When the weather turns frigid, a lot of people hunker down to hibernate with their fave streaming service. Not us Clevelanders. We throw on our warmest outerwear and spend all day outside at Brite Winter, one of the (literally) coolest festivals in the U.S.
Between its multiple stages of music, and abundance of local art and food, the annual event — which is celebrating its 14th year in 2023 — oozes Cleveland cool.
When you're not hanging out at Brite (which is slated for Saturday, Feb. 25, from 3 p.m. - midnight. on the West Bank of the Flats), here are some other things to see and do in town.
Lunch: Ohio City hidden gem Hansa Brewery offers up some of the most authentic Eastern European food and beer in town — between the award-winning Winzig Haus Bier (which nabbed a bronze medal for "historical beer" at the 2017 Los Angeles International Beer Competition) and stomach-busting dishes such as a sausage platter or Wiener schnitzel.
After lunch, mosey on over to Ohio City's West 25th Street main drag and pop into the flagship store of sweets emporium Mitchell's Homemade Ice Cream for a scoop of premium ice cream.
Afternoon: Find out how the magic happens — that is, how beloved local beer destination Market Garden Brewery brews its craft delights — by scheduling a late afternoon tour of its Production Brewery, a 35,000-square-foot facility located in Ohio City behind the West Side Market. The tour costs just $10, and that includes beer samples. Call this one of the best happy hour bargains in town.
Dinner: Head west to the Gordon Square neighborhood and grab a table at XYZ the Tavern, an unpretentious bar with a killer drink menu (to the tune of over 100 kinds of whiskey and bourbon) and a menu bursting with sandwiches and slices (of gigantic, New York-style pizza, that is).
Evening: Across from XYZ is Superelectric Pinball Parlor, a retro-tastic time warp to arcades of yore that boasts multiple rows of classic and new pinball machines — all of which are playable by purchasing on-site tokens. Still thirsty? Grab a craft cocktail while you're at it.
Late Night: Have a nightcap at the nearby Hingetown neighborhood bar Jukebox. As its name implies, the cozy space has one of the best, most diverse jukebox selections in the city, and a carefully curated beer list heavy on Ohio brews.
Lunch: Sleep in and have a leisurely, late nosh at Lucky’s Café in Tremont. Try the cheddar scallion biscuits topped with scrambled eggs and sausage gravy. Trust us, this is Chef Michael Symon's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate."
All. Day. Long.: Brite Winter starts around 3 p.m. and features a tremendous lineup of live bands, art installations and tons of on-site food and beverages. It’s a full-day affair.
Late Night: Late-night munchies are the best kind of munchies, especially after a long night of consuming and commiserating with friends. There are tons of Cleveland joints with kitchens open till last call. Let's talk hot dogs, BYO tacos, pierogi and, of course, pizza by the slice here.
Brunch: To conquer your inevitable hangover, look no further than Gus's Diner 815. Imagine evey breakfast food you love - eggs, pacnakes, bacon, sausage, home fries, and toast - all on one plate and ready to be devoured. You've got yourself the Crazy Ten at Gus's.
Post-Brunch: Clear your head even more by taking a stroll over to the (mostly) vinyl mecca Blue Arrow Records. Located mere blocks from Gus's, the store offers a frequently updated used bin with no shortage of must-buy records. Or, go ahead and complete your totally music-fueled weekend with a couple of stops at a few Cleveland-area record stores here.
Get the 411 on Brite
Want the who, what, where, when and why on all things Brite Winter? Get ‘em here.