It’s always fun to make those summer to-do lists and challenge ourselves to check things off one at a time. Between hanging out at the beach, afternoons at the pool, if you have a friend who has a boat that is a plus and then there are cookouts, late night ice cream adventures and summer fun 5k runs you can always find exciting happenings around Cleveland, especially in the summer!
I tried my best to compile a few of my recent go-to’s for dinner, drinks and summer fun below. Take a look, check them out, let me know what I am missing on this Cleveland summer guide. Enjoy & happy summer everyone!
• TO DINE & DRINK •
The Plum Kitchen & Bar : This new watering dining (& drinking!) destination is so pretty that from the moment you walk into the space you feel like you have traveled around the globe and discovered a hidden gem…right here in our backyard. The creative cocktails and family style meals will have you wanting to go back time and time again, so grab your friends and check out the plum. Try and get a seat on the pink bench or the patio, both my favorite spots.
Ninja City : I love this east-side, hot spot for asian-fusion carry out and a swanky cocktail while I wait for my order to be ready! I always order a sampling of their steamed buns and a fun mojito-like summer cocktail. If you like a fresh green-papaya salad, chili garlic wings or Bahn Mi Sandwich, give the team at Ninja City a visit.
Pier W : If you are looking for an incredible, fine dining experience and perhaps the best view of Cleveland and Lake Erie grab an adirondack chair on the deck of Pier W. During happy hour you can sit in the sun while enjoying a summer cocktail (Moscow Mule anyone?) and a few fresh oysters.
Banter Cleveland : If you love a good french fry, have you tried poutine yet? The perfect combination of fries, gravy and a touch of sweet. I admire the simple chic interiors of this hot spot and even better I love that they have a little store inside where you can bring home a bottle of Rosé or beer for your porch parties. I also enjoy sitting at their bar and indulging in a summer drink after a day at Edgewater Beach…I especially love a good dark ‘n stormy! Banter makes theirs with Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer and I love when I order a drink and it is not all watered down with ginger ale. Crabbie’s comes to the CLE from Edinburgh, Scotland. They steep real ginger for over 6 weeks before blending it with the other 4 secret ingredients in order for us to enjoy the first “hard soda” on the market. Give it a try next time you are at Banter!
Spice Kitchen & Bar : Chef Bebenroth and his team of farm to table experts make visiting Spice a memorable experience. The recently just expanded behind the restaurant to include a wonderful patio and bar area for your summer celebrations. Clusters of outdoor couches, a great hardwood bar and lots of herbs and potted plants has this outdoor space one of my go-to places for meeting up with friends this summer. Plus, their bartenders mix an incredible drink…ask them for something with ginger beer or whiskey in it and they will produce a unique flavor that will have you wanting to return to Spice to see what they will come up with next!
Pub Frato : in the mood for a day trip to the Mentor Headlands or Fairport Harbor? While you are there, go check out this authentic gastrobub for awesome cocktails, great cold beers and don’t miss their truffle fries!!! (They are also participating in Crabbie’s Week so ask for their special RNC Red Cocktail…more at the end of this post)
• THINGS TO DO •
41 Degrees North : In the summertime I love to get outdoors and enjoy our incredible weather and water. No boat? No problems. You can visit the crew at 41 Degrees North (at the Yack Shack) nested in the Cleveland Metroparks Rocky River Reservation for all sorts of Kayak and stand up paddle board rental needs. The team will get you outfitted for a morning on the river or the lake depending on your confidence level and I’m telling you, it is one of the best summer experiences around. Truly makes living close to such a Great Lake accessible and is a wonderful activity for a group of friends or family to enjoy summertime outdoors together.
Kendell Ledges in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park : If you are looking to escape the city and get outdoors for a morning, head south to my ultimate favorite outdoor hiking spot around town, the Kendell Ledges. These massive rock formations were created millions of years ago and span over 2 miles long and about 30 feet high. Covered in a vibrant green moss, these rock walls make you feel like you have stepped onto a set of Jurassic Park, they are just incredible. This shaded park would make for a wonderful weekend destination for a picnic with your pals. If you’ve lived here all your life or just visiting for the weekend, seriously, go explore Kendell Ledges, I promise you are in for a treat.
The Westside Market : This market has been featured all over the place, but it truly is one of Cleveland’s most cherished community hot spots, food shopping mecca’s and an architectural gem. If you are visiting this summer make sure to stop at Cleveland’s public oldest market home to 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts….plus while you are there grab a crepe or a polish sausage sandwich, you won’t leave hungry!
The Cleveland Museum of Art : Celebrating their 100th year, this global art institution is one of my ultimate favorite places to take my family and out of town guests to visit time and time again. The museum is FREE and open to the public and the most recent renovations have guests still stopping to stare…you can’t miss the incredible new atrium. While you are enjoying art, you can also stop for a snack…or a cocktail at their restaurant Provenance. Take a moment and enjoy the Contemporary Art Collection the museum has, I can’t get enough of the big Marilyn Monroe, Warhol piece.
Tremont : This little pocket of Cleveland has incredible shopping and boutiques like Banyan Tree and Evie Lou. Plus it is home to incredible bars and restaurants. If you are visiting Cleveland, make sure to include a few hours to explore this neighborhood and the many churches and interesting architectural masterpieces. I love walking around here on a friday night before we decide on what the weekend has in store for us…especially on the second Friday of the month where they host, Walk About Tremont…check it out!
The Cleveland Flea : This monthly flea martket of over 100 vendors is a must-do during the summer in Cleveland. Filled with many makers and vintage enthusiasts, this show is seriously and incredible vshopping destination in our city. Don’t miss the next “FLEA” Saturday, August 13th. See you there!
Thank you to Crabbie’s the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer for sponsoring this post. This week is the official Crabbie’s Week here in Cleveland. While the RNC is in town they have partnered up with a few local watering holes to celebrate good cocktails and politics and are serving up “The “RED DRINK” Cocktail. This drink is simple and sounds super yummy…1 1/4oz vanilla vodka, 3/4 oz lemon juice, shake and pour with ice, Fill the rest with Crabbies Raspberry! If you don’t feel like making your own at home, you can visit Shinto (in Strongsville) to have their bartenders mix one up! Want to pick up a 4-pack of Crabbie’s visit Zagara’s (In Cleveland Heights,) Cap & Corks (in Lakewood) and many of the Giant Eagle Locations around town.
SPONSORED POST : This post has been sponsored by Crabbie’s the Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer. All of my thoughts are my own.