Three Great Breakfasts
Dante Next Door
Vacation gives you permission to eat pizza for breakfast.
Order: Everything Bagel and Lox ($16), a pizza that pairs house-cured salmon with all the fixings—capers, red onion, cream cheese, a hard-boiled egg, and dill nextdoor.
Le Petit Triangle Café
Enthusiastic chefs flip chewy, wafer-thin crêpes just steps from customers at this itty-bitty French bistro.
Order: The tangy housemade lemon curd crêpe ($8), which isn’t always on the menu, but they’ll usually make for you anyway if you ask.
Corky and Lenny’s
Some locals swear by the corned beef at Slyman’s. Everyone else craves the tender, salty deli meat at this East Side fave.
Order: Thick-cut challah French toast ($6)—with corned beef on the side
Three Great Lunches
Melt Bar and Grilled
Nearly 30 grilled cheese variations veer from uncomplicated (bread with the slice of your choice) to keep-a-cardiologist-on-speed-dial (meatballs and fried mozzarella wedges).
Order: Cuban War Pig ($15), which layers ham with pulled pork, pork belly, and Swiss
Yes, it’s in a mall. Get over it. Go to this Asian-Euro marvel at lunch, when prices are about a third of what they are at dinner.
Order: New York strip steak with tempura-battered sweet potato fries ($12—really!)
Sokolowski’s University Inn
The James Beard Foundation dubbed this cafeteria-style institution an American classic.
Order: Dense, butter-slick pierogi ($10), which have earned raves from Jimmy Fallon, David Byrne, and a prevegan Bill Clinton
Three Great Dinners
James Beard Award winner Jonathon Sawyer constantly reinvents the selections, but count on locally foraged produce, hay-roasted fauna, and twee preparations. Sawyer makes the case for the Polish Boy, a Cleveland classic, anywhere you can get one. “It’s Slovenian sausage. Sweet, split-top hot dog roll—steamed, never grilled. Sauerkraut. All topped with french fries that are tossed in a spiced barbecue sauce. It’s guaranteed food poisoning, but it’s kind of worth it.”
Order: Menu Bianco ($115), a 12-course tasting menu
Michael Symon’s goal: to invent barbecue instantly identifiable with Cleveland. That means a sauce made with Bertman Ball Park mustard, meat smoked with Midwestern applewood, and a kraut-heavy menu.
Order: This Is Cleveland ($19), a meatfest of kielbasa, spareribs, and pork belly
There are plenty of flashier places to get pho here. But this no-frills storefront is the original and best.
Order: No. 22 ($9.50), a mammoth bowl of delicate, briny-sweet broth packed with beef balls and rice noodles
While You’re There:Get handsy with the infamous leg lamp at A Christmas Story House & Museum ($10), the painstakingly restored home of Ralphie and Randy from the 1983 holiday classic.
Where to Stay:Pretend you’re a home improvement scion at the Glidden House, formerly the mansion of the paint titans (from $179, gliddenhouse.com).
How to Spend an Hour at the West Side Market
Prepare for sensory overload: On any given day, thousands of shoppers visit the 100-plus vendors at this food leviathan.
Head upstairs with your haul and eat it on the balcony overlooking the gargantuan main hall. westsidemarket.org