Imagine a monster-sized grilled kielbasa in a bun, topped with coleslaw, and French fries. Now picture a mouthwatering barbecue sauce dumped over the thing. What you have is the legendary Polish Boy; Cleveland’s jaw-stretching signature hotdog, and an iconic American food. Many places claim to be the best Polish boy Eatery in Cleveland. I did a some research and came up with this list of 3. Then I also threw in a little surprise for the DIYers. Enjoy!
Seti’s Polish Boys
3500 Woodland Avenue
It helps your rep when you get Iron Chef Micheal Symon’s bump on the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate”. It is even better for fame to top various best-of-Cleveland lists. Despite their popularity with gourmet critics, Seti’s Polish Boys still make their hotdogs in an old fashion food truck in a parking lot.
Hot Sauce Williams Barbecue
7815 Carnegie Avenue
As mentioned in an earlier blog post, a finger-licking barbecue sauce makes the difference. Visitors go wild after tasting Hot Sauce Williams barbecue sauce. Needless to say their Polish boy’s ratings profit from it. They are exceptionally good enough to feature in a special Polish boy edition of “Man vs Food”. Even their short ribs and fried chicken are highly rated and should be worth a try.
5004 Lorain Avenue
Don’t mind the sketchy look, said a Yelp reviewer. This 24-hour diner has been standing there since April 16, 1953, and it puts all the 60-year experience into every single hotdog made. Add to that the great family atmosphere and what you have is a Cleveland’s institution dedicated to providing locals with the finest Polish boy in town.
The Sausage Shoppe
4501 Memphis Avenue
Although this is not a Polish Boy joint but rather a butcher shop, it has its place in the list. Why? First off, they provide the main ingredient needed: their award-winning kielbasa sausage. Second, they pledge to handcraft fresh, high quality products, so clients know they are using premium meat for their own grilling and cookouts.
I uncovered other Polish boy restaurants while writing this piece. Places like Mickey Flickey’s Amazing Wings also knew how to load that bun but most of them are closing down. I am sure there are other spots in Cleveland, still under the radar, that serve a Polish boy worth praising. If you know any missing on this shortlist, please do share the secret with us.