The 30 Essential Cleveland Restaurants You Should Have Tried By Now

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Every few years we take a step back to do a sort of heat-check on the Cleveland dining landscape. Our motivation is to survey the bounty that we have at our fingertips and call attention to the places that we're excited about at this particular moment in time. Some of these restaurants make the roster year after year, while others are brand new to the scene, bumping colleagues off the list by their arrival.

Whatever label you choose to bestow upon them  Best, Essential, Top Toque, Golden Spoon, Primo Piattos  the meaning is the same. These are the restaurants that stand out in a very crowded field for a variety of reasons, many of them intangible. When it's time to answer that ubiquitous question of "Where should we eat?," the answer very likely can be found below.

By Douglas Trattner