If you’re not from around here, you’re probably a little “WTF with all the pierogi talk?” It’s fine. We don’t expect you to understand … until you wrap your taste buds around one (or a million) of these buttery bad boys.
For those who don’t know, a pierogi is an Eastern European dumpling. Much like that of Italian ravioli, pierogi are thick semi-circle dumplings with crimped edges. But unlike its Italian counterpart, pierogi is typically stuffed with whipped potatoes and cheese. Then, the dumplings are boiled, fried, grilled or baked, then slathered with copious amounts of butter.
Is it Polish? Is it Slovakian? Do we really care? Listen, all we know is that these Eastern European beauties are delicious. And, if you’re in Cleveland, you better belly-up to a big plate of ‘em. Trust us.
Tip: Be sure to check individual restaurant websites to confirm operating hours.
Before becoming the owner of the laid-back, retro-inspired Prosperity Social Club in Tremont, Bonnie Flinner had been working in restaurants and bars for years.
“Before I was born, my Polish aunt married a Hungarian chef. They created a restaurant called Bit of Budapest, which was opened from 1962 to 1986,” Flinner said. And, she started working there at the age of 14.
So, this might explain the menu choices at Prosperity, which lean rather Eastern European. Case in point? The dry ricotta farmhouse cheese pierogi. To. Die. For. They’ve got other pierogi options, too. But, don’t pass on the real deal.
Walk into the West Side Market and you’re instantly transported back in time — to a time when immigrants sold the flavors of their home countries at family-owned stalls throughout massive indoor markets.
So, perhaps unsurprisingly, the West Side Market is home to some seriously good Polish pierogi at the one and only Pierogi Palace.
Run by its second generation of family members, Pierogi Palace isn’t just vending the same old potato pierogi (although they have them if that’s what you want). They generally stuff a pierogi with anything under the sun with flavors like Irish potato, pepperoni pizza and bourbon chicken.
When you need an incredible craft beer, you can’t go wrong at Market Garden Brewery in Ohio City. But this place also happens to have a great menu to boot. For those looking to share, go for the chorizo pierogi made with their signature wheat beer cheese. But, if you’re smart, you’ll hoard your pierogi with the smoked pork and pierogi dinner entrée.
At Jukebox in Hingetown, the rotating playlist is curated just as carefully as its list of craft beers and bar bites. Standing out on that menu is, without question, is their selection of seven different types of pierogi ranging from spicy chicken to sweet potato black bean. It’s good to have options.
Sometimes it’s those little not-so-well-known places that have the best food. Amirite? Situated in Parma, the Little Polish Diner’s name says it all. Stuffed cabbage, borsch, galumpki and, of course, homemade pierogi, this 22-seat diner offers some of the best in Polish food in The Land.
This little Detroit Shoreway joint has been churning out good music and great food for decades. Many say their big claim to fame is the country-fried asparagus (which, we might add, is incredible). But, we happen to think the pierogi at Parkview Nite Club is worth its weight in gold — solid deep-fried gold that is. Prepped by Chow Chow Kitchen, these potato dumplings are battered and fried crispy with cider cabbage. [Get in my belly!]
Located across the street from A Christmas Story House, the Rowley Inn is a laid-back Tremont bar that’s been catering to Cleveland’s working class since 1906. Recently rejuvenated, the Rowley is known for its great beer selection and uniquely Cleveland dishes like its oh-so-amazing buffalo pierogi and the pierogi omelette.
The South Side in Tremont is known for its great beer selection, eclectic menu and a great patio for dining al fresco. But, take a deeper dive into their menu and you’ll find the real gems — pierogi. Trust us when we tell you that you should not miss their deep fried mac and cheese pierogi.
Der Braumeister, located on Cleveland’s West Side, has been known for generations for its piled-high, totally authentic German dishes ranging from big, Bavarian pretzels to spätzle mac and cheese. But when it comes to good pierogi, this spot has some of the best. Select from ricotta, potato-cheddar or sauerkraut stuffing for these fried goodies. While you’re there, you might as well tip back a hefty German stein.
Hey Cleveland, We Know You Know …
Clevelanders out there just KNOW there are so many great spots for visitors to chow incredible pierogi. Share your suggestions in the comments below!