Tastiest Asian Eateries in CLE
Asia is absolute heaven for any globetrotting foodie. To an outsider, the food may appear to be nothing but rice and noodles (which is very true), but you’ll find so much more than just fried rice and pad thai. Now that I am back home in Cleveland, I have spent the past few months exploring the few, but tasty, Asian eats right in my area!
Although nothing beats red curry for 60 baht in Bangkok or soup dumplings from the famous Din Tai Fung restaurant in Hong Kong, I have managed to fulfill my Asian fix right here in little ol’ CLE!
Address: 3030 Superior Ave. #5, Cleveland, OH, 44114
Tucked in the back of a building, this low-key café serves some of the most authentic pho! Although tricky to locate the first time, you’ll never get lost finding this pho eatery again. It’s one of my usual early Saturday afternoon rituals. The slurping of broth and loud chatter reminds me of eating pho outside on stools in Ho Chi Minh City. They offer 14 different phos, which differentiate based on the type of protein. I opt for the standard Pho Tai: noodle soup with eye of round. All pho soups are served with jalapenos, lime, bean sprouts and hoisin, sriracha and fish sauce. Other tasty dishes to try out include summer rolls (with shrimp, fresh herbs, vermicelli wrapped in rice paper and peanut sauce) and “The 7C” a.k.a banh mi, which is a Vietnamese sub (French roll, with pate, roasted pork, cucumbers, fresh herbs and mayo).
Cleveland Magazine says, “A good pho is a magnet to Southeast Asian fans just like chicken soup with matzo balls is to Jewish deli fans—and to soup lovers everywhere.” I couldn’t have said it better myself! Everything at Superior Pho tastes like what you find at Vietnamese cafes!
Address: 2999 Payne Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114
The original Chinese gem, Li Wah has been around since before Asiatown was even a neighborhood. It’s a Cleveland staple for introducing traditional Chinese cuisine. Although the Nook serves up our favorite Americanized Chinese dishes, stepping outside of your comfort zone and sampling the Chinese classics are totally worth it. Try the rich honey walnut shrimp served with broccoli or go all out and feast on dim sum. Be sure to arrive early—the place is buzzing, especially on the weekends for dim sum fans. I couldn’t even tell you what I ate, but the dishes on the dim sum carts are unlikely to disappoint!
Address: 30769 Pinetree Road, Pepperpike, OH 44124
I grew up in a family who made weekly visits to a local Thai restaurant. My favorite Thai restaurant—Saigon Bangkok in Buffalo, NY—serves up all the classics: tum yum goong, pad thai, panang curry and mango sticky rice. When I moved to Cleveland, I was determined to find Saigon Bangkok’s twin. After lots of mediocre pad thai, I found Peppermint, an establishment that reminded me of my hometown favorite!
Peppermint Thai Cuisine is a low-key spot to dine. The establishment offers all the standard Thai dishes as well as dishes with a twist! Coventry Road Madness, made up of sautéed seafood and veggies in a Thai basil sauce, is what I usually order. When I feel like changing it up, I go for the Landerwood String Bean, which is chicken with green beans, peppers, cashew nuts, and peanuts in mild curry. Talk about mixing up original Thai dishes. Although I usually opt for Peppermint’s specialties, it’s comforting to know chicken basil and fried rice are on the menu.
Address: 13603 Madison Ave. Lakewood, OH, 44107
Yuzu is an izakaya inspired bar, serving up craft cocktails, ramen, and innovative Asian dishes in Lakewood. You can even play board games while you dine! Yuzu recently opened its doors and is already infamously known for their cocktail names and exotic combinations. Who wouldn’t want to order a beverage called, “Welcome to the Jungle Juice” or “Red, White and Boujee?” I’ll be back soon to sample the drink menu!
Now let’s talk food. Korean, Indian, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine make up the menu. The dishes are far from classic yet so DELICIOUS. Thai fries served with Dutch peanut aioli are a must starter, the sushi poke bowl is served with fresh mango, and the sriracha-flavored Korean beef has just the perfect amount of heat. I wish I had saved room for dessert—I bet the adult s’more is noteworthy.
Yuzu is Lakewood’s hidden treasure. Check out the weekly specials on the website! Also, there are coupons for Yuzu on the CLEseats app!
Address: 13120 Shaker Square, Cleveland, Ohio, 44120
In the heart of Shaker Square, SASA is a Japanese bistro known for serving Asian dishes “tapas” style with fresh fusion. For a pricey menu, SASA has one of the best happy hour specials with select plates, cocktails, beer and sake for only $6. The menu is extensive, flooded with small plates, such as miso lobster bisque with crab cake, Kobe beef goyza, plum BBQ pork ribs and yam tempura. After filling up on small plates, the specialty rolls are dynamite. The lobster roll with fresh lobster tail, mango salad and asparagus and the Fuji volcano roll with shrimp tempura, cucumber and spicy masago sauce are my favorite rolls on the menu.