The first thing you learn about Cleveland, Ohio is that it is nestled on the southern shore of Lake Erie. At some point in every Clevelander’s life, he will experience a fresh perch or walleye fry. With this introduction to freshwater fish it is only natural that many who live in the area expand their palate to include various seafood dishes as well. This built-in fan base allows for a variety of top notch seafood restaurants to thrive, offering delectable freshwater and seafood dishes at affordable prices. From casual to dress-up dining, here are the top choices in Cleveland.
Blue Point Grill
700 W. St. Clair Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44133
The Blue Point Grill is located in the heart of Cleveland’s hip and trendy Warehouse District. Considered one of the top seafood dining spots in the city, it bases its reputation on the freshness of the raw materials that are flown in daily on ice (never frozen). The menu features choices of starters,soups and salads, oysters a raw bar, desserts and more. There is a full service bar and a wine selection of over 1,200 choices, as well as an extensive martini list. From fresh seafood to dishes to delight those who prefer chicken and steak, this is a dining choice that will please everyone. Dress is business casual and reservations are recommended.
Don’s Lighthouse Grille
8905 Lake Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44102
This is a great place for friends to meet before or after a movie or show. Located just seven minutes from downtown Cleveland, Don’s Lighthouse Grille offers a wide array of seafood, steak, freshwater fish, pasta, signature salads, chops and chicken. There is a full service bar as well as an extensive wine list.
Mitchell’s Fish Market
28601 Chagrin Blvd.
Woodmere, Ohio 44122
Don’t let the name fool you. This is a full service family restaurant with an emphasis on the family dining experience. Mitchell’s Fish Market prides itself in its motto: “Fish any fresher would still be in the ocean.” There are a variety of reasons that this is considered one of the most family friendly seafood restaurants in the Cleveland area. Along with lunch, dinner and dessert menus, it also offers a kid’s menu that actually caters to a child’s pallet. There is also a gluten free menu and an impressive wine list as well as a full service bar. Dress is dressy casual and reservations are recommended.
The Nauti Mermaid
1378 W. 6th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
This casual décor is modeled after a Key West crab shack with a Caribbean inspired menu that has something for everyone. With over 70 items on the extensive menu, The Nauti Mermaid has it all for tastes from surf to turf. If you’re thirsty, there are 10 beers on tap as well as a newly expanded extensive wine list. Prices are reasonable and dress is casual, so come as you are. As for decor, it is sea weathered planks for the walls with Christmas Lights, buoys and the obligatory fish nets. Some evenings there is live music, so this is a nice place to meet up with friends before or after a show, downtown sports event or lunch. Reservations are not necessary, just stop in when your hungry or thirsty.
12700 Lake Ave.
Lakewood, OH 44107
With great food, Pier W is the restaurant with a view. The exterior of the restaurant resembles the hull of a luxury liner cruising Lake Erie. Perched on a cliff, the establishment overlooks the Cleveland skyline and the Lake Erie shore with the lights dimmed in the restaurant to enhance your viewing pleasure of the city and the lake. Featuring a brunch, dinner, dessert and vegetarian fare, you will find something great to eat at any time of the day or night. The food is masterfully done and the menu is a delight to foodies, no matter what their preference. There is also a full service bar, a reserve wine list and a regular wine list which boasts of over 3,000 bottles to choose from. This is a white tablecloth kind of place where one should dress for dinner. Reservations are highly recommended.
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Salmon Dave’s Pacific Grill
19015 Old Lake Road
Rocky River, OH 44116
“Seafood so fresh, it’s guaranteed!”…so says Salmon Dave’s Pacific Grill. Salmon Dave’s features a menu that combines Pacific Rim cuisine with all-American favorites where you will find such dishes as lobster bisque, sushi-grade ahi sashimi and cedar planked salmon. Over the course of the year this restaurant offers special celebrations including the Maine Event Lobster and Taste of N’awlins. This is a comfortable place for a light bite or a fancy dinner. It’s your choice. The wine list is made up of over 150 personally picked favorites with the thought, “If we don’t love it, we won’t serve it.” Dress is business casual and reservations are recommended.
Mark Horning is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. His work can be found on Examiner.com.