Bars in University

Select Local Merchants

The name Burgers-N-Beer is straightforward. That’s why first-time visitors may be surprised by the scope of the offerings the eatery has offered to hungry Willoughby-area residents since 1999. The restaurant spotlights their menu with slabs of renowned fall-off-the-bone St. Louis-style ribs, slathered with Mimi's Family Recipe Sauce as pictured above. Customers can gather crowds of their own, as ribs can be packaged for parties. Cooks also sculpt juicy half-pound burger patties by hand, piling on toppings such as fried eggs, creole-inspired olive tapenade, or marinara sauce.

But the food isn’t the only reason to stop by. Burgers-N-Beer exudes what one Cleveland Scene writer described as "old-time charm, cheery atmosphere, and prompt, friendly service—all seemingly designed to make a midweek dinner feel like a getaway at a lakeside resort.” On Friday and Saturday nights, the restaurant stops eager patrons from abandoning still-rolling cars with complimentary valet service.

1854 Coventry Rd
Cleveland Heights,
OH
US

Honey, cinnamon, and raisins seem like sweet dessert fixings, but they're par for the main course at Bodega. All three make an appearance in the fez chicken—a Moroccan specialty sautéed with onions and dappled with roasted almonds. The chicken joins couscous, kebabs, and seafood paella on a list of Moroccan staples that pair well with live music and belly-dancing. Performances such as these elevate dinner to a multisensory event, one that can last in the swanky venue until 2 a.m., or whenever the dancer's belly button closes and goes to sleep.

However, Bodega's kitchen isn't married to a single region. Its versatility can be seen in a glance at the tapas section, where lobster risotto shares the page with housemade lobster nachos. Other small plates include soy-chili-glazed chicken wings, herb-crusted lamb lollipops, and homemade hummus with pita bread. The servings grow larger the farther back you flip in the menu, with pan-seared duck and grilled Amish chicken featured in the selection of entrees.

1854 Coventry Rd
Cleveland Heights,
OH
US

The chefs at Stinee's Ribs spends hours preparing their smoked ribs, but that doesn't mean they skimp on quantity when it comes time to plate dinners. Every dish comes with a heaping portion of meat, but one platter reigns meaty king: a whole slab of ribs spiced with the house rub. On top of that, most meals are paired with fresh-cut fries or southern sides such as broccoli slaw or spicy fried brussels sprouts. And desserts such as gooey slices of peach cobbler and lemon supreme cake complete feasts, giving diners a taste of eating like royalty without finding a feudal lord who is hiring.

4129 E 49th St.
Newburgh Heights,
OH
US

Though it isn?t a matchmaking service, Grovewood Tavern is responsible for more than 150 successful relationships in the past decade, all of which were realized over dinner. The brick-enclosed restaurant specializes in the delicious puppy love between food and drink, hosting meals that pair fine wines, beers, and spirits with bites from a globally conscious kitchen. The courses encourage guests to savor combinations in the moment, but also nod to the history inside the glassware. Trivia and origin stories accompany the drinks, detailing their flavors and the favorable reviews they've received. Some dinners benefit from presentation by expert hosts, including vineyard aficionados and people who know how the ghosts are added to each bottle of spirits.

Outside of these showcases, visitors can still enjoy selections from the tavern's regular menu. Duck-burger sliders and spice-rubbed ahi-tuna sandwiches dispel any worries about stereotypical pub fare, and the entrees' emphasis on local and organic ingredients adds a refreshing ease of conscience to each bite. Grovewood?s catalog of savory meats ranges from Japanese-style barbecued chicken to the bison pot roast, which, according to a 2007 feature in the Plain Dealer, "falls gloriously apart, upon gentle forkage." Chefs accommodate vegetarians and vegans as well. A wealth of meat- and gluten-free options speckles the menu's pages, and the pairing dinners list substitutions for nonveggie helpings, replacing tea-smoked duck breast with grilled tofu and skirt steak with vegan beef.

17105 Grovewood Ave
Cleveland,
OH
US

Gateway Bar and Grill presents hearty plates and classic dishes against a backdrop of a fireplace and built-in bookcases lined with books.Tucked inside the Radisson Cleveland-Gateway, the restaurant caters to hotel guests and outside diners alike. Guests can savor tender ribs served with crisp fries or hot wings dressed in their choice of sauce alongside specialty cocktails made with freshly pressed juices and served in freshly blown glasses.

651 Huron Road East
Cleveland,
OH
US

Rather than limit themselves to serving creative, Cleveland-inspired cuisine or to hosting late-night bowlers sipping from frothy pint glasses, the founders of 4th Street Bar & Grill – The Corner Alley decided to do both. Inside spacious, sleek environs, servers at the bowling alley’s 4th Street Bar & Grill dole out pierogis—dumplings stuffed with potato and smoked cheddar cheese—and oven-baked pizzas, such as the Alley Pie, topped with cheese and fresh basil. Local draft brews from Buckeye Brewing, Brew Kettle, and Hoppin’ Frog or one of more than 20 locally-inspired cocktails and martinis accompany meals and pin-pulverizing sessions at one of 16 lanes. Satellite-selected sounds pump through speakers, and patrons can control tunes from a special app on their phone or speak directly to Meatloaf through the jukebox.

Whether they’re there to bowl, eat, drink, or finally understand gravity, up to 600 people can gather inside the ample quarters. Groups of 4–45 revelers can populate the Mezzanine, a private party room hoisted atop an elevated platform and replete with several flat-screen TVs. Millionaire’s Row plays host to 100 guests, who can bowl on four private lanes, sip martinis at the Back Alley bar, or lay quietly atop the billiards table. And inside the 2,000-square-foot Spare Room, up to 90 friends can dine on a customizable menu as well as play billiards, air hockey, foosball, darts, and skeeball.

402 Euclid Ave
Cleveland,
OH
US