Soul Food

Hungry Hearts will Find Satisfaction in Northeast Ohio’s Unique Comfort Cuisine 


Pierogi at Prosperity Social Club

In Cleveland, comfort food isn’t something you indulge in to alleviate stress. It’s celebratory dishes prepared with equal portions of nostalgia and nourishment. Northeast Oho has a rich heritage of comfort food, rooted in eastern European family fare (kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and pierogi) and blue-collar American pub grub (Polish Boys, perch fish fries and gourmet burgers). Tremont is one of the oldest neighborhoods in northeast Ohio, and it’s an epicenter for Cleveland’s uniquely ethnic, blue-collar comfort food. At its heart sits Prosperity Social Club (

“We should probably be called Prosperity Comfort Club instead of Social Club,” smiles owner Bonnie Flinner. “We’re a poster child for comfort food, all of which is made from scratch— Hungarian-style stuffed cabbage, beer battered fish, corned beef Reubens on potato pancakes, pierogi, mile-high killer Gouda burgers. You can’t go wrong.” 

Tremont is a buffet of comfort food traditions. At Grumpy’s Café on West 14 Street (, customers enjoy a cozy, homespun atmosphere (with ever-changing artwork on the walls, and a leg lamp in the window) while feasting on huge portions of fresh meatloaf, catfish, lasagna, burgers, and awesomely enormous breakfast foods. Only a few blocks away, Lolita ( has become synonymous with gourmet Cleveland cooking, owned by Food Network Iron Chef, author, and local restaurateur Michael Symon. But beneath the swanky gastronome, Lolita’s menu is full of comfort food favorites.

Monte Cristo at Melt

Monte Cristo at Melt

Tremont is just the start. The many boroughs, burgs, and hamlets of Cleveland are filled with famous stops for comfort food. In Little Italy, Guarino’s ( cooks homemade Italian dishes just like grandma used to make. Melt Bar and Grilled ( serves up the city’s best grilled cheese with three metro locations in Lakewood, Cleveland Heights and Independence and a fourth on the way. Each Cleveland neighborhood has a distinct restaurant that uses feelings and flavors to fill both stomachs and souls. We suggest you explore them all.

By Keith Gribbins

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About PositivelyCleveland

Positively Cleveland is the destination marketing organization that has been promoting business and leisure tourism to Cleveland for more than 75 years.

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