Cleveland’s Clandestine Cuisine: Best Hidden Spots in Cleveland


Joe Cudnik '23

I’ve always loved eating out, but recently I’ve become very interested in smaller, mom and pop types of places that only very local people know about. Our school’s home, Lakewood, is a hub for niche, unique restaurants. As my search has continued however, I’ve come to find some similar places in the further west suburbs of Cleveland. I decided to go to the student body to get their take on what the most underrated local restaurant was. Here is what they had to say.

Tommy Foertch ‘23 had this to say: “The Feve in Oberlin is by far the most underrated in Northeast Ohio. They have great mac and cheese bites, and my brother’s girlfriend’s dad runs the place. The best burger I’ve ever had was their brunch burger. It had a fried egg, chimichurri, bacon, American cheese, and brioche buns. Best burger I’ve ever had in my life. Also, there’s a Kurt Vonnegut mural on the side of it. It means “the bean” but they thought it meant coffee bean because it was originally supposed to be a coffee shop. Danny Devito has been there multiple times because his son went to Oberlin, and Stevie Wonder has been there. Lastly, they have some killer pancakes.”

Wes Piai ‘23 had this opinion: “Phnom Penh on West 25th. It’s a nice little place, not gonna be a whole lot of people, really has that local, family feel to it. They’ll make you feel comfortable, bring you tea and stuff. Just a nice little experience. The menu is too darn big to pick one favorite item. They’ve got a little something for everybody, even their sides are really great.”

Jostahn Kuehner ‘23 says: “Danny Boys. I’ve never been disappointed when I’ve gone to Danny Boys. Whenever I’ve gone, I’ve left feeling satisfied and fulfilled. Can’t go wrong with their pizza.”

 Lastly, Jacob Filiatraut ‘23 and Dominic Coury said : “Sweet Basil: Neapolitan Style Pizzeria in Westlake. We’ve both worked there for a year and a half, the pizza is great, especially the barbecue chicken, and the white pies. Mr. J and buffalo chicken are also really good. Mr. J is chicken and bacon sriracha ranch sauce drizzled on top. The size of our slices is unparalleled.”

As you can see there are a variety of very interesting restaurant options that go overshadowed or over appreciated. I will continue my foray into finding the most unique places in Northeast Ohio, and I hope other people also come to appreciate local dining.