It is bittersweet to share that The Mexitalian is on the move again. Last weekend Joe and I moved from Cleveland to Michigan. We may have only lived in Cleveland for a little over a year but wow, we really fell in love with the city and it’s people. While we are excited for a new adventure and to be closer to family, it was quite sad to leave behind great friends and some of our favorite places. To commemorate our time in The Land, here is a list of my favorite places.
Food & Drink
Aladdin’s Eatery: This is our favorite spot in town. The food is healthy and always delicious. Their grape leaves are my favorite of all time and we also love the spicy cauliflower appetizer. I get the mujadara power salad almost every time and Joe loves the flavor savor special. Their hot sauce has a major following and isn’t too spicy so don’t skip it.
Banter: This restaurant and bottle shop is one of my favorites to meet friends. You can order drinks off the menu or buy full bottles of wine (with corking fee). They also offer a really creative menu of sausages and poutine with vegan and gluten free options.
Barroco: I completely adore the creative menu at this arepa bar. Their plantains and stuffed areas make me oh so happy. They also have a delicious cocktail menu and really great happy hour and nightly specials. The only problem with this place is that the menu is too big and it’s tough to decide what to order, so go with a group and share!
Brewnuts: A funky bar with super creative donuts. They are always hosting fun events with equally fun specials. I had a sage donut a few months ago that had me swooning.
Boaz: Owned by the same folks as Aladdin’s Eatery, Boaz is the fast casual version. They have a large menu that includes many of the Aladdin’s favorites but what sets Boaz apart is their build-your-own bowls and wraps. It’s “Chipotle-style” and you can load your bowl with all the goods you love – I love the chicken, hummus, salata, pickled turnips, and Boaz dressing.
Choolah: Another fast casual favorite. We made it a tradition to head out to the east side to shop at Trader Joe’s and grab a meal at Choolah soon after we moved. They offer a range of Indian favorites, and really delicious freshly cooked naan. My favorites are the veggie croquettes and Choolah salad with chicken, plus extra naan of course.
Corbo’s Baker: People in Cleveland have strong feelings about their Little Italy bakery preference. While I am rather inclusive when it comes to bakeries, Corbo’s fills their cannoli fresh which in my opinion, is a must. I also love their cookies and cream-filled lobster tails.
Luna Bakery & Cafe: Luna is extra special to me, as it’s one of the first places I went to in Cleveland. It’s a large and cozy space great for breakfast or lunch. They make fabulous pastries, and really good sandwiches and salads. My loaded keto salad was inspired by a similar salad I ate there.
Lox, Stock, & Brisket: I am sad to say we discovered this great new deli in University Heights far close to our move. We love their sandwiches so much we grabbed some to go on moving day to keep us full for the drive to Michigan. Their reuben is dreamy, and their coleslaw and potato salad are fabulous in their own right.
Herb & Twine: When it comes to sandwiches the bread is the most important for me and Herb & Twine get’s it completely right. The smoked turkey club, shaved prime rib, and vegetable sandwiches are all fabulous. The restaurant is also walking distance to Platform so you can grab a sandwich and then a beer (see below).
Masthead Brewing Company: Our favorite downtown spot for pizza and beer. It’s located conveniently close to Playhouse Square and a great spot for a casual bite before a show or game downtown. The rueben pizza is super creative and the mushroom pizza is stellar.
Mitchell’s: Our most frequented Cleveland location by far. They make the best local ice cream with quality ingredients and seasonal flavors using local ingredients. They also offer amazing vegan flavors, the chocolate is rich and creamy. Joe got the chocolate peanut butter cup every single time and is heart broken they don’t ship.
Platform: Great local brewery this a large beer selection. They have a good indoor space, as well as a nice outdoor patio. Right by Herb & Twine, a match made in heaven.
Simply Greek: All I really need to say is: Greek Fries. Fresh fries tossed in oregano and feta with a squeeze of lemon on top. So so good. We also love their gyros and chicken souvlaki pitas. They make everything fresh and have $5 gyros from 4 to 6:30 most days. Also, a great spot in Uptown for lunch.
Terrestrial: A dog-friendly brewery right by Edgewater park. Paisley is a big fan.
Town Hall: I so appreciate the efforts of this trendy spot to offer up a huge and diverse menu dedicated to non-GMO food. They offer things for every single dietary need and preference. They even have a vegan night and a paleo night. I love their keto bimibap and Thai peanut bowl. They also serve brunch and have a coffee bar.
Vero: Located in Cleveland Heights, Vero is my favorite pizza in Cleveland. This tiny spot in the Cedar Fairmount area makes authentic wood-fired pizzas. My favorites are drizzled with honey, it’s fabulous. Their house salad is also completely unique and delicious, order it.
Cleveland Flea: The Flea is one of my favorite Cleveland activities. It’s hosted monthly, outdoors in the summer, and is a great place to shop for vintage goods and local and regional artisan goods. They also have great food, such as The Vegan Doughnut Co. It’s so much fun even if you don’t buy anything!
Cleveland Museum of Art: Not only is the art museum wonderful, it is FREE for everyone. They also offer wonderful special exhibits.
Edgewater: A large and lovely Cleveland Metropark just outside of downtown and right on Lake Erie. There are trails and baths, a large beach, and weekly events with live music in the summer (Edgewater Live). The best part (for us) is there is a dog beach! We had so much fun taking Paisley there on summer weekends. Pack a picnic and stay a while.
41 Degrees North Kayak Adventures: We rented kayaks to take up the Rocky River to Lake Erie for my birthday last year (read more about that weekend here), and had a blast. I can’t recommend this activity enough.
Playhouse Square: Cleveland is a majorly underrated city in general but especially so when it comes to the theater scene. We saw several great shows in the beautiful theaters of Playhouse Square over our year in Cleveland and even took their once monthly free tour of the theaters.
Progressive Field: Joe and I both really enjoy going to baseball games and were so impressed by the Indians games we attended at Progressive Field. Cleveland fans are loyal and the stadium offers a large selection of local foods, which is much appreciated. #RallyTogether
Rocky River Reservation: A large Cleveland Metropark with trails along the Rocky River that follows into Lake Erie. The park is great for walking, running, or biking. Joe spent many hours fly fishing in the river over the past year.
GrooveRyde: I did a few workshops and had a class pass to GrooveRyde for some of my favorite workouts in The Land. They have two locations, one downtown and one in Woodmere, and I enjoyed both. I loved their bootcamp classes in Woodmere and had a blast attending Buti yoga with some friends followed by brunch across the street.
Yoga Roots: This was my favorite yoga studio in Cleveland, and located most convenient to me. Their space is so comfortable, the staff friendly, and they offer a variety of classes, including a Sunday night restorative class that is the definition of self care. Try the new student special for a week and check them out.
Cleveland, you’re great! Really, check out that view.