First-Year Adventure Guide 2022

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First-Year Adventure Guide 2022

Make the most of Case’s world with our guide to the best food, events and diversions on and around campus.

By Hannah Jackson ’24

Although Case Western may be a little different going into Spring semester 2022, what with remote learning and a chill on social gatherings, University Circle still has plenty to offer students looking for escape and adventure. From pandemic-conscious study spots to great pizza and socially distanced campus events, there are lots of places you’ll want to visit, even through the ice and snow.


The Case Alumni Association is here to help. Our third annual First Year Adventure Guide offers the best ways to safely embrace this unconventional year. Dive into the new semester, First Years, we know it’s going to be even better than the last.

Student friendly eats

Case’s dining hall food may be convenient, but sometimes, you just need something different. This list of our food stops near campus will help you spice up your dining experience without breaking the CDC guidelines or your budget.
* This establishment takes Case Cash.



Euro Wafel is going to become your favorite late-night and early morning destination. The family-owned business serves European-style wafels, crepes, and coffee until 1 a.m., and brunch on weekends. You’ll find Euro Wafel under the Triangle Apartments at 11433 Mayfield Road—behind the giant hand statue at Toby’s Plaza.

PRO TIP: Staff will give you a sample of their House Tea to drink while you wait for your order. But beware, one sip will have you back in line buying a cup of the campus favorite.



Follow Mayfield Road down to Little Italy and find two of the best bakeries in town. Presti’s and Corbo’s each serve fresh homemade pastries, coffee, deli lunches and gelato, with indoor and outdoor seating. There’s a long-standing debate on Case Western’s campus about which bakery is best. You’ll just have to try both and decide for yourself.



Not only does Little Italy boast great, authentic bakeries, but it’s filled with delicious pizza places for students to try. Some favorites include Mama Santa’s, Guarino’s, Maxi’s, and La Pizzeria* on Murray Hill Road. Each spot brings its own twist to pizza, adding to Little Italy’s charm.



Uptown is the place to be when you need to find food in University Circle. With a variety of menus from all around the world bookending Euclid, you’ll be sure to find something to satisfy your cravings. Most students know Kenko for their Kung Fu Tea bubble teas, but they also offer a great sushi and teriyaki selection, including an Ohio sushi roll crafted with the state in mind.



Otani Noodle offers students authentic ramen that is perfect to fight the winter chill and enter Spring. This casual Uptown favorite has large portions and a wide variety, allowing students to get a break from their packaged dollar ramen for a day or two without going off-budget.



Cross the street and you’ll find another hidden food gem near the edge of Uptown: Phusion Cafe. Here, Taiwanese students can get a taste of home with a selection of Taiwanese and Chinese appetizers, bubble and milk teas, noodles, rice bowls, and items from a menu called the “Taiwan Night Market Specials.”



Beyond is located at the corner of Euclid and Ford, making it the perfect place for students to grab a quick bite between classes. Being a newly opened healthy foods store, Beyond offers smoothies, smoothie bowls, salads, sandwiches, and juices. The menu caters to the seasons, ensuring you have the freshest flavors year-round.

PRO TIP: If you’re feeling under the weather, try their “I Need a Hero” juice, made with ginger, turmeric, and zinc, to give your body the boost it needs.



Mitchell’s is the campus cult favorite of sweet spots. The local franchise offers an array of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and vegan options that every student will be able to enjoy. With a rotating seasonal menu, it’ll take all four years at CWRU to try every flavor. So get started!



The #1 reason to take a Greenie to Coventry is to get one of Tommy’s milkshakes. Connected to an equally popular independent bookstore, Mac’s Backs, the artsy restaurant has been a highlight with both Cleveland natives and visitors for an incredible 50 years. The best part, besides the irresistible milkshakes, is that Tommy’s is vegan-friendly, so every student’s dietary needs are met with a full stomach.


Coffee shops are arguably the best place to study. With a steady supply of caffeine and the perfect atmosphere to make you feel productive, these local favorites will have you reaching for that 4.0 in no time.



Blue Sky Brews, a newer coffee shop on Murray Hill Road, has all the study vibes CWRU students need to get their work done with the help of a chai tea or latte. The modern shop provides pastries, teas and coffees, and merchandise for its frequent visitors.



Algebra Tea House is found just down the road from Blue Sky, but presents a unique Mediterranean twist on a classic coffee house. Algebra specializes in Mediterranean food and sells a wide selection of teas, in either a single serving to drink in-house or a bag to make at home. Better yet, Algebra Tea House is open from breakfast until dinner, serving your entire study session.
PRO TIP: Check out their funky ceramic mugs when you order hot drinks and maybe even buy one on the way out.



The Coffee House is a northside favorite found on Juniper Road just outside the North Residential Village. The century-old house used to be a fraternity house as well as an architecture school. Students can find fresh homemade pastries, a variety of coffee and teas, and some grab-and-go meals. The Coffee House has two levels of indoor seating and wrap-around outdoor seating, allowing students the ability to study rain or shine.

PRO TIP: Look out for their daily specials, especially Mocha Fridays, where you can get a large mocha for the price of a small.


University Circle was named the “Best Arts District” in the country in 2021 by USA Today, and there is no doubt that it lives up to the hype. With world-class museums, a botanical garden, and a greenspace ready for every season, students can find a break from their studies in any kind of weather.



While the Spring semester may start with some snow, Wade Lagoon is as beautiful as ever. The scenic walking path surrounding the lake offers a handful of benches and wonderful statues and works of art to ponder. You know it’s spring at Case when the cherry trees bloom at Wade Lagoon.



Wade Oval is the expansive greenspace surrounded by the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and the Botanical Gardens. The Oval is a perfect spot for ice skating when The Rink at Wade Oval opens, or for playing outdoor games in the Spring.
PRO TIP: Students get a discount on admission at The Rink, $1 for entry and $2 for skate rentals. The Rink is open until February 27 this year.



Found between the Museum of Contemporary Art and the dining stretch of Uptown, Toby’s Plaza is the perfect place to eat and study with friends on a nice day. The space is sprinkled with picnic tables and wooden oversized chairs and offers a mirrored view of Euclid Avenue, courtesy of MOCA. The Plaza also houses Judy’s Hand sculpture, a favorite of CWRU students for its quirky design.



This fountain at the heart of Case Quad pays homage to the famous physics experiment that laid the foundation for Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. The area features a handful of picnic tables shaded by trees, making it a great spot to do some homework while eating a grab-and-go lunch from Tomlinson Hall.



The new Nord Family Greenway creates a path from the Tinkham Veale University Center on the northside to the newly expanded Maltz Performing Arts Center at the campus’s west end. This 15-acre greenway includes a paved walkway that follows some of the beautiful greenery surrounding the less traveled edges of our campus.

PRO TIP: The next time you’re walking the greenway, pause to take a selfie with “The Thinker,” Rodin’s famous statue in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art.



Just outside the Veale Athletic Center, students can find an ice rink right on campus! Although students have to bring their own skates, skating on the ice is free to everyone as long as it’s cold enough to freeze.

PRO TIP: Restrooms and water bottle filler stations are located in the Veale Athletic Center during its normal hours.



Enclosed in a glass building across the street from the School of Law, the Cleveland Botanical Gardens offer the perfect place to catch a break from your studies and smell the roses. One of the most popular events at the Gardens is their orchids display, Orchids Forever: Synergy and Survival, which runs from January 29 to March 13.
PRO TIP: Students can attend for free with their Case ID.



Severance Hall is home to the Cleveland Orchestra, which is renowned as one of the best orchestras in the world. Students can see the orchestra, as well as other performers, at the grand hall on the corner of Euclid and Adelbert. A perk for students is the Frequent Fan card, which can be purchased for $50 a year (if you missed the university’s annual card giveaway in the fall semester). The card gives you one free ticket to each performance, as well as the ability to buy a guest ticket for $15. No one should leave Case without seeing the Best Band in the Land.



The world-renowned Cleveland Museum of Art offers rooms and rooms of exhibits that span time and style–and it’s free to students with their Case ID. Student favorites include the medieval Armor Court, paintings by Monet and Picasso, as well as rotating special galleries. The museum also features a bright, glass-ceilinged atrium where parts of Captain America: The Winter Soldier were filmed!

PRO TIP: Although backpacks are not allowed in the museum, if students let staff know they only plan to study in the atrium, they will be granted access to this ideal study spot with a view.


Student life looks a little different this year as classes begin online, but that doesn’t mean campus events will come to a screeching halt. When school opens to in-person learning and events, look forward to these beloved campus activities. 



The COVID-19 campus-friendly favorite is back! After starting the socially distanced event in the Fall of 2020, the University Media Board will continue hosting its popular Bingo night on Thursdays in Thwing Atrium–with prizes like campus merch, blankets, speakers, and the big prize of TVs, AirPods, or $100 gift cards. There is limited seating, so reserve your spots ahead of time on CampusGroups.
PRO TIP: Invite everyone on your freshman dorm floor to get a better chance at winning the big TV blackout prize for your common space. 



The Sci-Fi Movie Marathon of the CWRU Film Society, screened at Strosacker Auditorium, usually begins the Friday night after the first week of Spring classes. It’s been postponed this year until April 22-24. The nearly 36-hour film festival features old cult favorites as well as newer movies, with this year’s upcoming festival spotlighting the popular Denis Villeneuve movie, Dune.
PRO TIP: If you bring a sleeping bag to the Marathon, you can nap on the Strosacker stage. 



Most Friday and Saturday nights, the CWRU Film Society shows a variety of films on the big screen in Strosacker Auditorium, and for much cheaper than a trip to a typical movie theater. The society has continued screening films through the pandemic, with masking and limited seating. Find showtimes HERE.



Springfest is a student-planned event that features interactive attractions, carnival games, student organization booths, and great food from around the Cleveland area. Throughout the day, students can listen to local bands during the Battle of the Bands and then get ready for the national headliner that evening. Springfest begins on the last Saturday of the spring semester, so there’s no better way to let loose after the semester comes to a close. 



The Hudson Relays were created to commemorate the relocation of Case Western’s campus from Hudson to Cleveland in 1910. Each class’s best runners compete in a 26-mile relay around campus. If the same class wins four years in a row, they are invited to a steak and champagne dinner from the President and the Provost. As of 2021, only three classes have ever earned that honor. 



Each Spring, the University Programming Board invites a well-known comedian to put on a show for students and faculty at Severance Hall. In past years, big names like Hasan Minhaj and Nick Kroll have headlined the event. The event was held virtually in 2021; the 2022 format has not been chosen yet by UPB.


Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, celebrates the arrival of spring after a long winter with silly play and laughter. It’s celebrated in India and Nepal and at CWRU, where students drench one another with symbolically colored powders and water and enjoy Indian street food and music. If Covid allows, the Center for International Affairs hopes to resume the Holi celebration on Freiberger Field this spring. Set aside a white t-shirt for Holi 2022. 


Did we miss anything? Let us know at

Euro Wafel

Presti’s Bakery

Little Italy

Mitchell’s Icecream
Algebra Tea House
The Coffee House
Michelson-Morley Fountain
Nord Family Greenway
Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland Botanical Gardens
CWRU Springfest

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