James Beard Award winner Michael Symon features signature flavors of his hometown in the offerings at this downtown Cleveland, Ohio, favorite. 

Barbecue dish with sauces and beer at Mabel's BBQ in Cleveland, Ohio (photo by Dustin Johnson)

Local ingredients and the mind of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Symon merge at Mabel’s BBQ on East Fourth Street. Symon opened the restaurant in 2016 to create an original Cleveland style of barbecue that highlights the Eastern European flavors found throughout the city.

The casual restaurant serves up piles of beef brisket and pork spareribs as well as the fan-favorite Polish Girl. Symon’s take on the classic Polish Boy sandwich features kielbasa, pulled pork, coleslaw and his own Cleveland barbecue sauce made with Bertman Original Ball Park Mustard.

Each table’s order arrives on a metal tray, and the presentation complements the restaurant’s industrial-style interior and makes for easy sharing. There is outdoor seating, but head inside to check out the enormous glowing “Eat More Meat” sign and the bar modeled in the deep green of a Coleman cooler. 2050 E. Fourth St., Cleveland, Ohio 44115, 216/417-8823, mabelsbbq.com