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Lopez Southwest Kitchen

4.2
663 reviews
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$30 and under
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Mexican / Southwestern
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

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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Cuisines
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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Neighborhood
Additional
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
4.2based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.0
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2016

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

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined 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

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4.0Dined 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.

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3.0Dined on August 13, 2016

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

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on August 1, 2016

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

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2016

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

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5.0Dined 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.

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4.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on July 24, 2016

Amazing food !!! HIGHLY recommend.

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5.0Dined 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!

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4.0Dined on July 15, 2016

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

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5.0Dined 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.

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2016

Excellent food, we had wild mushroom burrito, excellent, our server Danielle gave us excellent attention, had a great time!

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3.0Dined on July 5, 2016

My previous visit to Lopez (about nine months ago) left me eager to return. My friends and I were disappointed with our meals on our recent visit. A chicken dish was dry, and a shrimp dish lacked flavor. Though our server kindly arranged for a dish no longer on the menu, it was nowhere near as delicious as it was on my first visit.
Our server was pleasant and efficient, and the atmosphere was relaxing.

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4.0Dined on June 24, 2016

This was the perfect place to enjoy mui delicioso Mexican fare before an outdoor concert at another Cleveland Heights jewel, Cain Park. The spicy shrimp tacos and the jalepaeno grits are the perfect combo, along with a cold Pacifico.

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5.0Dined on June 21, 2016

Food great. Drinks great. Service great. Patio great.

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2016

Always excellent! Hugh is the best! Most cozy patio around!

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5.0Dined on June 11, 2016

I went to meet a friend that I hadn't seen in a few years and we both loved it. The food selection was great; just what we were looking for!

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4.0Dined on May 28, 2016

Server felt the need not to write down our order and forgot to enter our appetizer order. Our entrees came but did not get appetizer

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4.0Dined on May 28, 2016

Lopez is always yummy and fun. Love the casual atmosphere and good food. The drinks are great and servers do a nice job.

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2016

Always love Lopez!
Hugh runs a great restaurant!!!

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2016

This was my second time visiting Lopez with my friend, and she specifically requested Lopez for dinner when she came into town. The food was very and service was excellent and the owner even came to our table to ask about how our evening was going. I can appreciate the extra care taken to make sure that the dining experience was to our expectations. And it was. I would recommend Lopez highly and I did.

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5.0Dined on May 26, 2016

The food was amazing.

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3.0Dined on May 21, 2016

I've been to Lopez 6-7 times and have never had a "bad" meal, but I finally figure it out what it was missing. I am never Mexican satisfied when I leave! The food quality is good but it is bland and it's like going to PF Chang and thinking you are eating Chinese food.

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5.0Dined on May 20, 2016

Lopez has been around for a long time and every time I go I am impressed with the service, the quality and originality of the food and the overall experience. Always meets my expectations. This time I went with friends prior to a play at Dobama and the service was efficient but not rushed and the food was impressive.

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5.0Dined on May 18, 2016

Awesome menu. Great selection of tacos and unique margarita flavors. Service has been excellent both times we've taken our office for a team dinner and everyone has had a great time. It's just a little pricier than I would expect in the Cleveland suburbs, and the tuna taco was very bland (maybe out of season?) We'll still be back!

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5.0Dined on May 15, 2016

Lopez Southwest Kitchen was a really nice dining experience. I went with my family to celebrate my confirmation. The reason I wanted to go there was because I love Mexican food. I was not disappointed by the food at all. First, I ordered the traditional guacamole which was good. The salsa that is complimentary is THE BEST SALSA I HAVE EVER HAD. It is fresh and addicting. Next time I go I will probably not get the guacamole because it is expensive and not all that impressive. The prices were reasonable, but a little high. The lobster enchiladas are $24 which was one of the most expensive meals. I would hope to eat at Lopez Southwest Kitchen again.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2016

Loved the casual, up-beat atmosphere upon arrival. The twinkle lights in the trees make the restaurant so inviting! The service was impeccable and the food of very high quality. The jalapeno smoked gouda grits were excellent! Can't wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on May 11, 2016

Wonderful outdoor patio, delicious food and friendly, attentive service. And then there's the margaritas... One of our favorite spots!

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4.0Dined on April 29, 2016

We visited Lopez on a Friday night in a group of 3 people. Our food was delicious. I chose a vegetarian quesadilla, which had a lot of flavor. The pinapple mojitos were also very good. The service was very good and we had a great time. The noise level was moderate -- not so loud that you had to shout in order to have a group conversation. I'm looking forward to coming here again soon.

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4.0Dined on April 16, 2016

The food was really, really good, even by Lopez' standard. The food took a bit longer than one might expect; it was busy but not unusually so for a Saturday night. Server was a pro and very nice, and the portions were large - all three of us took extras home. The only disappointment was - surprisingly - the margarita. I didn't ask specifically for fresh lime juice and the color and kinda-sickly-sweet of the fake lime flavor was a downer.

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4.0Dined on April 9, 2016

Lopez, Cleveland Hts. Is a very welcoming busy dining spot. The serviccwas very good and informative. We were not rushed on a Saturday night. Drinks were good, food too. Pricin seems just a tad high, but many menu items are very creative.

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3.0Dined on March 12, 2016

Fajita steak was overdone. Brisket on taco was dry. Carnitas burrito was our only good entree. Lopez is not as consistently good as it used to be, unfortunately.

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4.0Dined on March 5, 2016

Had dinner with friends here on Saturday night. Had very good Guac to start, with some nice pickled vegetables on the side. Then I had the Escolar fish special, which was outstanding. Very flavorful. My wife had the Hippie Taco, which also was very good, and that came with a side of cheese grits, which were to die for.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2016

This was my second time at Lopez and I enjoyed it just as much. The drinks and tacos are amazing. While our waitress was a little slow this time (esp since it wasnt as crowded) a man who I think was the manager made up for it with great, attentive service. Excited to go back when its warm for the patio.

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5.0Dined on February 20, 2016

It had been approximately 8 years since our last visit and I find myself asking why we waited so long. Everything about or meal was excellent, the service, the food and the drinks. We won't wait so long to come back!

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5.0Dined on February 13, 2016

My wife and I noticed a marked change in the food. Her fluke and octopus cerviche was excellent. I ordered three tacos and it was too much. The spicy shrimp taco and the brisket taco were a full and tasty meal. I really did not have room for the pork belly taco but it was good.

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