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Dec 30, 2003 11:25 AM

Good food in Cleveland

  • b

Hello, chowhounds,

My husband and I are going to Cleveland to be with my mother who is having surgery at the Cleveland Clinic January 2. We will be there for about a week--are there any good ethnic restaurants (Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Greek, Italian--anything?) in the downtown area that aren't wallet breakers?

Any other restaurants that provide good food for not too much? Neither of us eat much in the way of fast food, so we are hoping that a native might point us in the right direction.

Thanks so much in advance for any help.


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  1. welcome even if its on such unhappy circumstances. however, you mom is sure in good hands at the reknowned cleveland clinic.

    on your right of the clinic just northeast and very nearby is little italy. try MAMA SANTAS or CORBOS or just walk around its very nice. BARICELLI INN you will see there is one of the best restaurants in town.

    to the west just before downtown is the little chinatown. try SIAM CAFE it gets rave reviews. BO LOONG or LI WAH for dim sum on the weekend. there is viet to be had in the asian market building. also, try SLYMAN'S right there for great corned beef as good as here in nyc! umm, i think RUTHIE AND MOE'S is your diner near downtown if you want that it's "thee" local diner.

    if you want some real (distracting and fun) kitsch yet decent food for the total cleveland experience try FRANK STERLE'S SLOVENIAN COUNTRY HOME near lake erie on e55th or SOKOLOWSKI'S polish in tremont. try to see the beautiful west side market near the latter its a fantastic working person's market (not fancy at all thankfully) and i bet it will help relax you. there is a french crepe place nearby for breakfast and GREAT LAKES across the street is an awesome brewpub.

    other 'local spot dining areas' are the aforementioned hip tremont neighborhood, ohio city across from the wsm, warehouse district downtown and coventry east. for example, one of my families old favs is BALATON a hungarian restaurant in shaker square, but there are plenty of new places if that suits you.

    good luck to you all and your mother. let us know if you want more and please report back afterward.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrnyc

      Oh, thank you, very much!

      I am feeling very good about my mother going to the Cleveland Clinic--the doctors there are among the best anywhere, and I know she will get the best care for her condition.

      I will definately report back--dim sum sounds really good. I teach dim sum classes, as well as other Asian cookery classes, but I love to eat out and learn new things, and get new ideas. And Italian is always good, and it is something that we can take my Dad with us to eat. And Vietnamese--well, that is comfort food for me!

      My husband used to live near Cleveland (he went to Oberlin College), but it has been years and years since either of us have been there, so thank you again for your suggestions!

    2. Within walking distance from where you will be at the Clinic is Cedarland Deli (or a similar name) on Euclid Avenue. Pretty good Lebanese food and very nice service -- it's where my sister and I ate when my mom had heart surgery at the Clinic a few years ago. A couple of other places near the Clinic are Mi Pueblo, Uptowne Grille, and the Boarding House -- all decent places that are not very expensive.

      Hope all goes well for you.


      1. There is plenty of good food in Cleveland.
        Italian= go to Little Italy, probably 2 miles from Cleveland Clinic. Best choices are: Corbo's, Battuto (more upscale and expensive), Guarino's
        Asian= Hunan on Coventry and Lemon Grass, both in Cleveland Heights as well as Li Wah in downtown Cleveland. Phnom Pehn on the West side is downscale, but outstanding.
        Good luck with your mother's surgery and enjoy the food!

        1. Even better Thai than Lemon Grass in Cleveland Heights is Mekong River--it's on the same street (Lee Road, north of Cedar) and it's both Thai and Cambodian. So good! To get there from the Clinic, take Carnegie up Cedar HIll, bear right at the top of the Hill...take Cedar to Lee, make a left and it's a few blocks down with the big neon purple sign.

          1. Thanks for all the great suggestions, everyone. My Mom's surgery was cancelled due to the shortage in the blood supply. Apparently a lot of non-emergency surgeries are being cancelled across the country. It is due to be rescheduled again in ten days or so.

            When we go up to Cleveland, I will be certain to report on what we ate, when and where.