An inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, Lakewood bears the nickname "City of Beautiful Homes." You won't wonder why for long. This historic city places a high premium on maintaining a scenic, culturally rich community. Since the 1900s, Lakewood's focus has been on making a welcoming neighborhood for its residents.
Lakewood lies about 6 miles west of Cleveland. The natural beauty of Lake Erie contributes to the charm of this small city, as does the well-maintained downtown area and the diversity of neighborhoods. Urban amenities and a suburban atmosphere coexist in Lakewood, resulting in a comfortable, exciting place to live.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Dining in Lakewood promises a satisfying variety of entrees, with a focus on American classics and international flavor. Madison Avenue and Detroit Avenue are good bets when you seek an unforgettable dining experience.
Creativity rules the kitchen at Deagan's Kitchen & Bar. A youthful, stylish ambiance provides the backdrop as you chow down on chicken and waffles or drink a hot toddy. With a focus on local ingredients, the menu changes often, but locals always enjoy vegan tacos and the gourmet cheese board.
Pier W has a gorgeous setting, but the food doesn't merely play second fiddle to the spectacular view of Lake Erie. The seafood entrees deserve all your attention, from the creamy lobster bisque to the flavorful bouillabaisse. Locals know that Pier W's Sunday brunch is a welcome weekend treat.
Melt Bar & Grilled takes a favorite American staple and turns the humble sandwich on its head. Even if you don't usually gravitate toward pub fare, you owe it to yourself to try the Monte Cristo, with its perfect combination of savory filling and powdered sugar on top. The Big Popper gives you all the spiciness you need in a sandwich.
Lakewood's nightlife scene could steal some attention away from nearby Cleveland. Live music venues abound, with many pubs and lounges hosting both local and touring music groups. The Five O'Clock Lounge features the laid-back vibe that makes dive bars so popular, with friendly staff and patrons and inexpensive drinks. Settle down in an oversized booth or get out on the dance floor. For jazz fans, World of Beer and Vosh Lakewood often host live bands that pack the house.
History & Culture
Originally part of the Rockport Township and known as East Rockport, Lakewood gained status as a village by 1903. The community grew rapidly, becoming a city by 1911 and taking on a new name. The focus on making a picturesque residential suburb still shines through in Lakewood's historical buildings.
The Museum of Divine Statues on Madison Avenue brings together intricately crafted religious statues and sculptures from Lou McClung. Catholic iconography results in a rich experience for both religious visitors and art lovers.
Breakneck Gallery is just one example of Lakewood's bold art gallery scene. The trend-setting gallery showcases emerging talent, making intriguing art accessible to a wider audience.
Your year gets a little more fun when you partake in the annual roster of events, festivals and community gatherings. During the holiday season, Light Up Lakewood hosts a parade, strolling carolers, and arts and crafts vendors.
Many areas of Lakewood provide bike infrastructure and sidewalks, making it easy to walk or bike. Downtown Lakewood stands out as a particularly pedestrian-friendly neighborhood. Throughout many parts of the city, bike lanes help you share the road safely with drivers.
Thanks to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, commuting to Cleveland and beyond via public transportation shouldn't be a problem. The 26 bus route travels regularly through Lakewood along Detroit Avenue. The 43 route goes through West Clifton Boulevard, while the 78 bus travels from Winton Place. The 55-A-B-C rapid transit line also serves Lakewood.
Parking areas in Lakewood often feature metered parking, though free street parking is available in some areas. A variety of lots and garages give you a secure parking experience in exchange for fees as low as $2 to $4.
Both Uber and Lyft bring the convenience and ease of ride-sharing services to Lakewood. For a more traditional approach, taxi cab companies invite you to call or go online to reserve a taxi.
Two major roads, Interstate 90 and the Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, connect drivers with the surrounding areas.
The cost of living in this affordable suburb stands at about 7 percent cheaper than the national average, but it falls about 6 percent higher than Cleveland costs. When you want to enjoy a beer at a Lakewood pub, you'll see prices 7 percent lower than the national average, at about $8 for a pint.
Leasing a one-bedroom residence in Lakewood typically costs about $662 on average, making the neighborhood a wise choice.
Via the 55-A-B-C route, a trip to Cleveland costs between $4 and $5 for a round trip. When traveling by car in Lakewood, expect affordable gas prices standing at about 15 percent cheaper than the national average.
You might not find an overabundance of designer stores or pricey boutiques in Lakewood, but you will find consignment stores and mid-range shops that cater to your various interests.
If you happen to be the type of shopper who likes hunting for a good deal or unique piece, then visiting Deja Vu should be a top priority. A cozy atmosphere creates the impression of visiting a private home, and the eclectic items inside range from antique bedspreads to distinctive art. For even more opportunities to find something new-to-you, head to The Designer Consignor, also on Detroit Avenue. By carefully selecting clothes that are on-trend and well-maintained, the staff at this consignment shop bring the latest fashions to you at reasonable prices.
Music aficionados won't want to miss a visit to My Mind's Eye. Rare LPs, vintage records and rock memorabilia characterize the shopping experience at My Mind's Eye. Metal and rock get extra shelf space, and you can find a room full of CDs if vinyl is too old school for your tastes.
While Lakewood doesn't have official farmers markets, downtown Cleveland hosts several farmers markets within easy walking, biking or driving distance. West Side Market, open four days a week, brings together a range of vendors selling both prepared foods and kitchen staples. For a sustainable, locally sourced vendor, try Rooted in Cleveland, located within the West Side Market.
With a high concentration of vegetarians, vegans and health-conscious residents, Lakewood plays home to a wonderful range of grocery stores. Nature's Bin sells natural and organic foods at discounted prices, helping you eat healthy on a budget. Heinen's caters to a more gourmet crowd, complete with a well-stocked produce section and a variety of fresh meat and seafood.
With around 75 acres of greenery, ranging from large community parks to neighborhood parks, Lakewood ensures that residents experience the great outdoors. Lakewood Park, the most spacious and frequently used free urban park in the area, has a skate park, picnic pavilions and a band shell. Kids can splash around at the safe and zero-entry wading pool, or they can have fun exploring the Kid Cove Playground.
You won't be lacking for a full schedule when it comes to attending events at the parks. The city hosts a multitude of festivals and more, from the Lakewood Community Festival at Madison Park to the free movies and concerts at Lakewood Park during the summer.
Living in Lakewood motivates you to get out and complete your workout. Sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, a swimming pool and softball fields are the athletic amenities offered by Lakewood Park alone. Madison Park includes a soccer field, while both Madison and Kauffman provide tennis courts and lighted softball fields.
Dogs won't feel left out after they visit the fenced-in Lakewood Dog Park. A set of guidelines keeps dogs safe to romp while you get a chance to chat with fellow dog-owners. Dogs and puppies under 25 pounds have their own area for safer play.