Friday, March 29, 2019

Eat Drink CIFF43

The Cleveland International Film Festival brings people from all over the state, country and world to Cleveland, Ohio. They obviously come for the films, but even the most die hard film fan can't live on movie theater popcorn alone.
Well lucky for all the Film Fest fans, Cleveland is one of the county's top foodie cities. Here are some of my favorite places to get a taste of Cleveland during CIFF43.

Located in Tower City


Turn Bar + Kitchen at the Ritz Carlton is my top choice for dining while at CIFF. The location is perfect because it's attached to Tower City. A short indoor stroll from the hustle and bustle of the theaters is an oasis of fabulous eats, drinks and service. The menu truly has something for everyone.

They offer a special CIFF menu for those trying to squeeze in a meal between films. They have 5 items under $20 that are ready in only 20 minutes - so there is no reason to eat the crappy fast food in the food court.
Turn also has a great Off the Clock Happy Hour Monday through Friday 4-7pm. It includes a luxe assortment of dishes from Truffle Popcorn to Angus Beef Slides, all $10 or under. Draft beer is $5 and wine is $7.

The Ritz also has a special Film Fest Fan Package that includes vouchers and valet parking to entice you to spend the night.
The Power Hour at Morton's is one of the best Happy Hours in Cleveland and is also conveniently located in Tower City. Sunday through Friday from 4:45 until 6:30pm and 9pm to close, you can sample some excellent appetizers for a steal. The four petite filet sandwiches for only $7 are legendary. So are the mini burgers.
If you need a really quick pick me up without leaving the building, Susy's Soup and Mixed Greens have soup, salads and sandwiches that are better than your average food court food and reasonably priced.

Nearby Dining Destinations


Take a quick trip across the street into Public Square to REBol, a tasty organic and non-GMO spot. The have all sorts of drinks including coffee, juices, smoothies, an amazing honey peanut butter milkshake and even a full bar. 

And definitely don't miss this tasty freebie being offered by Marriott at Key Tower! Bring in your Film Fest ticket stub and they will treat you to free BBQ chips and French Onion Dip.
Yep, it's completely free. No catches. No purchase necessary. But while you are there, I definitely recommend one of their tasty cocktails, trying out the new spring menu, or this amazing chocolate cake! The Great Room is a fun place to people watch while you refuel and get ready for the next round of films.
Pura Vida, Otani Noodle, Iron Chef Michael Symon's Mabel's BBQ + Lola, Butcher and the Brewer, Saigon, Chinato, The Greenhouse Tavern, and The Corner Alley are all a short walk up Euclid Ave. All of these spots have great food and atmosphere and you can't go wrong choosing any of them. 

Hodge's is just a bit further of a walk but is still a great choice. Last night we were able to walk in and get seats for four without a wait likely due to the nasty weather. The menu is small but the food is great.
The Caribbean jerked chicken nachos (seared sweet corn, jerk chicken, mango and chili salsa, guacamole, lime crème fraîche, white cheddar) are the perfect size for dinner for one or to split between four people and still have room for entrees. 
On Monday, burgers are 1/2 off. Take advantage of their 2 for $40 Tuesdays: 1 APPETIZER, 2 ENTRÉES + BOTTLE OF WINE = 40 BUCKS! And they have Happy Hour Monday – Saturday 4pm – 6:30pm and Sunday ALL DAY! (4pm – 9pm)
Masthead Brewing Co is worth the walk, or if the weather is wretched (hello spring snowstorm - I'm talking to you!) grab a Lyft. 

You will be rewarded with fantastic pizza and delicious local brews. Definitely try the Brussels sprouts or pretzel board if you're looking for something besides pizza - salads too.

If you have more time, you can also take a Lyft, Uber or even the Rapid Transit and expand your choices even more. Head to Ohio City, Asian Town or Tremont to take a bigger bite out of CLE. Existing Lyft customers can use code LYFT2CIFF and new customers can use code LYFTCIFFNEWBIE for a discount.

Heinen's has a GORGEOUS grocery store in the city that is perfect for grabbing snacks, cold brews, and pre-made food. Head upstairs to The Balcony Bar to sip on beer and wine and order appetizers.
If you are downtown during the weekdays, definitely stop by Bloom Bakery. The products are really excellent and the mission is even better. Owned by Towards Employment, Bloom Bakery employs individuals who face barriers in a steady job, providing them with training and a promising career in culinary arts. The only drawback is the hours are extremely limited and they are closed on the weekend.

There are a ton of food related Film Fest sponsors too - be sure to show them your appreciation for their help in making CIFF43 a success.






13 comments:

  1. This is a really cool post! Thank you for sharing! I will definitely have to try some of the places to eat.

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    1. Thank you! They are all great spots year round --- but especially convenient for the Film Fest.

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  2. Great write up with some fabulous food suggestions! So great that the Marriott is offering a special deal and same for Turn at the Ritz. We've not made it to a film yet this year (boo!) but maybe, fingers crossed, can get to something this weekend. Either way, look forward to trying some of the spot you mentioned that we haven't been to yet.

    Betsy | Natty Gal

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    1. They really do embrace having the Film Fest right there in their building. It's smart for them and incredibly awesome for all the folks attending. I hope you make it to at least one film!

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  3. This brings back memories! When I worked downtown, we would go to the film festival. Haven't been in years, but these restaurants are a great idea. So many new things have opened downtown since I was there. Will need to try some of them. Thanks for listing them here!

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    1. It's definitely worth the trip downtown! They offer screenings at various theaters around town too. If you haven't been in awhile, it's definitely time to go again!

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  4. Great guide! I’d like to try TURN and I still haven’t been to Mabel’s. Gasp!

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    1. Thanks! Get thee ass to Mabel's ASAP --- and order the brisket. It's heavenly.

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  5. I still haven't been to this event but it always looks enjoyable!

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    1. There are really films for everyone so definitely check it out!

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  6. So much good food! I'll have to check it out!

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    1. There really is! No reason to eat that crappy so called "chinese" at the food court!

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  7. You had me at chocolate cake! I've been wanting to explore Cleveland, your post made me mark it on my calendar!

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