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cleveland hamburgers

  • s

Hello fellow carnivores,

I just moved to the Cleveland area and am wondering if someone can tell me where I can get my jaws around the best burger in town...

Thank you!

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  1. the best burgers are in cheap, greasy small places like bars. I recommend Becky's on E. 18th & Chester and The Little Bar, which is owned by Johnny's downtown, one of the nicest restaurants in Cleveland - they often take their leftover premium meats and grind them for their burgers. They are in the small alleyway next to Johnny's, which is on W. 6th street downtown.

    1. If you're willing to pay for an upscale hamburger, try Moxie in Beachwood. It's on the East Side, in the suburbs, so maybe it isn't convenient to you.

      1. First, I have to admit that I don't eat a lot of burgers. But I've been researching an expedition to find Cleveland's best burger. I've been delayed by various and sundry other food quests. In the mean time, my notes may be of use. As far as burgers that I can personally vouch for, I like the club or the patty melt at Your's Truly. (Hopefully that doesn't disqualify me as an expert.)

        As far as all the burgers I've yet to sample, I think that there's a lot of promise. Swensen's was called the best cheeseburger in America by none other than R.W. Apple the legendary Times journalist and food writer. Cleveland has also very recently been admitted into the fraternity of cities with a Fatburger franchise.

        The Brass Tap offers a flight of burgers that changes regularly.

        The rest of these all come recommended in reviews or burger roundups from the local daily or one of the two free weeklies. Here's a list with a map:

        I haven't crossed Steak N Shake or Irv's off the list yet but I have sampled them and your time is probably best spent somewhere else.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stuart

          Brass Tap didn't last long. The location is now part of the Cleats chain.

          I'd say Little Bar is the best burger I've ever had.

        2. bearden's on lake rd in rocky river is definitely worth checking out.

          1. back in the days i would have said HECKS in ohio city, but i dk anymore. try it, even if it has slid, it is a pleasant place to eat with outdoor seating in a very pretty nabe.

            sorry i dont have an eternally killer pub burger to tout as some cities do!

            as mentioned SWENSONS in akron, LITTLE BAR in the warehouse nabe & BEARDENS in rocky river are all great choices too.

            i would also rec you try burgers at the local steakhouses like the new one RED, the landmark JOHN Q downtown on public square and maybe the local HYDE PARK chain. steakhouses generally make superbly good burgers.

            please do report back!

            1. I say the Little Bar downtown...really great, and so are the fries. Wings are nice too!

              1. Probably not what you have in mind, but well worth a taste... For the more upscale in burger creations, Sarava at Shaker Square has an amazing appetizer called "Sarava burgers"--thin plancha-grilled mini-burgers with peppedew peppers. Delicious like nothing else I've ever tasted!

                1. good suggestion. i went to sarava the last time i was in town and while everything we had was excellent, those burgers were a standout.

                  1. Thank you so much for all the responses. I'm still working on checking them out but here's what I have so far in terms of checking back:

                    Moxie's was good but I've had much better for much cheaper elsewhere (though not yet in Cleveland).

                    In terms of other recommendations, reliable foodie friends have also recommended the burgers at Fire (also on Shaker Square) and Night Town.

                    Re. Sarava, I had a TERRIBLE dining experience there a couple of weeks ago. The food was profoundly inferior to earlier meals I've eaten there and the service was incompetent. The waiter was shockingly rude, didn't bother telling us the specials, and knocked an entire glass of iced water into one of my companion's lap and barely apologized for it (let alone offering him a drink on the house or anything). I will never eat there again.

                    The Little Bar, Fire, and Night Town are next on my list and I'll check back in soon...

                    Thanks again to all responders!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ssin

                      i would have said FIRE as a resto i think is great and that i like in general, but i am curious about the burgers there. i mean, the place uses a tandoor oven for practically evrything they make so how is that gonna work w/ a burger? do tell after you go!

                    2. never had the burger at night town, but it's a fantastic place (as much for the atmosphere as for the food, really).

                      1. Try Houlihan's in Westlake...on Detroit just west of I-90 on the south side. Personally, I would stay away from Bearden's...might have been good once upon a time, but now? ick. Herb's Tavern in Rocky River used to have good burgers, but I stopped going there because it was too smokey in there.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gourmanda

                          well it may have slid BEARDENS is a diner so the op is going to get a diner style flat grill burger. i hope they keep that in mind. the bonus is you can have it w/ a killer milkshake.

                          agree about HERBS, that often is possiblely the smokeyest place on earth. i gave up long ago, minus one time i stopped in after they rebuilt from the fire just to see it (no change re the smokeyness!).

                          i wish clv had BACKYARD BURGERS, a little chain from columbus, they use (or used i dk if they are even still around down there anymore) an open cookout style grill for them.

                        2. Speaking of milkshakes...have you tried Mitchell's chocolate shake? Not a fan of their ice cream because of gums and preservatives that they use, but that milkshake. OMG! What a treat! And the people, at least in the RR store, are wonderful.

                          1. I can report on Nighttown - hubby and I ate there Saturday night and we both got burgers. They were excellent. The meat, which was actually served "medium" as we requested, had wonderful taste and texture, and the cheese was really melted, not just slapped on. Hubby added on mushrooms, which he devoured and I added grilled onions that were perfectly caramelized. The only negative I can report is that the buns were not especially fresh (in fact, they were kinda stale). The fries were also very good.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: NancyH

                              I finally made it to Nighttown and it was great. They actually cooked the burger medium rare, and it was juicy and delicious. Also very cheap. I highly recommend it.