Eclipse Weekend in Downtown Akron: Grown-Ups Itinerary

We've got happy hours, sake flights, late night cookies, limited edition flavors, eclipse glasses giveaways, Dr. Hibachi and more - let's go.

By Madison Latona

Get Happy: The first thing you’ll learn about downtown Akron is that you can’t pack all of its deliciousness into one weekend. We’re gonna give it a try anyway. On Friday, let the weekend festivities commence with Crave’s Happy Hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Crave’s chef owner describes the food as “Eclectic New American” cuisine. If you decide to stay for dinner after the great smells from the kitchen, we recommend that you pair your happy hour drinks with the Smoke Gouda Mac and Cheese ($18) or the Short Rib ($33).  

Have Dinner: Another adult-friendly eatery, a hop skip and a jump away down main street  is  Barley House. A pub-style feel, they serve many different sandwiches, appetizers, and customer favorites like their bacon mac & cheese, Barley House salad, and cowboy frank. It seems that 30 is their favorite number, because they have over 30 beers on tap and over 30 TVs for sports and news channels. They are open until midnight so you can “Sit Long, Talk Much, and Laugh Often.”  

If you’re heading to the ball game, and you like thai flavors, we recommend eating at Cilantro. They are located right next to Canal Park, where the Rubber Ducks play and offer a modern take on Thai food and sushi, an elegant atmosphere and an affordable price. Try the sweet and sour stir fry (starting at $18.95) or the traditional pad thai (starting at $18.95), where you can choose your protein. If you’re a die hard sushi fan, we suggest the Surprise!!! ($18), where the sushi chef creates a surprise roll just for you. If you’re up for dessert, try their addictive Mango Sticky Rice ($8). 

Finally, if you’re feeling fancy, we recommend Dante Bocuzzi Akron (dba). Located in the Northside District, just steps from the marketplace, the restaurant is a one of the family of restaurants built by “Cleveland’s only Michelin Star chef,” Dante Bocuzzi. The swanky space offers elevated Italian cuisine like stuffed branzino ($48) and mushroom risotto ($24). Dining with a partner? Their porterhouse for two ($120) would make the perfect celebration dish. On Friday, they are open at 5 p.m. and the kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Reservations are definitely recommended.

Play: Sports enthusiasts can also enjoy the weekend by attending take in some Baseball as the Cleveland Guardians affiliate Akron Rubber Ducks play their season opener vs. Altoona Curve at Canal Park at 7:05 p.m. They have budget-friendly seats, extravagant snacks that double as your evening meal and sweet treat, post-match fireworks, and  you can cheer with the top mascot squad in the league. They will also have opportunities to be featured in games on the jumbotron.

Pro Tip: Just remember to dress in layers, because April in Ohio can be unpredictable.

Laugh: If you’re not feeling like baseball or the weather is too chilly for you, just down the street, the Akron Civic Theater will be showing “Dixie’s Tupperware Party” at 7:30 p.m. A solo show where Dixie tells you all of the (irreverent) things you can do with your tupperware, “Dixie's Tupperware Party” opened off-Broadway in 2007 and earned a Dixie a Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. The drag persona of Jon Kristen Andersson lost to Laurence Fishburne. As her website said, “Really. Look it up.” This is an adult-only event. Patrons under the age of 21 will have to be accompanied by an adult chaperone of the age of 25 or older. Dixie should be a night of stories, fun, and many laughs. Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out, because it is two shows only. 

(Top Right, Two Photos) Crave has a grape room, an event bar, a main bar and gorgeous seating for dinner service. Photos via the Crave website.  (Middle Right) Dante Bocuzzi Akron (dba) has a gorgeous newer space in the Northside District just a short drive from main street. We've already seen the outdoor fireplace lit this spring and the patio is a great place to lounge, have a glass of wine and enjoy the night air. Photo by (Bottom Right) The Akron Rubber Ducks end many of their weekend games with fireworks set to music. If you like fireworks, you're gonna love these fireworks. You won't see their equal outside of the fourth of July. Photo by

In the header, photo of Dixie from Dixie's Tupperware Party via

Brunch: Saturday is a day where coffee and a brunch is much needed for a full day of activities.  Evelyn’s Coffee & Banh Mi is a perfect place if you are looking for a niche place that sells coffee, smoothies, dishes inspired by Southeast Asian street food. They have many different coffee and smoothie flavors but the one they are most known for is their Vietnamese iced coffee. According to their website it is a smooth, bold drip with sweetened condensed milk.

Retail Therapy Time: Next, dive into some much needed retail therapy at Akron Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their show, Total Eclipse of the Market, has vendors bursting from the seams. The Bazaar is a juried indie handmade event where you will discover curated, unique finds and treasures made by more than 55 local artisans and crafters. 

Pro tip: Set aside at least a few hours for Akron Bazaar. There's so much to see that people have been known to get lost in there and lose track of time.

Sakura Cherry Blossom Festival: Whether you’re looking for a romantic couples activity, a cultural experience or a magical walk through hundreds of fragrant, blooming cherry blossom trees, the one must-see, must-do activity on Saturday is the Downtown Akron Sakura Festival from 3 to 9 p.m. 

The event includes many activities to choose from including live performances, crafts, a variety of food and sushi, a story walk and of course the fragrant cherry blossoms. The festival occurs along the Towpath Trail, a unique feature for an urban city-center, where over 450 cherry blossom trees are planted, which can be explored on foot or by bicycle. The trail will be lined with luminaries and haikus written by local students, with activity stops all along the way. Bonus: Downtown Akron Partnership will give out eclipse glasses (while supplies last), and admission is free.

During the Sakura Festival, Street Craftery will be hosting ‘Sakura Fest: Paint In the Park event,’ a guided painting class on the Canal to celebrate the blossoms on more than 450 cherry blossom trees planted along the towpath. The two sessions are from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. You do have to secure tickets to attend, so be sure to secure yours at the link above to create your own artistic memory of the festival and your trip.

Dinner Time: If you’re eating dinner in Akron on Saturday, April 6, you should be eating it at the Sakura festival. Options will include Dr. Hibachi Food Truck, Thai It Up Food Truck,  Eddies Famous Cheesesteaks and Grille, Galaxy Grille, Birdie’s Food Truck, El Patrón Tequilería and Cuisine, Crepes All Day, Bereka Coffee, Red Bean Bakes, Malila Kitchen, Henry’s Creamery and more. 

From boba tea and teriyaki to street tacos and corn dogs, you’ll capture tons of local flavor choices. Don’t miss the sake flights inside of Lock3’s concession area. Bonus, you can walk a few steps and visit Chill Ice Cream & Indulge Chocolates afterwards for a sweet ending to the evening. 

Check out the flavor specials, including a new one themed for Saturday’s Sakura Festival  ‘Cherry Blossom’ that is available on April 6 only. In addition, ‘MoonPie’ and ‘Hello Darkness, My Old Friend’  celebrate Monday’s eclipse. Hurry to try them before they run out. 

Of all the above options, we wanted to highlight the legendary and award winning Eddies Famous Cheesesteaks and Grille. Eddies use all fresh ingredients when they cook on the griddle. Eddies has a note to all patrons to make sure to tell them what you would like instead of everything because, “you probably wouldn't like it.”

(Top Right) Photo of the cherry blossoms along the Towpath Trial by Instagram user @crhohl86 (Middle Top) A couple enjoying sake flights at last year's festival. Photo by Richard Walter. (Middle Bottom) Photo of the original Eddie's Philly Cheesesteak - is your mouth watering yet? Photo via Facebook.  (Bottom Right) Photo of Chill Ice Cream's downtown storefront. Photo by

Sweet Beginnings: Sunday mornings are always a day where a sweetness craving must be satisfied. Sweet Mary’s Bakery makes all of their sweet goodies from scratch and have a variety of options to choose from. From cinnamon rolls, to pies and muffins, Sweet Mary’s has pretty much any sweet treat your heart desires. They also have vegan and gluten-free options as well. 

Shop ‘Til You Drop in the Northside District: Downtown Akron has a huge variety of boutiques and shops to visit and explore. The jewel in its retail crown, as far as we at ZipsGuide are concerned, is Northside Marketplace, open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Located in Northside District, you can find the perfect gift for anyone, including yourself. Check out our guide to Northside Marketplace here

With more than 140 vendors represented, we describe the market as “Etsy in real life.” Taylor Swift fan? Northside has at least four vendors we know of (probably more) with custom Taylor items. Love the Care Bears? They’re in there too. Truly, whatever your kitsch is, you’re going to find it there. 

The marketplace is also home to Nomz, a stellar brunch/lunch spot and the newly opened soul food spot, Plannerz Place Eatery. Check out the grab-and-go cooler at Essential Dipped Delights for a treat to take back to the hotel at nap time.

Pro tip: Get to know before you go. Several Northside vendors are featured on along with their personal story. Buying from someone you want to support makes your purchase a gift before you even leave the shop.

Here's a quick list of additional Northside vendors that are featured on Learn the story of the people behind each of these shops: Banned Books Box, BlackRose Bubbles, Dirty River Bicycle WorksDover Clay, Embrace Earthleta, Fat T's Cookies, Glam Scents, India Ink, Jilly's Music Room  LiRo Apparel, Modern Traditions Co.Northside Cellar, Rubber City Comics (since the original guide was published, they have added a shop inside Northside Marketplace), Sage Designs Co., The Soap Rack, Trust Books, We Care Tees.

Visit the Cinema: Our local Nightlight Cinema offers up the opportunity to see films you won’t find anywhere else. To celebrate the eclipse they are having an  ‘Asteroid City’ Eclipse Party at The Nightlight at 3 and 5 p.m. a party and screening featuring the 2023 Wes Anderson film, “Asteroid City.” 

Dinner: For dinner on Sunday, we recommend  Luigi’s, the legendary spot in the Northside District, famous for pizza, pasta, its “cheese salad” (it’s an Akron thing) and its cash-only policy. There’s a quirky ATM on site that dispenses a receipt for money at the register, but you may want to plan ahead to avoid fees. They open at 3 p.m. and stop for the night at midnight. You really can’t make a stop in Akron without trying the cheese salad.

Fun: As evening approaches, settle into the lively ambiance of 69 Taps and engage in the OpinioNation trivia at 9 and 10 p.m., all while enjoying a selection of invigorating beverages. OpinioNation isn’t your typical trivia. Instead of just answering questions, you have to guess what other people are thinking.  

If you are looking for live music with a club atmosphere, Musica is the place to go. ‘Free Throw w/ Charmer & Carpool’ are set to perform at 7:30 p.m., doors at 6:30 p.m.  

(Top Right) Sweet Mary's Bakery features an ever changing menu of delicious bakery items, both savory and sweet. This Gluten Free Coconut Ube Cheesecake show just how beautiful their creations can be. Photo via Facebook. (Middle Right two photos) The Northside District is packed with retail and dining.Taylor Swift fans unite and head to Northside Marketplace to find plenty of Taylor gear. Only Steph Creations prints their custom Taylor art on a variety of items including water bottles, posters, lip balms, lighters and more. Photos via (Bottom Right two photos)  Musica is a live venue with character and room to dance. Photos via the Musica website.

Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch: On Monday try a colorful spot with food that is out-of-this-world, then we suggest Chameleon Cafe

If it's breakfast you're after, we recommend the 'Rico Suave,' a Giant flour tortilla filled with the café's two egg omelet, hickory smoked bacon, jalapeño cream cheese, kale, seasoned potatoes, roasted bell peppers, American cheese and cilantro. Served with their Zesty Sour Cream.

If it’s lunch time, we recommend the Zippy wrap, named after our famed mascot Zippy (the kangaroo) at the University of Akron. The Zippy wrap features baked chicken, pickles, mixed greens, ranch, garlic herb cream cheese and chili crisp. It captures the zip in ZipsGuide too. 

The café also offers baked goods, a variety of coffee, tea and handcrafted lotus energy drinks.

THE MAIN EVENT: Eclipse Viewing Time

The Astronomical Event of a Lifetime: Akron hasn’t seen an eclipse since 1806 and it won’t see another one until 2099. Predictions are that downtown (and everywhere along totality) will be busy, so we recommend planning ahead. Just being in totality is amazing, but Akron offers several viewing parties and locations to enhance your experience.

Pro-tip: Tickets are limited for all viewing events. At the time of this writing, both events below have space, but if you're seeing this guide closer to the eclipse, they may not. Reserve as soon as you can if you want to attend.

Our first pick for watching the eclipse (in no particular order) is the ‘Tequila and Totality’ event from 1 to 5 p.m. at El Patrón Tequileria.  The viewing will take place in El Patrón's rooftop patio and the event features corn hole, raffle baskets,  limited edition KOMOS tequila, music, and Tequila Talks: live with trivia and giveaways. 

Don’t get too ‘happy’ and miss the eclipse, but this party will take you right through totality. Admission is $50 and includes three street tacos (choice of all nopal, chipotle ground beef, or grilled pollo), solar eclipse viewing glasses and two KOMOS tequila (topshelf) cocktails of your choice.  

The Akron Art Museum is celebrating the eclipse with ‘The Sun, Moon, and the Art’ from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event includes a collection of eclipse inspired pop up exhibits including the Pneuhaus Compound Camera, an inflatable dome with 109 cameras. Attendees are even encouraged to touch the textured walls. Cocktails and Mocktails inspired by the eclipse will be available for purchase. Members can register for free and non-members can register with a $5 fee per each three people registering. Register today, spots are filling up fast.

As the stars align (well, more accurately the sun, Earth and moon) for a spectacular celestial event, we encourage you to spend your weekend experiencing all Downtown Akron has to offer. You won't be disappointed. As this guide—your ZipsGuide to a Total Eclipse in the 330—comes to a close, we hope that the adventures you’ve chosen have filled your days with joy and your hearts with wonder. May the eclipse not only be a reminder of the universe’s vast beauty but also of the vibrant community spirit that shines here in Akron.

(Top Right) Chameleon café is a favorite of local Akronites for weekday breakfast and lunch in downtown. Photo via Facebook. El Patrón's rooftop patio is really going to heat up for the eclipse. Tickets are limited, so grab yours now. Photo via the El Patron website.  (Bottom Right) The Akron Art Museum Eclilpse promotional banner  and the Pneuhaus Compound Camera. Photos by The Akron Museum. 

Looking for a kid-friendly itinerary with more museums, kid's musicians and spaghetti with less DORA and sake flights? Check out our Family-Friendly Itinerary here.

Come Back and See Us

Downtown Akron has so much to see and do. We hope you come back to visit us again soon.

Madison Latona is an Akron Community Internship Program (ACIP) intern with Downtown Akron Partnership, funded by The University of Akron EX[L] Center for Community Engaged Learning.

To reach Madison Latona,

 email her here.