Not a local, but just finishing up a long weekend trip to Cleveland (our first). I was eating with my husband, who hates fancy plating and loves good beer, and my 2-year old. Hands down the best food we had while here was Lucky's Cafe. They source local and have a kitchen garden right next to the tables. The food was all excellent, we had biscuits and gravy, mac and cheese, and a skillet dish. The homemade bread is amazing, the servers were friendly and even though they were packed we were seated quickly.
My second recommendation is right down the street at the chocolate shop... Lilly? I feel bad for so quickly forgetting the name. It is pink and chocolatey and they had an amazing beer selection. the chocolates are expensive and I wish I had about 30 more right now. They were amazingly delicious. I don't know if they are Cleveland but they are made local and the owner came out and gave my daughter a cup of chocolate chips to eat.
We also did Sokolowski's. We got there when it opened and there was a massive line. We didn't know what to do, what to order, or exactly what happened. When you go in read the chalk board and pick out a meal. Also pick out a back-up meal. The people taking the orders did not speak English, were not patient, and would not explain anything. I wanted cod. I ordered cod. She looked at me like I was crazy, kind of yelled at me, and under pressure to do something I ordered pierogies. I'd recommend the walleye. We didn't get that, but people by us did and we were jealous. The food was so-so. The pierogies had too much raw onion sauce for me, but were good. The mac and cheese was awful, the sauerkraut soggy, the rolls hard and stale, and the salad bar was so-so. My husband got fried fish of some sort - he also got yelled at and ended up just pointing and we ate what he got! But the atmosphere is neat and I think with a better idea of what to do we might have enjoyed it more.
We ate at Lola just to say we did. It was good. I loved the 6 am special dessert. We had the cod, scallops, and salmon dishes. All were excellent. Not mind blowing, but good. Nice atmosphere and they were amazing with my 2 year old, which on a busy Saturday night service was impressive.
We ate at Momocho per lots of recommendations from this site and it was my least favorite of the entire trip. None of the food was something I couldn't make at home. The service was s.l.o.w. and nothing was so good I'd ever want it again or try to recreate it at home.
The best food experience of the trip was our Saturday morning trip to the West Side Market. Brats & Sauerkraut, Chorizo Empanada, Cream Horns, Apple Fritters, Chile Popcorn, pretzel rolls....... I could go on and on. It made me super sad we don't have a market every Saturday morning at home.