Cleveland in daylight
June 4, 2013 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Spending a few days in Cleveland for a wedding later this month, and will have mornings/afternoons to kill and breakfasts and lunches to eat. Any suggestions?

We're staying at the Cleveland Hostel and are looking for recommendations for restaurants and suggestions for how/where to spend our mornings and afternoons.

Related: Is the Ohio City neighborhood pedestrian friendly? Or are there others that are? We'll have a car, but it would be nice to explore some places on foot if the weather cooperates.

We like museums, walkable neighborhoods, architecture, parks, etc.

We have already been to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame so probably won't repeat that. We are going to an Indians game one evening as well.
posted by elizeh to Travel & Transportation around Cleveland, OH (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, that area is quite pedestrian-friendly. You'll be staying practically on top of the West Side Market, which is open Mon, Wed, Fri & Sat, is architecturally interesting and recently underwent a thorough interior cleaning after a small fire coated everything with soot; it's prettier than it has been in decades. There are many excellent restaurants in the immediate area, too.

Cleveland's great museums are all over in the University Circle area, on the other side of town. They won't be within walking distance, but it would be worth a cab or bus ride to get over there. The Cleveland Museum of Art is world-class.
posted by jon1270 at 9:27 AM on June 4, 2013

Ohio City is great, and very walkable. I especially like Great Lakes Brewing Company, if you're the sort of person who might light a glass of local beer with your lunch. :) (Their food is also awesome, whether you're a beer-lover or not).

As jon1270 mentions, the museums are a ways away from there, but they're near to each other, so once you get over there it's actually a nice area to wander around with lots of green space. I'm especially partial to the Natural History museum, and the art museum is fantastic as well. The botanical garden is also in this area, and it's lovely.

Another spot that you would need to drive to, but then could spend some time there, is Cleveland Heights. I really love the area around Cedar Lee theater - it's a great independent movie theater that has movies you won't necessarily see elsewhere, and the restaurants in the few blocks around there are fantastic (especially Lopez for southwestern/Mexican food and Mekong River for Thai/Cambodian).
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:43 AM on June 4, 2013

Yeah, use the car to get to University Circle/Cleveland Heights and then go walking from there. You can walk from the museums to Little Italy for lunch (or breakfast at one of the cafes), lots of options there. That's also right next to Lakeview cemetery, which is also a nice place to wander around. The Garfield Monument has a nice view of the city. Just down from the cemetery, Coventry Rd. between Mayfield and Euclid Heights Blvd. also has a bunch of restaurants (Tommy's!), interesting stores (Mac's Backs used books, "Big Fun", etc).
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:17 AM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you like to eat, you're going to be in a great area with some really good restaurants. You're also just a few blocks from one of the greatest bars in all the United States: The Velvet Tango Room.

Restaurantwise you can perambulate up W.25th and find about a dozen fantastic places to eat. Great Lakes is nice for a beer or two, with a great patio, but the food is subpar. Across the street is Beer Market, Market Garden, Flying Fig, SOHO kitchen, Crop Bistro, ABC Tavern to name a few. If you want some Michael Symon flair, you're close to Lolita in Tremont or Lola on East 4th, across the bridge. Southside, Parallax, Flying Monkey and Treehouse are other great bars and retaurants close to you in Tremont.

If you make your way up east (you're best off renting a car, by the way) into The Heights, Nighttown on Cedar Hill is one of the best jazz clubs in the country with decent food. Make your way to University Circle where the Art Museum is and I'd suggest L'Albatross. While many will tell you to check out Little Italy up the road, most of the restaurants there are mediocre at best; But there's usually great people watching, some nice bars, a few great restaurants (Michaelangelo's is a very underrated spot), and nice walking. Further up into the Heights in the Cedar-Lee area there are some bars and a few great restaurants, Marottas being the standout, and The Colony or Tavern Company for more local-bar food feel.

If you're going to be at an Indian's game, it may be worth walking down to East 4th street as there are some nice restaurants over there, from Greenhouse Tavern and Lola to Hodges, just up the street on Euclid.
posted by tgrundke at 10:36 AM on June 4, 2013

We enjoyed the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
posted by theora55 at 12:23 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you don't want to take a car you could take the red line RTA from 25th Street close to the West Side Market and then take it to University Circle. The museums etc are about a 15 minute walk from there right through Case Western.

In University Circle - I would definitely check out the new Museum of Contemporary Art in addition to the Art Museum and other places suggested by tgrundke. You could also look into a Cleveland Orchestra performance, the Cleveland Institute of Music is one of the best in the country as well and they've got some events. There's also a nice Botanical Garden there.

If you're into live music: (you'll need a cab/car)
- Beachland Ballroom
- Grog Shop
- House of Blues
posted by noonday at 1:17 PM on June 4, 2013

Some stuff I believe others haven't mentioned:

Food "Architecture"
In order of distance from Ohio City. Other Warning
There will be traffic  disruptions due to second unit filming of Captain America. But you should be taking the Lorain-Carnegie bridge with its Guardians of Traffic anyway.

posted by Herodios at 1:51 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Previously--and, specifically, my comment in that thread.

Individual Cleveland neighborhoods are pretty walkable. You'll want a car to get from place to place, probably, but once you've reached a general area (Little Italy, Coventry, University Circle, etc) you can almost certainly park and wander around on foot.

There are a ton of good restaurants near where you're staying--are there specific food things you're interested in? If you just want general recs, basically everything at the West Side Market is amazing (I started to rec specific places, and then realised I had more than half a dozen things listed, just from the market). I personally feel that you're usually better getting food from the vendors than from the Market Cafe, which is sometimes only so-so, but breakfast seems to be the Cafe's strongest meal.

Johnny Mango is maybe a ten minute walk, and they have delicious, casual food. I've never been to their brunch, but also have never eaten something from there that I wouldn't happily eat again. They're also super fantastic about food allergies. If you happen to have an evening free, you're right by The Velvet Tango Room.

I was going to keep going, and then realised that it's sort of silly. In that neighborhood, you almost have to work to find somewhere that's not delicious. (For what it is. You're not going to find gold-plated hotdogs, but Johnny Hot Dog [unrelated to Johnny Mango] is still pretty great, you know?) I'd avoid obvious franchises--Great Lakes Brewing has good food, but there are definitely better places to eat in the area--but other than that, it's hard to go wrong. The Fig, the Market Garden Brewery, Johnny's (both of 'em), Crop, Phnom Penh... Just walk out the door and go until you find somewhere that looks interesting, and odds are it'll be good. You'll have to work harder for brunch, though I had a great brunch at Heck's Cafe the one time I was there.
posted by MeghanC at 1:57 PM on June 4, 2013

if you go to Cleveland heights, do eat at tommys and do get a milkshake.
posted by jpe at 8:24 PM on June 4, 2013

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