2017 Taste of Tremont
10 Tips to Experiencing the 2017 Taste of Tremont
By Kelsey O'Donnell
If you consider yourself a foodie, a decent cook or someone who just likes to eat, then mark your calendar for the Taste of Tremont on Sunday, July 16 from noon to 8 p.m.
Professor Ave., which runs through the center of this Cleveland neighborhood, shuts down to vehicle traffic and opens to pedestrians. Then, eateries, pubs and businesses throughout the neighborhood take over with dozens of booths. It's a neighborhood food festival (and admission is free!).
What many don't know is that Tremont is the epicenter of Cleveland's burgeoning culinary scene. The grit, charm and authenticity of this neighborhood--occupied by everyone from Polish immigrant grandmas to twenty-something hipster artists--sets itself apart from... well... anywhere else in the world.
Use these tips to plan your visit.
1. COME HUNGRY!
Arrive to Professor Ave. in Tremont with an empty stomach (this is our best piece of advice).
The food booths are manned by Tremont-based (or affiliated) restaurants and pubs selling sample-size portions of menu items, specialties and old-school favorites. Most menu items typically range from about $3-$10.
Let's be clear. This isn't your run-of-the-mill cuisine. The amazing food coming out of these eateries is driven not only by the creativity of local chefs and proprietors, but by the many ethnic groups who've bestowed their culture (and food) onto Cleveland.
You'll come face-to-mouth with offerings ranging from the perfectly buttered Polish pierogi from Sokolowski's University Inn to the chili-hot rice noodle dishes from TY FUN Thai Bistro. Try the savory dishes, sweet treats and homemade bakery items by Chef Heather Haviland at Lucky's Café. Or, take in the ethnically infused and out-of-this-world Asian fare from Bac Asian Bistro. Another favorite is beautifully prepared sushi from Ginko.
2. MAP OUT YOUR LIVE MUSIC EXPERIENCE
A festival in one of the artsiest neighborhoods in Cleveland wouldn't be complete without local music.
At the Beer Garden Stage on the north end of Professor Ave., festivalgoers can sit back and relax with some drinks in the beer garden while listening to SLAP jazz trio, Duo Decibel System and Big Ship.
And, then there are the "pocket parties" at the restaurants and establishments along Professor Ave. Places like Fahrenheit and the Treehouse host a day of live music on their patios and parking lots (note: some of them charge a small entrance fee).
One such party that seems to be a fixture at Taste of Tremont year after year is the bash put on by DANTE. It's an all-out party with tons of live music, dancing, eating and drinking. Pretty wild for an upscale restaurant.
3. PLAN TO HAVE A FEW DRINKS
No doubt, the best complement to great food is a tasty adult beverage. The Taste of Tremont offers a beer garden located at the north end of Professor Ave. between Literary Rd. and West 10th St. Listen to live music as you enjoy a drink.
In addition to the festival beer garden, many folks enjoy grabbing a drink at one of the dozens of Tremont restaurants and pubs.
Barrio is known for putting on one heck of a party. Under a huge tent, festivalgoers have enjoyed this pocket party's wide selection of wine, beer and cocktails along with their very own lineup of live music and entertainment. Stay tuned for their highly anticipated offerings this year.
But, of course, if you plan on having a few drinks, make sure to drink responsibly, designate a driver and...
4. EVALUATE YOUR TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
While there's street parking available throughout Tremont, as well as at various schools and churches (typically with a cash fee), consider traveling sans vehicle.
During the Taste of Tremont, RTA will be doubling its bus service through the neighborhood. So, hop aboard the #81 bus and get there for about $2.50. Plan your route here.
For avid cyclists, Tremont is a great neighborhood for biking. Utilize the secure bike parking within the festival's footprint.
Anyway you do it, map out your directions now.
5. PLOT AN ART AND SHOP HOP
Before Tremont became a Mecca for food, it got its start from the multitude of artists and art galleries making the neighborhood home. So, take advantage and create your own art hop.
And, from independent book stores to cool coffee shops, Tremont has a bevy of locally owned boutiques, shops and stores. Head over to some of these participating independent stores to get a good dose of local retail therapy:
6. MAKE A DAY OF IT
While the Taste of Tremont runs from noon to 8 p.m., many of the neighborhood establishments offer day-long food and drink specials. So, we really think you should make a day of it.
Before the event, get in touch with Professor Ave. restaurants and bars, many of which host exclusive parties before, during and after the big event.
In previous years, many festivalgoers raved about the party happening at Fahrenheit on Professor Ave. Chef Rocco Whalen, a mainstay of the Tremont neighborhood, dished out his famous "Cleveland Nachos" (homemade potato chips with goat cheese fondue) outside, while guests inside and on the patio enjoyed his homemade sangria and tons of music.
Or, stroll on over to Prosperity Social Club near Lincoln Park. The super cool music club, bar and restaurant will offer Old-World fare and music all day. It promises to be one heck of a party.
Seriously, the Taste of Tremont is really an all-day affair. Pace yourself accordingly.
7. CARRY CASH
While admission to the Taste of Tremont is free, you do have to pay to eat. Most restaurants will serve sample portions for less than $10. But--let's be honest here--you're going to want to eat more than just one sample (see tip #1).
Nearly all the food booths accept cash only. So while the festival will have a few on-site ATM machines, it just makes sense to carry cash.
8. BRING A BOTTLE OF WATER
Of course, beverages are sold at most food booths throughout the festival. But, consider making your Taste of Tremont experience that much easier by carrying your own bottle of water.
9. WEAR SUNSCREEN AND LIGHTWEIGHT CLOTHES
This is Cleveland so we all know a July afternoon can get pretty hot and humid. So slather on the SPF and wear lightweight clothing. For optimal comfort, may we also suggest a pair of stretchy pants, because, much like what happens on Thanksgiving Day, you're going to do some serious eating. Oh, and comfortable shoes would also be a good idea.
10. BRING A REUSABLE GROCERY BAG
The Tremont Farmers Market vendors (who'll be situated on the south end of Professor Ave.) will be selling their fresh, locally grown fruits and veggies.
Consider this the best vacation souvenir of all time.