The Best Ribs in Cleveland

January 27th, 2022 by

Suppose that you want to find the best ribs in Cleveland, Ohio, that are both affordable and tasty. Maybe you don’t have the time to make them yourself, or you’re just in town for a couple of days and simply looking for a good place to eat.  Whatever your reason, If you’re craving some smoky and delicious ribs, consider trying one or more of the following five barbecue joints in or around Cleveland.

Mabel’s BBQ

A wooden board of grilled ribs

board of grilled meats” licensed under Unsplash by jontyson

If you’re a ribs enthusiast, then you’re going to love Mabel’s BBQ, located at 2050 E. Fourth St. Mabel’s is a fantastic, industrial-chic barbecue place started by celeb chef Michael Symon, and it is one of the best barbecue spots in Cleveland. Mabel’s can be found in the heart of downtown, and it serves a variety of delicacies, including giant beef ribs, chicken wings, lamb ribs, and pork spare ribs.

Additionally, this Cleveland-style barbecue restaurant also serves half-pound meats and steaks that have been rubbed with the best of Eastern European spices. As for the ambiance, Mabel’s features communal tables, arched ceilings, exposed brick, and industrial lighting, creating a rustic smokehouse with a relaxed vibe.

The meat served at this barbecue spot comes from humanely raised animals and has no added hormones or antibiotics. If that isn’t enough, the restaurant’s tender and delicious ribs are superbly complemented by Symon’s mustard-based sauce. Mabel’s BBQ is every meat-lover’s dream restaurant.

When you visit, we highly recommend that you try the This Is Cleveland platter, which features spare ribs, smoked kielbasa, and spicy pork cabbage. If you have room for dessert after your hearty meal, try a slice of the chocolate cream pie or banana cream pie.

Ohio City BBQ

If you passionately love smoked barbecue ribs, then this spot is a must-visit. Ohio City BBQ, located at 3829 Lorain Ave., is one of the traditional barbecue restaurants found in the city, and it has all sorts of loaded meat platters filled with ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. The restaurant also offers sandwiches and Southern foods inside its spacious dining area.

The best part is that Ohio City BBQ is working with multi-award-winning Rib-Cook-Off champions to bring the best barbecue flavors to Cleveland. Also, management and staff have received training to prepare and serve only the best barbecue dishes. Every day, they do their best to serve their guests the best in barbecue.

The food in this restaurant is so good that you’ll be thanking Canadian Nav Singh for discovering American barbecue and ditching his plans to open a pizza shop! If you can handle some heat, be sure to try some of their “Hotter Than Hell” homemade barbecue sauce.

The Rib Cage Smokehouse and Bar

Located at 2214 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, the Rib Cage Smokehouse and Bar is a family-owned restaurant that serves authentic barbecue and flavorful homemade sauce. The restaurant has a unique, comfy, and warm vibe that is irresistible. The Rib Cage Smokehouse and Bar is also the official sponsor of the Cleveland Greenhouse Project and tries to use as many of its products as possible.

The team at the Rib Cage Smokehouse smokes the meats inside a custom-made brick smokehouse in a way that is unmatched by any other barbecue restaurant in Cleveland. The restaurant prepares locally sourced and sustainable smoked meat dishes.

One of the reasons that customers keep coming back for the smoked rib tips is because they’re always seasoned with the house spice and served with the homemade barbecue sauce of your choice. The Rib Cage Smokehouse also has a spacious bar, and it hosts small musical events from time to time. Can’t get to Cleveland Heights? The Rib Cage also has another location, at 1834 W. 25th St. in Cleveland.

Open Pit Bar-B-Que

Located at 12335 Saint Clair Ave., Open Pit Bar-B-Que is a Cleveland barbecue with loyal customers because of its exemplary service and diverse menu. The restaurant’s drool-worthy smoked meats will have you going back for more. The ribs here are so good that customers drive for a few hours from nearby cities to have a slab or two. Open Pit Bar-B-Que serves up proper barbecue that can pretty much rival any other restaurant in the C-Town.

Some of the most popular dishes from the restaurant include rib tips, Polish Boys,  and pork chops. The best part is that this barbecue spot isn’t just a meat-lover’s dream, as it also serves macaroni and cheese that most locals are known to swear by. Even if you cannot drive to the restaurant, you can always order food for delivery.

The Proper Pig

As a previous winner of Cleveland Scene’s Best BBQ in Cleveland, you really shouldn’t expect anything less from the Proper Pig. The restaurant has a great menu and exceptional customer service. Located at 17100 Detroit Ave., in Lakewood, this smokehouse offers its customers arguably the best Texas-style barbecue you can find in the city.

The meat is so tender and flavorful that you won’t need to use the sauce at this barbecue spot. The restaurant has only one sauce because they strongly believe that the meat should be the star of the show. The best part is that the sauce they serve at Proper Pig is flavorful and perfectly compliments the meat.

If you visit the restaurant, give The Proper Slopper a try. It’s a big sandwich filled with delicious brisket, Texas hot-link sausage, pulled pork, some maple bacon barbecue sauce, and coleslaw to complete it.

So there you have it. Our experts at North Coast Auto Mall compiled this list of five of the best barbecue restaurants in the Cleveland area for you. Make a date to visit some of these establishments alone or with friends or family. Did you find our list sufficient and helpful? Did we miss a favorite barbecue spot of yours that many other locals love? If we did, let us know. Contact us today, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list.

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