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Credit: David Baxter

In the past few years, Downtown Cleveland has undergone a massive transformation. Cleaning up the streets, new restaurants, outdoor artwork. Like many cities it’s size, it’s really starting to come alive, and much of the city’s great restaurants and sites are within walking distance of each other. You can find some incredible food for non-Manhattan prices.

Credit: David Baxter
Credit: David Baxter

Mabel’s BBQ is one of the newest restaurants in downtown, opened by master chef Michael Symon. Mabel’s combines some basic, but very well done, BBQ and Eastern European cuisine to create a very different flavor palate. The dishes aren’t covered in sauce, allowing the meat’s flavor to take center stage. I highly recommend the Fatty Brisket (don’t be scared by the name). Sides include a wide variety from the chef’s own take on potatoes, to various pig parts that have been deep fried, and are delicious, whatever reservations you might have. The warehouse interior and family style tables make for a very unique dining experience, though there are smaller and individual tables so you’re not feeling so crowded. For more information, check out their webpage. http://www.mabelsbbq.com/.

Credit: David Baxter
Credit: David Baxter

Urban Farmer Steakhouse is situated between the main strip of downtown and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They maintain relationships with local farms and ranches, making the food they serve is locally sourced and organic. They also pair up with local breweries and vineyards to make your entire dining experience locally sourced and Cleveland. Check out their brunch menu! For more information or to make an appointment, visit their webpage. http://urbanfarmercleveland.com/.

Credit: Restauranttrentina.com
Credit: Restauranttrentina.com

Closer to the Museum of Art, you can find Trentina, another restaurant dedicated to local sourced food, while also bringing the tastes of Trentino, Italy to Cleveland. You can chose from a number of courses or a la carte plates or go for their full 12 course tasting menu (please contact the restaurant 24 hours in advance for the tasting menu). For more information or to schedule a reservation for their tasting menu, please visit their webpage. http://www.restauranttrentina.com/.

Credit: Happy Dog Cleveland
Credit: Happy Dog Cleveland

Also near the Museum of Art, you’ll find one of the two Happy Dog locations. The original Happy Dog is located in the Euclid Tavern, one of Cleveland’s legendary music spots. You start with a regular hot dog, or a veggie dog, and then customize from a WIDE variety of toppings, most of which can also be added to their tater tots. Come for a dog/beer and stay for some good music!!! There are two Happy Dog locations. Check their webpage for more information. http://happydogcleveland.com/.

Credit: David Baxter
Credit: David Baxter

Downtown boasts a ton of new restaurants, many opened by renowned or celebrity chefs. Hopefully, this will give you a start to help create the perfect dining get away weekend, and for more restaurants, visit the Cleveland tourism webpage. http://www.thisiscleveland.com/restaurants/.