You could carve an entire trip out of Cleveland’s rich culinary history. Or you could cram much of it into one simple stop at the historic West Side Market.
The indoor, European-style market has been around for more than a century and still looks like it did when it catered to the immigrant community all those years ago: vendors hawking Old-World baked goods; family-owned stands displaying their colorful produce; fishmongers offering smoked fish and eels; classic butcher cases filled with sausages and animal guts — it’s not just steaks and salmon filets here, kids.
Today it’s surrounded by the city’s hottest restaurants and breweries, turning the area on and near the corner of West 25th Street and Lorain Ave. into arguably the most happening blocks in Cleveland. At the center of it all? The city’s most famous grocery store.
What You’ll See:
- This is simple: Upon entering the long, narrow, granite structure, you’ll see row after row after row of vendors. More than 100, in fact. Some are there to sell locals their weekly produce and proteins. Others specialize in sausages of all types, hot sauces, fresh baked goods and Cleveland’s beloved pierogies.
- Architecturally, the market is steeped in its late-Industrial-Age roots. The main structure resembles an old train station, both inside and out, and its iconic 137-foot clock tower has served as a beacon to Cleveland’s west siders since it was erected all those years ago.
What Else to Do?
- Before you even think about hitting up the many neighboring bars and restaurants, you need to try the ample ready-to-eat selections at the market itself. There are several booths with prepared foods where you can try some local bratwurst and hot dogs, as well as international delights like crepes, falafel or Cambodian sticky rice.
- When you’re done at the market, remember, you’re still in Ohio City. Go to the breweries and brewpubs. Within just a few blocks you can hit some of the landmarks: Market Garden, Nano Brew Cleveland and the godfather of Cleveland’s recent craft beer boom, Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Where to Stay
The West Side Market isn't very far from the heart of Downtown Cleveland. You could walk over the Hope Memorial Bridge, passing Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and Progressive Field on your way, but if you're weighed down by bags full of your well-shopped spoils (or just feeling it a bit after some beers at Great Lakes Brewing Co.), it's a short rideshare back to some of Cleveland's finest hotels.
Check out all of the first-class accommodations available to you in the heart Cleveland here.