By Ron Davidson, Host Committee member
In the mood for some dim sum? Or Korean barbecue? How about a nice bowl of pho? Pad Thai? You can find all these and more in Cleveland’s AsiaTown neighborhood, on the near east side–just a short drive from the convention center. You’ll find good food and culture in this small but busy neighborhood.
AsiaTown began to develop as a distinct neighborhood around the 1950s, when the small existing community of Cleveland Chinese began to move here, supplemented by an influx of immigrants from China. By the 1970s, the Chinese were joined by immigrants from Vietnam, Korea, and other Asian nations, making today’s AsiaTown a diverse but close-knit community.
As we hinted above, there is a great variety of Asian (and other) restaurants in the area. Two of Cleveland’s favorite dim sum restaurants are in AsiaTown: Bo Loong on St. Clair Avenue, and Li Wah in the Asia Plaza at E. 30th Street and Payne Avenue. If you’re not in the mood for dim sum, but still want Chinese, there are more restaurants to choose from. For Vietnamese, AsiaTown’s pho restaurants get high reviews: #1 Pho and Superior Pho on Superior Avenue, just to name two. You’ll find good Korean food in AsiaTown, including Miega Korean BBQ, Ha Anh, and Korea House, all on Superior. And even some Thai food.
If you want to take some groceries home, AsiaTown has two supermarkets specializing in Asian foods: at the Asian Town Center, E. 38th and Superior; and at Park to Shop, in the Asia Plaza on E. 30th Street. You’ll find plenty of produce, meats, groceries, and prepared foods you won’t find at most supermarkets. Stop in for a fresh pork bun, spring rolls, a Vietnamese sandwich, or many other ready-to-eat foods. Or stock up on foods for the trip home. There are plenty of fresh baked goods in these stores, but you’ll also find some bakeries in the neighborhood. Koko Bakery is rated the best Asian bakery in town–you’ll find good bubble tea and Taiwanese shaved ice among their specialties.