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Cleveland's Diner

Update: Cleveland's is now Plaka.

In a word: Go.

The specs: #0089
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp.

Latest Cleveland's Diner news and reviews

JM ate the ham, egg, and cheese muffin.
Nichole ate the short stack and coffee.
The bill was $8, or $4/person, plus tip.
JM gave Cleveland's an A-; Nichole gave Cleveland's an A (see our grading rubric).

Get there before 8am and you might luck out on free parking. There's easy bike access from John Nolen Drive, too.

We paused at the front door, where the sign said "closed." Never fear, Cleveland's was open, its lone worker pouring refills, taking orders, and manning the grill all at once in a relaxed but swift rhythm.

One wall, covered in band posters and memorabilia, testifies to Cleveland's long history here. The setting was just too intimate for us to break out the camera. The sun was rising and a handful of patrons hunched over their steaming coffee (still under $1), fortifying themselves for the day.

A cop came in and jovially pointed out the "closed" sign. When our host brought over our meals, we offered to flip the sign, but he declined with a shrug. People must know when Cleveland's is open.

The short stack was fluffy and good until the last bites, avoiding the pitfall of pancakes as the late Mitch Hedberg described it.

Sandwich sans fries left JM hungry, and was pricier than same would have been at the defunct Allie B's or C's. Tenaya disagrees on the price, but they're in accord on the quality. Overall he found the whole experience pleasant and would consider a breakfast or lunch there anytime.

Rushing out the door to just another day at work, we realized we forgot to ask what kind of toast and soda Cleveland's has. Oh damn, we'll have to go back.


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Ever since I arrived at Madison, I have been in search of a place that will make the chocolate chip pancakes that I love. This in itself is not an easy feat...the majestic chocolate chip pancakes I speak of have been a figment of my imagination for quite some time now. Cleveland's (And i have tried MANY MANY MANY) comes close to my dreams. When I leave Madison in July, the pancakes will appear at the top of the lists I will miss.

Oh, chocolate chip pancakes sound so, so good. Good ones are as rare as ... something rare ... maybe more rare than donut shops in Madison.

Clevelands....used to be better...when I was a little girl in the 80's, out with my dad on a sunday morning, the kitchen was always loud with the clanking dishes and the waitressess always a little rough but in good spirits...my favorite memories of madison when I lived here as a kid...oh...and blueberry pancakes.

It's open again (and as good as ever), except now as Plaka. =)

R.I.P. Clevelands :-(

Why? They still serve the same breakfasts as they used to.

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