August 2014



Exploring Cleveland: A Saturday In Ohio City

Written by , Posted in Restaurants, Travel

My favorite way to get to know a city is to find where the locals go, then go there! Obviously the touristy things are also fun, but I like to get a feel for what a city is actually like to people living there. One of the things that I found to be unique and really loved about Cleveland was that it’s a big city but it had a great small town vibe. Everyone that I met was so friendly and I found some really amazing locally-owned businesses where the owners take great care and pride in what they put out. Case in point: my Saturday morning in Ohio City.

Like Chicago, Cleveland has its neighborhoods and Ohio City is one of them. I started my morning in Hingetown which is a small neighborhood within Ohio City that boasts a bunch of awesome business all packed into a couple of blocks. I started my morning bright and early with a Mocha at Rising Star Coffee. Their store here in Hingetown is in an old firehouse and was beyond charming. Friendly people, great coffee, fresh bagels, and a cute setting had my morning off to a great start!

Cleveland, Rising Star Coffee

Cleveland, Rising Star Coffee, Bagels

Cleveland, Rising Star Coffee

Cleveland, Rising Star Coffee, Pour Over

Cleveland, Rising Star Coffee

With a solid caffeine buzz I headed over to Harness Cycle just a short block away for a spin class with Danielle. They recently opened this Hingetown studio and like Rising Star Coffee it was just SO CUTE! The class was challenging and fun; if you’re familiar with Flywheel spin classes they’re very similar. You ride in the dark to the beat of an awesome playlist with an encouraging instructor that keeps the energy high and makes sure you have a great workout. If I lived in Cleveland I would definitely be a regular!

After spin I walked a few doors down to grab some fresh, cold-pressed juice at Beet Jar. Keeping with the theme of the neighborhood, it was another super cute space with delicious offerings. I went with a green juice and their signature Bravocodo Sandwich that had smoked coconut, avocado, red onions, cashew mayo, and mixed greens tucked between two slices of toasted Sicilian bread. This sandwich was amazing. Seriously. The juice was great, but this sandwich was just beyond. It’s very rare that I would choose a meatless sandwich over one with meat, but this sandwich would absolutely be the exception!

Cleveland, Harness Cycle

Cleveland, Beet Jar

Cleveland, Beet Jar, Juice, Sandwich

From the Beet Jar I drove back downtown to my hotel to get freshened up to meet Charity and head back to Ohio City for brunch and a trip to the West Side Market. Our first stop was at Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream. Ice cream before brunch – what can I say, priorities! I had a waffle cone with a scoop of their seasonal Toasted Hazelnut and a scoop of the Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk – both SO good, but the hazelnut was my fav.  Mitchells’ ice creams are made with high-quality ingredients like grass-fed dairy raised on nearby family farms, seasonal fruits, and locally-roasted nuts, to name a few. If I’m going to indulge in ice cream I feel a little less guilty when it’s this good!

Next we walked over to The Flying Fig for brunch. All the outdoor patios in the area were bustling on this sunny Saturday afternoon and the Flying Fig’s was no exception. Charity ordered the Warm “Egg Salad”, a gruyere-chive soft scramble on top of multigrain bread, and I ordered the Migas – local scrambled eggs with chorizo sausage, tortillas, peppers, scallions, roasted chili, aged cheddar, tomatillo & crème fraîche, with breakfast potatoes. Delicious! The Fig has been around for 15 years and is all about the farm-to-table movement. Their goal is to “support small family farms and local food artisans while creating critically acclaimed menus that evolve frequently to reflect seasonal availability”. Great food and a goal worth supporting, what’s not to love?

Cleveland, Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream

Cleveland, Flying Fig, Brunch

Cleveland, Flying Fig, Brunch

We had one more stop to make in Ohio City at The West Side Market. The West Side Market has been around since 1840 and is Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market. The market is home to over 100 vendors that collectively offer a little bit of everything. Meat, dairy, seafood, produce, spices, baked goods, candy, flowers…it’s all there. I don’t think anywhere could top my love for Seattle’s Pike Place Market, but I will say that Cleveland’s West Side Market definitely bears some resemblance and I had a great time there!

Cleveland, West Side Marke

Cleveland, West Side Marke

Our visit to the market ended our time in Ohio City but there were still so many other great places in the neighborhood that I didn’t get a chance to check out. I’m sure that I could have spent the entire weekend exploring this little pocket of Cleveland! I definitely recommend adding Ohio City to your itinerary if you’re planning a visit to Cleveland!


My expenses during my time in Cleveland were paid for by Positively Cleveland. As always, all content on Lion + Maven comes from my own, unbiased thoughts and opinions. 

Mentioned in this post
  1. Cleveland
    City in Ohio

    Cleveland Ohio


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