Cleveland, it’s been a year. We rank the city’s most popular foodie trends from hot to not.
1. Food halls: Cleveland’s behind the curve here with other food hall-incubators in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. But you’ll forget all about that after visiting Ohio City Galley and Market Hall.
2. Delis: Old-school techniques collide with hipster vibes when Jeremy Umansky shows us the fine art of koji at Larder, and we can’t get enough of the sandwiches at Lox, Stock and Brisket.
3. Breweries: Need a reason to raise your locally crafted pilsner? Ohio’s beer market economy is booming as the seventh largest in the country. Destination Cleveland launched a brewery passport. Fat Head’s expanded. Cheers to that.
4. Swensons: It’s never been easier to gorge on a Galley Boy. The original Kid From Akron finally took its talents north, opening spots in University Heights, North Olmsted and Avon. #GOAT
5. Food trucks: No more chasing food trucks around now that Fired Up Taco has opened a brick-and-mortar in Strongsville and Sweets The Mobile Cupcakery and Smooth Rider partnered for a spot in Ohio City.
6. Chains: No, we’re not talking about all those McDonald’s renovations. 2018 marks the year that Shake Shack came to CLE. We were also blessed with a Raising Cane’s and a Culver’s.
7. Tacos: La Plaza used to be a hidden gem that we kept our cash on hand for. The first Barrio in Tremont felt special. Now every restaurant feels the need to have the Mexican street food on its menu. We’ve got shell shock.
8. Meal delivery services: While we’re not above using Postmates to courier over soup from Superior Pho, sometimes we miss the art of eating out — instead of eating in our pajamas.
9. Fast-casual spots: See almost every single restaurant that opened in 2018.
10. Star chefs: It’s been a year of waiting for Michael Symon to open Sherla’s (will it ever open?) and for Jonathon Sawyer to announce his new concept at Van Aken (just tell us!). The creativity we’re used to seeing has made it a bland 12 months. There’s always next year.