There’s nothing that intrigues me more than grand, historic buildings filled with good food and passionate people. Paul may have had the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on his list, but my must-do Cleveland adventure started here at West Side Market in Ohio City.
Ohio City is a neighborhood just west of downtown Cleveland and the Cuyahoga River. It is filled with good restaurants, hopping breweries, and happy locals eager to welcome you to their city. The West Side Market has been a bustling business since 1912, and today houses over 100 vendors. From meats to cheese and homemade pierogi, this is a one-stop shop for a feast. It is no question that if I lived here, I would be here, on a weekly basis, to stock my kitchen with all of the fresh necessities and Cleveland delicacies that my reusable grocery bags could handle.
If you visit, it is essential that you set aside some time for the West Side Market Cafe. This popular restaurant sits at the back of the market. It’s tiny and diner-like, with a breakfast menu filled with items that, if you choose to indulge, will definitely require a nap after. If you only go here for a Bloody Mary, it is truly worth it. The waitresses seem to know everyone who walks through the door, and the conversation and laughter will have you feeling like a local within minutes of sitting down at the bar.
After touring the market, walk the nearby streets and pop into some of the restaurants and breweries. Here are a few places we stopped into that we highly recommend:
Townhall– Go here for a healthy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This place promotes food as medicine and offers up a variety of delicious dishes for both the herbivores and carnivores in your crowd. We loved the vegan chili and 25th Street burrito with tofu.
Market Garden Brewery– You’ll need something cold to quench your thirst after walking the market. This place is right next door with a spacious garden with outdoor seating. You can eat here too, if you have room for another snack. We were tempted, but thought it best to take a much-needed break from our never-ending Cleveland food crawl.
The Flying Fig- We didn’t get to eat here, but we did get to peruse the menu and talk to a local who highly recommends the place. It is definitely on our list for the next time we find ourselves in need of a good dinner spot while visiting the city.
Le Petite Triangle Cafe– An irresistible Parisian cafe in a residential area on a triangular block of the city. So cute, so tiny, and incredibly delicious. The Croque Provencal was the ultimate sandwich with fluffy egg dipped challah, spinach, tomato, comte, dijon, béchamel, with a side of perfect roasted potatoes. Adding an egg on top is optional, but I’m of the opinion that adding an egg takes everything up a notch from just so-so to out of this world good. I’m not sure how something so Paris made its way to Cleveland, but they totally do it right.
We were sad to say goodbye to our Westin suite this morning as we boarded a 6:45 AM flight home. We thank you, Westin Cleveland Downtown, for the free upgrade that provided us such a tremendous view of downtown Cleveland. Is it still okay to say we love living the SPG life even if it is Marriott Bonvoy now?
It is a good sign when your ride home from the airport is a continuous conversation about how great the trip was and how much you loved the experience. I’d say this one was a winner, for sure. Until we see you again, Cleveland!