November 04, 2021

27 Of The Best Things Wrapped In Dough To Eat In Cleveland

Wrapping any food in dough almost always improves that food exponentially. And almost every culture has their own take on dough-wrapped food. Sometimes its in the form of dumplings, others in savory pies, but as long as we get that crunchy, flaky bite of dough mixed with filling, we're good. These are some of our favorite dough-wrapped dishes in the  Greater Cleveland area.

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 Xiao Long Bao at LJ Shanghai
3142 Superior Ave., Cleveland 
LJ Shanghai made a splash in Asia Town in 2017 when they opened as the first true dumpling restaurant in Cleveland.  Poke a hole in their dumplings, or Xao Long Bao, let a little soup drip out onto your soup spoon, and then take the dumplings down in one bite. Thank us later.
Photo via Scene Archives

Xiao Long Bao at LJ Shanghai

3142 Superior Ave., Cleveland

LJ Shanghai made a splash in Asia Town in 2017 when they opened as the first true dumpling restaurant in Cleveland. Poke a hole in their dumplings, or Xao Long Bao, let a little soup drip out onto your soup spoon, and then take the dumplings down in one bite. Thank us later.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Veggie Dumplings at Xinji Noodle Bar
4211 Lorain Ave., Cleveland
While a bowl of ramen is what draws in most diners to this Ohio City noodle bar, don’t sleep on the dumplings. The spicy pork are awesome and the veggie are just as great. This crispy dumpling, stuffed with tofu and spice and a gochujang sauce, these pair perfectly with a steaming hot bowl of ramen.
Photo by Emanuel Wallace

Veggie Dumplings at Xinji Noodle Bar

4211 Lorain Ave., Cleveland

While a bowl of ramen is what draws in most diners to this Ohio City noodle bar, don’t sleep on the dumplings. The spicy pork are awesome and the veggie are just as great. This crispy dumpling, stuffed with tofu and spice and a gochujang sauce, these pair perfectly with a steaming hot bowl of ramen.

Photo by Emanuel Wallace
 Pupusas at Pupuseria Katarina
1409 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland
Authentic El Salvadoran cuisine in Cleveland? Sign us up. Naturally, Pupuseria Katarina excels at El Salvadoran pupusas, thick corn pancakes stuffed with various fillings and fried on a griddle. They offer a full slate of options, from simple cheese to “Pupusa Loca”, which is kind of like the kitchen sink version stuffed with every filling on the menu. Simpler is better, in my opinion, with cheese or maybe cheese, beans and pork rising to the top. Fried to order, the pupusas arrive hot, crisp and corny. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Pupusas at Pupuseria Katarina

1409 Brookpark Rd., Cleveland

Authentic El Salvadoran cuisine in Cleveland? Sign us up. Naturally, Pupuseria Katarina excels at El Salvadoran pupusas, thick corn pancakes stuffed with various fillings and fried on a griddle. They offer a full slate of options, from simple cheese to “Pupusa Loca”, which is kind of like the kitchen sink version stuffed with every filling on the menu. Simpler is better, in my opinion, with cheese or maybe cheese, beans and pork rising to the top. Fried to order, the pupusas arrive hot, crisp and corny.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Samosas at Annapurna
7464 Ridge Rd., Parma 
Annapurna has moved to the top of our list when it comes to South Indian food in Cleveland. And the first dumpling that comes to mind in Indian cuisine is always the samosa, a crispy pastry/potatoes/green peas which Annapurna knocks out of the park. In addition to samosas, Annapurna serves three other types of stuffed dough. Pakora is stuffed with mixed veggies and deep fried, a puff is puff pastry filled with green peas and potatoes and khasta kachori are fried puffed pastry filled with spices. Try them all.
Photo via KSPoddar/Flickr

Samosas at Annapurna

7464 Ridge Rd., Parma

Annapurna has moved to the top of our list when it comes to South Indian food in Cleveland. And the first dumpling that comes to mind in Indian cuisine is always the samosa, a crispy pastry/potatoes/green peas which Annapurna knocks out of the park. In addition to samosas, Annapurna serves three other types of stuffed dough. Pakora is stuffed with mixed veggies and deep fried, a puff is puff pastry filled with green peas and potatoes and khasta kachori are fried puffed pastry filled with spices. Try them all.

Photo via KSPoddar/Flickr
 Empanadas at Half Moon Bakery
3460 West 25th St., Cleveland
After more than three years of pop-ups and catering, in 2020, Half Moon Bakery finally unveiled its brick-and-mortar bakery in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, located across the street from MetroHealth. The carry-out empanada shop features the signature half-moon-shaped pastries, stuffed with flavor-packed combinations such as shredded chicken with garlic tomato sauce, tofu with seasoned veggies, and pepperoni, mozzarella and tomato sauce, along with sandwiches, fresh bread, pastries and cakes. 
Photo by Emanuel Wallace

Empanadas at Half Moon Bakery

3460 West 25th St., Cleveland

After more than three years of pop-ups and catering, in 2020, Half Moon Bakery finally unveiled its brick-and-mortar bakery in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood, located across the street from MetroHealth. The carry-out empanada shop features the signature half-moon-shaped pastries, stuffed with flavor-packed combinations such as shredded chicken with garlic tomato sauce, tofu with seasoned veggies, and pepperoni, mozzarella and tomato sauce, along with sandwiches, fresh bread, pastries and cakes.

Photo by Emanuel Wallace
Lumpia at Mely’s Kainan
5382 State Rd., Cleveland 
Just three miles away from the Philippine American Cultural Center in Parma, Mely's offers a welcome taste of home for the large and growing number of Filipino expats living in and around Cleveland. This isn't fancy food, but rather the kinds of soul-satisfying dishes Filipino families have been making and enjoying at home for decades. Lumpia is a traditional Filipino spring roll. Mely’s has them just with veggies, and with ground pork and veggies. They also serve a tasty fried banana spring roll known as a turon.
Photo via Scene Archives

Lumpia at Mely’s Kainan

5382 State Rd., Cleveland

Just three miles away from the Philippine American Cultural Center in Parma, Mely's offers a welcome taste of home for the large and growing number of Filipino expats living in and around Cleveland. This isn't fancy food, but rather the kinds of soul-satisfying dishes Filipino families have been making and enjoying at home for decades. Lumpia is a traditional Filipino spring roll. Mely’s has them just with veggies, and with ground pork and veggies. They also serve a tasty fried banana spring roll known as a turon.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Pretzel Dog at Larder
1455 West 29th St., Cleveland 
At its heart, Larder is a Jewish deli, with matzo ball soup, thick pastrami sandwiches, out of this world fried chicken sandwiches and awesome baked goods. But there's so much more going on here than that. The beloved Hingetown Deli elevates every item they make and that includes their pretzel dog. Wrapped in buttery, flaky dough and stuffed with an all-beef hotdog, the pretzel dog is one of a number of awesome offerings that Larder occasionally adds to their ever-changing menu.
Photo via LarderB/Instagram

Pretzel Dog at Larder

1455 West 29th St., Cleveland

At its heart, Larder is a Jewish deli, with matzo ball soup, thick pastrami sandwiches, out of this world fried chicken sandwiches and awesome baked goods. But there's so much more going on here than that. The beloved Hingetown Deli elevates every item they make and that includes their pretzel dog. Wrapped in buttery, flaky dough and stuffed with an all-beef hotdog, the pretzel dog is one of a number of awesome offerings that Larder occasionally adds to their ever-changing menu.

Photo via LarderB/Instagram
 Sigara Böre?i at Anatolia Cafe
2270 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights 
A little bit Greek, a little bit Middle Eastern and perhaps even slightly northern Indian, the names, ingredients and flavor notes of Anatolia's authentic Turkish cuisine will strike familiar chords for veteran tabletop travelers. Sigara Boregi is a light pastry dough filled with a blend of feta cheese and fresh herbs and one of a number of awesome dishes on Anatolia’s menu.
Photo via Anatolia Cafe/Facebook

Sigara Böre?i at Anatolia Cafe

2270 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights

A little bit Greek, a little bit Middle Eastern and perhaps even slightly northern Indian, the names, ingredients and flavor notes of Anatolia's authentic Turkish cuisine will strike familiar chords for veteran tabletop travelers. Sigara Boregi is a light pastry dough filled with a blend of feta cheese and fresh herbs and one of a number of awesome dishes on Anatolia’s menu.

Photo via Anatolia Cafe/Facebook
 Meat Pies at Tommy’s Restaurant
1824 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights 
Known for their vegetarian and healthy options, this Coventry Road staple has been serving up Clevelanders since 1972. While they had vegetarian and vegan options before those became popular, they also serve up a bunch of meat pies. Some of our favorites are the Gordon, a meat pie with cheese, corned beef, bbq sauce, mushrooms and veggies and the PR with muenster cheese, falafel, sesame sauce and veggies. Think a combination of a mini pot pie and a calzone but with Tommy’s twist on it. And don’t worry, of course they have escarole, potato and spinach pies for those that leave the meat and cheese on the side.
Photo via Tommy’s Restaurant/Facebook

Meat Pies at Tommy’s Restaurant

1824 Coventry Rd., Cleveland Heights

Known for their vegetarian and healthy options, this Coventry Road staple has been serving up Clevelanders since 1972. While they had vegetarian and vegan options before those became popular, they also serve up a bunch of meat pies. Some of our favorites are the Gordon, a meat pie with cheese, corned beef, bbq sauce, mushrooms and veggies and the PR with muenster cheese, falafel, sesame sauce and veggies. Think a combination of a mini pot pie and a calzone but with Tommy’s twist on it. And don’t worry, of course they have escarole, potato and spinach pies for those that leave the meat and cheese on the side.

Photo via Tommy’s Restaurant/Facebook
 Fried Mozzarella at Maxi’s
12113 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland 
Like an old friend, Maxi's is always there when you need her. For over 15 years, this romantic Little Italy gem has been keeping neighbors and visitors happy the easy way: by dishing up consistently delicious plates of soul satisfying Italian foods. And what can be better than fried dough with melted cheese smothered in homemade marinara? It may be simple but sometimes simple is best.
Photo via Maxi’s In Little Italy/Facebook

Fried Mozzarella at Maxi’s

12113 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland

Like an old friend, Maxi's is always there when you need her. For over 15 years, this romantic Little Italy gem has been keeping neighbors and visitors happy the easy way: by dishing up consistently delicious plates of soul satisfying Italian foods. And what can be better than fried dough with melted cheese smothered in homemade marinara? It may be simple but sometimes simple is best.

Photo via Maxi’s In Little Italy/Facebook