Cleveland’s Favorite Foods for a Memorable 4th of July

Ah, the 4th of July in Cleveland—nothing quite like it. The sun really beating down on Lake Erie, with the town seriously bursting at the seams with red, white, and blue pride. What better way to celebrate it than by eating some of the tasty treats Cleveland loves?

From all the traditional BBQ trimmings to hometown favorites, we let you know just how to make the hometown Fourth something to be remembered.

Classic Cleveland Dishes for the Fourth of July

If you are going to throw a 4th of July party in Cleveland, there are many tried and true types of barbeque dishes that you just can’t mess up. Think: delectable, smoked ribs, cooked the house’s special way, lavishly brushed with the zesty Cleveland-style barbecue sauce, and a mountain of pierogies—those savory dumplings filled with buttery, whipped potatoes and cheese. Don’t forget to decorate with red, white, and blue, and perhaps even incorporate some fireworks-themed decorations to truly capture the spirit of the Cleveland 4th of July celebration!

And the Perch Fry at Lake Erie? Fresh fish straight from the water are dredged in cornmeal and fried to crispy golden perfection. And no Fourth of July Cleveland celebration is complete without indulging in a Polish Boy sandwich—the kielbasa-filled hero, piled high with armloads of coleslaw, French fries, and BBQ sauce.

“This is real Cleveland culinary heritage at its best—so good that it will make your taste buds explode into a choir of joy.”.

Sides and Snacks to Complement the Main Course

Now, on to the scrumptious side dishes and snacks for a Fourth of July dinner party. Start with a dollop of Stadium Mustard, a tangy Cleveland condiment with just the right pop. Pair it up with Cleveland’s national dish, Potato Salad. Freshly cut potatoes mixed with creamy mayonnaise and just a hint of paprika, then mounded high onto your favorite sandwich.

And what is a barbeque without cornbread? That savory bread that soaks up all of the wonderful barbeque flavors. Oh, and don’t forget to grab a few ears of fresh Ohio sweet corn for boiling. It makes the perfect side dish that screams all of the sweetness of summer.

Desserts to Sweeten the Celebration

What’s a 4th of July celebration without a table full of decadent desserts? Kick off the feast with a batch of Buckeye Candy. Those irresistible peanut butter balls, dipped in rich chocolate, are sure to become a family favorite. Maybe you’d want to try a piece of the Cleveland-style cheesecake, with its very creamy filling and tang from around the region. Or, of course, a traditional apple pie chock-full of sweet, cinnamon-spiced apples, cradled in a crust. The best way to cap off your Fourth of July feast is with something delicious.

Beverages to Quench Your Thirst

“From thirst-quenching lemonades to icy cold beers, of course, no Fourth of July celebration would be complete without a selection of refreshing beverages to quench your thirst.”.

Explore Cleveland’s vibrantly hopping brewery scene and grab some craft brews to pair with these goods. Or maybe a grapefruit shandy—cool, summer-sipping beer that marries so prettily with all your barbecue flavors. And for a non-alcoholic choice, make some homemade lemonade to cool off from the heat.

Tips for Hosting a Cleveland-themed Fourth of July Feast

It’s easy to host a Fourth of July feast with recipes inspired by Cleveland.

And you can start by planning the meals ahead of time and lining up all the dishes that would be served. Include local ingredients in your menu that will really give your feast a genuine Cleveland feel. Be sure to sprinkle your event with a little Cleveland hospitality; invite friends and family to be a part of the sharing and good times created by good food and great company.


So, as you prepare to celebrate the 4th of July in Cleveland this coming weekend, take a moment and actually taste the tradition and cultural excitement of this city. Cleveland offers many treats for every palate, from classic barbecue dishes to desserts that are downright libidinous. We are ready to fire up the grill, bring out our families and make some great memories this Fourth of July in Cleveland.