Foods & Culinary

Dining at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE)

Whether you’re waiting for your flight to depart or stopping off, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) has several solid options for dining within the airport. There is a restaurant owned by Food Network star Michael Symon and a brewery owned by the city’s most famous brewery, the Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Some operators are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still a decent number of operators currently serving food to travelers.

Here is a comprehensive guide to the options available to eat, drink, and relax at the CLE. You can find an updated list of offers at the airport website also.

Best for a meal or drink while sitting: The pub
The pub is a typical airport bar and offers a mix of British dishes such as fish and chips and more general bar foods such as burgers and reubens.

Best quick bite: Shake Shack (temporarily closed)
Sure, it’s a chain, but this New York outfit makes some of the best burgers in town, as well as crinkle fries and a mean chicken sandwich. Maybe you should take a lap of Currito instead now that it is temporarily closed?

The rest:

  • Aunt Annes: The hot pretzel loved by teenagers in shopping malls everywhere.
  • Brueggers Bagels: Usable bagel sandwiches.
  • Chick-fil-A: Chicken nuggets and sandwiches with a controversial side.
  • Cinnamon: Generic calorie bomb breakfast pastries.
  • Curriculum: A healthy option for global burrito bowls and smoothies. Good for people with dietary restrictions.
  • Dunkin Donuts: Love-it-or-hate-it chain coffee, donuts, and mediocre breakfast sandwiches.
  • Embers (opposite the central checkpoint): New seating with a varied menu (temporarily closed)

A bowl of curritos at Cleveland Airport

Currito [official photo]

Best to look for food elsewhere, but you will find:

  • Subway: Sad deli sandwiches but a calorie counter option.
  • Euro-Café: Easy to-go options like breakfast rolls (temporarily closed)

This is the weakest of the three closed areas; here are the options:

  • Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill: Food and drink typical of the island, which can be skipped unless a request for Mai Tai applies (Gate A1).
  • 800 degree pizza: Fast-casual pizza chain that cooks quickly (temporarily closed)
  • Starbucks: Omnipresent for coffee and pastries (Gate A1).
  • Paninis: Overcrowded sandwiches (Gate A6).

Best eating while sitting: Quaker Steak & Lube (temporarily closed)
This Pennsylvania chain also has outposts in Ohio including this airport location. The casual restaurant (the decor has a gas station theme) is best known for its chicken wings and more than 20 sauces available, including ghost pepper and Asian lemongrass. Since they are closed at the moment, those who have some time to sit should go to a different hall. (Gate B5)

Best for drinks: Volo wine
This chain of airports has charcuterie, cheese, and other snacks, as well as wine flights and pairs, all of which lead to a reasonably civilized pre-flight destination. (Gate B2)

Quaker steak wings

Officially

The rest:

  • Menchies Frozen Yogurt: Frozen yogurt with various toppings (opposite gate B6).
  • Another subway (across from Gate B6)
  • Another aunt Anne (Gate B6)
  • Another Inca teabut with fewer dining options than in Hall C (see below)

Best food while sitting: Bar Symon
This casual restaurant from Chef Michael Symon (Lola’s, B-Spot), who rose to national fame after switching on The chew toy and various Food Network shows, offering drinks and bar food, with Symon’s own Cleveland-centric spin. The restaurant does a better than expected Bloody Mary and some addicting sirloin. You can also find burgers, pulled pork sandwiches and pierogi. (Between gates C4-C6)

Best for drinks: Great Lakes Brewing Company
Cleveland’s most famous brewery now has an offshoot of its legendary airport brewpub. Expect the beers that made the company so popular, from the Eliot Ness Amber Lager to Burning River Pale Ale, as well as a limited range of Eastern European-influenced bar foods (pretzel-crusted chicken, a sausage tasting, bratwurst, pierogies and, more). (Gate C14)

The rest:

  • Belly: Sandwich chain – the Italian is a good choice here (Gate C28)
  • Wow Bao: A small but decent selection of Asian dishes with an emphasis on dumplings (across from C8; temporarily closed)
  • Inca tea café: Coffee, tea etc. (opposite C28)
  • Another Starbucks (Gate C22; temporarily closed)
  • Cantina Taqueria & Tequila Bar: New options for margaritas, tacos, etc. (temporarily closed)

Pulled pork sandwich from the Symon bar

Bar Symon [official photo]

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