Right up Mayfield Road (an easy walk from North Residential Village) is Little Italy, a hub of pasta and pizza. Many of the restaurants offer favorites like ravioli and manicotti, but each puts a unique spin on the traditional Italian cuisine. Be it Mama Santa’s pizza or Presti’s baked goods, La Trattoria’s atmosphere or the patio of La Dolce Vita, Little Italy has a lot to offer for those looking for a close but romantic dinner date or place to study.
Baked Goods: Corbo’s bakery. Absolute must for their rich and creamy cake, as well as their buttery cookies, but watch out for their hours — they may not be open when you go. Second best: Presti’s. Great for coffee and a cookie with reasonable hours, but Corbo’s has a better quality in their cakes and cannoli filling.
Pizza: Valentino’s. Next to the fraternity and sorority houses at the bottom of the hill (located near the corner of Murray Hill and Cornell Roads), the tomato and cheese pizza is a classic. The crisp crust can handle any toppings thrown on it. A quick suggestion: white pizza with artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. Add chicken if you’re not vegetarian, and it creates a great pie with lots to spare for later (or a friend). Another choice would be Mamma Santa’s, whose sauce and crust are very different from Valentino’s. However, their specialty pizzas are balanced and great, even when cold!
Pasta: Almost anywhere pasta will be available, but for a great experience, try Mia Bella’s gnocchi. Not only is the sauce delicious, but also the gnocchi is cooked to perfection. If you would like something more like simple spaghetti, it all depends on the sauce. La Trattoria has a creamy, flavorful red tomato sauce.
Past Little Italy, up the hill, a curve to the left on Mayfield Road, and a turn to the right takes you to the trendy, eccentric part of Cleveland Heights…Coventry! Here you can eat, get a haircut, shop for groceries, and peruse unique items for sale. There are many options for the curious:
Food to Fit All Preferences:
High-Thai’d: all the Thai dishes with a sushi menu to help you along.
Hunan on Coventry: serving up Chinese food a step above take-out. The fried noodles are a good start and the crispy duck is a greasy treat.
Pacific East: specializes in Japanese and Malaysian cuisine. If you’re on the prowl for sushi, they offers a choice of two maki rolls (six pieces each) for $12.95, three for $15.95, or four for $19.95, all served with miso soup and salad with ginger dressing.
Tree Country Bistro: does it all with an extensive menu encompassing Korean, Japanese, and Thai specialities
Chipotle Mexican Grill: why go here when there’s one closer across from Barnes & Noble?
*Dave’s Cosmic Subs: making a name for itself here in Cleveland’s food scene with many different combinations. Don’t miss out on the cosmic sauce!
The Dog House: a nondescript, counter joint. Don’t let its appearance fool you — it’s pretty tasty. The Polish Boy is a Cleveland sandwich staple and this place does it right. A meaty polish hotdog (not really kielbasa here) underneath crunchy coleslaw topped with salty fries and a drizzle of sweet, tangy BBQ sauce. Messy, but good.
Grum’s Sub Shoppe: Hot dogs, subs, and salads all come together here on one menu.
*Guy’s Pizza: pizza when you want it, even past midnight.
*Jimmy John’s: fresh cold cut sandwiches on chewy French bread. Simply prepared without much fuss.
– Bar and Grill:
Panini’s Grill: Your typical American bar with an outdoor patio, but what sets it apart is its large sandwiches, where the fries are in the sandwich instead of on the side.
The Winking Lizard: another hoppin’ bar food stop, nestled indoors.
– Do It Yourself:
bd’s Mongolian Grill: If you want it hot, cooked in front of you, and made near you, this is the place to mix and match as many different meats, veggies, sauces, and much more into a numerous stir-fry combinations.
– Shell out the $:
Bodega Restaurant and Lounge: looking for a chic night out with the fare to match? Foie gras, quail, escargot, and truffle pomme frites more your speed? Stop by and you’ll find those and more upscale delectable.
– Friendly for all palettes:
Phoenix’s Coffee Shoppe: Definitely not your replacement for Starbucks, but a homey place to stop and relax from the busy activity outside.
Tommy’s: their milkshakes are the best in town! If you love black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream, their milkshake version is divine! Their falafel also comes highly recommended: well-spiced, garlicky, and crunchy. Comes in various pita sandwich variations. And even with meat offerings on the menu, very vegetarian friendly!
Shopping and Essentials:
– Marc’s: Shop for your everyday needs and basic foods at a low price.
– American Apparel
– Next: Contemporary street wear carrying brands such as Levis and TOMS shoes.
– Passport to Peru/City Buddha/C.Jones Books and Tea: Unique global finds.
– Big Fun Toys: Come revisit your childhood with toys from the past.
How to get here: Hop onto the North Loop Shuttle during the night route taking you all the way to the Fribley stop. Then take the South Loop Shuttle from Fribley to your desired stop: bottom or top of Coventry.