When my brother Frankie first moved to Cleveland, Ohio to start graduate school, my whole family packed ourselves in a car and drove 7.5 hours to move him in. Never having been to the big CLE, let alone Ohio, I truly didn't know what to expect. What was the city atmosphere like? What was the weather like? But most importantly, what was the food scene like?

I went into the trip like I have for most trips I've taken, with some minor research under my belt and an open mind. Fast forward the three short days I stayed there, and let's just say this place left quite a mark. The city scene was personal, outgoing and happy. The weather was not nearly as cold as I thought it would be (the summers are PERFECT in Cleveland) and the food. WOW the food.

Imagine the most eclectic combination of different cuisines, flavors and atmospheres with the same friendly staff and people. Here are some of the best places to eat in the city of sports, rock n' roll and food. 

1. Ninja City Kitchen and Bar 

This Asian street food bar and kitchen embodies both classic styles of Asian cuisines such as dumplings and spring rolls and pho with modernized Asian food trends like ramen burgers, all while creating a style that is perfectly unique. With its walls filled with comic posters and metal and its retro packman machine, this place is dare I say it: RAD.

The food is flavorful and fun and the drinks pack a punch with flavors like lychee and coconut. This place has a whole new take on Asian fusion, and you cannot miss out on it.  

2. TownHall

After you go to TownHall, you'll dream about it every night until you're back there again. This fully non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, cafe, craft beer and bar joint (yep) is sports bar meets juice bar meets every meal, food and elixir you can dream of. Whether you want a nice afternoon "golden latte" or are ready to eat a plate of nachos for Ohio State's big game, TownHall is the place to be.

The menu is extensive and constantly changing. They have everything from brunch to "vegan night," from juices to bar drinks. TownHall is the place where the friend that's always on a new diet can eat in peace with the friend that only eats burgers. I look forward to dining here whenever I am in Cleveland because of how truly amazing it is. From its beautiful decor, to its bright and vibrant food to even its perfectly square shaped ice cubes in every drink they give, TownHall is one of Cleveland's jewels. 

3. Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream 

If you're like me, you can eat ice cream at anytime and in any weather. I walked into Mitchell's in the dead of the winter last year. The long list of flavors is less than traditional, with options such as vegan salted caramel pecan, peanut butter chocolate pretzel frozen yogurt, and toasted pistachio with homemade pistachio butter.

They also offer a whole menu of house-made sundaes, smoothies, and pies. There are six different sizes of ice cream delicacies, each topped with dinosaur sprinkles or put in a cone if you wish.

This ice cream joint is even offers a yearly membership that includes unlimited ice cream all with the swipe of a card. This place is so good that I once had an Uber driver say she only picks up rides near Mitchell's so that she can get ice cream after. 

4. Butcher and the Brewer

This downtown Cleveland "steam-punk" style microbrewery is a place where comfort food lover meets beer enthusiast. With its massive brewing kettle on display for all its customers to see, coupled with its rich and warm food, Butcher and the Brewer is warm and inviting whether you come for one drink or to spend the entire night.

They offer family-style dining which creates the friendly atmosphere you'd experience if you were laughing, dining, and drinking at a friend's house. The size of the beer menu is comparable to that of the food. Butcher and the Brewer has delectable goodies that range from potatoes in a paprika aioli to smoked lamb ribs to even an entire vegan friendly section.

The brewery prides itself on a wide array of house cocktails as well as dozens of house-made beers. As the name suggests, this is a place where the eaters (Butcher) and the drinkers (Brewer) can spend some nice time together. 

5. Greenhouse Tavern

Using local foods and making food with love, this rustbelt tavern in downtown Cleveland is sure to knock your socks off with its bold flavors, wide array of choices and urban-esque environment. It's among many restaurants in Cleveland that could feed almost any mouth that comes through its doors. They say it themselves on their menu: "Vegan veg gluten free / Carnivore or herbivore / You're all right with me."

This place is known for their brunch where they serve a popcorn salted caramel french toast, chicken and waffles crusted in a Tabasco covering, and even an avocado smoothie bowl. They offer their costumers locally and sustainably-sourced meats, fresh ingredients, and both an outdoor and rooftop patio. This place is a favorite among not only my family but also the locals in Cleveland, coining it as a central spot to those ready to eat.

While Cleveland, Ohio may have become famous for its array of sports teams or for being home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it has become a city with great people, a great atmosphere and some really great food. Whether you are a picky eater, vegan, gluten-free or just want some good grub, chances are you will leave Cleveland satisfied. The city offers bold flavors, cheek-warming drinks, and some of the best food you can eat. Whether you're a foodie or a sports fan, Cleveland, Ohio should be next on your travel hit list.