Consider yourself lucky to live in Cleveland. This city has some of the hottest chefs creating food and spaces unmatched in other cities. From upscale dining to relaxed elbows-on-the-table type of gatherings, Cleveland has it all. With so many choices, it is near impossible to pick the top chefs. However, this list is a great start to the bees’ knees of dining.


Douglas Katz
Fire Food & Drink
13220 Shaker Square
Cleveland, OH 44120 ·
(216) 921-3473

The chef at Fire Food and Drink, Douglas Katz, is someone to get fired up about. Katz has a long history of awards on his resume; a host chef at the James Beard Foundation Dinner many times over, “rising star of American cuisine” in Reader’s Digest and starting this fall, a chef and partner at the Cleveland Museum of Art. What makes Douglas Katz so special? Besides his ability to create impeccable meals from the freshest local ingredients, using companies like the Ohio Honey Company and Wolfe Farm, he is fully committed to Cleveland. With Fire Food and Drink being part of the Cleveland Independents, an organization of locally-owned and operated restaurants, Katz keeps the spotlight where it should be; on Cleveland and Northeastern Ohio.

(credit: Thinkstock)

Stephanie Roe
Sweet Melissa’s
19337 Detroit Road
Rocky River, OH 44116
(440) 333-6357
s-melissa.comPastry chef at Sweet Melissa’s, Stephanie Roe gives everyone something to smile about. All the desserts are created in house and if you’ve seen the display case, it’s an impressive feat. Not only is the chocolate ganache, cream and puffy pastry made on the premises, but the desserts are made from the best organic ingredients and include seasonal options. Just like the rest of Sweet Melissa’s food, the treats are attentively prepared including vegan and gluten-free options. You can always find Ms. Roe’s red velvet cake, cookies, brownies and such, but to taste the freshest berries and fruits summer has to offer, you’ll just have to come in and try for yourself.Related: Best Pho Restaurants In Cleveland


Steve Schimoler
Crop Bar & Bistro
2537 Lorain Ave
Cleveland, OH 44111
(216) 696-2767

Calling Steve Schimoler at Crop Bar & Bistro “locally grown” is tongue in cheek considering he started his career at a young age in New York. Yet his dedication to Cleveland makes this man a native. Like his homegrown, seasonal choices at the well-established, thriving Crop Bar & Bistro to Schimoler’s local business connections (Cleveland Food Rocks and, his commitments to this city are deeply rooted. Consider the roasted beet salad on Crop’s dinner menu. It sounds easy to replicate, but like Steve Schimoler, it contains a number of ingredients that make it unparalleled.

Geoff Gus
1137 Linda St
Rocky River, OH 44116
(440) 799-4292
marketbeer.comIt’s a toss up as to what is more popular at Market in Rocky River: the bloody marys or the dinner menu. But when it comes down to it, you cannot leave satisfied without a taste of some great eats. Held together by Geoff Gus, the kitchen at Market consistently produces some of the most intriguing and delicious food right outside of Cleveland. Porky mac-n-cheese with penne pasta, peppers, onions and a three-cheese sauce and butter poached salmon with roasted red-skin potatoes, veggies and corn salsa are just two of the sought-after dishes here. If you can elbow your way through the always-busy bar and grab a table, it’s easy to see why Geoff Gus and Market is so marketable: beer and food. You can’t go wrong.Related: Best Pizza In Cleveland

Marissa is a happily adventurous wife, mother and runner. Living in Lakewood, Ohio she searches neighboring communities for exciting food and drinks that are good and good for you in the Cleveland area. Her work can be found at