Emerald Inn and Tea Room
Located on West Park‘s main through-way Lorain Road is the Emerald Necklace Inn and Tea Room. True to its name, the Emerald is a hidden gem near the lush greenery surrounding the West Branch Rocky River. The inn was built in 1863 during the American Civil War and originally functioned as the county general store, and today, the Victorian origin of the inn is evident in the decor, characterized by porcelain trinkets, crystal chandeliers, and old-fashioned portraiture. Afternoon tea includes fresh pastries, scones, and savory tea sandwiches – not to mention bottomless specialty tea blends.
Address & Telephone Number: 18840 Lorain Rd, Cleveland, OH, (440) 333-9100
In the Jefferson neighborhood of West Park is George’s Kitchen, a classic diner serving comfort food favorites. Walk into George’s and be welcomed home by friendly staff and cozy booth seating, surrounded by a local crowd. The menu, not unlike most diners, is extensive, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner late into the night. Swing by George’s for some corned beef hash or slow-cooked barbecue, and you’re sure to leave happy.
Address & Telephone Number: 13101 Triskett Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 671-0430
Al & B’s BBQ
Upon looking at Al & B’s BBQ, one’s first instinct is to drive right past it. This is a tiny hole-in-the-wall in the center of a strip mall, but don’t let appearances fool you – this is one of the best barbecue joints in Cleveland. A simple blackboard menu behind the deli counter lists classic comfort staples such as chicken wings, smothered ribs, and Cleveland-invented ‘polish boys’ with collard greens. Though the ambiance is not much to speak of, the dishes are cooked with old-fashioned Southern love and care.
Address & Phone Number: 15115 Puritas Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 362-8601
Specializing in Syrian and Middle-Eastern cuisine in West Park is Damascino, a cozy family-style restaurant on Lorain Avenue. This is a simple spot that serves simple, natural food prepared exactly how it should be. After being seated in booths with classic checked picnic tablecloths, you are served massive helpings of Middle-Eastern favorites from hummus to tabouli. The food is so authentic one feels as if they’ve stepped into a Syrian kitchen, welcomed by amiable staff and a casual atmosphere.
Address & Telephone Number: 16700 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH, (216) 251-3838
The Thai Elephant is a tranquil slice of Thailand in the middle of Cleveland. As a family operated restaurant, the owners at the Elephant honor their Thai ancestors by crafting dishes with authentic taste and creative presentation. The interior has table and booth seating next to bamboo-bordered walls dotted with Asian artwork. All traditional Thai meals are available, such as Panang curry and Tom Yam, a creamy hot and sour soup with lime juice, lemongrass, and mushrooms.
Address & Telephone Number: 16610 Lorain Ave, Cleveland, OH, (216) 671-9999
Gene’s Place to Dine
Gene’s Place to Dine resembles a retro diner with its own kitschy 1930’s and 40’s celebrity theme. Booth seating is surrounded by framed black-and-white photographs of everyone from Marlon Brando to Mae West, a jukebox, and checkered floors. The menu is typical of a diner, aside from the titles, all of which are named after old Hollywood movie stars and jazz singers. The Gene Kelly steak sandwich and the Zhivago burger with chives, sour cream, and mushrooms are among the most popular dishes at Gene’s. Swing by for great food with a touch of nostalgia for a bygone era.
Address & Telephone Number: 3730 Rocky River Rd, Cleveland, OH, (216) 252-1741