Modeled after a Pacific Northwest coffee house, Erie blends a rustic chic aesthetic with top-notch java. While caffeine is the company's stock in trade, customers also can fuel up on freshly prepared salads, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and real-fruit smoothies.
Channeling the spirit of a European wine bar, this funky little spot in Ohio City makes a tasty backdrop for a small but tempting menu of thin-crusted pizzas, house-cured meats, handmade pastas, and some of the best twice-fried, Belgian-style fries you'll ever find on a Cleveland tabletop. To go with, the annotated wine list offers 100 selections, while next door's Bier Markt provides dozens of imported brews.
Imported from Buffalo, the Chocolate Bar is part nightclub, part restaurant. By day, the airy space bustles with lunchtime activity, with diners digging into affordable salads, sandwiches, and entrées. At night, ladies (and the men who love them) pair chocolate martinis with decadent desserts. While chocolate finds its way into all manner of menu items, it's wise to stick to those that come with whipped cream or alcohol.
An eye-opening experience for anyone who thinks Asian food is limited to lo mein in paper containers. This cuisine rambles between Cambodian home cooking and Vietnamese classics. The menu – heavy with descriptions and suggestions – reads like a textbook.
Casual, comfortable, and beautifully appointed, this Mexican bar and grill is an inexpensive stop for after-work unwinding or for grabbing a bite before downtown entertainment. While the food isn't always as interesting as the decor, it partners up perfectly with the vast tequila collection, featuring nearly 100 brands served straight up, in flights, or as part of 30 or so oversize cocktails.
Touch’s DJs spin the freshest cuts in town. They’ll also play stuff you’ve heard, but the DJs here pride themselves on the funk, soul, indie rock, and dance remixes that never hit the Top 40.
The former Cabaret Dada comedy troupe is now Something Dada, with a new cabaret in the Tower Press Building.
Wilbert’s mixes local acts with touring artists trying to get a toehold in town. Blues, rock, folk, indie, reggae, and jam bands all mingle here, so you’re never quite sure what you’ll hear.
If anyone is worried about the state of the economy, you would never know it by the festive crowd of well-dressed hipsters mixing it up inside Ohio's first Brazilian churrascaria. The house specialty is an endless parade of fresh-off-the-grill meats, carved tableside by a crew of peripatetic "gauchos." A meticulously maintained buffet offers salads and more, while elegant, a la carte desserts are worth saving room for.
Located on the West Bank of the Flats, the expansive McCarthy's Dowtown is, as you might expect, very green. Danceable bands and DJs entertain during the weekends; during the week, plasma screens assume that duty.
Part of a three-club complex (along with the staid Man's World in the back and leather-only Crossover in the basement), the woodsy Shed is home base for Cleveland's only gay country line-dance group. On Sundays, the evening starts with dance lessons for beginners.
Somehow, life seems simpler after a meal at Superior Pho. Maybe thats because the main attraction at this tiny Vietnamese restaurant is pho: big bowls of homemade beef-and-noodle soup, with basil, lime and other flavorful trimmings. Combo meals featuring small appetizers and rice are also available.
House of Blues is the place to see megawatt artists on their way up (or down) the charts. The Music Hall holds more than 1,000, while the more intimate Cambridge Room hosts local bands and national acts still cultivating their following.
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