“Cleveland’s Own” still means something around here. Whether it’s another knockout for UFC Heavyweight Champ Stipe Miocic or the Russo brothers blowing minds with the latest “Avengers” flick, we’re pretty proud of local boys made good. And that goes double for a hometown delicacy like the Polish Boy.
This mouth-watering mashup of juicy kielbasa, mounds of coleslaw and fries, slathered with barbecue sauce — all in a bun! — remains a true Cleveland original. Okay, it might sound like a crazy combo at first, but just one bite will make you a believer. Check out our roundup of some of the best spots in The Land to polish off a Polish Boy.
* Before visiting, please be sure to check each restaurant's website for the most up-to-date information on operating hours and procedures.
It’s all local, all the time, when Banter’s Polish Boys hit the grill. Gourmet Ohio kielbasa provides the ideal foundation for their house-made BBQ sauce and vinegar-based slaw. Pop in — and fill up — at their Van Aken District location.
Who knew that an authentic cajun kitchen could whip up a mean Polish Boy? Their smoked beef sausage creation, which they make in the South Euclid location, measures right up there with the best in Cleveland. If your stomach is really growling, get extra fries (and some buffalo wings on the side) with “Fun In A Box.” We won’t judge.
First things first, the traditional Polish Boy can’t be beat. But why not step up to the big leagues with B&M’s “Polish Man?” With an extra helping of beef brisket piled on top, our little Polish Boy is all grown up. [Six locations — North Randall, Lee Road, Bellaire, Lyndhurst, Oakwood, Akron]
Found yourself in the Historic Warehouse District Downtown and jonesing for a Polish Boy? Order up a Drew Carey — one Cleveland icon named for another — and dig into this kosher dog with all the usual toppings. Don’t be a hero, use a knife and fork. Your dry-cleaning bill will thank you.
The granddaddy of Cleveland barbecue still reigns supreme in the Polish Boy game. For more than fifty years, Hot Sauce Williams has won admirers for perfectly prepared meat and that world-famous hot sauce. Add in the slaw and fries and *chef’s kiss*. While their legendary Carnegie Avenue location is no longer an option, the HSW legacy lives on at their Lee Road shop.
All hail, for the Queen of Wings is also Polish Boy royalty. As one might expect from a wings expert, the sauce — Kim’s Original Backyard Barbecue Sauce — steals the show. Pro tip: You can even pick up a bottle for the road. [Cleveland and Euclid locations]
The eye-popping neon sign inside the East Fourth Street restaurant says it all: Eat More Meat. When it comes to Mabel’s spin on the Polish Boy, celeb chef Michael Symon took his own advice. With his “Polish Girl”, Symon ups the carnivore quotient — swapping fries out for chopped pork.
Maybe you’ve seen these Polish Boys featured on the Food Network as one of Michael Symon’s “Best Things I Ever Ate,” or in the pages of “Rachael Ray Magazine.” These gastronomic gurus told the world what we already know: this food truck’s Best Polish Boys more than live up to their name.
Steve’s Lunch, the beloved downtown hangout, closed after a 2015 fire, but its sister location is still going strong out in Brooklyn. Open 24/7, this Biddulph Plaza throwback combines retro-chic with a fresh take on the Polish Boy. Here, the sandwich comes topped with onions and kraut.
Step back into Cleveland food history at either their Harvard Avenue or Mt. Pleasant locations. In the 1940s, Virgil Whitmore — reputed Polish Boy pioneer — dazzled his clientele with this novel mix of kielbasa, slaw and fries. The Whitmore fam still dishes out Polish Boys just like the old days.