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Nov 9, 2010 02:52 PM

Ethnic and organic food around the Cleveland Playhouse?

I'm going to be acting in a play at the Cleveland Playhouse in Feb. and March. What are some good cheap ethnic restaurants in that area? Any good options for food shopping, especially organic? Thanks

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  1. The Cleveland Playhouse lies on Euclid Ave., just west of the Cleveland Clinic and University Circle. There is not much in the way of inexpensive or organic food close to there, I'm sorry to report. In and around the Clinic and University there are some very nice restaurants (L'Albatros, Sergio's, Table 45) -- but all pretty pricey. There is a wonderful Italian food market called Gallucci's that is at about 65th/Euclid (Playhouse is at about 86th -- and you don't want to go walking around there). Great stuff (including all kinds of deluxe pastas, meats, olive oils etc.), but not organic. However, they have a sandwich shop in the back and make a mean eggplant sub! A bit further toward downtown and just a bit north (around Payne/East 30th) you'll get into our Asian neighborhood, with lots of Chinese and other Asian restaurants and grocery stores. Our best food shopping is the West Side Market (West 25th/Lorain), but again, not really big on organic stuff. Most people who want organic tend to patronize farmer's markets, CSA's, Whole Foods, etc. Hope you won't be disappointed in this. As a season subscriber to the Playhouse, I look forward to seeing you perform!

    West Side Market
    1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH

    Table 45
    9801 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106

    1. The area immediately around the playhouse is not a good one - you'll note the secured, gated parking at the facility, which is there for a reason. It's not Fallujah or anything, but I wouldn't walk around there at night, and there are no good restaurants in close walking distance, but you'll have a lot of choices within a close drive.

      We have a great korean place around 40th and Payne called Seoul Hot Pot - there's a picture of the outside here: and a lot of good Asian groceries in the area. #1 Pho and Superior Pho are also good ethnic there, as is Bo Loong which has great dim sum.

      You will probably like Constantino's food market, it's a little gourmet type shop with excellent heat-and-eat foods in their deli case, as well as a good but small selection of fancy cheeses, good wine, and fun snackies. There is free parking for the market in the lot just N of the building.

      Where you're really going to want to shop is the West Side Market. This is mostly a great place to buy fresh meats, cheeses and breads but there are some good prepared foods, and some good heat and eat foods as well. It is a Cleveland institution and offers great shopping and people watching and there are a lot of very good, small restaurants right around the market. You can get everything from Lithuanian rye bread to locally roasted coffee to very fresh fish, chicken, beef, goat, lamb, pork, to heat and serve enchiladas to fresh-made pasta to locally made dairy products and eggs to freshly imported cheese (see the Mediterranean market in the corner, or Annemarie's dairy) and a million other things. The bratwurst sandwich stand is a well known favorite, and Maha's falafil, in another corner, makes the best falafel sandwich you'll ever have. You can grab a sandwich and a coffee from City Roast, or a fresh squeezed juice from the juice stand and go upstairs to the 2nd floor where there is a narrow observation deck - you can find the stairs just outside the doors next to city roast coffee. I generally don't recommend much of the produce there as it's use-that-day or it's bad, but Basketeria's stand usually has some good veg.

      Phnom Pehn is close by, which has Cambodian. Bar Cento is across the street, which is kind of like a gastropub with over 100 wines and is attached to Bier Market, which (obviously) offers great beers. Lelolai bakery has a FANTASTIC Cuban sandwich (get the authentic one, not the Americanized one) and is just a few doors down, along with a few other cuban specialties, and they make their own flan, which is great. Flying Fig there is a great, great restaurant and they recently opened a store next door where you can buy things. The market has very limited hours but is busiest on Saturdays - get there early to avoid throngs of people.
      Phnom Pehn:

      Sterle's slovenian house is not too far from CPH neighborhood and has great, stick to your ribs food in an unassuming atmosphere.

      There are also some very good restaurants in the Warehouse District and E 4th district downtown, as well as the university circle area places which were mentioned previously.

      Flying Fig
      2523 Market Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113

      Bar Cento
      1948 West 25th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113

      West Side Market
      1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH

      Seoul Hot Pot
      3709 Payne Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114

      1. I've been to Patty Express a few times. I like it a lot. The jerk chicken has been good. It's pretty close, just a little East on Euclid.

        1. If you want ethnic, I second & recommend Superior Pho (on Superior Ave) - the pho is great there. It is not in a fancy place but in the back of a plaza. Also, Cedarland at the Clinic (on Euclid across from the Cleveland Clinic) is another option for middle eastern food. Neither are expensive.

          1. There is an excellent organic food market and deli at the corner of 117th and Euclid, The Cleveland Food Coop. Very nice people and an excellent selection along with environmental awareness.