Let’s face it – no offense to Quicken Loans Arena, site of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, but if you have to even look at one more heat-lamped burger from the concession stand, it’s one too many.
So, let’s get you out and about for a fresh-cooked burger one of these fine Cleveland institutions.
(In no particular order)
HODGE’S – If the place looks familiar even though you’ve never set foot in Cleveland until this week, perhaps you saw it in the Katherine Heigl 2015 flick “Jenny’s Wedding.” Hodge’s was used for some exterior shots. On the interior, you will find the Hodge’s Burger. We’re not sure what’s better: the dill, Havarti and rosemary aioli that makes this burger pop, or the fact that this bad boy comes with a side of tater tots, our favorite childhood indulgence. 668 Euclid Ave.,hodgesrestaurant.com/
HECK’S CAFÉ – Now this is truly a burger joint. Problem is: which one to choose? The Rocky River Burger with mushrooms, bacon, swiss cheese and sour cream? Or maybe the sweet onions, grilled pineapple, teriyaki sauce and sake aioli that make up the Teriyaki Burger? Or the Hot Fire Burger, with its jalapeno bacon jam, pepper jack cheese, spicy aioli, and lettuce and tomato on a pretzel bun?2927 Bridge Ave., heckscafe.com
NANO BREW – Not only can you get a terrific burger here – try the Fun Guy with Bleu cheese, mushroom duxelle, steak sauce, onion rings and greens – but the appetizers and the beer make it even more special. With all that is righteous in the world we swear we would order the entire slate of appys if we could, including the Macro Fries, the Stoner Fries, the Mac ‘N Cheese Bites, the Fried Pickles and more. 1859 West 25th St., nanobrewcleveland.com
B SPOT – Any place with a great selection of bourbon and craft beers is on the list, but the burgers are to die for as well. Even better – there’s a location right inside Quicken Loans Arena. If you’re feeling adventurous, try the New Jack City Burger with its chorizo sausage, avocado, salsa verde, roasted red peppers, red onion and pepper jack cheese. Quicken Loans Arena, bspotburgers.com
OLD FASHION HOT DOGS – July is National Hot Dog Month, so how could we leave this out? This is such a no-frills place that it doesn’t even have a website. But it just so happens to make the best chili cheese dog in the city. 4008 Lorain Ave.