circle museums

There is a square mile of museums in University Circle; highlights include the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland History Center.

Take in a performance

See a show at Playhouse Square, the largest performing arts center outside New York City, or the Dobama Theater.

Step inside the ‘Christmas Story’ house

No matter the season, recall the 1983 holiday classic with a tour of the house and props from “A Christmas Story.”

Hit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

No trip to Cleveland is complete without a visit to this music shrine, with seven floors dedicated to clothes, letters, photos and memorabilia.


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