So, you're in Cleveland for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and you do not know what to do? Have no fear, Beal is here. I've worked in downtown Cleveland since 2004 and recently moved to the suburbs last Fall. I recently just got back from an out of town race and was thinking on the way home how I had no idea what to do when I was there. Sure, there is Yelp and the internet but it would have been nice to have some advice from a local. So, I thought I would list some of my favorite place to go. All these places are either downtown or within 15 minutes of the area.
Winks is a new restaurant / sports bar located downtown at the Galleria. The food is outstanding and focuses on ingredients that can be found locally. It also has a large selection of craft beer with emphasis on beers created locally.
J. Gumbos Like the sign says, its the best food you can eat for 7 dollars. The focus here is a taste of New Orleans from mild to wild. It is located on Euclid right by Public square and is my favorite lunch place downtown.
Panini's is located on east 9th and West 6th downtown. It is a sports bar and the home of the Overstuffed Sandwich. If it is your first time in the area, you can't leave without getting a sandwich. My favorite is a double capicola with an egg.
Hodges Most foodies agree that this is the place to be.
If you're looking for a good time. I also recommend Great Lakes Brewery, Market Garden, West 6th street, and West 4th. There are a lot of fun places to check out in these areas. Also, don't forget to checkout the Cleveland Indians who are in town and try you luck at the HorseShoe Casino.
Outside, but close to Downtown
Deagan's Top notch food and a top notch craft beer list can be found here. Located in Lakewood, you will be happy you checked this place out.
Melt This is one of my favorite places to go. The menu is exciting and portions are filling. Make sure you check out the Buffalo Chicken Chowder. The fries are so good, I think they may be laced with crack.
Happy Dog It located just across the bridge and is just minutes from downtown. You have a choice between a vegan sausage or hot dog. Then you are given a list of 50+ toppings to get as crazy as you want. These toppings are as simple as bbq sauce and as crazy as fruit loops. Also, they have tater tots you can get topped with any sauce you want.
Harp Home of one of the best patios in Cleveland and sits along the marathon route. You have to try once of their Boxty Cakes.
There are a lot of other area restaurants located in Tremont, Ohio City, and Lakewood. These are some of my favorites that are listed above. I hope this helps some of you how are here for the race and are not familiar with the area. Chances are that you may run into me at one of these places on race weekend.