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A Slice of Happiness: 4 Cleveland pizza spots we love

Whether you like it covered in meats or vegetables, smothered in red sauce, topped with gooey cheese, dripping with garlic, sprinkled with parmesan, deep dish, or thin-crusted; most of us can agree that pizza is a gift bestowed upon us by the food gods. But not all pizza is created equal, and it’s our mission to provide you with the information you need to satisfy your deepest darkest pizza cravings. There are hundreds of quality pizza joints in The Land, but here are a few of our favorite places you have to try.

  1. Il Rione: We are listing this place first because it is run by two of the friendliest dudes we’ve ever met, and that isn’t even the best thing about this place. Their pizza is truly incredible  — the sauce is so good that the cheese is just an added bonus to the ensemble, and the crust is crisped perfection. We love their location in Gordon Square that was renovated from a literal crack house into a chic yet cozy hang with an awesome patio. Il Rione means “the neighborhood” and we just love the way they make you feel like family whenever you stop by.
  2. Citizen Pie: Self-professed “Pizza for the people”, Citizen Pie offers brick oven-bakedcitizen pie Neopolitan pizza at their two locations in Ohio City and Waterloo. In true Italian style, the crust is thin and soft but durable enough to support the weight of mozzarella cheese and heart toppings. Order your pizza (and perhaps a bottle of wine) at the counter, then relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and pop art selection.
  3. Edison’s: Everyone loves pizza by the slice! Edison’s may not have a reputation for being the best pizza to eat at 2 AM, but I can tell you first-hand that this pizza is good at all times of the day. Sober or not, this pizza is delicious. One amazing thing about Edison’s is that they go ALL out with the toppings, I’m pretty sure they’re on their way to setting a record for how many pepperonis can fit on one slice of pizza. This pizza is gooey and greasy and best drizzled with the honey packets that they provide. Enjoy it at the bar, playing a game of pool, or on their laid-back patio in the warmer months!
  4. Harlow’s: I didn’t know how beautiful pizza could be until I visited Harlow’s. Known for their extremely aesthetic space (and Instagram) and quality ingredients, Harlow’s is sure to make you a believer. They have a small menu with five pizzas to choose from and no substitutions allowed, but only because they have perfected the art of pizza making and you just can’t mess with art. Harlow’s also happens to tout one of the most aesthetic patios in Lakewood. You may go to Harlow’s for the gram but you’ll stay for the pizza and refreshing cocktails.

That’s all for now but we are already planning our next ‘za post! What pizza joint should we check out next?

Lifestyle, Misc, Travel

6 Reasons You Should Move to Cleveland

So you’re considering moving to Cleveland? I’m not surprised. Cleveland has a lot to offer, despite what you may have heard. It is being reborn as a vibrant city buzzing with possibility, alive with hope. Here are a few reasons why Cleveland is an awesome place to live right now.

  1. The cost of living is extremely low, about 12% lower than the national average. If you are looking to live an urban lifestyle and have access to all the fun amenities that come with it but don’t want to shell out 3,000 dollars a month for a studio apartment, Cleveland may be right for you.  Right now as I browse through apartments.com I am looking at a beautiful one bedroom, one bath, 1200 sq/ft loft in one of our more expensive neighborhoods for $1250. Wouldn’t it be nice to actually be able to afford to enjoy living in the city instead of living paycheck to paycheck for an apartment the size of a closet?
  2. THE FOOD. Listen, I know everyone claims this about their city. But seriously, Cleveland has some truly incredible restaurants. Maybe it’s because we’re smack dab in the middle of farm country so produce and meats never have to travel very far, or because we’re located on a lake giving us access to plenty of fresh seafood… err lake-food? You may not have 50 options for each category like you would in New York or Chicago, but we guarantee you will never run out of delicious restaurants to try if you move to Cleveland.
  3. Speaking of the lake, did we mention that we aren’t landlocked? Maybe it’s just us, but nothing soothes the soul like looking out over a huge body of water. Lake Erie might not be a swimmer or surfer’s dream, (although we have seen some pretty dedicated surfers shredding at Edgewater) but it sure is nice to get out on a boat or a jet-ski or just sit and have dinner on one of our many waterfront patios. There are a ton of beaches that you can take the kids or your dog to, or maybe just sit and enjoy the sunset over the lake. It’s a little piece of paradise on a warm summer day.
  4. Have a bit of wanderlust? Another great thing about Cleveland is its location in relation to other US cities. Living in Cleveland we are able to do weekend trips in so many other fun places. We are a short drive from Pittsburgh, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Buffalo, Detroit, and Cincinnati. If you’re willing to go a bit farther, we are just about an eight-hour drive from New York City, Nashville, St. Louis, and Ashville, NC. Living in a post-Covid world, having so many cities you can visit without hopping on a plane is a huge benefit.
  5. The people are SO nice here. Maybe it’s the midwest mindset, or they’ve been underdogs their entire life, from previously humbling sports teams to being dubbed “mistake on the lake”, Clevelanders have not been fed with a silver spoon. But what has come from that is a sense of brotherhood and kinsmanship that I’ve never experienced elsewhere. They are cheering for Cleveland, and in order to do that, they have to cheer for each other. There is a mindset of collaboration over competition here because when Cleveland succeeds, we all win. If you’re coming from LA or NYC — the level of politeness will blow your mind.
  6. Afraid to live in the city because you don’t want to feel trapped in a concrete jungle? You MUST experience the Cleveland Metroparks. There are 18 reservations with over 100 hiking trails and nearly 23,000 acres of unadulterated nature await you. The Emerald Necklace is the perfect place to unwind and lose yourself in the great outdoors.

There are so many other perks of living in CLE that are coming to mind as I close out this list.  The beautiful architecture, the shops, the Indians games, the fact that there is almost ZERO traffic here, as well so many other amazing things. If I’m being honest, though, reading this list is only but a step in the right direction. To experience the grit and the glory that is the Sixth City and to truly understand the quality of life that awaits you here, you have to come to see for yourself. We may just surprise you.

Food, Lifestyle, Top Picks, Travel

77 Things to do in Cleveland this Summer

Have your best summer yet! Here’s a list of 75 things that you can do in Cleveland, most of them any day of the week. If you’re in The Land, boredom is not an option.

  1. Have a picnic at Wendy Park
  2. Get boujee by the pool at FWD Day + Night Club
  3. Cool off with some shaved ice at Westcott’s Arctic Ice
  4. Have a drink on the Collision Brewing Company Patio
  5. Rent a jet-ski at Great Lakes Watersports
  6. Do the shuffle at Forest City Shuffleboard
  7. Play giant jenga at Nano Brew
  8. Enjoy a glass of wine on the Rocky River Wine Bar patio
  9. Have lunch by the water at Merwin’s Wharf
  10. Take a hike in the Emerald Necklace
  11. Behold a waterfall at the Rocky River Reservation
  12. See a concert at Jacob’s Pavillion
  13. Fly a kite at Edgewater Park
  14. Check out the view from Azure Rooftop Lounge
  15. Act like a kid at Cedar Point
  16. Feed the giraffes at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  17. Take a tour of the U.S.S. Cod
  18. Take a stroll down East 4th St.
  19. Watch the boats go by at Shooters on the Water
  20. Enjoy University Circle, especially the Cleveland Art Museum (it’s free!)
  21. Watch a movie under the stars in Coventry
  22. Take your puppy to the Downtown Cleveland Dog Park
  23. Have an ice cream cone at Mason’s Creamery
  24. Hear local bands at Edgewater Live on Thursdays
  25. Splash in the fountains at Cleveland Square
  26. Waste a day in Margaritaville
  27. Wine and dine under twinkling lights on the Vosh/Georgetown patio
  28. Explore with Cleveland Cycle Tours
  29. Go for a swim at Foster Pool
  30. Feed the ducks at Clague or Walker Park
  31. Take a ride on the Cleveland Brew Bus
  32. Chill on the giant waterfront staircase at Lakewood Park
  33. Live your best life on the patio at Platform Brewery
  34. Spend the day at the Cleveland Museum of Art
  35. Eat everything in sight at Little Italy
  36. Ride scooters around downtown
  37. Take a stroll down the Erie Canalway
  38. Get spooked by the Haserot Angel
  39. Drink something tropical at Porko
  40. Visit one (or all) of Cleveland’s many community gardens
  41. Sit by the fire at Das Schnitzel Haus
  42. Play mini-golf and eat candy at Sweeties
  43. Wine tasting at Heinen’s downtown
  44. Enjoy a cup of fair trade, organic coffee on Dewey’s patio
  45.  Visit the market at Cavotta’s Garden Center
  46. Take in the view at Voinovich Park
  47. See the sights on Lolly Trolly
  48. Check out a book from the Cleveland library, then read it outside
  49. Drink frosé at The Plum
  50. Get naughty-cal on The Goodtime III
  51. Try paddleboard yoga at SUP Cle
  52. Demolish a hot dog at Happy Dog
  53. Visit the rooftop bar at Greenhouse Tavern
  54. Pasta on the patio at Lockkeepers
  55. Have a beer or play volleyball at Whiskey Island
  56. Party your pants off on the Punchbowl Social roof deck
  57. Go shopping and eat lunch at Crocker Park or Pinecrest
  58. Reel in your catch on Fishcrazy Charters
  59. Learn to rock climb at Nosotros
  60. Explore nature at Brookside Reservation
  61. Play kickball at Tuland Park
  62. See the skyline at Bar 32
  63. Walk around the shops in Gordon Square (or Shaker) Square.
  64. Eat a corndog on a picnic table at Larder
  65. Bask in the sun at Euclid Beach Park or Huntington Beach
  66. Take pictures at the Cleveland script signs
  67. Go to the reflection pond at University Circle
  68. Watch the baseball game on the huge screen on the patio at Jukebox
  69. Ride bikes on the Tow Path
  70. Play volleyball at Mulberry’s in the Flats
  71. See CLE from a new angle on a helicopter tour with Paratus Air
  72. Kayak on the Cuyahoga River
  73. Have a refreshing bubble tea at Thai Thai
  74. Throwdown at Cleveland Axe Throwing
  75. Drink and drive at Topgolf (get it?)
  76. Go-karting at Airport Go-Karts
  77. Visit Squires Castle! Wear hiking boots to explore the woods behind it.

How many of these can you check off this summer? Anything on your summer to-do list that we missed?

Humor, Lifestyle, Travel

28 Signs You’re From Cleveland

This is the most official and up-to-date list of the 27 signs you are a Clevelander.

  1. It’s called pop, not soda
  2. If you could, you would STILL make Lebron James the godfather of your children
  3. You live on either the East or West side and rarely venture over to the other side… not because you have anything against it but it’s just really inconvenient. 
  4. You know that there really are only two seasons in Cleveland: Winter and Construction. 
  5. You know what midges/Canadian Soldiers are and you FREAKING HATE THEM
  6. You love Lake Erie but you don’t really want to swim in it… 
  7. You have incredibly high standards for grocery stores
  8. And beer
  9. In fact, you probably still have a Great Lakes Christmas Ale sitting in your fridge from last holiday season
  10. You believe your accent is one of the purest in America
  11. You know better than to go to Tower City Mall by yourself.
  12. You are genuinely shocked when someone says they haven’t been to Cedar Point or Put-in-Bay
  13. You still call it Jacob’s Field 
  14. You’ve eaten pierogies more than 4 times in your life 
  15. Every time you drive past the Burke Lakefront Airport you get angry at the wasted real estate
  16. You were shocked to find out that black squirrels aren’t everywhere
  17. You leave your windshield scraper in your car year-round
  18. You know that THIS is the year the Browns will finally make it to the Superbowl again
  19. You know someone who has a Fount Leather Goods bag or you have one of your own
  20. You have thought about getting a symbolic tattoo for Cleveland (Bonus point if you actually got one)
  21. You would probably vote for Michael Symon if he ran for Mayor
  22. Without fail, you take every out-of-towner to see the West Side Market
  23. You’ve never actually been inside the Rock + Roll Hall of Fame
  24. You spend as much time outside as humanly possible during the warmer months
  25. You feel an intense sense of pride for  A Christmas Story and Superman. YOU ARE WELCOME, WORLD.
  26. You are sick of hearing about the Cuyahoga River Fire. Let’s move on, shall we?
  27. You think about moving on a weekly basis but…
  28. No matter where you go, Cleveland always feels like home.

Any other trademark signs of a true Clevelander? Leave them in the comments.

Food, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Tips, Top Picks, Travel

Healthy Restaurants in Cleveland with @bethandfood

If you follow along with Beth Opfer you know that she is a local MS, RDN, LDN, and a certified QT (get it?) But seriously, what I love most about Beth (apart from her sweet personality) is her laid-back philosophy that encourages everyone to find the balance between eating healthy and giving yourself the grace to indulge in the foods you love! Her goal is to inspire others to feel their best – not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well.  You can find Beth on Instagram at @bethandfood or follow along with her blog, www.bethandfood.com! I hope you get as much value from this list of her favorite healthy eats in Cleveland as I did. 

Salt : There’s a reason Chef Jill Vedaa was named a semi-finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Great Lakes. The small plates. The crafted cocktails. The attention to detail and every flavor. It’s what sets this restaurant apart from others. I’d recommend ordering a few small plates and share with your loved ones. Their menu also changes seasonally to reflect the best local ingredients and flavor of foods. Order a cocktail you’ve never had and you’ll love it. You can’t go wrong here. And chances are, you’ll likely see Chef Jill socializing with her customers so be sure to say hi! My favorite dishes to date: White Bean Puree (Vegetables), Polenta Fries (Vegetables), Caramelized Baby Carrots (Vegetables), and Halibut (Fish).

Spice Kitchen & Bar: Truly a farm to fork eatery. So true that they even provide the map of their farm to show where their food is grown. I mean, how cool. Also meaning their menu changes seasonally to provide the most nutrient-dense, local ingredients full of flavor. Their patio is also a place to be in the summer. Not only is Spice a kitchen and bar in Cleveland, they also offer events at their farm in Brecksville. I had the opportunity to attend a Spice Acres event in 2017 where my husband and I toured the farm, walked over to the beautiful barn (definitely would have had my wedding here had I known about this place!) and enjoyed a multi-course meal of plant-based foods with wine pairings. My favorite dishes to date: Killbuck Valley Mushroom Flatbread (Shareables), Polenta Chickpea Fries (Shareables), Pan Roasted Atlantic Sea Scallops (Substantials), Local Greens Salad (Bar Menu) and Fried Lake Erie Creamery Cheese Curds (Bar Menu).

Toast: One of my favorite happy hour/bar spots in Cleveland. Toast has one of the best vibes, in my opinion. Very relaxing. Great service. In the Gordon Square Arts District, Toast is a great place to grab an always house-made bite to eat. My hands down favorite place to eat buffalo cauliflower bites! They also have a trio of toast daily (hence the name!) that is always a good choice. Always. The menu also changes seasonally so you can never get bored. In the summertime, grab a spot on the patio because it is definitely a crowd favorite. My favorite dishes here to date: Buffalo Cauliflower (Small Plates), Trio of Toast (Snacks), and Chef’s Whim Greens (Small Plates).

The Plum: This place is definitely bar and restaurant goals. The coolest ambiance. If there is one restaurant in Cleveland that I could dream of picking it up and making it fit into my house, it would be The Plum. The all-white backsplash bar and the exposed brick walls – so dreamy. The food and the service are even better. I love this place because you can tell that each dish is well thought out. It serves a purpose on their menu. They offer a variety of plates from small to large on all their menus, giving customers a chance to order a few dishes to share. The menu changes so it doesn’t stay stagnant. There is a reason The Plum was voted best new restaurant in 2017 by Cleveland Magazine. They offer a bar only menu with small bites, dinner menu with a variety of sized plates and brunch on Saturdays. Also, The Plum has one of my favorite patios with live music and conveniently located next to the Platform Brewery (my favorite brewery in Cleveland!). My favorite dishes here to date: Beet Taco (Small Plate, Dinner Menu), House Salad (Medium Plate, Dinner Menu), Brussels Sprouts (Medium Plate, Dinner Menu) and the Spicy Grain Bowl (Brunch Menu; with a mimosa of course!).

Le Petit Triangle Café: This place gives me all the Paris vibes and I love it! Le Petit is a Parisian café offering the best coffee and pastries, as well as midday and evening meals. But let’s talk about what they are really known for: brunch. Seriously, best.brunch.ever. Located in Ohio City, this restaurant’s goal for the past 10 years has been to make sure customers feel right at home with their friends and family, eating good food and drinking a beverage of choice, whether that be a coffee, cocktail, wine or beer (or all the above). They have it all. Expect a wait on a Saturday morning but believe me when I say it is worth the wait. My favorite dishes to date: French Toast (Brunch Menu; it’s a must try!), Ratatouille (Brunch; Savory Crepes), and their Pumpkin Latte.

Flying Fig: The Flying Fig is a small eatery and bar that is one of my favorite places to grab brunch or a small bite to eat. It is also one of my favorite places to grab a spot at the bar and enjoy happy hour. One of the many reasons I love this place so much is their effort to offer locally sourced foods with a true farm to fork environment. The Flying Fig prides itself on supporting local, small family farms. Karen Small, owner and head chef, is also a semi-finalist for the 2018 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Great Lakes. Definitely well deserved. If you go when it isn’t too busy (which is rare) and the weather is nice, grab one of the few tables outside on their patio. My favorite dishes to date: Taleggio Polenta (Brunch Menu), Grilled Eggplant (Brunch Menu), Avocado Toast (Brunch Menu), Tofu Banh Mi Bowl (Lunch + Dinner Menu) and the Trio of Toast (Of the Day).

Townhall: I can’t name my favorite places to eat and not mention this place. Townhall is a non-GMO restaurant located in the heart of Ohio City on W. 25th Street. They offer a wide selection of healthy, feel-good meals, from sustainably sourced meats to high-quality vegan options. They understand that nutrition is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach so they go above and beyond to cater to all dietary preferences, from Paleo/Keto to Vegan options. To make it even better, their beverage choices are just like the food: top notch, offering zero-toxin, 100% organic coffee, organic cold-pressed juices and a great selection of beers showcasing local whenever possible. Definitely one of my favorites to go for a date night, vegan night, to watch a Cleveland sports game or for a holiday. They always do it right. My favorite dishes here to date: Acai+Grainless Granola Bowl (Brunch Menu), Caramelized Brussel Sprouts/Harissa Roasted Cauliflower (Organic Earth Bites), Townhall Veggie Burger (Pickups), Root Organic and Cold Pressed Juice and Pureed Acai (Smoothies).

The Grocery: Every time I walk into The Grocery, I smile. That’s how happy this place makes me. They probably know my name by now because I am a regular. No shame whatsoever. They also know Kip (my fur baby) because he comes along for the ride, and the peanut butter. The Grocery is a grab-and-go café from hot breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches and wraps, cold pressed juices, bowls and salads and smoothies. They also sell local edibles such as locally sourced produce, pasta and pasta sauces as well as dairy products. They proudly display the local farms where they are sourcing their ingredients from on the walls which is super cool. My favorite dishes to date: Vegan Fare wrap (all the local/seasonal vegetables with a house cashew dressing wrapped in a tortilla shell; sandwiches) and the PB&J smoothie (almond milk, peanut butter, banana, strawberry and I add hemp protein; smoothies). Not sure who loves this place more: me or Kip.
Beet Jar: If I had to vote for a place that has hands down the coolest vibes, it would probably be Beet Jar. A small storefront with so much character. Beet Jar is a juice bar and grab-and-go vegan takeaway. Outstanding services and even better food. All their choices are made in-house, from their cold-pressed juices to the vegan sandwiches and chia pudding (so good!). My all-time favorite sandwich is from here: the Bravocado, which contains smoked coconut flakes, avocado, greens, red onion, house-made cashew mayo on whole grain bread (other options also available). Get it and thank me later. They definitely do it right here. I actually want to take one of their walls (yes an entire wall) and place it in my home. Some of my other favorites to date: Flavored Raw Cashew Mylk (Drinks in the Cooler), Strawberry Alarm Clock (Raw Smoothies), and Mr. Presley (Raw Smoothies).

There you have it! Nine amazing places to add to your list of places to try in Cleveland. Where do you go for a healthy bite?

Food, Lifestyle, Reviews, Top Picks, Travel

Cleveland’s Best Ice Cream Shops with eatswithclaire

One of my favorite Cleveland foodies to follow along with is Claire from @cle_food – her colorful feed always leaves me feeling hungry. Anyone who has followed her on her foodie escapades knows that the girl loves her some ice cream! That’s why I’m so glad she has taken the time to share with us her favorite ice cream spots in The Land  

Ice cream is a good idea year round, but now that it’s summer I think it’s time that you get the scoop (pun intended) on what some of the best ice cream shops in The Land are.

Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream: You know it’s good when there is a line out the door in the dead of Cleveland winter.  Everyone in Cleveland knows and loves Mitchell’s Ice Cream.  With their huge variety of flavors (including some dairy free and vegan friendly options), quality ingredients, and generous portions, what is there not to love?   With over 30 flavors of ice cream, sorbet, and frozen yogurt, there is truly something for everybody at Mitchell’s. I honestly don’t know if I could say what my favorite flavor here is because every single one (and trust me, I’ve tried all of them) is incredible.   Each batch of ice cream is hand crafted at their Ohio City kitchen, and you can go at any time to watch the process of how the ice cream is made.   Another thing I love about Mitchell’s is that they support other local companies.  A lot of the ingredients found in the ice cream at Mitchell’s Ice Cream are sourced from local farmers and friends such as their berries (Greenfield Farms), nuts (Hillson Nut Co.), milk and cream (Hartzler Family Dairy), and many more. So go to Mitchells and order a scoop (or two), a milkshake, or a sundae sundae, and trust me, you will leave a lot happier than when you walk in.

Mason’s Creamery:  If you’re on Instagram, you’ve probably seen Mason’s Creamery.  With aesthetic wall murals and cute lights, Mason’s is a very Insta-worthy ice cream shop.  Although you might go for the gram, you’ll definitely want to keep coming back after for the unique and always changing flavors of ice cream.  At Mason’s Creamery, they make small batches of handmade ice cream, so they are always testing out different flavors like taro, black sesame, French toast, and Dunkaroos just to name a few. I am constantly going back because if you go back on different weeks, you will have a completely new flavor selection to choose from!  On weekends they also offer soft serve, which I am seriously obsessed with because it is the perfect creamy texture.  If you’re not there on a weekend though, I recommend getting your scoops of ice cream on their egg waffle with a flavored whipped cream on top.  I promise you won’t regret it.

Piccadilly Artisan Creamery: When you order ice cream at Piccadilly Artisan Creamery, you’ll see that they take liquid ice cream and mix it with liquid nitrogen.  Although your order might take a little longer to put together because of this, it is so worth it.  This freezing process doesn’t just look really cool; it also results in an extra creamy ice cream (I had no clue ice cream could be so creamy until I tried this place) because the extremely fast freezing process minimizes the size of ice crystals in the ice cream.  Not only is the ice cream here super creamy, but also every one of their flavors is incredible.  Piccadilly Creamery takes pride in only using fresh quality ingredients (there’s only about 6 or ingredients in each ice cream), and the quality of their ingredients is evident when you take your first bite.  This is a great place to hang out with friends or go on a date to because the atmosphere is so cute, and they have board games available to play while you eat your ice cream.

Sweet Moses:  Two things that have a special place in my heart are ice cream and nostalgia, so when I first discovered Sweet Moses, I was in love.  Located in the heart of Cleveland’s Gordon Arts District, Sweet Moses will take you right back to the 1950’s.   This old-timey soda fountain, ice cream, and candy shop has truly mastered the classics and is the place to go to if you are looking for simple, classic, really good ice cream. Let me be honest, ifyou are looking for a small scoop of light ice cream or sorbet, you might be better off going to one of the previous ice cream shops talked about in this article.  Sweet Moses isthe place to go to if you want a scoop of ice cream that is more like 3 scoops that has somehow been formed into one ball (seriously, the portions are huge) or a sundae that is big enough to feed a family of four.  This classic neighborhood is a must try if you want to “treat yo’ self”.  If it weren’t for the sake of my health, you’d see me here every day.

Now get out there + eat some ice cream, it’s good for your soul and much cheaper than therapy. 

 

 

Food, Lifestyle, Reviews, Tips, Top Picks, Travel

A Weekend in Cleveland Heights with @secondcityguides

How to Spend a Weekend in Cleveland Heights

EAT

Fresh Fix – This small grab-and-go sandwich and smoothie shop took us by complete surprise. We went in expecting sugary fruit smoothies and basic sandwiches, only to discover they serve a large menu of healthy and tasty sandwiches. Plus, Fresh Fix boasts a stellar lineup of fruit and veggie smoothies named after our favorite ‘90s artists (try the Madonna Mango, Fresh Prince, and C-Low Green, for example). Fresh Fix has several vegan and vegetarian options, all reasonably priced, making it a stand-by for locals to enjoy regularly. Bonus: the shop is decorated with fun photos and art of ‘90s icons including TLC, Zack Morris, and Michael Jackson.

Boss Dog BrewingCleveland has such a fun brewery scene, but our favorite in Cleveland Heights is hands down Boss Dog Brewing. It’s only been open for less than a year, but it became a Lee Road staple this summer, partly due to their spacious outdoor patio. We recommend trying the red potato and cheddar pierogi, plus a few items off their bar snack menu.

Screenshot 2018-11-05 20.20.55

 

Photo via Anatolia Café of Kazandibi, a Turkish dessert

Anatolia CaféA taste of Turkey in Cleveland! We love the atmosphere of this family-friendly Turkish & Mediterranean restaurant that has won over East Siders the past 10 years. The food is just as authentic as the staff, who would stop at tables to visit with family and friends dining around us, when we were there last. We honestly could go there once a day just to eat the fresh hummus and pita bread. Tip: If you’re too stuffed to order dessert, ask for their homemade baklava to-go and enjoy later at home.

SHOP

Screenshot 2018-11-05 20.22.58

Gleena Ceramics – Stop into Gleena Ceramics to fall in love with the works of local artist, Asya Palatova. Her handmade collection consists of tableware, trinket dishes, vases, planters, and more. They’re all made in her studio, just behind the front shop space. If you’re lucky, you get to see her at work when you first walk in! The shop also sells cards, plants, and other cute items that would make perfect gifts.

The Cleveland Candle Company – “I don’t need another candle,” said no one ever. With fall just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to go stock up on seasonal scents for cozy nights at home (they have a scent named “Jumping into Leaves” – can’t get more fall than that!). The shop is located on Coventry Road, so plan to spend some time walking around the area into other nearby shops.

Screenshot 2018-11-05 20.23.18

DorNee – We love the sense of community among Cleveland business owners, and that is exactly how we discovered DorNee, a local soap and skincare shop on Taylor Road. When speaking with the nearby owner of Gleena Ceramics, she told us you MUST stop by DorNee’s down the road (#womenwhosupportwomen). When you step inside you’ll immediately be hit with all the wonderful scents from her homemade products. In fact, DorNee owner Torrian Denise was in the back mixing up a fresh batch of soap while we shopped around. Her products are all natural and contain no harmful ingredients. You can even find them in Whole Foods stores across Northeast Ohio – a testament to the quality and healing ingredients she uses. We have our eyes on a scent called “Autumnberry” and will be back to pick it up soon!

DO

Quintana’s Salon & Day Spa – Shhh… this place is still a secret to many, but we’re going to fill you in on this East Side gem. Quintana’s is known for being one of the best barbershops in Cleveland, but it’s new claim to fame is the secret speakeasy the owners added just a few years ago. Located inside a 1920s colonial house, the first floor is a traditional barbershop where you’ll see customers in vintage barber chairs getting a shave, but then if you walk upstairs you’ll discover a secret bookcase passage (yes, just like the movies!) that will lead you to a hidden bar and lounge. Go for a spa treatment or haircut, then head to the speakeasy for artisanal cocktails, live music, and an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in Cleveland.

Studio How-To

Screenshot 2018-11-05 20.23.31

A newer addition to the Cleveland Heights area is Studio How-To, a space for people to come together and create. Studio How-To focuses on handcrafts, from embroidery and sewing to calligraphy and block printing. We love that you don’t have to be super creative or skilled to attend a workshop – they encourage people of all skill levels to relax and enjoy the experience of making something! They also offer private workshops. How fun would it be to get a group of people together for a special occasion or even just to try something new? You can view the calendar of upcoming workshops here

Cedar Lee Theatre – Christmas Day 1925 is when the Cedar Lee Theatre first opened its doors – then a 1,100-seat, single-screen theatre (can you imagine!?). You may no longer be able to watch a movie in that massive space, as it was renovated to fit multiple rooms like most movie theatres today, but you can still take in a piece of history by heading to the theatre to watch a movie. Catch some of the best indie and foreign films, then snap a photo in front of the popular “Cedar Lee” marquee.

*This article was written by Megan Breehl of @secondcityguides – if you aren’t already following along, I encourage you to check our her Instagram right away. She takes gorgeous photos highlighting the beautiful + magical spots in Cleveland, as well as other underrated cities.

Food, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Misc, Tips, Top Picks, Travel

What To Do in Cleveland

We get a few DM’s a week asking for recommendations on what to do while in town. One of our FAVORITE things to do is to play tour guide when friends are in town – it is SO fun to surprise them with a side of the city they may not have been expecting. We’ve been exploring Cleveland for a few years so I can only tell you about the places we’ve experienced firsthand, but it’ll at least get you headed in the right direction. That being said, here is our Unofficial Guide to a Fun Weekend in The Land. I obviously don’t expect you to make it to every place on the list, I only expect you to try 😉

PIZZA

Il Rione

Saucy Brew Works

Mikey’s Pizza

Edison’s Pub

Citizen Pie

For more pizza details, check out our post dedicated to delicious local pizza.

 

COFFEE/TEA

Cleveland Tea Revival

COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE

Rising Star

Phoenix

Brewellas

 

BRUNCH

Townhall 

The Plum 

Soho Chicken + Whiskey 

The Black Pig

Cleveland Vegan

XYZ The Tavern

Luxe

Spice

Not exactly brunch, but we can’t leave out Brewnuts

 

SUSHI

Ginko

Mizu

Shuhei

Pacific East

Parallax

 

ICE CREAM

Mitchell’s Ice Cream

Mason’s Creamery   (switches seasonally between ice cream and ramen)

Piccadilly Creamery

Jeni’s

 

NIGHT OUT

The Flats – Punchbowl Social, Coastal Taco, Collision Bend, Magnolia, FWD (seasonal)

Ohio City – Townhall, Nano Brew, Market Garden Brewery, Bar Cento

East 4th St – Butcher and the Brewer, Zocalo Tequileria, The Corner Alley, The Greenhouse Tavern

West 6th – Barley House, The Velvet Dog, Dive Bar

Hofbraushaus

 

BREWERIES

Platform  *

Great Lakes Brewery

Masthead Brewing Co.

Southern Tier

Market Garden

Forest City

 

SIGHTS/MUSEUMS/ENTERTAINMENT

The Arcade

Terminal Tower Mall

The West Side Market

Edgewater Beach

Emerald Necklace

Destination Cleveland Signs

Christmas Story House

Cleveland Cultural Gardens

Check out the view from Bar 32

Cleveland Zoo

Cleveland Museum of Art *

Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Museum of Natural History

Botanical Gardens

Catch a show at Playhouse Square

Test your thinking skills at Escape Room at Perplexity Games

Bowling/see live music at Mahall’s

House of Blues

Dueling Pianos at Big Bang

Indoor Mini-Golf, Bowling, karaoke, and games at Punchbowl Social

 

SHOPPING

Food – West Side Market, Heinen’s Downtown

Crocker Park

Pinecrest

ETON

Gordon Square – Oceanne, Fount Leather, Land of Plenty

Wild Cactus Boutique

AWARE Marketplace

Cleveland Heights shops and eats listed here

Food, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Reviews, Tips, Top Picks, Travel

15 Things to do Indoors in Cleveland

 

by Megan Breehl-Pitorak

Summer is the season to live outdoors, especially for local Clevelanders who need quality vitamin D time to recover from long, brutal winters. But even in the summer rainy days happen and we don’t think you should let a little rain drain the fun out of summer! We’re sharing 15 indoor places in and around Cleveland to explore when you need to escape the weather.  

We know there’s plenty more too, so after you’ve read through, leave a comment with your favorite indoor activity or place to help our readers get even more ideas!

 

Photo via @oh_sograceful

1. Cleveland History Center

It’s important to understand the history of your city, so why not start with a trip to the Cleveland History Center? It covers everything from WWI and women in politics, to the automotive industry and the city’s historic mansions, to the Euclid Beach Park Grand Carousel, which may look familiar as you can see it from the sidewalk outside (And yes, you can ride it!).  

Photo via FreshWater Cleveland

2. Grog Shop

The Grog Shop has a show lined up 365 days of the year, so whether you’re looking to enjoy music with friends on the weekend, or you’re in need of an impromptu date night to liven up a mundane Monday, be sure to check out the Grog Shop’s calendar. We love the variety of entertainment they offer – from comedy acts and hip-hop artists, to ‘80s dance nights. 

Photo via BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio

3. BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio

Get your hands dirty during an art class at BRICK Ceramic + Design Studio in the Waterloo Arts District. The studio, tucked behind Six Shooter Coffee, offers two-hour wheel classes for $60. You’ll get to learn how to make a cup, bowl, and plate. The price includes not only the experience, but you’ll also get to take home the pieces you make, so you can feel proud as you sip your morning coffee from your handmade mug.  Click here to see the studio’s upcoming class dates.

Photo via Sacred Hour

4. Sacred Hour Spa 

#Selfcare is not a trend; it’s a lifestyle. Why not turn a rainy day in CLE into an opportunity to zen-out at the beautiful Sacred Hour Spa, located in nearby Lakewood. The Korean Scrub sounds like pure bliss, or you could go for the glow with a facial treatment. See all the spa services here.

 

Photo by Dean Kaufman via MoCa

5. MoCA

If you haven’t been yet to MoCA in Uptown Cleveland, now is the time to go, as it’s celebrated its 50th anniversary with FREE admission. What we love about MoCA: it’s a smaller museum so you can get your art fix even if you only have a half hour or so to spare. Also, the MoCA gift shop is a hidden gem of unique gifts and treasures you’ll want to snag for yourself and others. 

Photo via Cleveland Scene

6. Cleveland Museum of Art

You didn’t think we’d recommend MoCA and not mention the Cleveland Museum of Art, did you? Cleveland is lucky to have accessible art at our fingertips, and the Cleveland Museum of Art — which is also free — is at the epicenter of that community. 

Photo via Skyzone

7. Skyzone

Remember the days when nothing could be more fun than going to your friend-with-the-trampoline’s house? (If you were that house, we’re jealous.) Skyzone is the ultimate playground for adults — kids welcome too — where you can jump around a giant building filled with trampolines, foam pits, and…need we say more? We know you were sold at “trampoline.” Learn more here.

Photo via Tabletop Cafe

8. Tabletop Cafe

Tabletop Cafe, Cleveland’s first and largest board game cafe, has over 1,000 games to choose from. WHAT?! Grab a friend and go play a game that will bring on major childhood nostalgia. They have a yummy menu of sandwiches, flatbreads, and other snack foods to keep you fueled to win, as well as a brunch menu for a Sunday Funday tradition waiting to happen. 

Photo via Playhouse Square

9. Playhouse Square

We don’t mean to be predictable, but there’s a reason Playhouse Square is on every Cleveland to-do list. We’re fortunate to have such a strong performing arts hub (second largest in the country to NYC, guys!) with a stacked calendar of shows and events nearly every day of the week. 

Photo via Van Aken District

10. Van Aken District

While new to town, the Van Aken District is quickly becoming the East Side’s coolest gathering spot. The new food + shopping hub offers a small street with trendy boutiques, but we recommend heading to the food hall on the days you’re looking to hide from the weather. From On The Rise pastries, to the best veggie sandwich and bowls in town at Brassica, your taste buds will forever thank you. 

Photo via Rockefeller Park Greenhouse

11. Botanical Gardens

Sometimes we just need to be around nature, and rain or shine, there are two great indoor gardens to explore in the city of Cleveland. The impressive Cleveland Botanical Garden in University Circle is set up on one side as a Costa Rican rainforest and on the other as the desert of Madagascar. If you’re on a budget, head to the Rockefeller Park Greenhouse in the Cultural Gardens, which offers free admission, but is just as beautiful and calming to stroll through. 

Photo via Limelight

12. Limelight

Having one of those weekends where you need to get some work done? Mix it up and get a day pass to one of Cleveland’s co-working spaces.  Limelight offers a $20 day pass to its vibrant space, which includes access to computers, printers, scanners, coffee and tea, and meeting rooms.  

Photo via West Side Market

13. West Side Market

The West Side Market is a point of pride for the city of Cleveland. The rich history of the building and the community of vendors and shoppers that have come through its doors since 1912 is remarkable and a city tradition we hope lives on forever. Support the great businesses that make up the market by grabbing a bite to eat and fresh ingredients for your next authentic Cleveland home-cooked meal. PS: The market is now open on Sundays, too!

Photo via AffoGATO Cat Cafe

14. AffoGATO Cat Café 

Cleveland’s first cat café opened earlier this year, and we are here for it. Not just because it’s a place to go to snuggle the little furballs when you need a mood lift, but because it houses adoptable cats and creates a safe space for them to interact with people and other cats. The café is in a separate area than the cat lounge, so if you immediately thought, “Ew, cat hair and food,” don’t worry; you can have your cake — and cats too. 

Photo via Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

15. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad 

Hop aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a change of scenery. This is a great option for parents who want to get the kids out of the house, but also don’t have the energy to chase them around.  The train goes through the CVNP and has a few different boarding stations. Learn more here.

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