The 23 Best Cleveland Restaurants for When You've Got $20 or Less

For a great meal, we don’t mind breaking the bank. But guess what? In a food-rich city like Cleveland, that’s not necessary. Why spend a lot when you can get great meals at these places for less than $20? Enjoy!

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 Vero Pizza
12421 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights
It might just be pizza to us, but to owner Marc-Aurele Buholzer, it's a way of life. First you make the dough, then you stoke the fire, and finally you feed the neighborhood. There's only so much of that naturally leavened dough to go around, so admiring diners know to get here early to secure one or three of those fly pies. They exit the wood-burner with a textbook puffy, chewy, tender crust spotted like a leopard with slightly bitter bits of char.
Photo via @VeroPizza/Instagram

Vero Pizza

12421 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights

It might just be pizza to us, but to owner Marc-Aurele Buholzer, it's a way of life. First you make the dough, then you stoke the fire, and finally you feed the neighborhood. There's only so much of that naturally leavened dough to go around, so admiring diners know to get here early to secure one or three of those fly pies. They exit the wood-burner with a textbook puffy, chewy, tender crust spotted like a leopard with slightly bitter bits of char.

Photo via @VeroPizza/Instagram
 Superior Pho
3030 Superior Ave., Cleveland 
Because pho is an essential (and reasonably priced) part of a balanced diet, not to mention one's sanity, noodle shops like this one hold a very important place in our lives. Winter or summer, a bowl of pho is more than food; it's a restorative elixir that sets us on a brighter path. Crispy spring rolls, citrusy cabbage salad, and meaty banh mi sammies also make us happy, so it's a good thing that the versions served at this perfectly acceptable dining room are as delicious as the noodle soup.
Photo via Scene Archives

Superior Pho

3030 Superior Ave., Cleveland

Because pho is an essential (and reasonably priced) part of a balanced diet, not to mention one's sanity, noodle shops like this one hold a very important place in our lives. Winter or summer, a bowl of pho is more than food; it's a restorative elixir that sets us on a brighter path. Crispy spring rolls, citrusy cabbage salad, and meaty banh mi sammies also make us happy, so it's a good thing that the versions served at this perfectly acceptable dining room are as delicious as the noodle soup.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Slyman’s
3106 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland
16 tons and what do you get? The best corned beef sandwich in Cleveland and it’s only 15 bucks. They still slice every sandwich to order, and every sandwich still towers above much of the competition. Amaze your friends by ordering in Slymaneze: a “natural” means plain; “original” comes with mustard; and “Smurf” buys you one with Swiss and mustard (which ain’t kosher, by the way).
Photo via Scene Archives

Slyman’s

3106 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland

16 tons and what do you get? The best corned beef sandwich in Cleveland and it’s only 15 bucks. They still slice every sandwich to order, and every sandwich still towers above much of the competition. Amaze your friends by ordering in Slymaneze: a “natural” means plain; “original” comes with mustard; and “Smurf” buys you one with Swiss and mustard (which ain’t kosher, by the way).

Photo via Scene Archives
 Parkview Nite Club
1261 West 58th St., Cleveland
Recent changes in the kitchen at Parkview Nite Club are just the latest chapter in the quest to offer guests quality fare at neighborly prices. Their current food offerings, run by Chow Chow, feature some great southern items like Nashville-style hot chicken.
Photo via @JMPIsAwesome/Instagram

Parkview Nite Club

1261 West 58th St., Cleveland

Recent changes in the kitchen at Parkview Nite Club are just the latest chapter in the quest to offer guests quality fare at neighborly prices. Their current food offerings, run by Chow Chow, feature some great southern items like Nashville-style hot chicken.

Photo via @JMPIsAwesome/Instagram
 Otani Noodle
234 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Otani Noodle, from the same owners of long-standing Mayfield Heights hibachi restaurant Otani, opened their second location, this time in the heart of Downtown in addition to their University Circle home, and if you haven’t been yet, you’re missing out. The tonkotsu broth they use for their ramen is delectable.
Photo via Scene Archives

Otani Noodle

234 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Otani Noodle, from the same owners of long-standing Mayfield Heights hibachi restaurant Otani, opened their second location, this time in the heart of Downtown in addition to their University Circle home, and if you haven’t been yet, you’re missing out. The tonkotsu broth they use for their ramen is delectable.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Mabel’s BBQ
2050 East Fourth St., Cleveland
Michael Symon knows meat. In fact, he wrote the book on it when Carnivore came out a few years back. So if anybody could lend credence to the concept of Cleveland-style barbecue, it's Symon, who also happens to be a great student of all regional forms of barbecue. And how awesome is it that you can eat at a nationally renowned chef’s restaurant for under 20 bucks?
Photo via Scene Archives

Mabel’s BBQ

2050 East Fourth St., Cleveland

Michael Symon knows meat. In fact, he wrote the book on it when Carnivore came out a few years back. So if anybody could lend credence to the concept of Cleveland-style barbecue, it's Symon, who also happens to be a great student of all regional forms of barbecue. And how awesome is it that you can eat at a nationally renowned chef’s restaurant for under 20 bucks?

Photo via Scene Archives
 Lucky’s Cafe
777 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland
Lucky’s Cafe has won Scene’s best of brunch award so many times, we can’t keep count. Chef and Owner Heather Haviland’s Tremont cafe has also been featured on the Food Network multiple times, with Chef Michael Symon calling their biscuits and gravy the “best thing he ever ate,” and also on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. All for an affordable price too. 
Photo via @LuckysCafe/Instagram

Lucky’s Cafe

777 Starkweather Ave., Cleveland

Lucky’s Cafe has won Scene’s best of brunch award so many times, we can’t keep count. Chef and Owner Heather Haviland’s Tremont cafe has also been featured on the Food Network multiple times, with Chef Michael Symon calling their biscuits and gravy the “best thing he ever ate,” and also on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. All for an affordable price too.

Photo via @LuckysCafe/Instagram
 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. While they’re known for their dumplings, or Xao Long Bao, don’t sleep on their pan-fried noodles. They’re simple, but they’re delicious, maybe even as good as the dumplings.
Photo via Scene Archives

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. While they’re known for their dumplings, or Xao Long Bao, don’t sleep on their pan-fried noodles. They’re simple, but they’re delicious, maybe even as good as the dumplings.

Photo via Scene Archives
 Larder
1455 West 29th St., Cleveland
At its heart, Larder is a Jewish deli, with matzo ball soup, thick pastrami sandwiches, and flaky fruit-filled rugelach. But there's so much more going on here than that. Chef-owner Jeremy Umansky makes everything from scratch and utilizes techniques like koji (a Japanese mold) curing, foraging for wild edibles, cold and hot smoking, and fermentation and pickling to produce an ever-shifting roster of delectable seasonal plates and baked goods. They were recently given a James Beard award nomination for Best New Restaurant.
Photo via @LarderB/Instagram

Larder

1455 West 29th St., Cleveland

At its heart, Larder is a Jewish deli, with matzo ball soup, thick pastrami sandwiches, and flaky fruit-filled rugelach. But there's so much more going on here than that. Chef-owner Jeremy Umansky makes everything from scratch and utilizes techniques like koji (a Japanese mold) curing, foraging for wild edibles, cold and hot smoking, and fermentation and pickling to produce an ever-shifting roster of delectable seasonal plates and baked goods. They were recently given a James Beard award nomination for Best New Restaurant.

Photo via @LarderB/Instagram
 La Plaza Supermarket
13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood
All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to this Lakewood supermarket. This grocery store cooks up barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire.
Photo via La Plaza Supermarket/Facebook

La Plaza Supermarket

13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood

All it takes to get your hands on what many deem the best tacos in Cleveland is venturing to this Lakewood supermarket. This grocery store cooks up barbacoa, carnitas, chorizo and al pastor tacos in front of your eyes. They’re served up as-is, but load up on diced onion, cilantro, guac and salsas to your heart’s desire.

Photo via La Plaza Supermarket/Facebook