Best of ezCater

Best of ezCater: Top Cleveland Caterers for 2020

  • ezCater
  • 5 Min Read

Chef Boiardi opened Il Giardino d’Italia in Cleveland back in 1924, but the city’s food scene has moved well beyond his famous O-shaped spaghetti and even past the pierogis and kielbasa that help define northeast Ohio’s culinary heritage. Trends like modern Italian, classic French, and global flavors are invigorating Cleveland’s food scene and popping up on catering menus all over town. Whether you need a new favorite or a tried and true classic, excellent eats are available all over Cleveland for your next meeting or event.

Best in Cleveland

1. Moe’s Southwest Grill (5920 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Heights)

This caterer gets high marks for making Mexican flavors accessible for everyone. Choose chicken and tofu as the two included proteins on the Salad Bar with romaine lettuce, black or pinto beans, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, cucumbers, olives, chips, and salsa.

2. Cinnaholic (30323 Detroit Rd., Westlake)

After landing a big client, treat the sales team to some super-rich treats. Order the Baby Buns, which are mini cinnamon buns, and you get to choose fun frostings like butterscotch or cake batter. The Dessert Platter leaves the choice to your group with baby buns, mini cookies, and brownie bites.

3. Mashiso Asian Grille (24954 Brookpark Rd., North Olmsted)

Shake up lunch with the Asian-American specialties from this caterer. Regulars love the Yakis, deep-fried wontons filled with ground chicken, carrot, spinach, and noodle. Or Create Your Own Bowl, which includes flavorful proteins like Thai Curry Chicken and Mashi Tofu (marinated in ginger and garlic) atop your choice of rice and vegetable sides.

Best for Large Meetings

1. Old Carolina Barbecue (21613 Center Ridge Rd., Rocky River)

On those days when everyone is craving carbs or you just need the meat to be on the side, take a look at the Loaded Mac N’ Cheese Bar. Choose pulled pork, smokehouse chicken, or chopped brisket to pile on top of the mac, then add the included shredded cheese, fried onion straws, chives, and house BBQ sauce for a new take on barbecue.

2. DiBella’s Subs (7824 Reynolds Rd., Mentor)

The Classic Subs Tray feeds eight and is popular for the Italian flavors (the Godfather sub has Genoa salami, capicola, spicy ham, and provolone while the Uncle Louie has roast beef, turkey, ham, and American cheese). 

3. Zoup! (7327 Mentor Ave., Mentor)

Hot soup and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options make this caterer a hit. The Sandwich Tray & Tureen of Soup Package feeds 15 people and includes sandwich choices like Maple Bacon Ham and Roasted Veggie Wrap and soups like Broccoli Cheddar and Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque.

Best for Small Meetings

1. Au Bon Pain (600 Superior Ave., Cleveland)

Add a little pizzazz to board meetings with the Boardroom Lunch. Feed a group of five with your choice of cut-in-half sandwiches like a Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap or Chipotle Black Bean Burger plus garden salad, a roasted vegetable, and hummus platter. 

2. Zoup! (4025 Richmond Rd., Warrensville Heights)

Easily feeding all dietary restrictions, even with last-minute orders, is one reason this caterer has so many fans. The Gluten-Free Soup & Salad Boxed Lunch can be ordered for the exact number of servings you need and includes favorites like Fire-Roasted Tomato Bisque and a Fiesta Chicken Salad with avocado, lime, and pico de gallo.

3. Ruby Tuesday (9515 Diamond Centre Dr., Mentor)

With four included dressings (ranch, blue cheese, Italian herb vinaigrette, and honey mustard), nutritious veggies, plus bacon and shredded cheddar cheese, the Garden Bar is a favorite order. Add an order of Hand-Breaded Buttermilk Chicken Tenders for some protein.

Best for High Stakes Meetings

1. Moe’s Southwest Grill (25102 Brookpark Rd., North Olmsted)

On-time delivery, the hot Fajita Bar, and Taco Bar are cited time and again by fans of this caterer. The Fajita Bar includes guacamole (or you can order it as a side) and the queso with chips is a must order for its cheesy deliciousness.

2. Iacofano’s Catering & Events (4925 State Rd., Cleveland)

The big morning meal menu includes a Continental Breakfast with muffins, bagels, and pastries. Regulars favor this caterer for great presentations and on-time delivery of hot meals like tender Shrimp & Grits, Mini Frittatas with sweet potato home fries, and a Hot Breakfast Buffet with scrambled eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, sausage patties, fresh fruit, and orange juice. 

3. DiBella’s Subs (1340 Som Center Rd., Cleveland)

Sweet treats can turn around an afternoon meeting, especially the Chocolate Chip Cookies included in these catering packages and boxed lunches. For something more nutritious, try the Garden Salad. It’s layered with baby spinach and romaine with tomatoes, chickpeas, cucumbers, and crunchy homemade croutons, serves six and even makes a fine stand-alone meal.

Best for Last Minute Orders

1. Moe’s Southwest Grill (36050 Detroit Rd., Avon)

High marks rain down on this caterer for quickly and accurately delivering last-minute orders. The Fajita Bar, which can be ordered for the exact number of guests you are serving, includes meaty and vegetarian proteins like steak and tofu, and all the fixings, right down to the guacamole, salsa, and chips.

2. Macaroni Grill (25001 Country Club Blvd., North Olmsted)

Dependability is practically this caterer’s middle name, relied on by fans for their quick-turn orders of irresistible Chicken Marsala and diverse menu. Make the pescatarians and keto eaters happy with Grilled Salmon, add an order of Gluten-free Tagliatelle with Pomodorina, or show your on-trend style with some Signature Truffle Mac & Cheese.

3. Bibibop Asian Grill (511 Park Ave., Orange)

This caterer’s Build-Your-Own-Bowl is always fresh with plenty of Asian-flavored options to satisfy the unique eaters in your group. Choose a base of rice or salad, pile on proteins like spicy chicken or tofu, and more hot and cold toppings than you can shake a stick at (black beans, potatoes, carrots, corn, and kale are just a few) plus fun sauces like sesame ginger and spicy sriracha.

Best Mexican Catering

1. Moe’s Southwest Grill (5920 Mayfield Rd., Mayfield Heights)

For events that call for moving a crowd quickly through a line (like a 20-minute break between back-to-back meetings), Mini Burritos are the perfect choice. They’re pre-stuffed with proteins like pulled pork or ground beef, your choice of beans, pico de gallo, cheese, and rice. But- of course- pile on the chips and salsa.

2. Bomba Tacos & Rum (2101 Richmond Rd., Beachwood)

Shake up your routine Mexican catering order with the multicultural style of the Taco Party. Not only does it feature Blackened Fish, BBQ Pork, and Thai Chicken Chorizo and Potato as taco choices, it’s got guacamole and sides of white rice, black beans, fire-roasted salsa, and house-made chips too.

3. La Plaza Supermarket (13609 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Cleveland)

Need a fresh perspective on sandwiches? Consider the Torta. It is a Mexican deli sandwich with your choice of meat (chicken, carnitas, and carne asada are popular), piled high with cheese, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, and sour cream on a fluffy bun.

Best Sandwich Catering

1. Pita Pit (3520 Westgate Mall, Fairview Park)

Stuffed with bright green lettuce, juicy tomatoes and cucumbers, the Veggie Pita Platter packs in the protein with Falafel, Spicy Black Bean, Hummus, and Garden and Cheese pitas. Or go traditional Greek with the Chicken Souvlaki, Gyro, Falafel, and Hummus & Feta pitas on the Mediterranean Pita Platter.

2. Mellow Mushroom (19333 Detroit Rd., Rocky River)

The Boardroom Package can be scaled up from 1 to over 100 people with a click and includes flavorful sandwiches like the Mellow Chicken Salad with curried mayonnaise and a California Club with smoked bacon. Make sure to order the side of Chill Out Pasta Salad– the mix of mushrooms, pesto, and herb vinaigrette is sublime.

3. DiBella’s Subs (6708 Rockside Rd., Independence)

Great breads make a big difference and this caterer does bread right. The classic sub roll is pillowy inside, gathering mustard and mayonnaise on the Uncle Louie Sub and the everything bread adds a nutty, just crunchy enough character to the Godfather Sub on the Classic Sub Tray.

Best Italian Catering

1. Villa Italian Kitchen (7850 Mentor Ave., Mentor)

Juicy Chicken Parmesan with a side of spaghetti or penne is a favorite order. Or consider the Villa Italian Package with Entrée– it includes Chicken Parmesan (or other entrée) plus enough salad, pasta, and addictive garlic rolls for 10 people.

2. Danny Boys Italian Eatery (8158 Broadview Rd., Broadview Heights)

With sausage and peppers, baked meatballs, pigs in a blanket, chicken wings, breadsticks, a large Margherita pizza, and a large pepperoni pizza, the Appetizer Package is an all-in-one party. Or make a House Salad an entrée by adding tender Pesto Chicken.

3. Buca di Beppo (23575 Detroit Rd., Westlake)

Even the salads are family-style at this favorite for fans of Fettuccine Alfredo and Lasagna. Stick with a Caesar and crunch away on the garlic croutons or try the Apple Gorgonzola Salad Pan for the yummy mix of cranberries, spiced walnuts, and vinaigrette dressing.

Best Mediterranean Catering

1. Al Pita Mediterranean Cuisine (19310 Detroit Rd., Rocky River)

Fans say the Shawarma with Hummus serves eight comfortably and combines the best of both worlds: juicy, spit-roasted chicken or beef with creamy hummus and soft, griddled pita bread. An AI Pita Signature Salad, with romaine and iceberg lettuces, cucumber, tomato, onion, chickpeas, feta cheese, lemon, and olive oil, makes a great entrée for vegetarians.

2. Flame Urban Chicken Grill (10330 St Clair Ave., Cleveland)

Picky eaters will love the Build-Your-Own Bowl. It includes flame-grilled chicken, rice, beans or grilled vegetables, plus toppings of corn Colby-cheddar cheese, and others. Fans of this caterer say the sauces make the dish, so choose wisely from Zesty Curry, Garlic Parmesan, Cilantro-Lime, and others.

3. Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill (6714 Rockside Rd., Independence)

If your order needs a kick of flavor, explore the Middle Eastern Feast and enjoy juicy Steak, seasoned Chicken Shawarma, Falafel, Hummus and pitas. All topped with purple cabbage, onions, pickles, tahini, s’khug, garlic, and harissa.

Best Breakfast Catering

1. Cinnaholic (30323 Detroit Rd., Westlake)

The infinite combinations of icings and toppings (chocolate frosting and graham crackers is popular or go wild with orange frosting and marshmallows) make any order from this caterer into an instant party. One dozen serves six, and the Old Skool Cinnamon Rolls can be ordered even just for one.

2. Talerico Catering (5670 Wallings Rd., North Royalton)

Known for their flavorful, cooked just right, hot eggs, this caterer features them in the Deluxe Breakfast along with enough applewood smoked bacon, French toast with apple syrup, home fries, a fruit bowl, and orange juice to feed eight. Change out the usual box of coffee for the Café con Leche to make this breakfast order extra special.

3. Barrister’s Deli Restaurant (1424 Hamilton Ave., Cleveland)

On-time delivery for breakfast meetings is a call-out for this caterer. The Pancake Breakfast comes with ham, sausage, or bacon and Breakfast Wraps with eggs, cheese, and breakfast meat include crispy home fries.

The Best of ezCater Awards recognize top performing ezCater catering partners in 25 cities across the US. Selection criteria include catering performance over the past 12 months, customer reviews and ratings, and adherence to ezCater editorial guidelines. All winners must have a location in the 25 designated metro areas.

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