The Best Burgers in Cleveland to visit

Burger | Photo by Mike on Unsplash
Laura Dorwart

Cleveland is famous for its thick, juicy burgers, especially creative versions of the classic. There are so many great burgers in this beef-obsessed city that it’s hard to pick just 11 favorites, but we’ve narrowed it down to an eclectic list that includes dive-bar standbys, trendy artisanal patties with quirky toppings, and upscale options for date night.

Johnny’s Little Bar

Johnny’s Little Bar, tucked away in an alley in Cleveland’s Warehouse District, has the cozy feel of a speakeasy and the food of an upscale bar. The menu is simple, with salads and much-loved mozzarella sticks, but the real gems are the “world famous” Little Bar Burgers. Juicy and flame-broiled on the grill, the burgers at Johnny’s are the real deal and can be topped with bleu cheese, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, or bacon. But most diners say they don’t need anything at all.


At this old-school diner in Rocky River, Ohio, you can watch a toy train rolling around the ceiling while you chow down on nostalgic, retro dishes. A local favorite eatery established in 1948, Bearden’s is famous for thick steakburgers on butter toasted buns paired with onion rings or fries and specialties including the Peanutburger (a classic burger topped with melted peanut butter and sweet pickles). Or, if you’re really hungry, try the Big Bear: a double patty on tiered buns with all the fixings.

Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers

Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers, a female-owned and operated food truck, is run by Cleveland’s self-described “Burger Queens.” They’ve earned their title, serving up some of the city’s most offbeat, creative burgers. Alongside poutine and cheesy tater tots, Betty’s Bomb Ass Burgers include the Harlow—smoked avocado creme, pickled jalapeno, braised boar, and chihuahua cheese—and the Boeing Fortress, with chunky peanut butter, cheddar, habanero jelly, and sliced foie gras. The Burger Queens inspire long lines, so get there early!

Heck’s Cafe

Heck’s Cafe has two locations – one in a renovated 120-year-old townhouse in Ohio City and another in a refurbished warehouse in Avon Lake. Known for farm-to-table dining and gourmet burgers made with grass-fed Ohio beef and a special blend of Heck’s seasonings served on brioche buns, Heck’s Cafe also has one of the best brunches in Cleveland and plenty of healthy options. For a locally-sourced treat, order the Ohio City burger, topped with a variety of herbs, local mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. Or, to indulge, try the BrieBerry Burger, with brie cheese, bacon, and blueberry-ancho sauce. Salmon burgers, a tasty veggie burger, and a Greek burger made with gyro meat are also on offer at Heck’s.

Eastland Inn

In the small college town of Berea, OH, the Eastland Inn is a dining mainstay, serving as both an all-American gastropub with great food and drinks and a fun nightlife spot. The chargrilled burgers here are one of the restaurant’s main draws. You can build your own burger with the traditional toppings or more eclectic options such as fried eggs, jalapenos, Cajun spice, crumbled bleu cheese, and sour cream. The Eastland Inn also offers a signature burger with salami, provolone cheese, and Italian dressing, a veggie burger, and a Cleveland favorite – the patty melt.
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