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Solo dining - downtown - good food

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Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 69
reviews: 90
Solo dining - downtown - good food

Going to be in town in a couple weeks for a conference, and I'm the only one from my company going. In theory I could meet people at the conference to go out with for meals, but realistically that's not too likely to happen (not outgoing enough). But... I don't want to end up grabbing crummy takeout and scarfing it down in my hotel room either.

So, any suggestions for restaurants downtown/gateway district that are solo-dining friendly? As in, have a bar you can eat at without getting funny looks and still have good food? Or have a casual enough vibe you can sit and read a paper/book while you eat, like coffeehouses and cafes have? As one example, I really want to try Greenhouse Tavern, but it's hard to tell online if that'd be a reasonable place to go solo. I'm pretty open to cuisines, and price levels, and would welcome suggestions for any meal of the day. If you were on your own in this area, where would you go?

Edited: 3:55 pm, July 14, 2014
10 replies to this topic
Cleveland
Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 7,468
reviews: 23
1. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

I would consider the Blue Point Grille, especially on a week day, at the bar or at a table in the bar area.

Check out Taza, if you like Lebanese food.

The Greenhouse Tavern might be slow on a weekday and therefore OK. It strikes me as somewhat intimate.

The bar area of Chinato is another possibility. Perhaps you could get a booth in the bar area there if it's not crowded.

It would be a good idea to make reservations at all of the above.

If you're willing to use the rapid rail lines, consider taking the Red Line to the West 25th St. station, then walking a block west to Crop. Or take the Blue or Green Lines to Shaker Square. Then try either Fire or the Balaton.

Or, if in Cleveland on a Wednesday, take the Healthline bus rapid to University Circle. Go to the art museum (open to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday) and dine at Provenance, a chef Doug Katz restaurant as is Fire on Shaker Square. The Provenance has high bar tables great for solo or couple dining, and you might not need a reservation. The art museum has no admission charge so is great for an evening visit (see discussion in travel article below).

If there's a large convention in town, Crop, Shaker Square restaurants, and Provenance may be less crowded.

RTA day passes are $5.

Little Italy (Presti's, a cafe, would be good for personal dining, but Mia Bella, which has a small bar, or Trattoria would be possibillities).

See the "Dining" section of the following travel article, and perhaps the "Public Transportation" discussion.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g50207-c198218/Clevel…

Cleveland, OH
Destination Expert
for Cleveland
posts: 246
reviews: 9
2. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Cleveland is a great food town, so don't sit in your room while you're here. I'm also very introverted and travel solo for business, but I try to get out and try something local wherever I am.

I love Greenhouse Tavern and there is a bar at which you could eat solo without a second look. Around the corner on Euclid (around E. 2nd) is Jonathan Sawyer's informal place, a Japanese-style noodle house called Noodle Cat. That would be another good option. Michael Symon's flagship restaurant, Lola's, also on E. 4th has a bar area at which you could dine. Another option if you choose to go to the Market District would be Bier Markt. They have a great selection of beer and delicious food with a nice bar. Have fun and let us know where you end up.

cleveland
posts: 762
reviews: 34
3. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Fun to read what others have said.

I would vote for both Greenhouse and NoodleCat downtown (Noodlecat also has good to, go in West Side Market on W. 25th). I'd also highly recommend Pure Vida a few doors down from Noodlecat downtown. If I was solo, I'd either eat at the bar or at one of the two-tops against the wall in Pure Vida. Remarkable food (whether meat or vegan) and clean, modern, bright, comfortable interior.

I'd also suggest going to W. 25th and grab excellent beer and food at West Side Market, Market Garden, Nate's, Bar Cento or Great Lakes. I'd feel comfortable sitting solo at bar and eating at any location there. Food the best, in my view, at Market Garden on W. 25th, beer the best at Great Lakes (a pioneer, truly, in craft brew since 1980s...Eddie Fitz is always in our refrigerator).

If you get bored, I'd venture a bit west and hit Lakewood -- best view of Lake Erie and downtown from Pier W. bar. Best food and drink at either Humble or its sister neighborhood pub/bistro, Deagan's. And for remarkably awesome guac. and diff. salsa, El Carcinero .

But I'd start at Pure Vida downtown and work my way out from there.

I'd eat solo or with others at any of places I mentioned...and I've traveled frequently for biz by myself....

Have fun! Indulge. Cleveland does have a broad and deep dining scene. People here are also genuine and like to help...so reach out...and others, I'm almost certain, will guide you to some of the best places.

ohio
posts: 233
reviews: 3
4. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Definitely the bar at Chinato on E. 4th. And if you can make it there during happy hour, all the better.

http://chinatocleveland.com

Cleveland, OH
Destination Expert
for Cleveland
posts: 246
reviews: 9
5. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

I forgot about Pura Vida (note the correct name), right next to NoodleCat on Euclid Ave. I haven't been there myself, but have heard good things. http://www.puravidabybrandt.com/

Cleveland
Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 7,468
reviews: 23
6. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

The Flaming Ice Cube is a very casual restaurant on Public Square and great for solo dining. It's the top-rated vegan restaurant in Cleveland by TA reviewers and very good. I don't know how late it's open on evenings, and, it might stay open later if a large convention is in town.

ohio
posts: 100
reviews: 3
7. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Someone else mentioned Blue Pointe Grill. Fabulous place. They have a wonderful happy hour in their VERY nice bar area. A cozy space with very comfortable atmosphere. It's definitely a place to linger a while. Have been there many times and always find lively conversation and very friendly people at the bar. You definitely won't be "alone" when you 're there. Their happy hour menu has great offerings with good prices as well as some happy hour cocktails. If you decide to have dinner in the dining room you won't be disappointed. The food is delicious and as close to perfection as you can get.

Like other posters said, Cleveland is a super friendly city and all you need to do is ask anyone anything and they will be happy to oblige. Enjoy our city!

Des Moines, Iowa
posts: 69
reviews: 90
8. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Trip report! I dined very well in Cleveland. Day one was Lola and NoodleCat. Lola was good, but not as great as I was hoping, maybe just due to over-inflated Iron Chef expectations. Tasty, but not spectacular. NoodleCat had the most fun atmosphere, but $20 felt high for a simple bowl of noodles and a cup of tea. Good thing I wasn't the one paying, right?

Day two was better. Blue Point for lunch, a perfectly beer battered walleye sandwich and a Dortmunder Gold lunch beer to celebrate my successful presentation. I was glad I was still wearing my suit - very formal feeling place. For dinner I went across the street from my hotel to Hodge's, which was incredible. I had bacon-sriracha deviled eggs, melt-in-your-mouth tender braised beef with wine reduction demi glace, and a watermelon mojito to top it all off. Not an exaggeration to call it one of the best meals I've ever had.

So, kudos, Cleveland, for being a great food town, and thanks TripAdvisors for not steering me wrong. I pushed the limits of my expense account, but I had a very good time. :)

Cleveland
Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 7,468
reviews: 23
9. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Cyclone, thanks for reporting back. It will be useful when advising future visitors. Glad that your presentation went well and that you ate well on your North Coast trip!

ohio
posts: 100
reviews: 3
10. Re: Solo dining - downtown - good food

Thanks SO much for your great feedback. We like hearing comments after we make recommendations. Not everyone gives us such a detailed report! I think I can speak for all of us posters and thank you again for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the food in Cleveland. It helps when making future recommendations. I'm now dreaming about what you ate at Hodges AND the watermelon mojito. Sounds absolutely delicious.

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