Johnny’s Little Bar – Cleveland, OH (Downtown): Little Bar Burger (12.18.17)

Our Review of Johnny’s Little Bar’s “Little Bar Burger”

Johnny’s Little Bar sits in Downtown Cleveland’s Warehouse district, right around the corner from it’s fancy, steakhouse big brother. Unlike Johnny’s Cleveland, the Little Bar is a dive bar that gloriously embraces its (longstanding) identity without becoming cloying about it. When I went, I was instantly friends with everyone at the bar and spent several fun hours discussing everything from Browns football to the Karate Kid.

Johnny’s Little Bar also happens to serve an absolutely amazing burger in addition to several other great items. It is – as the name suggests – a bar burger, and nothing overly complex, but it’s a tremendous meal. We paired the burger with both their bar fries and house fried chips, and then later even added on their grilled cheese with bacon and tomato. In other words, we left fat and happy.

Tasting the Burger

The burger is simple and straight forward, but don’t let appearances fool you. The patty is generous and evidently made from the carvings at the steakhouse next door. It was loosely packed with an crispy, chewy char. It’s absolutely one of the best patties I’ve ever had.

The Swiss cheese was smooth and creamy, and the lettuce and tomato were both fresh and crisp. The bun was simple as well, the sort you might buy at the grocery store, and it was perfectly toasted and buttered. It complimented the rest of the burger perfectly.

Befitting Johnny’s Little Bar’s dive bar ethos, they don’t do anything fancy with the burger, but they don’t need to. The Little Bar Burger has five ingredients, they’re all top notch, and they combine to make an absolutely great burger. This is the burger that every grillmaster has tried to make at every 4th of July cookout in history. It’s the Platonic ideal of the backyard BBQ burger. When dad stereotypes get to heaven, this is the burger they can finally cook. It’s good, is what I’m saying.

The Fries

The fries are of similar quality. Natural cut, fried just enough to be crispy, not so much that they aren’t still chewy. They’re on the skinnier side (our only knock against them) and lightly salted. Excellent all around.

Extra Credit:

Johnny’s Little Bar serves all of their sandwiches with their house-made chips, and bless them that they do. These are absolutely killer. Like the fries (but even more so) they’re the perfect mix of crispy and chewy, clearly brought straight from the fryer. They were just a bit smokey and still slightly soggy with the fry oil, and topped with a touch of salt. Could have eaten a pound of these and wanted more.


  • Johnny’s Little Bar’s “Little Bar Burger” is top-notch; simple, quality ingredients combine for a great burger: A.
  • Fries were almost as good as the burger, classic profile done right. A.
  • Overall, Johnny’s Little Bar delivered a great meal with their “Little Bar Burger” and receives an A
  • The burger and an order of chips, and an order of fried, and a grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and tomato (which came with another side of chips), *and* two pints of good beer ran be only $31 total – the burger and chips and fries together were like $11 – that’s a great value for a burger half as good as this one: A+

Johnny's Little Bar - Little Bar Burger

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