Cleveland cuisine for CWRU students: A guide to your new favorite restaurants


Courtesy of University Circle Inc.

Sittoos is among the many great dining options available to CWRU students.

Joey Gonzalez, Life Editor

When it comes to our diets, students at Case Western Reserve University, like most college students, tend to stick to our staples—whether it’s our favorite instant noodles, crappy dining hall food or take-out joints. Restaurants can be a big part of our college diets, helping break up the monotony of our days with a little edible pick-me-up. Fortunately, Cleveland has no shortage of great places. So, for those days where doing dishes just doesn’t fit into the schedule, I have compiled a guide to restaurants on and around campus that will surely have something for everyone—a guide to CWRU’s food scene, if you will.   

On Euclid Avenue

While there are enough restaurants on Euclid Avenue for a whole other list, this guide wouldn’t be complete without highlighting a few favorites that are sure to be pitstops on your walk back from class. From Sittoo’s Pita & Salads to Kenko Sushi & Teriyaki, Euclid is your one-stop shop for quick bites and good food. The restaurants in University Circle do include a number of chains like Panera and Chipotle, but you don’t need my help figuring those out. Instead, I want to focus on the places that might be unfamiliar to the Cleveland transplants like myself. Sittoo’s Pita & Salads is the perfect place to grab a quick meal on your way back from class, whether you dine-in or take out. Sittoo’s serves traditional Lebanese food, making it a great spot for both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Their pita sandwiches are the best lunch when you’re in a rush and just need a quick bite. Whether it’s the chicken shawarma or falafel sandwich, the options are endless. 

Another stop on the Euclid food journey is Kenko Sushi & Teriyaki, where you can satisfy that sushi craving with a quick and easy meal. They have a selection of predetermined rolls and the option to make a concoction of your own—for a price, of course. It is also a great place to pick up a bubble or milk tea on your way to class—just don’t blame me if you’re late to your lectures. It’s definitely not the cheapest option in this guide, but if you have the funds and the craving, it makes for a quick and healthy meal. 

Finally, saving the best for last, there is BIBIBOP Asian Grill, which was definitely intimidating to me at first. At first, I didn’t really know what to expect, but it quickly became my newfound favorite on Euclid. It is the perfect meal for a post-gym pick-me-up or a study snack. BIBIBOP serves rice and noodle bowls that you customize yourself, adding your choice of protein, vegetables and sauce. It is a great healthy and quick meal to pick up whenever you find yourself on Euclid. I know that this is just a few of the many food options on Euclid, so I invite you to try these out and find your new favorite Euclid snack spots. 


No guide to Cleveland classics would be complete without mentioning Barrio, our favorite spot for tacos and tequila. There are numerous locations across the Cleveland metropolitan area, with one downtown, one in the Tremont neighborhood, one in Cleveland Heights and another in Lakewood, making it a perfect pitstop on any outing away from campus. The delicious food, ranging from chips, dips, build-your-own tacos and incredible margaritas, adds immensely to any college diet and paying for them doesn’t break the bank either. Building your own taco is as simple as checking a box on a little card and handing it to your server. You have the option of different proteins like chorizo, short-ribs and the thai chili tofu—my personal favorite. They also provide a wide range of salsas with varying heat levels. For a quick bite to catch up with friends, check out the various chips and dip options, including guacamole, salsa or queso. The service is always great and the food has never disappointed. The next time you find yourself near a location, pop your head in and sink your teeth into this Cleveland favorite that never disappoints.  

Aladdin’s Eatery

Yet another Cleveland favorite is Aladdin’s Eatery, which also provides Lebanese-American food and started right here in Lakewood. Now spanning more than 30 locations across four states, Aladdin’s has remained a staple for the CWRU community, with their catered food often available at many student events. Aladdin’s truly has something for everyone, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, making it the perfect location to feed all of your friends and family. They serve a wide variety of healthy and flavorful food, ranging from incredible appetizers like hummus, tabouli and falafel, to their rolled pitas that make for lunch on the go. Aladdin’s also has delicious desserts for those whose sweet tooth is craving a little something after their meal. And even if you’re not in the mood for a full meal, their smoothies are sure to quench your thirst on those hot Cleveland days. Whether you’re sitting down at a table or taking your food with you, this is one spot that will surely make your stomach happy. So, when those cravings for Lebanese-American food get a little too loud, head to the closest Aladdin’s Eatery for a meal that will have you wanting more, even if you end up leaving with leftovers. 

The Rowley Inn

This list wouldn’t be complete without my favorite Cleveland snack spot. Sitting directly across from the house featured in “A Christmas Story,” the Rowley Inn is in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, making it about 20 minutes away from campus by car. The trip is worth it, however, as it is a great spot for eating and drinking, age permitting of course. The inn serves quintessential pub food and Cleveland classics, making it a great place to get acquainted with Cleveland outside the CWRU bubble. Whether it’s the mouth-watering appetizers like wings, fried pickles and pretzel bites, or their incredible sandwiches, this place has something for everyone. They even provide vegetarian options for those of us who don’t eat meat but still want the pub-style burger experience. So grab your friends, take a trip down to the Rowley Inn and treat yourself to an incredible meal because it is truly “a place that serves all generations of Clevelanders and visitors” alike.

There are definitely a ton of other hidden gems around Cleveland for you to find and sink your teeth into, but this guide will hopefully come to mind the next time your stomach starts rumbling. If you’re looking for a quick local bite or an out-of-this-world meal, try some or all of these locations out and hopefully one of them becomes your new Cleveland favorite. Happy eating!