If you follow along with Beth Opfer you know that she is a local MS, RDN, LDN, and a certified QT (get it?) But seriously, what I love most about Beth (apart from her sweet personality) is her laid-back philosophy that encourages everyone to find the balance between eating healthy and giving yourself the grace to indulge in the foods you love! Her goal is to inspire others to feel their best – not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. You can find Beth on Instagram at @bethandfood or follow along with her blog, www.bethandfood.com! I hope you get as much value from this list of her favorite healthy eats in Cleveland as I did.
Salt : There’s a reason Chef Jill Vedaa was named a semi-finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Great Lakes. The small plates. The crafted cocktails. The attention to detail and every flavor. It’s what sets this restaurant apart from others. I’d recommend ordering a few small plates and share with your loved ones. Their menu also changes seasonally to reflect the best local ingredients and flavor of foods. Order a cocktail you’ve never had and you’ll love it. You can’t go wrong here. And chances are, you’ll likely see Chef Jill socializing with her customers so be sure to say hi! My favorite dishes to date: White Bean Puree (Vegetables), Polenta Fries (Vegetables), Caramelized Baby Carrots (Vegetables), and Halibut (Fish).
Spice Kitchen & Bar: Truly a farm to fork eatery. So true that they even provide the map of their farm to show where their food is grown. I mean, how cool. Also meaning their menu changes seasonally to provide the most nutrient-dense, local ingredients full of flavor. Their patio is also a place to be in the summer. Not only is Spice a kitchen and bar in Cleveland, they also offer events at their farm in Brecksville. I had the opportunity to attend a Spice Acres event in 2017 where my husband and I toured the farm, walked over to the beautiful barn (definitely would have had my wedding here had I known about this place!) and enjoyed a multi-course meal of plant-based foods with wine pairings. My favorite dishes to date: Killbuck Valley Mushroom Flatbread (Shareables), Polenta Chickpea Fries (Shareables), Pan Roasted Atlantic Sea Scallops (Substantials), Local Greens Salad (Bar Menu) and Fried Lake Erie Creamery Cheese Curds (Bar Menu).
Toast: One of my favorite happy hour/bar spots in Cleveland. Toast has one of the best vibes, in my opinion. Very relaxing. Great service. In the Gordon Square Arts District, Toast is a great place to grab an always house-made bite to eat. My hands down favorite place to eat buffalo cauliflower bites! They also have a trio of toast daily (hence the name!) that is always a good choice. Always. The menu also changes seasonally so you can never get bored. In the summertime, grab a spot on the patio because it is definitely a crowd favorite. My favorite dishes here to date: Buffalo Cauliflower (Small Plates), Trio of Toast (Snacks), and Chef’s Whim Greens (Small Plates).
The Plum: This place is definitely bar and restaurant goals. The coolest ambiance. If there is one restaurant in Cleveland that I could dream of picking it up and making it fit into my house, it would be The Plum. The all-white backsplash bar and the exposed brick walls – so dreamy. The food and the service are even better. I love this place because you can tell that each dish is well thought out. It serves a purpose on their menu. They offer a variety of plates from small to large on all their menus, giving customers a chance to order a few dishes to share. The menu changes so it doesn’t stay stagnant. There is a reason The Plum was voted best new restaurant in 2017 by Cleveland Magazine. They offer a bar only menu with small bites, dinner menu with a variety of sized plates and brunch on Saturdays. Also, The Plum has one of my favorite patios with live music and conveniently located next to the Platform Brewery (my favorite brewery in Cleveland!). My favorite dishes here to date: Beet Taco (Small Plate, Dinner Menu), House Salad (Medium Plate, Dinner Menu), Brussels Sprouts (Medium Plate, Dinner Menu) and the Spicy Grain Bowl (Brunch Menu; with a mimosa of course!).
Le Petit Triangle Café: This place gives me all the Paris vibes and I love it! Le Petit is a Parisian café offering the best coffee and pastries, as well as midday and evening meals. But let’s talk about what they are really known for: brunch. Seriously, best.brunch.ever. Located in Ohio City, this restaurant’s goal for the past 10 years has been to make sure customers feel right at home with their friends and family, eating good food and drinking a beverage of choice, whether that be a coffee, cocktail, wine or beer (or all the above). They have it all. Expect a wait on a Saturday morning but believe me when I say it is worth the wait. My favorite dishes to date: French Toast (Brunch Menu; it’s a must try!), Ratatouille (Brunch; Savory Crepes), and their Pumpkin Latte.
Flying Fig: The Flying Fig is a small eatery and bar that is one of my favorite places to grab brunch or a small bite to eat. It is also one of my favorite places to grab a spot at the bar and enjoy happy hour. One of the many reasons I love this place so much is their effort to offer locally sourced foods with a true farm to fork environment. The Flying Fig prides itself on supporting local, small family farms. Karen Small, owner and head chef, is also a semi-finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Great Lakes. Definitely well deserved. If you go when it isn’t too busy (which is rare) and the weather is nice, grab one of the few tables outside on their patio. My favorite dishes to date: Taleggio Polenta (Brunch Menu), Grilled Eggplant (Brunch Menu), Avocado Toast (Brunch Menu), Tofu Banh Mi Bowl (Lunch + Dinner Menu) and the Trio of Toast (Of the Day).
Townhall: I can’t name my favorite places to eat and not mention this place. Townhall is a non-GMO restaurant located in the heart of Ohio City on W. 25th Street. They offer a wide selection of healthy, feel-good meals, from sustainably sourced meats to high-quality vegan options. They understand that nutrition is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach so they go above and beyond to cater to all dietary preferences, from Paleo/Keto to Vegan options. To make it even better, their beverage choices are just like the food: top notch, offering zero-toxin, 100% organic coffee, organic cold-pressed juices and a great selection of beers showcasing local whenever possible. Definitely one of my favorites to go for a date night, vegan night, to watch a Cleveland sports game or for a holiday. They always do it right. My favorite dishes here to date: Acai+Grainless Granola Bowl (Brunch Menu), Caramelized Brussel Sprouts/Harissa Roasted Cauliflower (Organic Earth Bites), Townhall Veggie Burger (Pickups), Root Organic and Cold Pressed Juice and Pureed Acai (Smoothies).
The Grocery: Every time I walk into The Grocery, I smile. That’s how happy this place makes me. They probably know my name by now because I am a regular. No shame whatsoever. They also know Kip (my fur baby) because he comes along for the ride, and the peanut butter. The Grocery is a grab-and-go café from hot breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches and wraps, cold pressed juices, bowls and salads and smoothies. They also sell local edibles such as locally sourced produce, pasta and pasta sauces as well as dairy products. They proudly display the local farms where they are sourcing their ingredients from on the walls which is super cool. My favorite dishes to date: Vegan Fare wrap (all the local/seasonal vegetables with a house cashew dressing wrapped in a tortilla shell; sandwiches) and the PB&J smoothie (almond milk, peanut butter, banana, strawberry and I add hemp protein; smoothies). Not sure who loves this place more: me or Kip.
Beet Jar: If I had to vote for a place that has hands down the coolest vibes, it would probably be Beet Jar. A small storefront with so much character. Beet Jar is a juice bar and grab-and-go vegan takeaway. Outstanding services and even better food. All their choices are made in-house, from their cold-pressed juices to the vegan sandwiches and chia pudding (so good!). My all-time favorite sandwich is from here: the Bravocado, which contains smoked coconut flakes, avocado, greens, red onion, house-made cashew mayo on whole grain bread (other options also available). Get it and thank me later. They definitely do it right here. I actually want to take one of their walls (yes an entire wall) and place it in my home. Some of my other favorites to date: Flavored Raw Cashew Mylk (Drinks in the Cooler), Strawberry Alarm Clock (Raw Smoothies), and Mr. Presley (Raw Smoothies).
There you have it! Nine amazing places to add to your list of places to try in Cleveland. Where do you go for a healthy bite?