October 15, 2021

30 Essential Comfort Food Restaurants In Cleveland

A broad range of dishes and restaurants can be considered comfort food. How did we think of it? We thought of what we'd like to eat on a rainy day or when we're not feeling our best, and the food we'd go for. Every culture and cuisine has their own type of comfort food. It's usually something heavy and warm, soup and dumplings immediately come to mind, warm soups, fried chicken and more. And luckily for us in Cleveland, we have a ton of options when it comes to comforting food.

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 Bourbon Street Barrel Room
2393 Professor Ave., Cleveland 
With the perfect mix of eccentric and classy decor, this Tremont spot has the right ambience for the type of place it is - a slice of New Orleans in Cleveland. And the bourbon list is extensive, naturally. Soul-satisfying dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffe, barbecue shrimp, and red beans and rice will transport you to the bayou.
Photo via @BSBRCle/Instagram

Bourbon Street Barrel Room

2393 Professor Ave., Cleveland

With the perfect mix of eccentric and classy decor, this Tremont spot has the right ambience for the type of place it is - a slice of New Orleans in Cleveland. And the bourbon list is extensive, naturally. Soul-satisfying dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish etouffe, barbecue shrimp, and red beans and rice will transport you to the bayou.

Photo via @BSBRCle/Instagram
 Hatfields Goode Grub
16700 Lorain Ave., Cleveland
Southern food is definitely what comes to mind when it comes to comfort food. And no one in town serves this type of comfort food better than Hatfield’s. They have an entire section of their menu dedicated to smothering your meal, where you pick your favorite dish and smoother that with mozzarella, cheddar, coleslaw, pickles, dill sauce and Cle BBQ sauce. Come on now.
Photo via Scene Archives

Hatfields Goode Grub

16700 Lorain Ave., Cleveland

Southern food is definitely what comes to mind when it comes to comfort food. And no one in town serves this type of comfort food better than Hatfield’s. They have an entire section of their menu dedicated to smothering your meal, where you pick your favorite dish and smoother that with mozzarella, cheddar, coleslaw, pickles, dill sauce and Cle BBQ sauce. Come on now.

Photo via Scene Archives
 LJ Shanghai
3142 Superior Ave., Cleveland
LJ Shanghai made a splash in Asia Town last year when they opened as the first true dumpling restaurant in Cleveland. While they’re known for their dumplings, or Xao Long Bao, don’t sleep on their soup dishes for comfort food. They’re spicy, they’re tasty and they’re perfect for a cold winter day. Their pan fried noodles are top notch too.
Photo via Scene Archives

LJ Shanghai

3142 Superior Ave., Cleveland

LJ Shanghai made a splash in Asia Town last year when they opened as the first true dumpling restaurant in Cleveland. While they’re known for their dumplings, or Xao Long Bao, don’t sleep on their soup dishes for comfort food. They’re spicy, they’re tasty and they’re perfect for a cold winter day. Their pan fried noodles are top notch too.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Urban Kitchen and Deli
9751 Chester Ave., Cleveland
“Absolutely awesome place with a unique concept. It's breakfast meets traditional east coast deli meets authentic Egyptian fare right on the Cleveland Clinic's campus. I had the hummus (which was uber fresh and could immediately tell it was made in house) to start, then followed things with the "Rocky Balboa" sandwich. Mr. Balboa offered a blend of corned beef and pastrami that was super reminiscent of a deli that you'll catch in NYC,” Rodger B. on Yelp.
Photo via  Urban Kitchen and Deli/Facebook

Urban Kitchen and Deli

9751 Chester Ave., Cleveland

“Absolutely awesome place with a unique concept. It's breakfast meets traditional east coast deli meets authentic Egyptian fare right on the Cleveland Clinic's campus. I had the hummus (which was uber fresh and could immediately tell it was made in house) to start, then followed things with the "Rocky Balboa" sandwich. Mr. Balboa offered a blend of corned beef and pastrami that was super reminiscent of a deli that you'll catch in NYC,” Rodger B. on Yelp.

Photo via Urban Kitchen and Deli/Facebook
 Zanzibar Soul Fusion
627 Prospect Ave., and 13225 Shaker Square,  Cleveland
This Shaker Square eatery, which expanded to downtown in 2018, owned by the same restaurateurs that started Angie’s Soul Food Cafe, is a must-visit soul food spot. This place does their own take on southern comfort and the catfish po'boys and fried chicken are staples on the menu.
Photo via Scene Archives

Zanzibar Soul Fusion

627 Prospect Ave., and 13225 Shaker Square, Cleveland

This Shaker Square eatery, which expanded to downtown in 2018, owned by the same restaurateurs that started Angie’s Soul Food Cafe, is a must-visit soul food spot. This place does their own take on southern comfort and the catfish po'boys and fried chicken are staples on the menu.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Whitmore’s BBQ
20209 Harvard Rd., Cleveland 
Whitmore’s has been serving up barbecue to Clevelanders since 1942! They must be doing something right. Known for their ribs, this was the original Cleveland comfort food spot.
Photo via Whitmore’s BBQ/Facebook

Whitmore’s BBQ

20209 Harvard Rd., Cleveland

Whitmore’s has been serving up barbecue to Clevelanders since 1942! They must be doing something right. Known for their ribs, this was the original Cleveland comfort food spot.

Photo via Whitmore’s BBQ/Facebook
SOHO Chicken + Whiskey
1889 W. 25th St., Cleveland 
Put "chicken" in your name and you better do it right, and SoHo does. While SoHo temporarily changed their concept to a takeout spot called Chicken Run for the pandemic, they’re still serving perfectly tasty fried chicken and other delicious southern foods like fried green tomatoes, gumbo and shrimp and grits. 
Photo via Scene Archives

SOHO Chicken + Whiskey

1889 W. 25th St., Cleveland

Put "chicken" in your name and you better do it right, and SoHo does. While SoHo temporarily changed their concept to a takeout spot called Chicken Run for the pandemic, they’re still serving perfectly tasty fried chicken and other delicious southern foods like fried green tomatoes, gumbo and shrimp and grits.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Inn on Coventry
2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights
The Inn has been serving breakfast and lunch to Heights locals since 1981. Comfort food at its finest is the game here. You’d be hard-pressed to find better pancakes in town but you really can’t go wrong with this throwback diner.
Photo via @dmcphcle/Instagram

Inn on Coventry

2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights

The Inn has been serving breakfast and lunch to Heights locals since 1981. Comfort food at its finest is the game here. You’d be hard-pressed to find better pancakes in town but you really can’t go wrong with this throwback diner.

Photo via @dmcphcle/Instagram
 Choukouya Resto Bar
4620 Richmond Rd., Warrensville Heights 
As one of Cleveland's only West African restaurants, Choukouya offers guests a dining experience unlike any other place in town. One such revelation is the chicken yassa, a stew-like dish with beguilingly complex flavors. 
Photo via Scene Archives

Choukouya Resto Bar

4620 Richmond Rd., Warrensville Heights

As one of Cleveland's only West African restaurants, Choukouya offers guests a dining experience unlike any other place in town. One such revelation is the chicken yassa, a stew-like dish with beguilingly complex flavors.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Mama Santa’s
12301 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland 
Mama Santa’s has been serving up pies at the same Little Italy location since 1961. With its retro vibe, cheap wine, and stunningly inexpensive Italian eats, there’s no need to change much. Thin, greaseless, crisp-crusted pizza is the specialty of the casa; when you and the gang can score a 15-incher for less than 10 bucks, who cares if there's a wait for a table?
Photo via Mama Santa’s Pizzeria/Facebook

Mama Santa’s

12301 Mayfield Rd., Cleveland

Mama Santa’s has been serving up pies at the same Little Italy location since 1961. With its retro vibe, cheap wine, and stunningly inexpensive Italian eats, there’s no need to change much. Thin, greaseless, crisp-crusted pizza is the specialty of the casa; when you and the gang can score a 15-incher for less than 10 bucks, who cares if there's a wait for a table?

Photo via Mama Santa’s Pizzeria/Facebook