Welcome to the 216, NBA fans! It’s true what they say: Cleveland really does rock. And as one of this city’s many hype(wo)men, I’m here to prove it to you, sharing some of my favorite places for 75 hours’ worth of fun, food, and frivolity while you’re here.
You’re staying close to downtown, right? I bet you’re staying close to downtown because that’s where all the NBA action is. You’re gonna want to start your day with breakfast at Betts, inhaling a Bodega Sammie to fuel your day.
Milk + Honey is one of the city’s newer coffee shops. Grab your usual (I’m an iced coffee gal myself, even in mid-winter), or go decadent with the Cinnamon Toast Latte. After all, you’re on vacation!
Head across the street to pop into Destination Cleveland, where you can grab brochures with all kinds of info about our fair city. You can even ask them about a guided tour.
Next, you’re going to want to go next door to pick out your favorite souvenir gear from CLEClothing Co. We Clevelanders love displaying our city pride across our chests!
If you’re the kind of traveler who wants to hit up a workout wherever you go, you’ve got to try Rise Nation, a climbing class that will leave you feeling the burn in the best way possible. If you’re lucky, you may see a Cavs player or two working out alongside you.
Want to get a little fancy for dinner? Goma bills itself as “transcendental sushi,” and honestly? It’s the truth. Chef Dante Bocuzzi trained under Japanese celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
Head to the Tremont neighborhood for brunch at Grumpy’s, which has diner food vibes in a cozy café setting. Those Cajun home fries are the perfect start to any day.
InCleveland, it’s never too cold to enjoy the great outdoors. Hit up the Towpath Trail, part of a 101-mile path along the historic route of the Ohio and Erie Canal. Prepare for some amazing views of downtown, and take the Clevelandiest photo of all at the script Cleveland sign while you’re there.
Warmup with a latte from Civilization, then head down the street to Hi and Dry for a game of duckpin bowling.If day-drinking is your style, be sure to try one of the many beers brewed right here in Cleveland.
For dinner, check out Bar Oni, a tiny Japanese sports bar and yakitori grill. Their menu changes all the time, so ask Chef MattSpinner what he recommends today.
The best end to any night involves drinks at Cloak & Dagger, a cozy cocktail lounge with slightly spooky vibes. Everything they serve is delicious and creative, so you can’t go wrong.
Spend your last day in Cleveland checking out Hingetown, a cute little neighborhood adjacent to downtown. First, hit up Cleveland Bagel Co. for a crispy, chewy bagel with a biiiiig slather of schmear.
Get your caffeine fix at Lekko Coffee, which makes great coffee and pays a living wage to its farmers and baristas. If you’re not a coffee drinker, try Beet Jar for vegan smoothies or Cleveland Tea Revival for the best tea.
How about a little shopping? Hingetown is small, but it’s got some great little spots to explore: Him & His, a gorgeous home goods store; Shore Society, full of breezy coastal apparel; and The Dean Rufus House of Fun, a magical, colorful boutique.
Lunch has got to be Larder, a JamesBeard-nominated old world-style deli that changes its menu every single day. Chef Jeremy Umansky is known for his way with koji, a style of fermentation, which he puts to use in incredibly creative (and delicious) ways.
Before leaving town, take pictures with the city’s most fun murals: “love doves” & Prince holding a donut (both at the corner of W 25th and Main); a flying tiger and a giant slice of pizza (both at West 28th and Church St.); cartoon faces at the corner of West 29th and Church; and a pair of colorful wings in the parking lot of Three Dog Bakery.