cleveland food

Naveen Joshi

4 mins read

May 16, 2024


Cleveland Food Specialties You Must Try in 2024

If taste buds could talk, they’d probably have a Cleveland accent—bold, spicy, and full of stories. Cleveland’s never-ending list of classics and must-try foods is a testament to how much it loves food.

But if you’re served a platter full of food, some dishes would mean a little more, right? In this blog, we will talk about the Cleveland food specialties you need to take a bite into to understand why we love them. Let’s get digging.

The Polish Boy

Every city has its iconic dish, and in the same way, Cleveland has the Polish Boy. The Polish Boy is a Cleveland famous food, that represents the city itself.

 It is made by putting together kielbasa sausage with  French fries, creamy coleslaw, and a generous layer of tangy barbecue sauce, in a soft bun. Trying a Polish Boy is an essential Cleveland experience for both locals and visitors craving something delicious and authentic.

Corned Beef on Rye

Corned Beef on Rye is a dish that highlights itself in the book of Cleveland food specialties.

This sandwich consists of thick slices of juicy corned beef piled high on fresh rye bread with a spread of mustard. Why does this sandwich stir up so much local pride? Clevelanders debate it, arguing over which deli serves the best version.

For a true taste of one of the most loved Cleveland food specialties, head to Slyman’s. They’re famous for serving up some of the city’s most tender and well-seasoned corned beef. Other great spots are Jack’s Deli, Corky & Lenny’s, and Mr. Brisket.

Paczki at Michael Angelo’s Bakery

Make your way to Michael Angelo’s Bakery for something sweet. This bakery becomes a must-see attraction during the Mardi Gras Celebration, with Paczki in the spotlight. In one bite, you’ll get deep-fried and jam-packed flavors that will make you momentarily forget about your diet and go on a Cleveland food tour.

We’ve listed Michael Angelo’s as the best for pazki because this bakery serves 12 different flavors, including creamy custard and Boston cream pie. If you’ve decided to pick this epic delicacy of Columbus at Michael Angelo’s, you might as well sample their macarons and cheesecakes.

Pizza Bagel

Think of the best part of a pizza—the cheese and sauce—and imagine it baked right on top of a soft, warm bagel. That’s a Pizza Bagel, and it’s as good as it sounds. They’re so good that President Obama grabbed a bunch of these before flying back to the White House.

Frickaccio’s at the West Side Market was one of the first places to turn a simple bagel into a Cleveland favorite by adding a pizza twist. To this date, this spot is a local favorite and pops up when visitors are looking for options to try the best Cleveland food.

The Chicken Paprikash

Balaton has to be on your list of Cleveland food places to explore if you’re looking for Hungarian food in Cleveland. The Chicken Paprikash at Balaton is a standout dish. It features tender chicken cooked in a Hungarian paprika and onions sauce and served with homemade spaetzle that absorbs all the flavors. Simple, satisfying, and hearty, this dish brings all the try-worthy flavors of Hungary to Cleveland.

The Parmageddon from Melt Bar and Grilled

Have you ever had grilled cheese packed with goodies that almost feels like a full meal? That’s exactly what you get with the Parmageddon from Melt Bar and Grilled, which comes on #1 when searching for places to eat in Cleveland.

Since opening in Lakewood, Melt Bar and Grilled, a favorite local spot, has offered a menu full of creative takes on the classic grilled cheese. But the Parmageddon? It’s a game-changer. It is a Cleveland, Ohio, food with loads of melty cheese, sautéed onions cooked to buttery perfection, and a whole potato pierogi tucked inside.

Jack Frost Donuts

If there’s one thing Cleveland knows how to do right, it’s donuts. And not just any donuts, but the kind that have earned a city-wide reputation for being irresistibly delicious.

Jack Frost Donuts is one of the most loved Cleveland food places on the West Side. It has been perfecting the art of donut-making since 1937. A day started with a Jack Frost donut is a day started right.

East Coast Original Frozen Custard

When in Cleveland, skipping East Coast Original Frozen Custard is like missing the Eiffel Tower when you’re in Paris—unthinkable! This spot has mastered the art of making frozen custard, a creamy delight churned right on the premises to ensure peak freshness and a smoother texture than your favorite jazz tune.

If you want recommendations, you can’t go wrong with strawberry shortcake or banana split. A visit to East Coast Original Frozen Custard is a must for one of the most authentic Cleveland food places for desserts.

Hot Dogs at Steve’s Diner

Despite a significant setback from a fire in 2015, Steve’s Diner is still the go-to spot for a traditional diner experience. The hot dogs here are a must-try and a local favorite for not just one but many reasons.

They come loaded with toppings—chili, slaw, cheese, and a taste of Cleveland. And if hot dogs aren’t your thing, there’s plenty more on the menu, like fried chicken and BBQ ribs.

Anything Cooked by Genies

We needed to discuss the best to end the list of Cleveland’s must-try specialties. Genies are Cleveland’s best-kept secret. With the way these chefs cook delicacies better than the restaurants, they’re no longer so secret.

Genies are personal chefs you can hire through the CookinGenie website or app to savor scrumptious meals inside your home.

When we say ‘personal chefs,’ we don’t mean the regular chefs for hire. Genies are highly skilled at crafting a menu that fits your tastes and preferences. They can cook cuisines from around the globe, allowing you to choose the specialty you wish to taste.

Their services extend beyond just cooking in the kitchen. Once your menu is fixed, the Genies buy fresh ingredients to cook your dishes. The personal chef in Cleveland cleans the kitchen once the cooking process is complete to leave it spotless.


We scoured the internet to give you a list of Cleveland food specialties that make every visit a ‘We’ll come back again for this.’ So, the next time you find yourself in Cleveland and need help figuring out where to go, this blog post will be your sticky note. 

Naveen Joshi

Chief Marketing Officer

A bookworm at heart, Naveen's love for stories seeps into his writing, adding a dash of creativity to every dish he explores. With a thoughtful and easy-going spirit, Naveen offers readers a blend of insightful and relatable food narratives. You will find him trekking through the mountains when he's not writing or reading.

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