What to do in Ohio City and Tremont

Cleveland Outings

Shreyas Banerjee, A&E Editor


West Side Market towers over Ohio City, a neighborhood dominated by unique shops and restaurants. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)

Some of the greatest pleasures I’ve had being a student at Case Western Reserve University have been my experiences simply exploring the city of Cleveland. While Cleveland has its issues, it also offers distinct character, vibrant neighborhoods and institutions that punch far above their weight for a city with a population of less than 400,000. It breaks my heart that many CWRU students can go their entire college career without getting acquainted with the city we call home for four years, but we’re here to rectify this with a second installment of “Cleveland Outings.” This week, we’ll be focusing on some of the most well-known districts of “The Forest City,” the adjoining neighborhoods of Ohio City and Tremont. Both on the west side of the Cuyahoga River, the neighboring areas feature several of the biggest attractions in Cleveland, full of culture, history and life. Let’s explore them together.

Public transportation: 

Like downtown Cleveland, Ohio City is pretty easy to get to via public transportation. With the university-provided Regional Transit Authority (RTA) pass in hand, just go to the nearest access point to the Red Line rapid transit trains and head west. For those on the Northside of campus, that’ll be the Little Italy-University Circle Station and for those on the Southside of campus, it’ll be the Cedar-University Station. From there, head down to the W. 25-Ohio City Station and walk a few minutes down Lorain Avenue to get to the center of Ohio City. For those interested in Tremont, get off at the same station and walk about 15 minutes down Abbey Avenue to arrive at the heart of the neighborhood.

Things to do:

Ohio City has historically been one of the most bustling neighborhoods in Cleveland, full of shops, restaurants, breweries and attractions. Along with art galleries, live music venues and specialty cafés, there’s plenty to do within the neighborhood. The first stop on anybody’s list in Ohio City has to be the West Side Market. Right on the intersection of Lorain and W. 25th, the area has been the home of the largest indoor/outdoor market space in the city for centuries, with the original structure being built in 1840 and then replaced and expanded several times until the final brick building was built in 1912, clock tower and all. There you can find all manner of food, with seafood, fresh meats, produce and international foods all inside the open air space. Also attached is a crazy good diner, the West Side Market Café, which I always recommend for a hearty breakfast.

Though West Side Market may not be as bustling as it was before the pandemic, it contains all of the same charm and services. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)

From there, across 25th Street, you can see Market Square, often dominated by traveling musicians or vendors and surrounded by one of the finest restaurants in Cleveland, The Flying Fig. Down 25th, you can see more restaurants of all manner of cuisine, from Southern chicken, to Middle Eastern cuisine, to pizza shops, to my personal favorite, Ohio City Burritos. Also on the street are bookstores, ice cream shops and notably the Tabletop Board Game Cafe, which allows patrons to enjoy games along with their meal and beverage. Coming soon to the neighborhood will be Lakewood favorite, 16-Bit Bar+Arcade, which is teaming up with Pins Mechanical Co. to bring a venue that includes classic video games, beverages and bowling. Other popular attractions include the BOP STOP jazz club, the SPACES art gallery and the Perplexity Games Escape Room, all providing exciting things to do as we all get vaccinated. For those over the age of 21, Ohio City is home to some of the most renowned breweries in Cleveland, most notably the Great Lakes Brewing Company. All of this makes Ohio City one of the most vibrant and exciting places to be in Cleveland. Personally, I wouldn’t mind living there myself.

The St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral is one of the many churches in the historically and culturally rich neighborhood of Tremont. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)

Tremont, on the other hand, is one of the most chill places in Cleveland. The tree-lined neighborhood has its roots as a former college town, acting as a home for the former Cleveland University in the early 1850s but has since become home to many European immigrant groups. Dominated by numerous churches and historic housing, the neighborhood is one of the most architecturally beautiful in Cleveland. Also included is a wide variety of restaurants of all manner of cuisine and shops that are some of the most unique in the city. Some notable mentions are the affoGATO Cat Café, which is exactly what the name implies, a café that lets you pet cats as you relax. Visible Voices Books, a bookstore and café, also offers a venue that lets you enjoy pizza, drinks and good books all under one roof. For those interested in hands-on activities, Tremont features the rock wall gym Climb Cleveland and the bowling bar HI and DRY. The neighborhood also includes outdoor spaces, with the central Lincoln Park and access to the Towpath Trail, which takes you down the Cuyahoga River all the way downtown, both easily accessible. 

Full of trees, churches, restaurants and shops, Tremont always has something to enjoy. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)

And right down that trail is a real treat for any fans of films and the holiday season: the house from “A Christmas Story.” The classic film was filmed throughout Cleveland and the house Ralphie grew up in is now a museum that preserves it as seen in the film, leg lamp and all. A gift shop is right across the street as well.

The house from “A Christmas Story” is exactly as you remember it, with the leg lamp included. (Shreyas Banerjee/The Observer)

All in all, the west side of the Cuyahoga River contains some of the best residential, cultural and commercial areas in the city, and it’s only going to get better. With the forthcoming TIGER metropark trails about to be finished, the west side of Cleveland will be more interconnected than ever, providing more access to the lake and the river, especially once the Irishtown Bend portion of the trail is finished. The future is bright for Cleveland. Come be a part of it.