Address: 777 Starkweather Ave. Cleveland, OH 44113
Born of modest beginnings, Lucky's now proudly offers such brunch-time favorites as the Shipwreck, full of potatoes, peppers, onion, cheddar and bacon; its curried tofu–laden vegan cousin, the Canoewreck; and unbelievable gingerbread waffles, covered with diced apple, maple syrup, whipped cream and cinnamon, to hungry hordes on a daily basis. That's good news, as it was always a wait to be seated for Saturday and Sunday brunch, but following a brush with Food Network stardom, is just a little bit tougher. It's always worth the wait, though. Chef/owner Heather Haviland, who's been cooking since she was 12 years old, is one of the region's loudest and friendliest voices in support of local agriculture, and many of her ingredients come from her own garden. The environs are as inviting as the staff, with warm woodwork, local artwork and cozy tables dotted throughout the space. A series of picnic tables are popular al fresco options during the North Coast's warmer months. For unadulterated comfort foods, Haviland's kitchen is tough to beat. From a deeply satisfying corned beef sandwich – brined in house with house herbs, with house bread, house kraut and house Thousand Island – to daily specials, including grilled cheese with piquant aged white cheddar, earthy local mushrooms and herbs wrapped in buttery toast, served with brightly acidic tomato soup. The daily case selection of sweet treats is nearly impossible to pass by – on your way in or out. To make matters better, all menu offerings are inexpensive, which is especially commendable given the labor of love that goes into every kitchen creation. East siders fear not, Haviland opened Vine & Bean Cafe, a second homey spot located in an old Victorian on Larchmere Boulevard. Serving much the same fare, Vine & Bean also boasts a small wine bar.