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Jan 30, 2009 11:01 AM

Going to Cleveland tonight, good downtown choices?

Staying at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland Arcade on Superior Avenue. I'm assuming that's right downtown. What are the best food choices for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. Would like to stay near the downtown area please and it doesn't have to be cheap!

Thanks in advance!


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  1. Ughh, sorry I misspelled your fine city's name, I was in a rush. Apologies!

    1 Reply
    1. re: MovieGuy

      movieguy howz about a report back? where did you end up?

    2. Try Lola's. Things change quickly in Cleveland, so I can't swear that Lola's is still there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: svallegal

        Lola is still at 2058 East 4th Street downtown and still outstanding. Open for both lunch and dinner. It's two very short blocks from your hotel, and should take you about three minutes to walk there. Great choice.

      2. There aren't a lot of choices downtown. I admit that there are some restaurants I need to check out and there's at least one restaurant opening soon that I'm looking forward to. Still, I hardly ever eat Downtown even though I would really love to.

        There was a nearly identical thread very recently.

        I offered several recommendations in the Ohio City neighborhood and the Shaker Square area. Public transportation in Cleveland can be inconvenient as it is in most cities but these two neighborhoods are both easily accessible. The routes are fast and straightforward. Getting to Ohio City takes less than 15 minutes including walking and Shaker Square takes 20-30 minutes. You can check Google maps for public transit directions in Cleveland which I also mention in my other post. Your choices for food will be wider and better and the neighborhoods are both worth experiencing, too.

        I should add that the Asiatown area is also easily accessible. For instance, Siam Cafe Wonton Gourmet and Garden cafe are 13 minutes, 7 minutes and 9 minutes away, respectively. Wonton Gourmet and Garden Cafe have some very interesting Hong Kong and Taiwanese specialties our other Cleveland restaurants don't have. I've recommended Siam Cafe many times and you can search for those posts to find specific recommendations. They're currently offering a special Chinese New Year menu. Superior Pho has awesome banh mi.

        Siam Cafe:

        2 Replies
        1. re: stuart

          Siam Café is good but my favorite place for oriental is now Phenom Penh on W25th by the market. My daughters roommate is from Hong Kong and she thought Li Wah was better then Boo Long.

          Lemon Gras is also very good, and a bit more upscale than Phenom Penh.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            I just had Dim Sum at Li Wah today and was very pleased - they've really improved since the last time I tried them (about 2 years ago).

        2. I'm not sure why the other poster would say there "aren't a lot of choices" downtown, that is completely inaccurate.

          As mentioned previously, Lola (not Lola's, a common mistake) is what many consider our crown jewel, it is helmed by Iron Chef Michael Symon. I would call to make sure they can accommodate you, they might be full up on a Friday night. It is very near the Hyatt on E 4th street, along with several other restaurants including the House of Blues and Pickwick and Frolic (mid-priced, Continental cuisine), Flannery's pub (decent bar food), Saigon (Viet food), La Strada (very good, this would be my 2nd choice on E 4th) and Zocalo (tex-mex). A short, free trolley ride (look for the green and gold trolley and stops/signs saying E-line) to the Warehouse district on W 6th opens up many more choices. Metropolitan cafe (upscale Continental) Blue Point (seafood), Johnny's (old-school steaks and such), Cleveland Chop House & Brewery (very good food with big portions), Osteria (intimate Italian place) just to name a few.

          Lunch tomorrow is a little tougher as some things are closed on the weekends downtown, especially for lunch. I would see if 1890, the restaurant in the hotel, is open, they have good food.

          1. Probably too late to save ya, but here are some...ahem...differing opinions on Lola.

            5 Replies
            1. re: uhockey

              uhockey's is a distinctly minority opinion. I think Lola is simply divine, and would be a crown jewel in any city. The fact that it's three minutes walk from the OP's hotel makes it a no-brainer. (Any chance they could freeze and ship their heavenly beef cheek pierogis? LOL!)

              However, NancyH's observation about Saturday is perceptive and corrects my post regarding lunch; tomorrow is Saturday, and many restaurants, including Lola, are not open for lunch on Saturdays. One place she mentioned in her post that IS open for lunch on Saturdays is Cleveland Chophouse.

              1. re: nsxtasy

                nsxtasy - I think you meant rockandroller1's post. And I agree with you about Lola - I've had lunches and dinners there and have never had anything but a stellar experience.

                1. re: nsxtasy

                  Looked through these posts on Lola, and it seems in Cleveland you are not allowed to criticise the great Michael Symon, and that the above posters reply to such reviews with "it's a distinctly minority opinion" or chastise the poster for not complaining to the server, AND management, AND emailing them.

                  A lot of people love this restaurant, unlike me, but there is also a lot of detailed criticsm. When a restaurant gets things wrong several times, it is up to the restaurant to respond and change. Some owners lurk on Chowhound just to find out what may be wrong with this place, but i get the feeling that Lola thinks they are above this.(I just posted my review on CH. I am a former chef from another older mid size town like Cleveland. My answer to the unhappy posters is to try Crop in the Warehouse District )

                  1. re: crowsonguy

                    Loved Crop the one time I went. Loved Lola all of the times I went. Love Light Bistro and Parallax in Tremont, as well as Fahrenheit. Lots of places in Cleveland to love. Never known Lola to not make things right if something goes wrong - don't understand the enmity some have about it.

                    I was totally NOT impressed with Lola the first time I went (back in the old Lolita location) - but I gave them another chance and have had nothing but yummies since - not dissing others' experience, but that has been mine.

                2. re: uhockey

                  The only reason NOT to like Lola would be if you don't care for relatively heavy food. Otherwise it is certainly world class by ANY standard, which is why all the true foodies go wild over it. The value is incredible, as this place would be at least 50 % more pricey in NYC or Chicago, I assure you. I think that so many locals here are used to mediocrity, they don't know the real thing when they see it. I would certainly place Lola with Mario Batali's Lupa in NYC and Blackbird in Chicago, but frankly, Lola is the best of the 3. Kudos to Iron Chef Symon!