Best of Cleveland 2012

People & Places

Best Reason to Love Cleveland

The People

When people from vainer places speak of Midwestern friendliness, it's the template molded right here that they're referring to. True enough, sometimes it takes a visitor to our shores to notice such things, but our region's greatest asset just might not be our lake or our location. It might be the strangers who treat you like friends and the passersby who greet you with a smile for no other reason than that's what we do. Call it a microcosm of the Golden Rule that's in effect here daily, or just call it a damn fine place to spend your life.

Staff Pick: Good Things Come Cheap Here

Best Reason to Come Downtown

Playhouse Square

A jewel in Cleveland's crown since its construction in the early 1920s, Playhouse Square has also spent more than its share of years fighting off vestiges of urban decay that gradually creeped closer to the city center. These days, the theaters stand as an enduring reminder of Cleveland's architectural splendor and its equally rich arts community. The Cleveland Play House's recent slide down Euclid and into the gloriously restored Allen Theatre is but the latest in a long series of improvements that make the district as inviting — and as regal — as any across the land.

1501 Euclid Ave., 216-771-4444,

Staff Pick: East Fourth Street

Best Twitterer


Like his 100.7 co-host Chad Zumock (who racked up his own load of votes in this category), afternoon funnyman Alan Cox takes his one-liner act 24/7 with his active Twitter presence. Whether putting out contest details for the show or casually riffing on current events, Cox goes at 140 characters with characteristic wit. And unlike some radio personalities who can't get enough of their own voice but ignore fans as if they were required to, Cox doesn't shy away from a little interaction.

Staff Pick: @dlayphoto

Best Reason to Visit the West Side & Best Bargain in Town

The West Side Market

As one of the city's most enduring landmarks celebrates its centennial, it's only fitting that it be honored for old-school prices that match its Old World ambiance. No place but the West Side Market so fully embraces our region's melting pot of cultures and their varied gustatory delights, from its butchers to its fruit stands, and from its breads to its brie. Beginning soon, look for news about a months-long celebration of the market's first 100 years and its dozens of wonderful vendors.

1979 West 25th St., 216-664-3387,

Staff Picks: Best Reason to Visit the West Side: Huntington Beach Best Bargain in Town: Jamie's Flea Market

Best Reason to Visit the East Side

Coventry Village

Our bohemian ground zero has seen its share of change over the years, but it's just now hitting its stride like never before. Still a haven for offbeat merchants and quirky shops, the street has cultivated a fantastic blend of homegrown and outside enterprises in recent years. The result is a district teeming with energy day and night, drawing crowds that span the circle of life.


Staff Pick: University Circle