Banter Beer and Wine

Gordon Square

It’s late, you’re bundled up, and you just came from one of the growing Gordon Square Arts District’s many shows. You want poutine and sausages. This winter, Banter gave us the refuge and sustenance we needed. Veggie-friendly, lamb stroganov, and heritage pork poutine are all here to warm your belly. Their “breakfast” dish is built around Ohio maple sausage, but you can grab it up until the late night kitchen call.

Weenie a Go Go

Weenie a Go Go

Ohio City

Though it may be shiny and new, this hot dog-themed restaurant is rooted in the sock hop days of yesteryear. It took over the former Deering Vintage storefront and, fittingly, picks up on retro chic where Deering left off. Right along the W 25th strip, Weenie a Go Go is all about bubbly Coca Cola and drive-in movie dates as much as they are about authentic Chicago dogs. Keeping it Cleveland, the wieners are straight from local Wolf Boy Provisions.

Tavern of Little Italy

Little Italy

In the heart of Little Italy, this newcomer adds an American flair to the traditionalist neighborhood. The main drag is already a sight to behold on snowy days, and now, we were given a whole new reason to visit. Retaining the feel of the historic surroundings, the tavern brings life to its 100-year-old building. Deep fried spaghetti inside meatballs and hangover tortilla soup are slam dunks. Flatbreads, salads, and ice cream with house-made chocolate sauce offer something laid back for everyone. For a casual winter warm up, a nice variety of wine and craft brews are on tap. Did we mention the bacon sriracha onion rings? Those exist.

Dave's Cosmic Subs

Dave’s Cosmic Subs

Ohio City

Everyone knows Dave’s psychedelic subs rule the city. So much so that we even gave him the very official title of The Sandwich Mayor of Cleveland. The most recent of his quick-serve storefronts in Ohio City brings the fizzy soda pops, crusty bread, and addicting special sauce we'll drench with everything we all know and love.

The Hermit Club

Downtown

The Hermit Club is by no means new; established in 1904, it's been operating as a private club for more than a century. Now attached to the Hofbrauhaus, the space swung open its doors to the public this year. The more upscale, fine dining wing serves a special menu. As an added bonus, it makes for a quick place to steal away for a post-show hang with its proximity to Playhouse Square.

Brimfield Bread Oven

Brimfield Bread Oven

Akron

Nothing warms us up quite like fresh baked bread, and Brimfield is at the top of its game. Wood-fired rustic rolls, country sourdough, pepperoni rolls, and olive and herb focaccia are just some of the breads baked daily. Pastries, such as scones and croissants, are also available for a quick early day snack. Build-your-own pizzas and house favorites like the margherita and veggie are bound to only grow in popularity.

Herb’n Twine Sandwich Co

Ohio City

On our coldest days, there’s nothing like a hearty sandwich, and Herb'n Twine doesn’t skimp on the fixings. Another foodie addition to the growing Lorain Rd strip, this grab-and-go sandwich shop took over the former Speak In Tongues nightclub space. Fried chicken with Korean barbecue sauce, sesame slaw, and cilantro makes an appearance, as does a porchetta sandwich with chilichurri. Daily specials, veggie options, soups, and salads round out the menu.

Citizen Pie

Citizen Pie

Waterloo

We already told you why Citizen Pie’s wood-oven Neapolitan pizzas were one of the best new things we ate last year, but we’re especially grateful for it this winter as we slush through the Waterloo Arts District. No cold can impede the Beachland Ballroom’s concerts, and nothing can hold us back from shuffling from gallery to gallery in Collinwood’s buzzing art scene. Between it all, Citizen Pie has quickly grown into a go-to destination before our favorite shows and events.

El Gato Taqueria

Akron

As if we didn’t already eat our weight in grilled cheese at the Lockview, they’ve gone and opened up a taco shop next door. Serving up street tacos, burritos, and salads, this only makes our munchies worse. For true late night eats, try an order of Disco Fries covered in chihuahua cheese, guacamole, and sour cream.

Local Sol

Local Sol

Willoughby

Call it a kitchen, call it a cantina. Or do as Local Sol does and call it a "cantiki." Whatever it is, cocktails are what we need right now, and the latest newcomer to Willoughby’s growing dining scene is bursting with Latin fare with the likes of mariquitas, Spanish sausage, and piri piri wings. Rancheros and a Spanish take on eggs Benedict heat up their brunch -- not to mention the build your own Bloody Mary bar.

Tavern on 91

Solon

This smokehouse serves up BBQ favorites like ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. Burgers like The Deep South topped with fried green tomatoes pay homage to its roots. Those not looking to douse their palates in barbeque sauce can opt for the pizzas, like the meaty Little Italy and veggie spinach and artichoke. Or order up the smoked chicken and roasted corn pie with BBQ sauce for the best of both worlds.

Sweet Mary's Bakery

Sweet Mary’s Bakery

Akron

This winter we’re thankful for bakeries that opened in time for Paczki Day. Follow your nose to the first floor of Greystone Hall, where you’ll find fresh-baked, scratch-made seasonal baked goods. Savory quiches balance out all the sugary goodness. While you’re there, snag a French press from local coffee favorites Bent Tree.

Rising Star Coffee Roasters

Rising Star Coffee

Downtown

One of the city’s favorite coffee shops has finally made its way Downtown, and this season we couldn’t be more relieved to grab a hot cup of Joe. Factor in that this year that Humble Pie Baking Company began partnering with Rising Star shops to carry the delicious pies, and you have a match made in Cleveland winter heaven.

Up Next
Harlow’s Pizza | Peter Larson
Food & Drink

Cleveland's Best New Restaurants of 2017

Published On 11/13/2017
C leveland began its transformation into a food destination several years ago, with some of the best restaurants in town actually opening just last year in 2016. These days, there’s no shortage of truly excellent eats to be found most anywhere across the 216 (and 440...), and from Lola’s hip brand of swankiness to Swenson’s sweatpants-appropriate casual, everyone has their tried and true favorites. That said, 2017's food offerings were nothing to sneeze at either, and there are plenty of new arrivals deserving of a spot on your go-to list; here are our five favorite places to open this year.
Noble Beast Brewing Company

Noble Beast Brewing Co.

Downtown

A hip, industrial brewery serving fresh, local pub food
Arguably, when it comes to Cleveland breweries, we’re quickly nearing the point of saturation. However, Noble Beast truly shines for its pairing of excellent beers by Shaun Yasaki (the former opening brewer at Platform Beer) and locally sourced pub food by James Redford (formerly of Spice Kitchen & Bar). With Spice’s allegiance to local ingredients now deeply ingrained in Redford, Noble Beast’s kitchen utilizes local produce, meats, dairy and even condiments. Menu standouts include the veggie sandwich with Cheddar, garlic aioli and almond butter, as well as the zucchini Parmesan fritters with buttermilk ranch -- and if you're a diehard carnivore, there's also a smoked kielbasa corn dog that's a must-try.

Collision Bend Brewing Company

The Flats

Handcrafted beers and elevated bar food served along the river
Considering its prime location alongside the Cuyahoga River, it was a total shame when the Watermark restaurant closed its doors in 2003. Thanks in part to the recent revitalization of The Flats, the historical building reopened its doors as Collision Bend Brewing Company back in April. Beyond its picturesque setting, this latest venture from Cleveland chef and restaurateur Zack Bruell offers consistently good food alongside its handcrafted beers -- highlights off the food menu include flavorful lamb tamales with salsa verde, and salty-spicy salami & green olive pizza. Whether you’re stopping in for a few drinks or a full-on meal, don’t miss the completely moreish Collision Bend popcorn with bacon fat, Mexican pepper, lime zest and pecorino. We’ll take another handful, please.

Peter Larson

Harlow's Pizza

Lakewood

A simple Neapolitan stand-out amid a sea of new pizza joints
As the newest restaurant on this list, opening only a few short weeks ago, Harlow’s Pizza is quickly gaining a loyal following for its ultra-simple menu of five different wood-fired pizzas and a handful of drinks. Using a Pavesi oven imported from Italy, owners Emily Flamos and John Sweeney are cooking up the type of pies they learned how to make during travels to Naples. In a city seemingly bursting with new pizza joints, Harlow’s sets itself apart from the crowd as the perfect example of letting high-quality ingredients speak for themselves. Don’t miss the classic margherita, with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and sea salt.

Hook & Hoof

Willoughby

New American kitchen and cocktail bar in downtown Willoughby
Cleveland’s foodies may not flock to downtown Willoughby on the regular, but it’s certainly worth the trek to check out Hook & Hoof. Since its opening in April, the restaurant has been turning out top-notch New American food like lamb belly meatballs and caramelized scallops with black truffle pate. The scratch kitchen, helmed by hometown chefs Chaz Bloom and Hunter Toth, works with seasonal ingredients from local suppliers such as Green City Growers and Tom’s Foolery. An extensive yet thoughtful cocktail list of originals and classics offers the perfect boozy companions to any dish you desire -- try the Black Flag, with bourbon, brandied Amarena syrup, and Aztec chocolate bitters. We dare you to order just one.

Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar

Marble Room Steaks & Raw Bar

Downtown

Top-quality steaks and seafood in a glamorous old bank
Speaking of revitalized historical buildings, you really can’t find a more spectacular example than Marble Room. Situated in the lobby of the old National City Bank, this restaurant features floor-to-ceiling marble columns, intricate green and gold carpeting, and plushly upholstered furniture. The over-the-top menu matches this restaurant’s completely decadent interior, featuring all of the pricey steak house classics (like long-bone tomahawks and Kobe strip loin cooked tableside) along with a raw bar menu. If you’re in the mood for something unique, check out the surf-and-turf sushi roll with wagyu tataki, lobster, avocado and kimchi purée or the Hudson Valley foie gras with funnel cake and seasonal jam. Marble Room is undoubtedly the place to knock the socks off of your out of town visitors.   

Coronado
Sponsored

Indoor Day-Trip Destinations To Cure Your Chicago Winter Blues

Published On 02/16/2018
JASON SHAFFER
Food & Drink

The Best Restaurants in Cleveland Right Now

Published On 10/06/2017