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With my list I will empower you to find the info you need along with a list of special places I love. Plus my list will show how to make a day and night of visiting in the area. As far as dining, I chose restaurants that are not chains that I think are affordable and will give you something different and mostly not break the bank. I lean towards ethnic eats that have lots of veggie and fish options on the menu.
This is the fastest way to start to see the Cleveland Area. It will highlight all the major spots that my go list and other go lists highlight. It is packed with historical info and quickly gives a new visitor a feel and direction of the places they can go back to later.
The Award winning Art Museum, Natural History Museum, Western Reserve Museum, the Orchestra, and The Botanical Gardens are amongst other attractions in University Circle. A nice day would be to hit the museums, walk to Arabica for a snack, go out the back door of Arabica and check the music schedule at the Barking Spider to see if it interests you, then walk or drive to the Little Italy galleries, grab some cake at Corbos or cappuccino a Prestis, an Italian dinner, or move on to any of the downtown night venues listed later.
If you are a romantic, on sunny summer days go to the art museum and head straight through the front doors to watch wedding parties posing for their pictures. The rest of the museum is great as well but many people, especially female international guests, find this interesting and charming.
After you leave one of the Museums and want to snack or just relax, you can walk or drive to this coffeehouse in an old Tudor-style house. During the Summer, the patio is a wonderful place to read or chat with a friend in the sun.
If you like any type of live music and love to find a hole in the wall than step outside the back of the Arabica and you will find a converted Firehouse that schedules live local acts every day of the week. In the summer there are picnic tables outside and in the winter there is a cozy fireplace.
There are 30 small galleries showcasing a variety of priced items in Little Italy and it is fun to walk around, stop at Prestis for coffee, grab snack a piece of pizza or a slice of Cassata Cake at Corbos. There are summer art walks and a Feast of the Assumption city festival in August if you are ok with crowds.
Boasting a House of Blues, a Pickwick and Frolic Comedy Cabaret Complex, and now the upscale Corner Alley bowling alley. You can find plenty of entertainment on a very small street. This East 4th area is between Prospect and Euclid Avenues in Downtown Cleveland.
The Flats are an industrial area with converted warehouses at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. There is an east bank that is for a younger set, 20-30, but that is constantly in flux and will be re-developed shortly. The west bank has maintained its feel over the years. There is a converted Powerhouse where you will find the Improv and Howl at the Moon among other attractions. North of the Powerhouse along a boardwalk is a Jillians, a modern pool hall, and at the very end is Shooters, a nice restaurant closest to the mouth of the river that hosts live music on its decks in the summer. The real attraction though is what is going on outside of these establishments. Seeing a gigantic ore boat maneuver through the Cuyahoga and hearing the boat call to the massive weight bridge that rises and falls for boat and train traffic is incredible. In addition there is a very uncommon swing bridge that is used for boats and passenger vehicles. This steel town still moves to the beat of its industrial ventures and a visitor can sit with a drink on the deck and watch it happen.
During the summer, in good weather only (donât venture out on Lake Erie during a storm), there is a passenger boat that has a fun 9pm cruise. It is a nice way to start the night for those new to Cleveland age 30+. It is common to see reunions being held and people ready to dance and party. The upper deck on a beautiful night really captures Cleveland's beauty. If there are fireworks at Jacobs field or other locale, your night can turn from nice into spectacular.
To party late into the evening, grab some cheap and potent drinks and a late hours kitchens then head to Bo Loong. The dÃ©cor will make you think twice but it only underscores how long this restaurant has been a Cleveland favorite in a uncommon area of town. There is also Dim Sum daily if that is your thing. The most different thing they have is late night Karaoke starting at midnight. This can definitely add something different to your Cleveland experience.
Do you like to hike or like parks? As a previous Go List mentioned a trip to Cleveland is not complete without seeing our metroparks that rival the national park systems. To get to my favorite trail, locate the North Chagrin Trail Map on clemetparks online, park at Strawberry Lane and take the Hemlock Trail to Buttermilk Falls and then go to the Marsh Trail and Nature Center. You can double back or take the shorter route of the improved all purpose trail back to the car. It is lengthy but worth every single minute.
When you are done with your hike at North Chagrin you can drive straight down White Road to a local home made ice cream place. There is some great ice cream in Cleveland and this quaint place is especially good after a visit to North Chagrin.
If ice cream after your hike is not what you had in mind, then drive south on Route 91 to Fisherâs Tavern to dine and drink on the deck after your long hike.
Wine Country, particularly the Ashtabula wine trail, is really outside of Cleveland but there are some summer festivals that make this worthwhile. It is about an hour east of Cleveland and this once insular area is reaching out to Clevelanders for warm sunny day fun. Note: this is not for the best wine connoisseurs. I went with a Frenchman and they do not serve their red wine at the appropriate temperatures. So if you are really into wine you might be upset. Once again, this is Ohio, so expect young wines, nice facilities, and sunny patio afternoons of live music.
The originator of this site is committed to showing the best of Cleveland business, sight-seeing, and culture. You will see the most robust insider information about the area through this site including monthly Thursday night city parties that highlight a certain area of town. The modest party fee includes alcohol, food, entertainment, and a snapshot of the area the party focuses on. This is commonly for the 30+ age bracket.
Groups from all over Cleveland submit their events to the entertainment calendar on this site and it is organized so well you can target by type of event and day. This is a great source for large scale family events going on around town.
For live music arranged by type go to a local Arabica Coffee House and pickup 2 local free entertainment magazines called The Free Times or Scene. They are located other places but Arabica is reliable.
The Coventry Area has always been an alternative area of Cleveland. Today there are regular restaurants mixed with small shops. Tommyâs is a must for food with locals enjoying the Vegan, Macrobiotic, and Cheese lover delights in this alternative style deli. Iif you like the alternative music scene there is the Grog Shop, and during the summers there is a Farmerâs Market on Thursday evenings between 6pm and 9pm, from June through August. Once a month June through August, the street also closes for a street festival, with live music, craft vendors, and a nice evening with all stores and restaurants open.
Do you like Jazz? You would like Nighttown that is located in a brownstone type of building. They feature live jazz acts all the time and a good menu, nice environment.
The newest east-side upscale shopping area of the Greater Cleveland Area is waiting for you. All of the restaurants are chains but they are good ones. Make sure to make a reservation at the Melting Pot ahead of time if fondue is on your dining list.
If you need to stay downtown, or want to, staying in the old arcade is a wonderful way to see one of the most beautiful buildings in Cleveland. You do not have to stay there to walk in and take a picture that many winter and rainy day brides choose for its depth and personality. You will not get a bad picture at the top of the staircase in the Old Arcade.
Rachel Ray visited here when she came. It has been in Cleveland Heights for over 30 years. If you need macrobiotic food through awesome grilled paninis you will love this afforable and sunny eatery ( no alcohol.)
This restaurant has a Greek Basis but it goes well beyond. For entrees there are 3 fish options and many beef and chicken and then you couple it with one of 8 vegetable sides that are designated by nationality. What is incredible is that these sides are incorporated into the way the protein is cooked resulting in limitless opportunities. It has a high end presentation with incredibly affordable pricing. Plus the a glass of wine will not blow your budget either from $3-$6 per glass. I cannot say enough about the quaint upscale environment coupled with affordable upscale food. This is a find.
High end food, moderate prices for the food but higher than I normally prefer, and hidden in a lower-income old italian neighborhood more known for pubs than this type of a restaurant. I take guests that I know have some money but really like to feel like they have "found" a jewel hidden away. It is good but if you like a high end atmosphere you will be disappointed.
They do cater as the link suggests but the restaurant is lovely, well-priced, and well-appointed with variety. This is an updated family restaurant that has a salad buffet and affordable bottles of wine. If you want the food you expect from Italian Chains with a feel like family you will like this and it will not break your pocket book.
Located in a new trendy artsy yet older neighborhood, you will find the best and most affordable array of South American cuisine. It has mexican but it leans towards wider themes. I was worried I would never have the Ceviche I loved so much until I found this place. I cannot say enough about it. Couple it with an artwalk in the area and you will have a night out. Drink prices are not as cheap but they are not light pourers. It has a South American colorful feel. Tremont is going through a renassaince and most of its restaurants are really good and really expensive for the way the neighborhood looks ( this is the neighborhood featured in the "Christmas Story." ) Tortilla Feliz is an exception on price with great food. Hit the other restaurants at lunch. The pubs are affordable, like the Treehouse.
Nice Mexican Family owned and operated chain with unique and affordable food. There $8 Black and Gold margarita might be pricey but it will only take one. If you ask , they should also make a Guacamole Picada which is a chunky Guac that is like avacado civeche. It literally bursts in your mouth. Really all you need is that and the margarita but the rest of the menu is nice and affordable. You will see the owners in each restaurant. It is more unique than the standard mexican feel.
Affordable Lebanese/Mediterannean that has the veggie soup called V-9, I order it with feta and chedder cheese, good but standard hummus, nice wraps, and easy shareable ordering. There is beer and wine there but it has a lunch time feel that does not promote drinking.
Normal good Japanese except for the Volcano Roll and the creamy ginger dressing versus the normal vinegar base keeps us coming back. The bathrooms really suck but the rest of the atmosphere is great with traditional as well as western seating and Habachi on one side of the restaurant. I really wish the owner would address those bathrooms!
I have been to many Mitchell's restaurants in Columbus, where they are based. I wish this was a public company because I would invest in a second. This group knows how to run a restaurant on every single level. I do not consider the prices as a total blow out considering the quality of the atmosphere, food, and service. If you want a nice seafood or fish meal I highly recommend it. If you are in Columbus there are many more restaurants and all of them are top notch.
This is Clevelanders favorite Jewish Deli. I like the huge bowl of mish-mash soup. They treat you like you are in a Jewish Deli too. So do not expect exceptional service at this affordable place. They have alcohol here too but I would not drink in this lunch atmosphere. They lost the only person that knows how to cook Gefilte Fish so pass on that unless teh server says otherwise.
East Side updated Italian Family resturant. She wont nickle and dime you and the wine is moderately priced. Nice atmosphere, owner on premisis all the time.
If you are downtown and want a different lunch spot this has the best soup and grilled paninis anywhere. It is just lunch in a Live Work Artist converted Warehouse. I dream about their soup at night