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  CLEVELAND

CULINARY EXPLORATION IN OHIO

A city built on an honest days work, so it no surprise that Cleveland's cuisine has a strong blue collar vibe.  Home to a fantastic corner deli, and a hidden bar with the best burger in town, Cleveland just seems to understand Midwestern value. You'll find strong ties all over the city to it's Polish heritage, with nods to pierogies, sausages, and the art of specialty deli meats. And while Cleveland has a growing restaurant scene, my favorite joints are still the ones that cater to the unsung hero that built this city. Get ready for some top quality comfort food. 

The Pig

CLEVELAND = DOG POUND

PIG'S PICKS

 Butter drenched pierogies, Polish Boys, and dives in Cleveland.

SLYMAN'S

WHY: My favorite pastrami, in the country, bar none. Just look at that picture,  meat piled a mile high, with succulent fat dripping down. These are the biggest deli sandwiches I have ever seen, so big that it is two meals for me, or one hungry college student. 

WHAT: MASSIVE DELI SANDWICHES

WHEN: You have some cholesterol karma to burn, and a huge appitite.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

3106 St Clair Ave NE

Cleveland, OH 44114

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Pastrami 

  • The Rueben

PIG SCORE: 3.9 / 4.0

SOKOLOWSKI'S UNIVERSITY INN

WHY: A Cleveland institution, serving up Polish home cooking cafeteria style for over 90 years. Expect to find customers from the working man all the way to politicians, rubbing elbows at the family style seating.

WHAT: POLISH COMFORT FOOD

WHEN: You miss your Polish grandmothers cooking.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1201 University Rd.

Cleveland, OH 44113

 

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Pierogies

  • Polish sausage

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

HAPPY DOG

WHY: A local watering hole that serves up hot dogs with crazy options. Toppings range from frank and beans all the way to fruit loops. . Don't ask me why.

WHAT:  CRAZY HOT DOGS

WHEN: You want a local bar to hang out and grab bar hot dogs.

PRICE:

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

5801 Detroit Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44102

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • 1/4 Pound hot dog

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

MAYBEL'S BBQ

WHY: This is southern BBQ with a Cleveland twist. The polish girl is a tribute to just that, a polish sausage with coleslaw and chopped pork. Located in a modernized industrial building in downtown Cleveland. Maybel's is a great place to grab a bite.

WHAT: CLEVELAND STYLE BBQ?

WHEN: You're in the mood for good BBQ.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2050 E 4th St.

Cleveland, OH 44115

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Polish girl

  • Crispy ears with hot sauce

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

PORCO LOUNGE & TIKI LOUNGE

WHY: An exotic little hideaway for fun drinks. Be careful what you order here though, these drinks are not only ginormous, they are potent.  This may be an Uber night.

WHAT:  BIG ASS TIKI DRINKS

WHEN: You're out for the night, and want a quiet place to share a large drink.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2527 W 25th St,

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Porco's Tiki bowl

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

WEST SIDE MARKET

WHY: This public market is a one stop shop, grab a lunch, and shop for dinner at the same time. A really fun way for a foodie to spend a few hours. Don't miss the amazing ceiling and architecture of the building.

WHAT:  A PUBLIC MARKET

WHEN: Have a little time to kill and want to graze for lunch.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1979 W 25th St,

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Amazing desserts

  • Fresh fruit

  • Fresh crepes

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

QUINTANA'S SPEAKEASY

WHY: It is one of the coolest bars in the country. Sure it's another speakeasy, sure it's in Cleveland, but the drinks the bartenders make are nothing short of a show.

HOW TO GET IN: Walk to the back door of the barber shop. Walk in and through the chairs, up the staircase, and start looking through the books at the top of the stairs.

WHAT: A SPEAKEASY EXPERIENCE

WHEN: You're looking for the coolest secret bar in America

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2200 S Taylor Rd,

Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Sage smoked whiskey

  • Old Fashioned

  • Whatever the bartender wants to make

PIG SCORE: 4.0 / 4.0

JOHNNY'S LITTLE BAR

WHY: It's a hidden bar down a back alley, and home to Cleveland's best kept secret burger. The meat is a juicy, high fat ratio block that they grind themselves, and is served with quality toppings. This would be a weekly stop if I were a local. Did I mention that they grind the meat themselves?

WHAT: A SECRET BACK ALLEY BAR

WHEN:  You're out with friends, want a low key place to hang out, and the best burger in town.

PRICE: $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

614 Frankfort Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Bacon Cheeseburger

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

SOUPER MARKET

WHY: Homemade soup, served with freshly baked bread. They have high quality and a bunch of vegetarian and vegan offereings.

WHAT: HOMEMADE SOUP

WHEN: You're in the mood for homemade soup and bread.

PRICE: $ - $$ 

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

16804 Lorain Ave,

Cleveland, OH 44111

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • The Bacon Cheeseburger

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

SAUCEY BREW WORKS

WHY: A casual enviorment to get fresh thin crust pizza and micro brew.

WHAT:  STONE PIZZA AND BEER

WHEN: Hanging with friends and want some micro brews and a pie.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2885 Detroit Rd.

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Clam white pizza

PIG SCORE: 3.2 / 4.0

SUPERIOR PHO

WHY: A low key setting to get exceptional Vietnamese food in a blue collar town. The broth is amazing and a welcome lunch on the cold Cleveland days.

WHAT:  SUPERIOR PHO

WHEN: You need a soul warming bowl of Vietnamese soup.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

3030 Superior Ave #105,

Cleveland, OH 44114

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • PHO

  • Banh mi

PIG SCORE: 3.7 / 4.0

SETI'S POLISH BOY

WHY: The official sandwich of Cleveland is the Polish Boy, and the best place in town serving them is a food truck run for the past 17 years by a husband and wife team. Find Seti's and find out why this is the meal that the hard working people in Cleveland love.

WHAT:  POLISH FOOD TRUCK

WHEN: You see the truck. These guys are great!

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

4699 Lorain Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44102

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Polish Boy

  • Chili Cheese Dog

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

VERO BISTRO NAPOLETALA

WHY: They take their pizza making seriously. They use "00" flour, San Marzano tomatoes, and fresh Mozzarella cheese. They are so serious that they won't allow you to order their pizza to-go, because they  want to preserve the quality of it.

WHAT:  WOOD FIRED PIZZA

WHEN: A nice dinner out with friends.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

12421 Cedar Rd.

Cleveland Heights, OH 44106

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Margherita

  • Specialty pizza

PIG SCORE: 3.75 / 4.0

BREWNUTS

WHY: The setting is cool and hip, but the doughnuts are the real star. They are made with beer. This is a great place to relax with a cup of coffee and a brewnut.

WHAT:  DOUGHNUTS AND BEER

WHEN: You want a great doughnut and a cup of joe, or a place  to relax or plan your day.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

6501 Detroit Rd.

Cleveland, OH 44102

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Maple Bacon

  • Cannoli filled

  • Cup of Joe

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

FATHEAD'S TASTING ROOM

WHY: I love finding Tap-rooms for local micro breweries. They take pride in brewing quality beer and want to share it with their fans in a casual environment. Fat Heads tasting room is a Cleveland hidden gem.

WHAT:  CLEVELAND BEER HALL

WHEN: You're by the airport,  have an hour or more to kill, and want to try something uniquely Cleveland.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

18741 Sheldon Rd.

Middleburg Heights, OH 44130

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Bumble Berry

  • Head Hunter

PIG SCORE: 3.6 / 4.0

HOT SAUCE WILLIAMS

WHY: An old and brightly decorated Cleveland institution that serves up some of the best Polish Boy's in town as well as the ever elusive Polish Girl, a boy with pulled pork.

WHAT:  OLD CLASSIC FOOD SHACK

WHEN: You want a quick lunch and a classic Cleveland specialty.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

3770 Lee Rd.

Cleveland, OH 44128

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Polish Boy

  • Polish Girl

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

CHOOLAAH INDIAN BBQ

WHY: This is a Indian fast food concept. they serve classic Indian dishes in a fast and energenic atmousphere. They have five huge tandoori ovens lined up behind huge plate glass windows. A very cool place to watch them pull the long skeweres of chicken and lamb out as well as watch them cooking the naan bread.

WHAT:  INDIA FAST FOOD

WHEN: You want a quick lunch, but don't want another burger.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

27100 Chagrin Blvd.

Beachwood, OH 44122

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Lamb BBQ

  • Chicken Tiki Masala

PIG SCORE: 3.3 / 4.0

GREAT LAKES BREWING CO.

WHY: A cool and casual location to enjoy some house suds. They also provide tours if you ask.

WHAT:  LOCAL MICROBREWERY

WHEN: A night out with friends.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2516 Market Ave,

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Holy Moses - White Ale

  • Eliot Ness - Amber

PIG SCORE: 3.2 / 4.0

XINJI NOODLE BAR

WHY: Noodles were amazing, firm, tender and flavorful. This is possibly one of the most under rated Ramen places I have been to. Truly delicious broth with big pieces of pork belly. But don't just get the ramen and miss out of some seoul satisfying Korean fried Chicken. This is a Cleveland gem.

WHAT:  JAPANESE NOODLES

WHEN: You want a warm bowl of Japanese soup.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

4211 Lorain Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Korean Fried Chicken

  • Tonkatsu Rice Bowl

  • Spicy Miso Ramen

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

IL RIONE PIZZA

WHY: These guys are making great New Jersey / New York style pizza in Cleveland. Great crust structure the perfect ratio of sauce and toppings to crust. This will be a hard place to get into as time goes on.

WHAT:  NEW JERSEY  PIZZA

WHEN: A night out with friends or family.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

1303 W 65th St,

Cleveland, OH 44102

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Clam white pizza

  • Pepperoni

  • The Green Pizza

PIG SCORE: 3.8 / 4.0

LUCKY'S CAFE

WHY: They are a café with a conscious, they work with local farmers to bring you the freshest food. Showcasing homemade pastries and showing a passion for great tasting from scratch meals.

WHAT:  GREAT BREAKFAST

WHEN: You're looking for a solid breakfast and lunch location.

PRICE: $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

777 Starkweather Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44113

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Shipwreck

  • Biscuit & Gravy

  • The Lucky Rueben

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

LI WAH RESTAURANT

WHY: Good Dim Sum is hard to find, great Dim Sum with cart service is even harder. I love the experience of rolling the dice and trying something new, and Dim Sum allows you to do that in little portions. I mean when will you ever get a chance to eat chicken feet again?

WHAT:  DIM SUM CART SERVICE

WHEN: You are feeling adventerous for lunch my friend.

PRICE: $ - $$

PAYMENT: Credit/Cash

 

MAP IT: 

2999 Payne Ave.

Cleveland, OH 44114

WHAT TO ORDER:

  • Pot stickers

  • Shanghai Pork Dumplings

  • Whatever looks good from the cart.

PIG SCORE: 3.4 / 4.0

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