Heading East

August 6, 2015
Heading East

Shop and eat to your heart’s delight in these Cleveland neighborhoods and suburbs east of downtown.

Little Italy

Food, faith, and the famous Feast of the Assumption Festival (Aug. 13-16) all help define this little Italian village, located at the base of Murray Hill. First settled in the 19th century by Italian stonemasons and artisans, Little Italy today is a buffet of Italian eateries and bakeries, including Cleveland's oldest active restaurant (Guarino's). Community and spirituality also commune in proud religious and social centers like the Holy Rosary Church and the Alta House.

3 Must-Do things:

  1. Order a homemade pizza and glass of wine from Mama Santa's
  2. Snack on Italian sweets from Cannoli to Tiramisu at Presti's or Corbo's bakeries
  3. Attend the Feast of the Assumption August 13-16.

Directions from Downtown:
Take OH-2 E./I-90 E. to exit #177 for Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Turn right on Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Turn right toward Wade Park Ave. then a sharp left onto Wade Park Ave. Turn right onto E. 118th St. Make a left onto Euclid Ave. followed by a right on Coltman Rd. Take the RTA Red Line to the Euclid-E. 120 Station. Cab fare: $20-30 from downtown. 

University Circle

The bold and the brainy call the art and educational neighborhood of University Circle their Cleveland capital. The districts of Wade Oval and Uptown have perhaps the greatest concentration of business, botany, medicine, and art learning centers on the globe within one square mile - from the campuses of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Museum of Art. It's all easily accessible from downtown using the award-winning RTA HealthLine.

3 Must-Do things:

  1. Ride the restored Euclid Beach Carousel at the Western Reserve Historical Society's History Center.
  2. Art blends with technology at the Cleveland Museum of Art's Gallery One exhibit. Don't miss the 40-foot Collection Wall screen.
  3. Dance to live music at Wade Oval Wednesdays each summer June-August.

Directions from Downtown:
Take Euclid Avenue east. Go 4.5 miles. Take a right on Mayfield Rd. (Rt. 322) to the intersection of Mayfield Rd. and Murray Hill Rd. RTA Red Line, eastbound to Euclid - E. 120 Station. Healthline eastbound to Euclid Ave. and Cornell Rd. Cab fare: $17-$20 from downtown.


For a funkier take on art, Collinwood's Waterloo Arts and Entertainment District serves up an eclectic mix of indie music venues and art galleries. Perhaps the most famous, Beachland Ballroom & Tavern is a former Croatian social hall that now books national and local jazz, blues, rock and polka bands. If you're more into water entertainment, Lake Erie borders the north of the neighborhood. Here, anglers can fish for walleye or perch through public charters at Wildwood Marina.

3 Must-Do things:

  1. Stare at hundreds of classic album covers under the shellac floor at Blue Arrow Records. Find vinyl at Music Saves, too.
  2. Grab a tall boy (24 oz. PBR) and catch local and national acts at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern - then go downstairs to shop for vintage clothing at This Way Out.  
  3. Charter a fishing boat at Wildwood Marina to see what the fuss is about with Lake Erie Walleye fishing.  

Directions from Downtown:
Take I-90 east. Go 7 miles. Take exit #180B/E. 152nd St. onto S. Waterloo Rd. Go ½ mile and turn left on E. 152nd St. then bear right on Waterloo Rd. RTA Red Line, eastbound to Stokes Windermere Station. Hop on Bus #37 to Waterloo Rd. and E. 156th St. Cab fare: $25-30 from downtown.

Shaker Square

As the oldest shopping district in Ohio, Shaker Square can entertain everyone from school kids to grandparents, being Cleveland's ultimate eastside shop-and-dine destination. Drive the minivan or take advantage of two light-rail Rapid Transit lines. Just be prepared to argue over where to eat, where to shop (PLAYmatters toy store), and where to have fun (Shaker Square Cinemas). Just leave time for Larchmere Boulevard, Cleveland's art and antiques shopping district (with fine folks like Wolfs Gallery).

3 Must-Do things:

  1. Enjoy a wood-fired prepared menu at Chef Douglas Katz's fire food & drink.
  2. Eat all things garlic and get out the breath mints at the Cleveland Garlic Festival, September 12-13, 2015.  
  3. Stroll Larchmere Blvd. a block north of Shaker Square for art, antiques and books.

Directions from Downtown:
Take Carnegie Avenue east. Go 4.5 miles. Continue onto Cedar Avenue east, take a right and go south on Coventry Road. Go 1.5 miles. Take a right and go west on Shaker Blvd. Go ½ mile until you reach Shaker Square. RTA Blue or Green Lines, eastbound to Shaker Square Station. Cab fare: $20-30 from downtown.

Coventry Village

Coventry Village has an excellent oddball shopping spree all set up - vintage toys (Big Fun), offbeat books (Revolution Books), bizarre Asian boutiques (City Buddha) - and you won't be alone. Its bars and big stages draw the young and restless from nearby Case Western Reserve University. Enjoy indie rock and rap acts at the Grog Shop.

3 Must-Do things:

  1. Watch art-house films at the Cedar Lee Theatre.
  2. Chew both the figurative and actual fat at local restaurants like bd's Mongolian Grill and Tommy's Restaurant.
  3. Enjoy outdoor movies and music at the Coventry Summer Series each summer June-August.  

Directions from Downtown:
Take Chester Ave. east for 3.8 miles. Continue straight onto Stearns Rd. Turn left on Carnegie Ave. and continue onto Cedar Glen Pkwy. In ½ mile, continue onto Euclid Heights Blvd. RTA Healthline to Mayfield Rd. & Coventry Rd. Cab fare: $20-25 from downtown.

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