Downtown Cleveland is truly a sight to see on Browns gameday. And even if you’re not going to the game, there are plenty of places to catch those good, football Sunday vibes all around town.
Cleveland is home to an unbelievable craft brewing scene, and several of our city’s 40+ breweries are located just a short walk from Cleveland Browns Stadium. If you’re looking for something a little more “Sunday Funday,” there are plenty of brunch options available. Or, hit the tailgates for pre-gaming the way Paul Brown intended: outside, with the people, drooling over all the glorious, grilled eats.
Fear not, football fan. We’ve got your pre-game plans all lined up in The Land
Of course, the real pre-game action are the tailgates you’ll find all around the stadium in practically every adjacent parking lot. Walk through for some truly elite people-watching – you might just see a former coach or player partying with the masses – and to see the rows and rows of customized vans, trailers and, yes, even school buses decked out in Browns regalia.
The OG tailgate is the Muni Lot off South Marginal Road. Across the street from Burke Lakefront Airport (itself home to a milder, family-friendly tailgate), this massive municipal parking icon has become home to the purest distillation of Browns fandom you’ll ever experience outside of the Dawg Pound, with yard games, beer, grilling, beer and all manner of gameday mayhem.
Or, head to the other side of the stadium and party in The Pit (1101 West 9th St.) with gameday gourmets that pull out all the stops for some wildly tasty tailgate treats. Of course, Barley House on West 6th Street is always hopping with music and morning grub, not to mention live radio broadcasts.
Breweries Full of Browns Fans
Noble Beast Brewing Co. offers industrial décor and a menu that includes sandwiches and pretzels baked with spent grains from their brewing process. With its front garage door open, you can almost hear the cheers from the stadium.
Southern Tier Brewing Company opened its Cleveland outpost in 2018. Known for their dessert-influenced beer (their crème brulee stout tastes just like its namesake), the Prospect Avenue location features a restaurant at street level and an additional lounge downstairs, perfect for socializing while watching the Browns on TV.
Masthead Brewing sits in a building initially used as a car dealership, its big front windows and high ceilings making for a perfect beer hall atmosphere. Masthead’s hallmark menu item is pizza cooked to perfection – with the right amount of char on the bottom – in their wood-fired oven.
Butcher and the Brewer offers locally made brews and family style food – along with possibly the coolest bathroom in the city – all on East 4th Street. This downtown microbrewery also offers a marketplace selling various cuts of meat and other local groceries.
Brunch on Bacon and Bloodies
The beautifully restored and renovated terra cotta wonder of the Schofield Building is home to a Kimpton hotel and Betts. Named for the wife of building namesake Levi Schofield – who also designed the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument – Betts features a full menu for brunch on weekends amid midcentury-modern décor. Burnham Restaurant at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown also offers weekend brunch options, including a buffet and a menu featuring dishes like CLE Eggs Benedict with house-made pastrami.
Cordelia on East 4th Street opened to great regional and national fanfare in 2022 and has quickly become one of Cleveland’s best new restaurants. The change their menu seasonally but offer a variety of “Midwest Nice” choices for Sunday brunch like Dutch baby pancakes, French toast fries and even cold fried chicken (you’ve got to try it).
On the East Bank of the Flats, Punch Bowl Social serves hearty brunch fare amid pool tables, darts, bowling alleys and arcade games with plenty of screens if you don’t have tickets for the Dawg Pound. Or, head over to nearby Lago East Bank for wild brunch recipes like the BLT Frittata, Lobster Benedict or Chicken Parm Pop Tarts.
Driving can be an adventure downtown on a Browns gameday, but the city offers plenty of options to take it easy. In addition to great food, craft beer and fantastic views of the Cuyahoga River, Collision Bend Brewing on the East Bank of the Flats offers shuttles to the game, starting two hours before kickoff. On the West Bank, the venerable Flat Iron Café has been serving food and drinks for more than a century. Grab a Lake Erie perch sandwich then jump on their Browns shuttle.
When in doubt, RTA’s waterfront line operates on gamedays, going from Tower City (where all the Rapid lines converge), down through the east bank of the Flats and out past the stadium, Burke Lakefront Airport and the Muni Lot. Ride all day for just $5.00.