Welcome to the Cleveland Date Night series! This series will highlight some fun date night ideas in and around Cleveland.
When it comes to planning the perfect Cleveland date night, Ohio City has it all.
Ohio City is located just west of downtown across the Cuyahoga River. This neighborhood was once pretty run down, but has seen a lot of new development in recent years. Now, it’s one of Cleveland’s super trendy “it” neighborhoods, with the beautiful West Side Market, fantastic breweries, great spots to eat, and other fun things to do.
For the perfect Ohio City date night, you should definitely start with a fun activity, get drinks, have a tasty meal, and save room for dessert.
How to plan a date night in Ohio City
Step 1: A Fun Activity
These fun activities are all perfect for a chilled-out Ohio City date night.
Cleveland Candle Company – 2032 W 25th St. – If you love candles, this is a great spot to make your own! Choose the container and size of the candle you’d like to make, pick your favorite scents, and a guide will help you narrow down 2-3 scents that will make the perfect candle. From lemon and basil to orange spice and sandalwood, create a scent that matches your mood or the season. The possibilities are endless. It costs about $16-36 per candle depending on the size you choose.
Forest City Shuffleboard – 4506 Lorain Ave. – Want to stir up some friendly competition on your Ohio City date night? Try your hand at shuffleboard with either the old school courts or the shuffleboard tables at Forest City Shuffleboard. These are rented by the hour, and it costs $28 for a court and $14 for a table. I definitely recommend making reservations, as it is pretty popular.
Tabletop Board Game Cafe – 1810 W 25th St. – If you love playing some good old-fashioned board games, then Tabletop is the place to go. With a huge selection of games like Clue, Trivial Pursuit, and Monopoly, you can enjoy games from your childhood, or discover some new board games to love!
Step 2: Grab Some Drinks
There are so many fantastic breweries and Ohio City bars that finding a drink is easy for a date night in Cleveland.
Market Avenue Wine Bar – 2521 Market Ave. – If you want to have a lovely evening tasting some wine, this is a great spot. Grab an appetizer like Baked Brie and split a bottle of wine. If you are going on an Ohio City date night in the summer, I recommend sitting outside where you’ll have fantastic views of the West Side Market.
Great Lakes Brewing Company – 2516 Market Ave. – Across the street from Market Avenue Wine Bar is Great Lakes. This Ohio City staple is one of the best breweries in Cleveland with classics like Dortmunder Gold Lager and Holy Moses White Ale. They also have great seasonal beers like Alberta Clipper Porter and Great Lakes Christmas Ale. If you have time, I recommend taking the brewery tour. It costs $6 per person and includes four 5oz tastings of beer.
Bookhouse Brewing – 1526 W 25th St. – This newer brewery is quickly becoming popular with their library-themed taproom and great brews. Sip on a Whoops! Juicy IPA or the romantic-sounding Little Kisses (Petit Bisous) fruit beer while talking about literature or finding a fun board game to play.
Juke Box – 1404 W 29th St. – This is one of my favorite bars in Cleveland! You can sip cocktails or beer on tap while listening to throwback hits on their classic jukebox. One of my favorite cocktails is the Tony-Rita (Espolon Blanco Tequila, lime, and soda), lovingly named after their famous bartender who created the beverage. They also make a great drink called Go With The Floh that contains Floh Pink Grapefruit Vodka, lemon, simple syrup, Luxardo cherries, and is topped with a splash of Prosecco.
Step 3: Have Dinner
With plenty of great spots for a bite to eat, these are some of the best ones for a date night in Cleveland.
The Black Pig – 2801 Bridge Ave. – Our favorite spot for an Ohio City date night, this place has the best food. They create French-inspired cuisine using seasonal ingredients, and the result is simply amazing. They have the best pork collar that falls off the bone, and their mushroom agnolotti is swoon worthy. They also have incredible artisan cocktails that you’ll love.
Momocho – 1835 Fulton Rd. – This place serves modern Mexican fare all in a romantic, dimly-lit establishment. Enjoy some of the best guacamole around, as well as top-notch entrees like their tamales.
Le Petit Triangle Café – 1881 Fulton Rd. – If you are in search of a cozy French restaurant for your date night in Ohio City, I recommend this café. You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into a romantic spot in the middle of Paris. They serve French classics like escargots, beef bourguignon, cassoulet, and more. They also have a good French wine list.
Ohio City Galley – 1400 W 25th St. – If as a couple you suffer from the issue of not being able to decide where to eat, this is the place in Ohio City for food. Featuring four great restaurants that rotate throughout the year, you can choose whichever cuisine you’d prefer and they bring it to your table. They also have a massive bar to grab beer, wine, or fun cocktails while you sit and enjoy a delicious meal together.
SOHO Chicken & Whiskey – 1889 W 25th St. – Craving southern fare? This place is known for its fried chicken dinners served in various ways, whiskey cocktails, and even some classic southern sodas like Ale-8-One (my favorite) or Cheerwine.
Bakersfield Cleveland – 2058 W 25th St. – Known for their tacos, tequila, and whiskey, you’ll love sampling the many cocktails on hand as well as tacos like Al Pastor or Carnitas.
Johnny Mango – 3120 Bridge Ave. – If you want to save a little money during your Cleveland date night, I recommend heading to Johnny Mango. Not only is their patio great in the summer for sipping their delicious margaritas, but they also have a lot of yummy food like pad Thai, burritos, and fried rice.
Step 4: Get Dessert
Saving room for something sweet to wrap up your Cleveland date night in Ohio City? These are the perfect final stops.
Mitchell’s Ice Cream – 1867 W 25th St. – This is definitely the most popular ice cream shop in Cleveland, and with several flavors, a charming spot right on W 25th, and big glass windows so you can see the ice cream being made, it is easy to see why. They offer some great flavors like Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk and Banana Cream Pie on top of great vegan options like the Vegan Salted Caramel Pecan.
Mason’s Creamery – 4401 Bridge Ave. – For a smaller ice cream shop that has some truly unique flavors, Mason’s Creamery is the spot to visit. We love their ice cream cookie sandwiches. Just as a heads up, though, that they convert to a pop-up ramen shop in the winter, so if you’re craving something sweet, come here in the summer.
Townhall – 1909 W 25th St. – While this is a great restaurant all on its own, I recommend stopping by here at the end of the night for dessert. They have the best Skillet Cookie topped with Mitchell’s vanilla ice cream. And for those trying to eat vegan, they have a vegan Brownie Sundae topped with vegan salted caramel ice cream.
Where to Park in Ohio City
Unfortunately, it can be very hard to find parking in Ohio City along the main drag that is W 25th St. While metered parking is free after 6 p.m., spaces can be hard to find. I recommend parking further back off of 25th St. on some side streets. Parking is free there, which is great.
If you can’t find free street parking, the lot behind West Side Market is fairly inexpensive (your first 90 minutes is free, and then it’s $1 per hour after that). Also, some places offer valet parking for a small fee.
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Which of these spots would you choose for an Ohio City date night?
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Kat is a Cleveland transplant and has lived here for over 4 years. She loves to eat, drink, and explore the gems across the city, and has made it her personal mission to find the best breweries and pizza in Northeast Ohio. She also runs a couples travel blog and podcast called World Wide Honeymoon.