Cleveland Rocks Vegan!
Posted by Scott VanValkenburg at 5:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)
Some folks are afraid that if they venture too far from the Atlantic or Pacific coasts, they might starve trying to find good vegan food. But those brave souls who venture to Cleveland's "north coast" on Lake Erie will find plenty of culinary delights to enjoy while exploring the region's varied entertainment options.
Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin called the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame "the center of the universe," and if you haven't yet visited-or at least thought about visiting-this stellar multimedia institution, you must be (to paraphrase Neil Young) fading away. I keep going back for the rotating exhibits, but the permanent collection is a blast too. You can put on headphones and listen to tracks from artists ranging from B.B. King and Jerry Lee Lewis to vegan activist Chrissie Hynde. You can even listen to some of those kids whose names I've forgotten who are out on the Warped Tour now. This isn't history on display-it's an evolving tribute to an art form of worldwide significance. You can chow down on a veggie wrap in the Hall's café while enjoying the view of Lake Erie or head outside to find Dim and Den Sum and Pedaling Hummus, two of the city's many mobile gourmet vendors.
If you've really worked up an appetite, you have to check out Melt Bar & Grilled which is a truly unique pop-culture dining experience. The menu here (printed on the back of real album covers!) is as packed with vegan items as the sandwiches are with vegan cheese, soy meat, and other treats. Every monthly special has a vegan option, and enjoying one of the many beers on tap while looking at the posters, cartoon characters, and other items on the walls makes it easy to settle in here. Each masterpiece sandwich is so huge that it's hard to finish, but it's harder not to want to devour every bite!
It's not just rock 'n' roll in this city, so do head over to the Cleveland Museum of Art (free admission) or into a section of the spectacular "Emerald Necklace," as the metropark system that stretches from east to west around the city is called. Cleveland has a large Jewish population, so it is easy to find nondairy Kosher delights at spots such as the Jerusalem Grill, which serves up veggie burgers, awesome fries, and vegan milkshakes. You can walk the hip shops of the former counter-culture hotspot of Coventry, then duck into Tommy's for a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a gem that offers miles of hiking through woods, gorges, and meadows, or you could jump the scenic train and ride it down to Akron for a spectacular meal at Chrissy Hynde's Vegiterranean. This sleek restaurant offers Italian/Mediterranean-themed dishes, such as Italian Fritto Gardein Scalippini, and Chef J. Scot Jones creates nightly specials that are out of this world (I had a vegan flank steak that was to die for, though of course no cow had to!).
Lago Northern Italian in the artist's district of Tremont has "Vegan Monday" specials that are a work of art. And the Tremont Scoops ice cream parlor is a really sweet deal, with everything from vegan ice cream cones to vegan ice cream cakes!
Have you experienced rocking vegan chow in Cleveland?
Posted to Travel | Posted to Tags: Add new tag, cleveland, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Scott VanValkenburg, Vegan Travel, west side market