February 21, 2020

21 Hole-in-the-Wall Cleveland Burger Spots You Should Have Tried By Now

When it comes to steak, we'd prefer a fancy place. But with burgers that's totally not necessary. Sometimes, the best burgers come in unexpected spots: hole in the wall diners, dive bars and counters. Just as long as its juicy and meaty, we're good. Here are 21 places serving up delicious burgers that aren't exactly the fanciest places in town.

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 Southside Diner
10705 West Pleasant Valley Rd., Parma
The shiny, smile-inducing red and white decor bursts with 1950s kitsch, and while they do the old-fashioned bacon, eggs and toast pristinely, it’s the burgers we love. Try the Ranchero, a ½ pound Angus beef burger topped with grilled mushroom, peppered bacon, provolone cheese and ranch. Yum.
Photo via South Side Diner/Facebook

Southside Diner

10705 West Pleasant Valley Rd., Parma

The shiny, smile-inducing red and white decor bursts with 1950s kitsch, and while they do the old-fashioned bacon, eggs and toast pristinely, it’s the burgers we love. Try the Ranchero, a ½ pound Angus beef burger topped with grilled mushroom, peppered bacon, provolone cheese and ranch. Yum.

Photo via South Side Diner/Facebook
 Around the Corner
18616 Detroit Rd., Lakewood
The popularity of the Lakewood dining scene and the newest bistro or gastropub can often cause visitors to overlook neighborhood spots like Around the Corner. That would be a mistake, as they have one of the better bar menus in town, including their burgers. We prefer the cheddar melt but they also have a delicious black bean burger for all you non-meateaters around.
Photo via The Corner/Facebook

Around the Corner

18616 Detroit Rd., Lakewood

The popularity of the Lakewood dining scene and the newest bistro or gastropub can often cause visitors to overlook neighborhood spots like Around the Corner. That would be a mistake, as they have one of the better bar menus in town, including their burgers. We prefer the cheddar melt but they also have a delicious black bean burger for all you non-meateaters around.

Photo via The Corner/Facebook
 Charlie’s Dog House Diner
2102 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland
The kitschy roadside attraction has been in the exact same spot since 1952, when it began life as the Dog House, part of a national chain of shops that offered walk-up service to customers who ordered hot dogs and hamburgers through a window. While they may be known for their dogs, the burgers are just as good -- especially the patty melt and double cheeseburgers.
Photo via Charlie’s Dog House Diner/Facebook

Charlie’s Dog House Diner

2102 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland

The kitschy roadside attraction has been in the exact same spot since 1952, when it began life as the Dog House, part of a national chain of shops that offered walk-up service to customers who ordered hot dogs and hamburgers through a window. While they may be known for their dogs, the burgers are just as good -- especially the patty melt and double cheeseburgers.

Photo via Charlie’s Dog House Diner/Facebook
 Gus’s Family Restaurant
4377 State Rd., Cleveland
This all-day breakfast joint has been serving up customers in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood for over 25 years. The home fries are really the star of the show here and we love the corned beef hash but just because it’s known more as a breakfast joint doesn’t mean they don’t make a mean burger -- they do.
Photo via Gus’s Family Restaurant/Facebook

Gus’s Family Restaurant

4377 State Rd., Cleveland

This all-day breakfast joint has been serving up customers in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood for over 25 years. The home fries are really the star of the show here and we love the corned beef hash but just because it’s known more as a breakfast joint doesn’t mean they don’t make a mean burger -- they do.

Photo via Gus’s Family Restaurant/Facebook
 Bearden’s
19985 Lake Rd., Rocky River
Bearden's has been around a long time — in fact, it says it right in their slogan, “Always fresh, never frozen, original recipe since 1948” — so you know their burgers (with optional and recommended chili topping) have been completely perfected. Plus, it looks like you’ve transported back to 1948 when you step inside ... in a good, nostalgic way!
Photo via Bearden’s Rocky River/Facebook

Bearden’s

19985 Lake Rd., Rocky River

Bearden's has been around a long time — in fact, it says it right in their slogan, “Always fresh, never frozen, original recipe since 1948” — so you know their burgers (with optional and recommended chili topping) have been completely perfected. Plus, it looks like you’ve transported back to 1948 when you step inside ... in a good, nostalgic way!

Photo via Bearden’s Rocky River/Facebook
 George’s Kitchen
13101 Trisket Rd., Cleveland
Breakfasts here are great, with a number of egg dishes served all day at this iconic Cleveland diner that’s been open for almost 40 years. But if you venture here anytime after breakfast, the ½ pound mouthwatering burger is the way to go. Topped with melted mozzarella cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, it’s exactly what we want in a burger.
Photo via George’s Kitchen/Facebook

George’s Kitchen

13101 Trisket Rd., Cleveland

Breakfasts here are great, with a number of egg dishes served all day at this iconic Cleveland diner that’s been open for almost 40 years. But if you venture here anytime after breakfast, the ½ pound mouthwatering burger is the way to go. Topped with melted mozzarella cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, it’s exactly what we want in a burger.

Photo via George’s Kitchen/Facebook
 Payne Cafe
3528 Payne Ave., Cleveland
You can find this dive in Asia Town, but there’s no lo mein or dumplings on the menu. Payne’s Ruby Burger, whose namesake owns and operates the bar, has received national attention; for five dollars, you get a palatial burger heaped with cheese, tomato, lettuce, ham, bacon and a slew of condiments — totally worth the trip.
Photo via Scene Archives

Payne Cafe

3528 Payne Ave., Cleveland

You can find this dive in Asia Town, but there’s no lo mein or dumplings on the menu. Payne’s Ruby Burger, whose namesake owns and operates the bar, has received national attention; for five dollars, you get a palatial burger heaped with cheese, tomato, lettuce, ham, bacon and a slew of condiments — totally worth the trip.

Photo via Scene Archives
Whitey’s Booze N’ Burgers
3600 Brecksville Rd., Richfield
You know a place means business when they’re cash only in the year 2020. And that’s the case at Richfield’s Whitey’s, home to some of the most beloved burgers in the Cuyahoga Valley. With 15 burgers and monthly specials, this place runs the gamut from traditional delicious cheeseburgers to more unique burgers like the Italian Stallion topped with provolone, pepperoni, marinara and Italian seasoning and the B.O.M.B. smothered with Mac N’ Cheese, topped with bacon, served on a Pretzel roll bun. 
Photo via Whitey’s Booze N’ Burgers/Facebook

Whitey’s Booze N’ Burgers

3600 Brecksville Rd., Richfield

You know a place means business when they’re cash only in the year 2020. And that’s the case at Richfield’s Whitey’s, home to some of the most beloved burgers in the Cuyahoga Valley. With 15 burgers and monthly specials, this place runs the gamut from traditional delicious cheeseburgers to more unique burgers like the Italian Stallion topped with provolone, pepperoni, marinara and Italian seasoning and the B.O.M.B. smothered with Mac N’ Cheese, topped with bacon, served on a Pretzel roll bun.

Photo via Whitey’s Booze N’ Burgers/Facebook
 West Side Market Cafe
1979 West 25th St., Cleveland
For price, ambience, and first-class people-watching, no place tops the West Side Market Café in the venerable West Side Market's southeast corner. And their burgers are no joke. Don’t mess around here and just go for the classic — it’s that good.
Photo via West Side Market Cafe/Facebook

West Side Market Cafe

1979 West 25th St., Cleveland

For price, ambience, and first-class people-watching, no place tops the West Side Market Café in the venerable West Side Market's southeast corner. And their burgers are no joke. Don’t mess around here and just go for the classic — it’s that good.

Photo via West Side Market Cafe/Facebook
 The Place To Be
1391 Warren Rd., Lakewood
Good food, great prices and a family atmosphere is the name of the game at this Lakewood greasy spoon. The omelettes and gyros may be the most popular items here but don’t sleep on their burgers. The Godfather Burger is a half pound burger topped with salami and is definitely worth the calories.
Photo via The Place To Be/Facebook

The Place To Be

1391 Warren Rd., Lakewood

Good food, great prices and a family atmosphere is the name of the game at this Lakewood greasy spoon. The omelettes and gyros may be the most popular items here but don’t sleep on their burgers. The Godfather Burger is a half pound burger topped with salami and is definitely worth the calories.

Photo via The Place To Be/Facebook