Saturday, July 16, 2016

10 Dining Destinations in Cleveland for the RNC

The 2016 Cleveland Host Committee and Destination Cleveland, and really all of Cleveland, are preparing to welcome visitors from across the world to our city for the Republican National Convention this week. Visitors are encouraged to engage with our city through social media, by using and following the hashtag #AskCLE. There is even an #AskCLE headquarters set up in Downtown.

To help visitors navigate the booming Cleveland dining scene during the RNC, here are my top 10 dining destinations (close to Downtown) that you really shouldn't miss. I left out some of my favorite locations that I know are already booked for private groups all week.

1. Sokolowski's University Inn- Cleveland's oldest family-owned restaurant, located in the heart of Tremont. This James Beard "American Classics" winning restaurant serves up Polish and Eastern European cuisine with views of the Cuyahoga River and the downtown skyline. Lunch is served Monday - Friday, and dinner is served on Friday and Saturday. I recommend the Pierogi.

2. Flying Fig- Located in Ohio City, just across the bridge from Downtown, this staple of the Cleveland dining scene has one of our city's best chefs at the helm. Chef Karen Small is dedicated to locally sourced product, and artful preparations. I recommend the Tempura Green Beans.

3. Momocho- Also in Ohio City, this restaurant has been featured on the Food Network for its modern Mexican fare. Don't miss the Cucumber Margarita!

4. Dante- Located on Professor Avenue in Tremont, this gem is a highlight on a popular "culinary row" in Cleveland. Guests enjoy quite the culinary, and visual, delight as they dine in a former bank building. I suggest the Linguine alla Carbonara. You can also step downstairs for high-quality sushi from its sister restaurant, Ginko.

5. Slyman's Restaurant- A retro breakfast and lunch deli known for their corned beef sandwiches. Don't be thrown by the simple diner atmosphere, it's a well-known Cleveland classic that even locals stand in line for.

6. Superior Pho- In the mood for Vietnamese? Many feel that they have the best Pho and Banh Mi in town.

7. Mitchell's Ice Cream- Stop by the Ohio City headquarters for an after-dinner scoop of homemade ice cream. Personally, I love the Toasted Pistachio and Caramel Sea Salt, but they always have great seasonal flavors as well.

8. Urban Farmer- Located in The Westin on E. 6th Street in Downtown, I personally think that it's the best steakhouse in town. Try the NY Steak Tasting for something different, and don't miss the warm cornbread served in a tin can.

9. Flip Side- A local Cleveland hamburger chain. You can soak in the newly developed The Flats on the East Bank of the Cuyahoga River in Downtown, while enjoying locally sourced burgers, like the One Red Door Burger (crispy shallots, melted brie cheese, and a date and applewood bacon aioli).

10. Barrio- Custom-made tacos, designed by you. The local chain provides diners with a checklist of taco toppings, and you build your own creation. Wildly popular across Cleveland, this casual restaurant is now open for Friday lunch and weekend brunch, in addition to daily dinner hours. I suggest using the Stoner tortilla as your base.

Honestly, I could go on, and on, and on about the Cleveland dining scene. Oh wait, that's what I do on a weekly basis. It's kind of my favorite topic to talk about. I encourage you to utilize my Search function, or scroll through the list of restaurants and neighborhoods reviewed on the right-hand side of my blog.

RNC visitors- use #AskCLE all week long as you explore our city. Enjoy your time here!