Looking for the perfect burger in Cleveland? You're in luck! This city is home to some of the most delicious, lip-smacking burgers you'll ever taste. Whether you're a carnivore or vegetarian, there's a burger joint for everyone in Cleveland. Sit tight and get ready for a smorgasbord of burger goodness - we're exploring the top burger joints in town, discussing what makes a great burger, ranking the best burgers by price point, and much more.
10 burger joints to try in Cleveland
First things first - let's talk about the top burger joints you need to visit in Cleveland. From fast-food chains to mom-and-pop shops, this city has it all. Some of the best burger joints to check out include:
- B Spot Burgers by Michael Symon
- Flip Side
- Happy Dog
- Swensons Drive-In
- Ray's Happy Birthday Bar
- Heck's Cafe
- Melt Bar and Grilled
- Tremont Taphouse
- BRGR 9
- Beer Engine
These burger joints have something unique to offer, whether it's the mouth-watering toppings or the quality of beef used. Be sure to check them all out and find your new go-to burger spot!
If you're looking for a classic burger joint experience, Swensons Drive-In is a must-visit. This family-owned chain has been serving up delicious burgers and milkshakes since 1934. Their signature Galley Boy burger, topped with two special sauces, is a fan favorite.
For those who want to try something a little different, head to Happy Dog. This quirky spot allows you to customize your hot dog or burger with a variety of toppings, including everything from Froot Loops to Sriracha. They also have an impressive selection of craft beers to wash it all down.
The history of burgers in Cleveland
Did you know that Cleveland has a long-standing history with burgers? The first fast-food chain, White Castle, opened its doors in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. Soon after, Cleveland became the first city to franchise the restaurant in 1926. Since then, the love for burgers has only grown in Cleveland. The city has also seen an emergence of gourmet burger joints in recent years, putting its own spin on this classic American dish.
One of the most iconic burger joints in Cleveland is the famous B-Spot, owned by celebrity chef Michael Symon. The restaurant offers a variety of unique burger options, such as the "Fat Doug" burger topped with coleslaw, pastrami, and stadium mustard. Another popular spot is the Happy Dog, which allows customers to customize their burgers with a variety of toppings, including bacon, fried eggs, and even Froot Loops.
But Cleveland's love for burgers goes beyond just eating them. The city also hosts an annual Burger Week, where participating restaurants offer special deals and unique burger creations. The event has become a highly anticipated tradition for Clevelanders and draws in visitors from all over the country who want to experience the city's love for burgers firsthand.
What makes a great burger?
So, what exactly makes a great burger? Is it the quality of beef used, the toppings, or the bun? The truth is, all of these factors play a crucial role in creating the perfect burger. Here are some key components:
- Quality beef: Burgers made with high-quality beef are always more delicious.
- Fresh buns: A good burger requires a great bun. The bun should be fresh and able to handle the weight of the beef and toppings.
- Cheese: Because let's be honest, melted cheese makes everything taste better.
- Toppings: From classic toppings like lettuce, tomato, and onion to more unique options like peanut butter, bacon, and jalapeños, toppings can make or break a burger.
- Sauce: A delicious sauce can bring all the flavors together in a burger. Whether it's a tangy BBQ sauce or a creamy mayo-based dressing, the right sauce can take your burger to the next level.
Combine all of these components and you have the recipe for the perfect burger.
However, there is one more factor that can make a burger truly exceptional - the cooking method. Whether it's grilled, fried, or even smoked, the way a burger is cooked can greatly impact its flavor and texture. A perfectly cooked burger should be juicy and flavorful, with a slightly crispy exterior. So, when making your next burger, don't forget to pay attention to the cooking method!
Ranking the best burgers by price point
Wondering where you can find the best burgers in Cleveland on a budget? Or maybe you're in the mood to splurge on a gourmet burger experience. We've got you covered with a ranking of the top burgers by price point:
- Under $10: Swensons Drive-In
- $10-15: B Spot Burgers by Michael Symon
- $15-20: Tremont Taphouse
- Over $20: Melt Bar and Grilled
Whether you're looking to save or indulge, there's a burger option for every price point in Cleveland.
Vegetarian and vegan options for burger lovers in Cleveland
Vegetarian and vegan burger lovers, rejoice! Cleveland offers a plethora of options for those who want to skip the meat. Here are some of the top spots for vegetarian and vegan burgers in Cleveland:
- The Root Cafe
- Akron Family Restaurant & Tavern
Don't worry - you won't miss out on the deliciousness with these meatless options. These burgers are just as satisfying and flavorful as their meat counterparts.
The best places for a burger and a beer in Cleveland
The perfect combination - a delicious burger and an ice-cold beer. Lucky for us, Cleveland is home to some of the best spots to enjoy both. Here are some of the top burger and beer destinations:
- Great Lakes Brewing Company
- Platform Beer Co.
- Butcher and the Brewer
- Lucky's Cafe
- Hi and Dry
These spots not only offer tasty burgers and refreshing beers, but also a great atmosphere to enjoy them in.
Inside the kitchens of Cleveland's top burger restaurants
Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchens of the top burger restaurants in Cleveland? We got a sneak peek with the help of local chefs. Here are some of their insider tips:
- Always use freshly ground beef to ensure the best quality burger.
- Don't be afraid to experiment with different toppings and sauces. It's all about finding the right combination of flavors.
- Burgers taste best when cooked on a flat top grill.
- Choose high-quality buns that can handle the weight of the beef and toppings.
- Balance is key - make sure there is a good ratio of beef to toppings in each bite.
It's clear that a lot of thought and care goes into creating the perfect burger, and these tips are no exception.
A guide to toppings: what to add (and what to avoid) on your Cleveland burger
The right toppings can make all the difference in a burger. But with so many options to choose from, where do you start? Here's a guide to toppings in Cleveland that will leave your taste buds wanting more:
- Bacon: Always a classic, bacon adds a delicious smoky flavor to a burger.
- Avocado: A healthy and flavorful option, avocado adds a creamy texture to a burger.
- Jalapeños: For those who like a little spice, jalapeños can add a kick to a burger.
- Egg: A fried egg can take a burger to the next level, adding a rich and savory flavor.
- Peanut butter: This may sound like an unusual topping, but it's surprisingly delicious! Peanut butter adds a salty, nutty flavor to a burger.
On the other hand, there are some toppings to avoid if you want to enjoy the true flavor of a burger, including ketchup and mustard (they can overpower the beef), and overly sweet or creamy toppings like honey mustard and ranch dressing.
The secret sauces that make Cleveland's burgers stand out
Many of Cleveland's top burger restaurants have their secret sauces that make their burgers stand out. Here are some of the best:
- B Spot's "Fat Doug" sauce: A blend of horseradish mayo, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce, this sauce adds a tangy and smoky flavor to the burger.
- The "Rodeo Burger" sauce at the Tremont Taphouse: Made with chipotle mayo, this sauce adds a spicy and smoky kick to the burger.
- The "Garlic Aioli" sauce at Flip Side: Made with garlic, lemon juice, and mayo, this sauce adds a tangy and slightly garlicky flavor to the burger.
These sauces are a game-changer and take the flavor of a burger to the next level.
From classic to creative: a roundup of unique burger options in Cleveland
Cleveland offers a wide range of burger options - from classic to downright creative. Here are some of the most unique burgers in town:
- The "Blue Cheese and Fig" burger at B Spot Burgers by Michael Symon
- The "Tia Juana" burger at Barrio (made with jalapeño jelly and chorizo chili)
- The "PB&B" burger at Lucky's Cafe (made with peanut butter, banana, and bacon)
- The vegan "Impossible Burger" at Melt Bar and Grilled
- The "Pine-A-Q" burger at Jack Flaps (made with grilled pineapple and teriyaki glaze)
If you're feeling adventurous, give one of these burgers a try - you won't be disappointed!
How to recreate Cleveland's best burgers at home
Don't want to leave your house for a burger fix? No problem. Here's how you can recreate some of the best Cleveland burgers in the comfort of your own kitchen:
- For B Spot Burgers' "Fat Doug" burger sauce, mix together ¼ cup horseradish mayo, ¼ cup BBQ sauce, and ¼ teaspoon hot sauce.
- For the "Rodeo Burger" sauce at Tremont Taphouse, mix together ¼ cup chipotle mayo, 1 tablespoon honey, and ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke.
- To make Flip Side's "Garlic Aioli" sauce, mix together ½ cup mayo, 2 garlic cloves (minced), and 2 teaspoon lemon juice.
Now you can enjoy the deliciousness of Cleveland's best burgers from the comfort of your own home.
The most Instagram-worthy burgers in Cleveland
It's not just about the taste - some burgers are just too pretty not to share on Instagram. Here are some of the most Instagrammable burgers in Cleveland:
- The "Famous Slider" at Slyman's Tavern
- The "Pretzel Burger" at the Butcher and the Brewer
- The "Pierogi Burger" at Hecks Cafe
Be sure to snap a photo (or two) before digging in!
Meet the chefs behind the best burgers in town
Who are the masterminds behind Cleveland's best burgers? Let's meet the chefs:
- Michael Symon, B Spot Burgers
- Shannon Bowden, Hi and Dry
- Chris Hodgson, Driftwood Group (owns several burger restaurants, including Hodge's Cleveland and Ohio City Galley)
These chefs have a passion for creating delicious and unique burgers that keep customers coming back for more.
The ultimate burger crawl through Cleveland: a day-long adventure
If you're up for a challenge, embark on the ultimate burger crawl through Cleveland. Here's an itinerary for a day-long adventure:
- 10:00 am: Start at B Spot Burgers for breakfast (yes, they have breakfast burgers!).
- 12:00 pm: Head to Tremont Taphouse for their famous "Rodeo Burger".
- 2:00 pm: Make your way to Butcher and the Brewer for their pretzel burger.
- 4:00 pm: Swing by Hecks Cafe for the pierogi burger.
- 6:00 pm: End the crawl at Melt Bar and Grilled for the vegan "Impossible Burger".
Warning: you may want to fast for a few days beforehand to properly enjoy all of these burgers.
Cleveland knows burgers, and this list proves it. From classic cheeseburgers to unique creations, Cleveland has something for every burger lover out there. So what are you waiting for? Head to one (or all) of these burger joints and experience the deliciousness for yourself.