11 Reasons Why Cleveland Is Totally Underrated

Why is Thrillist coming to Cleveland? To eat pierogis and go to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, obviously. But also because we can't wait to tell the rest of the world about all the sweet stuff there is to eat, drink, and do in this criminally underrated city. Wait, why is the Sixth City so underrated, you ask? Well, there are at least 11 reasons...

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1. Cleveland has foods no one else has heard of!

Two words: Polish Boy. When other cities hear about this gloriously messy combination of kielbasa, coleslaw, French fries, and barbecue sauce, they're gonna be sooooo jealous.

2. Its restaurant game is legitimately impressive...

Last year we went on a gluttonous 36-hour rampage though Cleveland, during which we walked the streets at all hours, hugged strangers, hit dive bars, markets, community gardens, beer gardens, and a ton of sweet restaurants. Oh, did we hit some great restaurants. Why wouldn't we come back here?!

3. ... Seriously, it's one of the most underrated food cities in America

At least according to some lifestyle site that rhymes with "illest" it is anyway.

Flickr/Matt Shiffler Photography

4. Everyone loves an underdog

From ironically embracing the "Mistake by the Lake" nickname to its fanatic support of often-hapless sports teams, Cleveland wears its underdog status as a badge of honor. But hey, things are looking up: last year LeBron (of all people!) had half the country rooting for him to end the championship drought, and Kevin Costner somehow turned the seventh pick in the NFL draft into three really goo... wait, you mean that last part wasn't real?!

5. You can actually afford to live here

Hell, in supposedly cooler cities like New York, or San Francisco, or Seattle, or... err, you get the picture, people can barely afford to read Thrillist, and it's completely, totally, 100% free. 

And all that cash you save on rent and stuff means you've got more to spend at all the breweries in Ohio City, or on cocktails at the Velvet Tango Room.

7. Superman is from Cleveland! 

Well, kinda: just look for the plaque hanging on the fence outside of 10622 Kimberly Ave, where in 1932, 18-year-old Jerry Siegel invented the Man of Steel.


8. It's got its own style of BBQ

At least according to local super chef Michael Symon, who says that because ketchup comes from Pittsburgh (booo!), no true Clevelander should use a tomato-based BBQ sauce. That's why he uses mustard, and wants everyone else to as well.

9. It's the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World"

Well Cedar Point is, and yeah it's an hour away, but what are you gonna do... let Sandusky tell people IT'S the Roller Coaster Capitol of the World?!

10. There ain't no party like a Lake Erie party. Yes, really.

No kidding, the rest of the country has no idea what it's missing, from the aforementioned Cedar Point to South Bass Island, which made Thrillist's list of America's best party islands for some reason. And that reason is that we love swim-up bars, presumably.

11. Thrillist is coming

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Bradley Foster is a senior editor at Thrillist who LOVES Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and has actually been to Cleveland... just don't ask for how long.