Coming To Cleveland For The Eclipse? Here Is A Kosher Food And Activity Guide

Cleveland, Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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Millions of tourists will descend upon cities like Dallas, Cleveland, and Buffalo/Niagara Falls on April 8th for the last total solar eclipse in the continental US for decades to come.

You can view the exact path and times here. You’ll want to be as close to the blue line as possible.

It remains to be seen if the weather will cooperate, though the key is being flexible. In 2017 we shifted plans to view the eclipse from S. Joseph to Boonville, some 160 miles apart from each other, in order to take advantage of a slightly better forecast predicted the day of the eclipse. That paid dividends when only the latter had cooperative weather. From Cleveland for example, you can drive towards Buffalo or Indiapolis and stay within totality.

Several people have asked me for ideas of places to eat and things to do in Cleveland. I’m a 6th generation Clevelander, with great great grandparents on my maternal and paternal sides making their way to Cleveland in the 1800s, so I figured I’d type up a post on that topic.

Cleveland’s Jewish community has been growing exponentially over the past several years. That’s thanks to its low cost of living, warm and friendly community, safe suburban neighborhoods, excellent schools, short commute times with low traffic and plenty of parking, a revitalized core on the water with several sports teams and world class museums, and private school tuition vouchers.

Kosher Options

On the kosher food scene, there are many options.

Mendel’s KC BBQ has the best kosher food you’ll find in flyover country and I don’t say that lightly. This place symbolizes the upward momentum of Cleveland’s Jewish community. There are a lot of must try items here, so buckle up and be sure to make a reservation early!

Delivery available via Toast (With $10 off on Monday/Tuesday with code: SAVEDAY1512), Doordash, Grubhub, and UberEats.

Mendel’s signature burnt ends can’t be missed!


The Texas Hot Links are fantastic:


There are several fries dishes (Cleveland Fries, Miami Fries, and more) to choose from and they’re all excellent. Here are the Pico fries:


The Chicken and waffles or the Smoked Fried Chicken Sandwich are delicious:


Beer battered onion rings are divine:


For many sandwiches, like the Smash Burger, Po Girl, and Pastrami, you’ll have to stop by during lunch hours:


Dino ribs or back ribs? You’ll just have to try both to decide which is best, but you can’t go wrong with either!



Same goes for the excellent steaks here, from Mongolian to Ribeye.



There are several excellent flatbreads to choose from, like this steak flatbread:


And of course, great cocktails:


The KC Burger is a favorite go-to item, loaded with juicy flavors:


My wife’s go-to is the Caesar Salad with sliced brisket:


The soups are always excellent:


And you can’t leave without some of Mendel’s famous Bourbon Pecan Pie:


Mendel’s Deli and Dogs at Progressive Field has some of the best kosher food you’ll find at any sports game in the world. The Guardians are playing opening day at 5pm on April 8th, and doors will open at 2pm, so that you can watch the eclipse from inside the ballpark, which is in middle of extensive renovations.

Don’t miss the Pastrami dog!


LeChaim makes delicious poppers, burgers, shwarma, shnitzel, and more.


Newly renovated Jade had good chinese and sushi dishes.

Delivery available via Doordash and UberEats.

The Poke bowls are very good:


Sesame Chicken:


Spicy Mala Chicken:


Kantina has everything from chicken fried steak to burgers with sides like hand cut chips and onion rings, at very low prices. While most kosher restaurants are in the Jewish community, this is located  in University Circle near several museums.

Delivery available via Grubhub, UberEats, and by calling the restaurant.

Chicken Fried Steak:


Nathan’s Burger:


Shnitzel sandwich:


Arova has Israeli specialities like sabich, shwarma, and shnitzel.

Delivery available via Doordash, Grubhub, and UberEats.


Mamilla is a sister restaurant of Arova and is the only full time kosher restaurant downtown and serves soup, hummos bowls, felafel, and sabich in the Arcade, which is also home to Cleveland’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.

Delivery available via Doordash, Grubhub, and UberEats.


Kinneret has served kosher pizza to generations of Clevelanders since 1969. My go to here is a plain pie, well done.

The transplants can’t understand what the locals love about this place, frozen in time from the 60s. Glory has been working there for 50 years!

No delivery available.



Milky Way has bagels, pizza, a salad bar, and much more from breakfast through dinner.

Delivery available via their site.

Feeling brave? Try out the BBQ Chicken pie, the Eggplant Caramelized onion pie, or the Roma pie. Or try a pretzel like Garlic Pepperjack, Jalapeno Zchug, or Spinach Feta.


Issi’s Place also has pizzas and pastas. Try a pizza with felafel balls, extra sauce, and well done.

Delivery available via Doordash.


The Grove is a massive kosher market, featuring delicious pizza, sushi, fried chicken, Shabbos take-out, and more.

There’s no place to eat-in, but this is probably the best pizza you’ll find in town. Try it plain or with sauteed onions.

Delivery available via Doordash or Instacart.



Unger’s Kosher Market has been around for generations, but still cranks out the most delicious parve donuts you’ll find on Earth. Custard, Cinnamon, Miami, Apple Fritters, and Glazed donuts are all a must. Their bakery has many other popular items as well, russian tea biscuits are popular and I’m a sucker for their cheese hamentashen.

Delivery is available by calling the store in advance.

Also, what would this box of Apple Fritters, Custard and Cinnamon donuts cost in NYC? $300?

In Cleveland it’s $62!


Grand Cafe located in Grand Judaica makes excellent coffee, delicious milkshakes, waffles, salads, sandwiches, and more.

Delivery available via Doordash, Grubhub, and UberEats.


The above dairy establishments are all cholov yisroel.

Other kosher food establishments include Chocolate Emporium (excellent parve peanut butter cups), Boris and Tibor’s (butchers with grocery, deli, and prepared food, including delicious homemade salamis, pastramis, sausages, and jerkies).

Non-cholov yisroel options with cult followings include Mitchell’s ice cream, NuBeigel, Goldie’s Donuts and Bakery, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Graeter’s Ice Cream.

OK, enough food talk for now! What can you do besides for watching the eclipse?


Cleveland is known as the forest city and has fantastic hiking. The city is surrounded by the emerald necklace, which is a series of parks that surround the city. Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also located nearby.

Aaron’s Guide to Cleveland, written by Cleveland lawyer Aaron Evenchick is a fantastic compilation of excellent hikes and activities in town, and is well worth reading through.

Taking a hike at Nelson’s Ledges:


Between the Cavs, Guardians, and Browns, there’s always a pro sports game to attend. You can also take a tour of Progressive Field.

In or near downtown you’ll find the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, the USS Cod, the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, the Money Museum, where money grows on trees at the Cleveland Fed, the Baseball Heritage Museum, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum, the Terminal Tower’s observation deck, and the Children’s Museum of Cleveland. The West Side Market is open daily except Tuesdays and Thursdays.

You can take a picture with the Cleveland script signs or the Free stamp.

The main branch of the Cleveland Public Library is a massive beautiful building you can roam through, filled with exhibits ranging from Superman (created in Cleveland by 2 Jewish friends) to mini chess sets to ancient maps to an observation deck, and much more.

Look around and you’ll find a plaque of Rambam, a statue of Yirmiyahu, mini Jewish prayer books, the Jewish American Hall of Fame, and other Jewish artifacts.



It’s a bird, it’s a plane…


Cleveland’s theater district is the 2nd largest in the country.


Popular points hotels downtown include the Hyatt Regency, Kimpton Schofield, Hilton, Ritz-Carlton, and Metropolitan at the 9.

In colder months there is tobogganing, sledding, snow tubing, and skiing.

In warmer months you can rent kayaks at the North Coast Harbor and go out onto Lake Erie.

Or better yet, in warmer times you can head to Cedar Point, the best amusement park on the planet for roller coaster fans. Millenium Force is my favorite coaster on Earth, you’ll float weightless multiple times on your ride, with a view that can reach Canada across the lake on a clear day.

Plus, how cool is this?

Have you ever seen the Ohio script in Valravn’s track? This is a picture I recently took of it.
byu/coasterpassport incedarpoint

In Cleveland’s University Circle, you’ll find the world famous Cleveland Art Museum, the auto aviation museum, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens, and more.

The highly regarded Cleveland Orchestra, one of the Big Five symphony orchestras in the US, plays most of its concerts in beautiful Severance Hall.

And near the Jewish community is the Maltz Museum, which explores Jewish history around the world and in Cleveland.

The Hyatt Place Legacy Village is the only hotel within walking distance of shuls in Cleveland, though it’s located just outside of the Cleveland eruv.

The Cleveland Zoo and Rainforest are open year-round.

Football fans would be remiss not to check out the Football Hall of Fame in Canton.

Other ideas include:

  • Check out or get a tour at a microbrewery like Great Lakes, Fat Head’s, Market Garden, Midnight Owl, Crooked Pecker, Bottlehouse, and many more.
  • Play a local sport favorite, Whirlyball, a cross between Basketball and LaCrosse played on bumper cars which is incredibly fun.
  • Take younger kids to Memphis Kiddie Park amusement park.
  • Get Air, Sky Zone, Fun-n-stuff, Dave & Busters, and many others are great activities with the kids.
  • In warmer months, Lake Erie beaches such as Mentor Headlands, Fairport Harbor, Geneva on the lake, Cedar Point Beach, and more.
  • Shaker Lakes, duck feeding, nature center and paths
  • Holden Arboretum
  • JACK Casino
  • East 4th downtown pedestrian street district
  • West Side Market district
  • Lake Erie Islands/Put-in-Bay.
  • Chagrin Falls is a quaint village on the east side to walk around and you too can be chagrined by the falls. The village is the birthplace and setting of Calvin and Hobbes adventures.
  • Amish country
  • Horseback Riding
  • Shopping at Pinecrest, Legacy Village, Beachwood Place, Crocker Park, and more.
  • Visit Squire’s Castle in the North Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks or Squaw Rock in South Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks.

You can find a lot more in the Cleveland Master Thread’s Wiki on DDF along with info on dozens of local shuls.

Be sure to always check opening times and dates before you go!

What are your favorite activities in and around Cleveland?

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21 Comments On "Coming To Cleveland For The Eclipse? Here Is A Kosher Food And Activity Guide"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Amazing what lengths Dan takes to bring up Cleveland’s profile! I understand how he did most stuff, but getting the center line of eclipse totality is totally something else! Wow!


I spy photos from a chol hamoed trip to Nelson’s Ledges!

Dr Moose

Only Dan can make Cleveland sound exciting to visit.


Where would you rather go? Brooklyn?!?!

yfs bachur

Ideas for lodging? Any hotels near frum neighborhoods?


Hyatt in Legacy Village is very close, about 5 minute drive.


Thanks Elan, I mean Dan ;P


When it comes to food be very patient. Everything is slow laced and no one is in a rush. Milky way is chronically slow. If your catching a flight or an eclipse make sure you leave ample time
This is no April fools joke. This is serious.

Ian Azizollahoff

Never had a problem with them!! – Ian from Teaneck


Heartburn along the way and don’t forget the chargers for the tons of photo opts you’ll be taking. What a fantastic trip without the eclipse. Gonna put on my to do list, thanks Dan.


@Dan you missed IHOC for Cholent on Thursday nights.


And Eli Shomer’s brisket at the weekly Brotherhood Farbrengens 🙂


The best cholent in the United States


Dino ribs over back ribs any day.


Any of these places have Lubavitch meat?


Don’t forget to visit the Eleff Miles and Points Museum

CLE Rocks

Only Dan can those onion rings. I’ve been telling Mendels to add it to their menu


What about the Kiddush Monster!?!?


Dan, can you knock the clouds out of the forecast please?

Shmulies Neighbor

smoked Pastrami sandwitch at mendels is FIRE


@dan, visiting cleveland on lag bomer for a wedding, heading back to chicago on monday which is memorial day. is Cuyahog park a nice place? thinking of kayaking and taking the train? love nature. is it nice? is there a better place?