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Lopez Southwest Kitchen

663 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican / Southwestern
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

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Opened back in 1979, Lopez Southwest Kitchen in Cleveland Heights, OH is easily a local institution. Dedicated to serving cutting edge Mexican fare, it has also earned a name for its stunningly hot sauce known as Gorilla Juice.

The menu at Lopez Southwest Kitchen is extensive and blends the foods of a Southwest kitchen with treats found in a classic "tequila saloon". Patrons will be able to choose from an extensive wine and drinks list, including house cocktails. Food courses include classics like guacamole or fajitas, but also more unique choices like a white bean suave as a starter and wild mushroom tacos or the angry hippie BMF burrito for dinner. Whether you are a vegetarian or meat eater, there is something for everyone at Lopez Southwest Kitchen.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Mexican / Southwestern
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 5:30pm - , Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - , Sunday 4:30pm -

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Phone number
(216) 932-9000
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Michael Herschman
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Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 663 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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Marie (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on September 22, 2016

The food is very flavorful. Haven't had a meal I didn't like. The margaritas are delicious. The wait staff is knowledgeable and attentive.

OpenTable Diner (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on September 2, 2016

This was our 2nd trip to Lopez. Food was great both times. Waiter recommendations were excellent!

tammymarty (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on August 28, 2016

Haven't been there in years and years but noticed the menu changed as has our eating habits.
There were lots of choices for vegitariane and for fish. Plenty of options to shares with a small
fee. We ate on the outside patio and it was lovely. A charming neighborhood jewel.

Jmyluck (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on August 27, 2016

Once again a great dinner at Lopez. Years ago at Lopez y Gonzalez there was a nacho dish that was jalapeno jelly and shrimp. It was our favorite, still remember it some 20 years later. If you could bring it back some time that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Again

OpenTable Diner (Cleveland)
4.0  Dined on August 19, 2016

Our BMF burrito was amazing. However, the traditional guac, at $9.00, was extremely overpriced and definitely not worth it. The guac was maybe the worst I have ever had in a restaurant, and definitely the most expensive. Disappointing.

vippjean (Cleveland)
3.0  Dined on August 13, 2016

Food not very memorable. Service was tepid. Don't plan to return.

Writerjeff (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on August 5, 2016

When the first thing you see on the menu is the list of the staff... not just executive chef, but down to the names of the servers and service assistants and the parking valet... you know this restaurant is committed to customer service. And everyone came through. The guacamole trio appetizer is excellent, with traditional, bacon & blue cheese, and Lobster accompanied with escabeche. We shared four tacos - spicy grilled shrimp, seared tuna, catfish and smoked trout. All had incredible accompaniments like habanero salsa and gaucho crema. We also shared a dish of smoked gouda jalapeno grits. Yummy! Oh... and the nuevo flan was amazing as a finisher. We sat on the patio on a beautiful summer evening sipping pomegranate margaritas and wine. Perfect. This is not your grandfather's Mexican restaurant. I'm a grandfather, and I should know. This is a great one.

Ray1 (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on August 1, 2016

It was the perfect place to take a friend who was visiting

AiyanaH (New York Area)
5.0  Dined on July 30, 2016

The food was outstanding!! was authentic & fresh Mexican food. We will definitely be back.

shmooppee (Columbus)
5.0  Dined on July 29, 2016

We were thrilled to find a nice place within walking distance of Cain Park. We laughed at some of the other reviews that compared the food to Mexican. Having traveled often to the Southwest, we knew the difference and enjoyed the creativity Lopez added to the traditional fare. We sat at the bar and had great service along with tasty Margaritas. We had grilled veggies , a smoked trout taco and a brisket taco, all of which were presented well and had outstanding flavor. I sure hope this helps bring along the Cleveland Heights neighborhood.

OpenTable Diner (Richmond)
4.0  Dined on July 24, 2016

Our food was delicious! The only thing that I would recommend to the owners is that they be more informative on their menu as to the "heat" of their dishes. My mother enquired about the suave, and was told that it was like hummus, only made from white beans instead of chickpeas. Sounded harmless enough, but turned out to be extremely spicy, so much so that my mom could not eat any more than that first bite (and she doesn't have that tender of a palate that she can't take a little heat...). The wait staff and kitchen staff very kindly made her another plate, which was delicious. The lesson on both sides is that it would be helpful if the ownership made the heat levels available on the menu, and to the customer, you should probably ask about the heat level of the dishes prior to ordering, if heat matters to you.

vipOpenTable Diner (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on July 24, 2016

Amazing food !!! HIGHLY recommend.

OpenTable Diner (Toledo)
5.0  Dined on July 16, 2016

A friend told me that I absolutely had to try Lopez, that I would not be disappointed...and she was absolutely correct! The atmosphere was very beautiful, the service was amazing, and the food was absolutely phenomenal! If you're looking for something different, this twist on Mexican cuisine is for you. We had the calamari, shrimp and grits, rice and beans, lobster enchiladas, and shrimp fajitas, all of which were delicious! The only thing that I had that I was not a fan of was the corn pudding, but hey you can't win them all!

JohnathanW (Cleveland)
4.0  Dined on July 15, 2016

Great side porch, small place, but one of our favorites in Clev Hts!

KatieF (Cleveland)
5.0  Dined on July 15, 2016

Got seated right away on the patio as requested. Our server welcomed us immediately and we were taken care of all evening. The food and drinks were great. Beautiful setting, great service and great food.