The Best Lunch in Cleveland: 7 Restaurants You Must Try
Cleveland, Ohio. A small town sitting just on the edge of Lake Erie.
Outside of the area, people might not know much about this big little city, but for those who visit or live there, it’s easy to understand why Forbes named it one of the country’s fastest emerging downtown areas. Businesses are rushing to the area, bringing in a new demographic ready and willing to encourage and support a new stream of businesses.
Just one of the areas impacted by the economic growth is the restaurant scene. It seems like a new place is popping up on every corner, making it a little more difficult to decide which place is getting your business for your next lunch outing. No worries, though. We’ve done a little research, combined the old with the new, and picked out the best lunch in Cleveland you shouldn’t pass by.
Our favorite choices for the best lunch in Cleveland:
3106 Saint Clair Ave NE
If you ask a local where to stop for lunch, it’s likely they’ll mention Slyman’s, a NY-style deli with sandwiches to make you drool. Piled high with delicious meat on fresh bread, you’d be amiss if you didn’t try the reuben or corned beef.
Prices are a little high but unless you’re appetite is ravenous, you’re pretty much guaranteed to take home leftovers. The only real downside is simply that the place is small, so it’s not a great choice for a lengthy business meeting. However, if you want something to grab-and-go, this is most definitely a great choice.
Open M-F, 6 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Crust 1020 Kenilworth Ave; 3000 St. Clair
This pizza haven is not your normal pizza shop. This little piece of heaven believes in real food, not fast food, and you can taste the difference from the first bite. Nothing in this place comes from a can or jar—the sauce comes from fresh tomatoes, pepperoni’s are hand-sliced, and bread is baked daily. What about that doesn’t sound heavenly?
To make the place even more irresistible, they also serve a variety of homemade gnocchi’s that are just as irresistible as the pizzas. Lucky for us, there are two locations. One in Tremont and one in Midtown.
Tremont is open Mon-Sat, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Midtown Mon-Fri, 10:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Cleveland Pickle 850 Euclid Ave
This hometown favorite is loved by all—so much so that it was named 2014 “Best Sandwich Shop” from Cleveland Magazine. The menu is small but when your sandwiches are this good, it really doesn’t matter.
Named after its’ city, the “clevelander” boasts smoked turkey, black forest ham, sopressata with their homemade bread and of course, their delicious pickle chips. Like many of the lunch favorites, the place is small and lunch lines can be long. However, if you work downtown, they’ll deliver.
Open Mon-Fri., 11 – 4; Sat. 12 – 4.
Superior Pho 3030 Superior Ave E, Ste E
Although the sandwich scene in Cleveland is pretty impressive, Superior Pho wins the prize for favorite Vietnamese joint. It offers Vietnamese staples like Pho and Bahn Mi sandwiches, while also throwing in a few house specials.
Reviews are raving for this place—if you don’t believe us, take a look at their Yelp reviews. This friendly gem is well-known for their fast service and consistent flavor. It’s clean and spacy, making it perfect for a professional meeting or casual lunch.
Open Mon-Fri, 10:30am-8pm; Sat. 10:30am-7pm.
Flying Fig 2525 Market Ave.
“Farm to table” seems to be a phrase thrown around a lot of restaurants these days but that wasn’t always the case. In fact, fifteen years ago Flying Fig was one of the first restaurants to coin the term in the area.
Led by chef Karen Small, the menu offerings are seasonal and always based on availability. Perfect for a cozy lunch with friends or a business meeting.
The brunch menu (instead of the traditional lunch menu) is served Wed-Sun, 11am-3pm.
Tommy’s Restaurant 1824 Coventry Road, Cleveland Height
Tommy’s has been a long time favorite in Cleveland—so much so that when it opened in 1972, Rolling Stone claimed it had the “Best Milkshake East of the Mississippi!”
It’s moved a few times, but it currently sits on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. Known for its diverse menu, it offers everything from burgers to vegan options, making it a great choice if you’re with people with certain dietary restrictions or preferences.
It’s open Mon-Thurs, 9am-9pm, and all day Saturday & Sunday.
The Greenhouse Tavern 2038 East 4th Street
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention The Greenhouse Tavern, flagship restaurant of renowned chef Jonathon Sawyer. This high end restaurant is a perfect locale for a business lunch or outing to impress.
Chef Jonathon Sawyer returned to his hometown after years of training and crafting his technique in New York. While few understood his decision to leave his heightening career in NY, to him, it was a no brainer. His love for his hometown is felt in every menu item, from his gravy frites to the hand ground beef tartar. Reservations aren’t required but highly recommended.
Open Mon.-Thurs. 11am-10pm; Friday 11am-11pm; Saturday 5pm-11pm; Sunday brunch 11am-2pm.