Saturday, April 29, 2017

Best of Cleveland 2017: Where the City's Faves & My Faves Overlap

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Cleveland Scene just came out with their Best of Cleveland 2017 results, voted on by readers (myself included!) I've always loved going through "best of" lists in the cities where I've lived, & now that I finally at home in this city - I know it, I love it, & I never plan to leave it - I was especially excited for this year's reveal.

I know lots of my readers aren't located in the Cleveland area, so I try not to write Cleveland-centric content too often - but this time, I couldn't resist! Here are a few of the Cleveland Scene Best of Cleveland winners that also happen to appear on my personal Best of Cleveland list - you know, the one in my head. Let's make it official, shall we?
  1. Mitchell's: Best Ice Cream
    Graeter's? Jeni's? Nahhh. When it comes to the battle of the Cleveland ice cream giants, Mitchell's has my heart. I already told you that their Vegan Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream is one worth eating in silnce to you can fully enjoy its deliciousness. Need I say more? (Fine: Their Ohio City location is in a cool old theater!) (multiple locations, mitchellshomemade.com)
     
  2. The Grog Shop: Best Bar/Club for Underground Music
    In fairness, I haven't been to the Grog for ages, truly, but the nostalgia is strong with this one. This is where I fell in love with emo music, all the way back in 2002. Before we were old enough to get into shows, my late ex-boyfriend, Dave, & his best friend, Kevin, used to stand outside the back door & listen in. (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Heights, 216-321-5588, grogshop.gs)
      
  3. Taste of Tremont: Best Street Festival
    Braggin' on my neighborhood! It's not just walking distance of home; for the next one, we'll be living right on Professor Ave., where the whole thing takes place. It's a perfect opportunity to try a little bit of everything Tremont has to offer - & to do some good day-drinking, of course. (tasteoftremont.com)
     
  4. Velvet Tango Room: Best Cocktail Bar
    Wanna get a little fancy? This is the place. Located in a super-weird little spot off the beaten path between Tremont & Ohio City, Velvet Tango Room serves innovative & immaculately crafted cocktails that are worth every penny - as long as you're not having more than one. (2095 Columbus Rd., 216-241-8869, velvettangoroom.com)
     
  5. CLE Clothing Co.: Best T-Shirt Company/Store to Find a Piece of CLE
    Is there anyone in town, at this point, who doesn't own a CLE Clothing Co. tee? Their downtown location is my favorite way to kill time (& lighten my wallet), & they regularly swap out their existing styles for new ones to keep things fresh. Show your pride & getcha some. (multiple locations, cleclothingco.com)
     
  6. Great Lakes Brewing Company: Best Local Beer & Best Local Brewery
    There are plenty of great new breweries in town, but sometimes, the original is still the best - or, as Scene calls it, "the archbishop of Cleveland's microbrewery diocese."They've got a great patio, a lurky live-music basement, & a second floor that's home to my favorite trivia in town. (2516 Market Ave., 216-771-4404, greatlakesbrewing.com)
     
  7. West Side Market: Best Place to Take a Visitor
    If you're seeing Cleveland for the first time, you've got to see West Side Market. It's a beautiful, breath-taking, historic building jam-packed with vendors selling all things local & gourmet - cheese, meat, produce, spices, even homemade pasta. And cupcakes, of course. (1979 West 25th St., 216-664-3387, westsidemarket.org)
     
  8. Best Local Jewelry Maker: Oceanne
    I've got a whole post in the works about my favorite Cleveland-area jewelry makers, but now's as good a time as any to raise up Oceanne, who's top of the list. Her minimalist style is both funky & chic, & her prices range from affordable to worth-the-splurge. Catch her at the Cleveland Flea! (2570 Superior Ave. East, Suite 403, oceanne.net)
     
  9. Lucky's Cafe: Best Brunch
    This is my favorite brunch spot in the city, & even before Scene named it so, I knew it was everyone else's, too, given that you can barely walk through the door on a weekend. Everything is locally sourced, & some of it is even grown right there in their backyard garden. Get the pecan-crusted bacon & regret nothing. (777 Starkweather Ave., 216-622-7773, luckyscafe.com)
     
  10. Cleveland Bagel Co.: Best Bagels
    No longer just available at the Cleveland Flea, these delightfully crispy bagels are now sold all around town, including at the company's brand new brick-&-mortar shop in Gordon Square. Their cheddar cheese & chive cream cheese it to die for, & the bagels themselves don't even need to be toasted. Take that, NYC. (4201 Detroit Ave., 216-600-5652, clebagelco.com)
     
  11. Rising Star: Best Coffee/Coffeehouse
    My new Friday ritual is to head to the Rising Star location in Hingetown, which is hip but laid-back, bustling but somehow also peaceful. I'm no coffee connoisseur, but I love their Promised Land Latter... & the days when they also sell Brewnuts booze-infused donuts. (multiple locations, risingstarcoffee.com)
     
  12. Beet Jar: Best Local Juice Bar
    The other part of my new Friday ritual is to grab lunch at Beer Jar, just across the street from Rising Star. Their smoothies are healthy & delicious (I love the Phat Beets), & their Bravacado sandwich is seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten. Smoked coconut flakes?! Smoked coconut flakes. (1432 West 29th St., beetjar.com)
     
  13. Cedar Lee: Best Movie Theater
    This indie arthouse theater is an old favorite in Cleveland Heights, & it's the one reliable spot in town for indie films & oops-I-missed-it Oscar nominees. They also play Rocky Horror Picture Show once a month, complete with on-stage actors enhancing your viewing experience. And there's beer at the concession stand, of course. (2163 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights, 440-528-0355, clevelandcinemas.com)
What's your favorite spot in Cleveland? Do you agree with Scene's final results? Comment & let me know! 

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