UPDATED JUL 14, 2020
When it comes to chowing down, Cleveland is packed with restaurants and cafes that can fulfill any craving — including those mid-afternoon salad searches. Whether you’re gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, or just like to eat clean, Cleveland’s got your back (or should we say stomach?).
Ohio City’s TownHall is the epitome of healthy. With a menu free from GMOs, it’s filled with snacks, meals, and drinks arranged by dietary preference. There’s Vegan Night on Mondays, Paleo Night on Wednesdays, Bulletproof Coffee and Golden Milk turmeric lattes from the Bean Bar, local craft brews at their lively bar, and a whole lot more. The best part is TownHall is passionate about serving clean and good-for-you meals that will make you keep coming back for more.
Let’s call REBoL TownHall’s little brother. The Public Square eatery also serves a menu free from GMOs and offers only the highest quality ingredients. What separates this place from the others, and even TownHall, is their selections of signature and DIY bowls that are just too good to pass up. From “bols” like their heart Breakfast Bol to the Po-kay Tuna to their organic bone broth, REBoL is the perfect spot for a healthy meal on the run.
We all like Mediterranean food, right? Hummus, lentils, shawarma — what’s not to like? Well, at Boaz Cafe, they’re making it a lot easier for us to get the healthy Mediterranean food we want. This cafeteria-style hot spot in Ohio City—and a second location coming to University Heights in 2020—gives you the chance to make your own bowl; choose a base (greens, lentils, rice), pick a protein (beef shawarma or grilled chicken), dress it up with some grains, veggies, and fruits, then select a dressing. It’s easy, it’s healthy, and you can even get fresh-pressed juices and smoothies for the go.
Offering clean, organic, and local fare is what Daily Press promises Cleveland. And while they’re mainly known for their juice bar, Daily Press also has a vegan cafe that’s perfect for a quick snack during your juice (or coffee) break. Grab some toast or a panini on gluten-free bread, drink a smoothie made from homemade cashew milk, or turn any smoothie into a bowl, then cruise around Gordon Square Arts District.
The Columbus-based eatery has finally ventured north, and now CLE foodies can experience everything the health-conscious Mediterranean mecca has to offer by swinging by the Shaker Heights shop. Brassica allows you to choose from a number of protein options—falafel, anyone?—to build your own pita or salad. Round out your meal with a warm pita hummus plate for the full experience.
Choolaah, a fast-casual Indian BBQ spot in Beachwood (and OHC in 2020) is bringing a modern twist to classic Indian meals with customizable tandoor BBQ bowls, salads, wraps, and snacks that feature tangy masalas and fresh-baked naan (yum!). And don’t worry if you're vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, or gluten-free — they’ve got plenty of options for you, too. Spring for the veggie croquettes in your signature Choolaah Bowl. Bonus: their open kitchen concept lets you watch your meal being made in their custom tandoor ovens.
Plant-based cafes give us life, and thanks to pHuel Cafe’s two eateries on Euclid and Chester Ave., we can fill each day with a daily dose of veggies. This cafe is way more than just bowls, soups, and sandwiches, though — they also trying to educate the area about how to fuel your life through clean eats. In addition to chowing on seaweed salads and BBQ tofu, you can also join their cooking demonstrations and learn how to bring wholesome eating to your table at home.
Small portions, shareables—all made to eat with your hands—there’s good reason that Zoma is Cleveland’s go-to Ethiopian restaurant. Oh, you’ve never had authentic Ethiopian food before? From vegetable-filled stews to steak tartare with kale to vegan side platters made to share, Zoma is about to spice up your life.
Restore Cold Pressed is obviously known for having some of the most refreshing and rejuvenating juices, smoothies, and cleanses in Cleveland. But did you know this high-quality, organic juicery has some of the healthiest snacks around, too? Order up a delicious acai bowl or, if you want something a little more solid, you can grab some steel-cut oats, avocado toast, or almond butter toast.
If anyone has ever said vegan food was “bland” or “dull”, Cleveland Vegan will change your mind with the likes of Carrot Lox on Rye, Chickpea Piccata, or a vegan take on Bulletproof coffee using coconut oil and cashew milk. And with an ever-changing seasonal menu, Cleveland Vegan switches it up all the time to keep diners guessing. Each dish is prepared sans animal products and uses locally-grown and organic ingredients whenever possible, making certain your plate will be filled with sustainable, feel-good food.
Café Avalaun is a safe haven for all those who avoid gluten. This Warrensville Heights cafe is 100% certified gluten-free and is just waiting for you to try their crepes, paninis, salads, soups — you name it. To make it easier for every kind of eater, each item on the menu is labeled vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, or nut-free. So, if gluten is public enemy number one to your gut, Café Avalaun needs to be on your to-eat list.
The Root Cafe does more than serve up tasty coffee and tea (with homemade flavors and milks). They are also a vegetarian kitchen that boasts way more than toast. There’s veggie-based pizzas and wraps, and brunch specials that will blow your mind. Sauces and spreads are all made from scratch, and all fruits and vegetables are organic. As you’ll soon see, The Root in Lakewood is the quintessential cozy cafe where you can feel good about what you’re eating and sipping on.
CoreLife sure has made its name known on the East Coast, and now they’ve claimed real estate in Fairlawn, Mentor, and Strongsville. Known for their delicious selections, health-conscious eaters can create their own green or grain bowls—and power plates—and feel good about what they’re fueling up on. Fitt Tip: Keep up with their Facebook page for monthly fitness pop-ups!
There’s magic in vegetables for those who see it, and Beefsteak is here to showcase that magic. Posted up on Cleveland Clinic’s campus, Beefsteak serves up veggie bowls, salads, and vegan burgers for the taking. Create your own bowl or pick one of their specialties, like their Little Wild Curry bowl (rice, lentils, carrots, onion, kale, kohlrabi, green curry sauce, shoots, sesame seeds, and radish). But if you’re not near East 100th St., you can always order delivery!
A true farm-to-table spot, don’t expect to stop at Spice Kitchen + Bar for your “usual” order. Instead, get ready to eat whatever’s fresh that day. Yep, food and drink menus change with the seasons and their daily specials are crafted from just-picked ingredients from their on-site hoop house at the Gordon Square Arts District or their farm in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. See, the folks at Spice have a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture and supporting their local farmers and ranchers, and it shows in everything they do.
Get the latest news on Cleveland’s fitness scene.