I love all things Cleveland, not the least of which is the west side. I lived in Lakewood when I interned downtown and loved getting to know that side of the city.
Since then we’ve been to the west side numerous times, more often than not to check out the food scene and night life. From Tremont to Ohio City to Rocky River to West 25th–there is SO much good food in Cleveland and a very dense population of amazing restaurants in that area.
In addition to the prolific restaurants and food trucks is the center of all local food stuffs, the West Side Market. What a fabulous, historical component of Cleveland that draws people from all over the world!
When I heard this year was its centennial, I couldn’t wait to hear how they planned to celebrate and how we could participate.
West Side Market Parade
The official Street Fest and Parade was yesterday, and unfortunately the weather was dismal. I was really bummed because I had been looking forward to it for some time, but luckily the fiance is a trooper and he actually dragged me up there for the festivities.
We were able to find a pseudo-legal parking spot and planted ourselves where the parade began under my tiny umbrella. We were surrounded by families as well as some unfortunate/soaked pets, and ended up having a lot of fun.
The parade floats all had a tie to the history of the market or something related to the market–everything from costumes of things sold in the market stands, like fish and bread, to costumed stall workers from the early 1900s.
I couldn’t believe the turnout of parade participants or parade viewers given the rain, but everyone seemed in good spirits. There were a couple high-energy bands in the parade, which always lifts everyone’s spirits.
When the last parade participants walked by we closed in with the crowd to follow the parade down to the West Side Market, but the parade ended a good half hour before the market was scheduled to open.
Cleveland West Side Restaurants
There were food stalls lining the street representing most of the west side food scene, but the constant drizzle of rain was causing most people to duck into the brick and mortar restaurants and bars on West 25th until they could go inside the market. We headed over by the Flying Fig, but it was packed and we just wanted somewhere to have a drink and warm up while we waited.
Then I remembered Nano Brew, the newest location by the owner’s of Bar Cento and Bier Markt. I read this article about it in the Plain Dealer and really wanted to go, so we thought we would give it a shot. Low and behold there were two seats at the bar, and before we knew it we had sliders, frites and some delicious draft beers.
The game was on so the bar was packed and noisy–it was the perfect environment to warm up and grab a snack. We will definitely be back–the menu looked great, and I only wish I had been hungrier!
Cleveland’s West Side Market
We closed out and walked down to the market, which had opened and was of course packed. We pushed through the crowds, enjoying some of the historical pictures the different booths had on display, but it was a little much. The hustle and bustle and people and noise are what make the market, but this was intense and we could hardly get around to the stalls we wanted to visit. We made our way around and then decided we had experienced enough!
The West Side Market is such an amazing Cleveland asset. If you’ve never been, or haven’t been in a while, make a day of it. take a cooler, explore all of the things to do on the west side (the casino, the zoo, the aquarium, the flats, etc.), hop from restaurant to restaurant enjoying small plates along the way– and maybe take me with you!