North Olmstead stands on the outskirts of Cleveland, but retains its spirit of independence. Pride defines this area more than any other characteristic. Residents take pride in their schools - honored by the state of Ohio as "Excellent with Distinction - in their recreational facilities and in their clean, safe streets. While not a small town in regards to population, it remains so in its warm personality and welcoming smile.
Commute to downtown Cleveland quickly and easily on Interstates 480 and 71. Drive just 18 miles east and arrive in under 45 minutes.
When families arrive here, they stay for life, as this town never fails to meet their needs. Experience the great outdoors as well as the great indoors - in a single day you can take a 10 mile hike, enjoy fine dining and watch a drama unfold at the Olmstead Performing Arts Center. Live a balanced life in this well-rounded community.
Restaurants & Nightlife
An unexpected variety of American and international cuisine represents itself in this area. You'll find restaurants concentrated around Lorain Road and near the Great Northern Mall.
Phnom Penh takes your taste buds on a trip to Southeast Asia with meals from Vietnam and Cambodia. Sit down in the bright and cheerful dining area, or order a late-night snack to-go. Try the Cambodian Crepe – Bamh Cheiv – stuffed with shrimp and pork. You choose the spice level of every dish, from mild to "dragon hot".
Traditional Lebanese dishes take center stage at Sittoo's Pita & Salads. The Business Lunch Combo includes a salad, pita, falafel and three different meats for a balanced quick meal. For dinner, start with lentil soup, and follow it with flavorful and tender beef shawarma. You won't have room for dessert, but don't worry – you can bring the fresh-baked baklava home.
Wild Mango Restaurant and Bar offers diners creative fusion cuisine in an equally imaginative and beautiful setting, making it the perfect choice for special occasions and romantic dates. Glass artwork hangs from the ceiling with dim lights reflecting off the gleaming surfaces. Even the restrooms showcase incredible art. Order the decadent crab risotto with scallops, or for lighter fare, choose the uniquely flavored Pepsi shrimp. Don't let its mall location deceive you into thinking this is casual dining – be sure you dress to impress at this swanky establishment.
North Olmsted limits its nightlife to a small selection of neighborhood pubs, but the dance clubs and lounges of Cleveland await those who prefer a little more excitement. Gourmet burgers and a huge selection of local microbrews keep people coming back to The Rail. This brainchild of a celebrity chef brings a gastropub experience to the Midwest. Despite the upscale atmosphere, you can still kick back with friends and watch the big game. Join the Beer Exploration Society, and learn the art of ale tasting guided by a craft-beer expert.
The Blue Turtle Tavern draws a diverse local crowd with its daily drink specials and friendly atmosphere. Sing your heart out at Sunday night karaoke, or show off your great memory at Tuesday night trivia. Stop by after a long day at work, and get to know your neighbors over a pint.
History & Culture
In 1815, Charles Olmstead began selling plots of land to settlers, and the resulting community was named after him. Soon after, the increasing population caused the town to split into Olmstead Falls and North Olmstead, but both locations remained primarily agricultural until the 1960s. At that time, Cleveland's booming steel industry created massive growth in the area, and quiet rural communities became victims of suburban sprawl.
Don't underestimate the importance of art and culture in this town. An active historical society preserves important buildings and guides visitors through historically significant areas. It also sponsors the annual Festival of the Arts, which gathers local artists, craftsmen and musicians so they can reveal their talents to the community.
The Olmstead Performing Arts Center offers classes for children and adults, as well as entertaining visitors with theater performances ranging from Shakespeare's classic works to musical comedies.
As is the case in most suburbs, you need a car to get around. You'll find an abundance of free parking all over town, taking some of the stress out of driving. When you can't drive, request an Uber car, as you won't find taxis readily available.
This area is generally inhospitable to cyclists, with significant traffic making many intersections unsafe. A paved trail between residential and commercial areas serves a small section of town, but it extends less than 3 miles.
North Olmsted lacks the comprehensive public transportation services of Cleveland - the RTA bus remains your only option. The bus stops frequently throughout Cleveland and its suburbs, so you will get where you need to go, albeit slowly.
At just 8 miles away, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport furnishes residents with the most convenient choice for air travel.
North Olmstead's convenient location and superb public facilities don't come cheap, making the cost of living in this area nearly 6 percent higher than the state average. One bedroom apartments typically rent for just over $650 a month.
Gas prices linger on the high side at almost 2 percent higher than the national average. Fortunately, public transportation is easy on your wallet and you can ride the bus into Cleveland for just $2.50. When you order a pint at the local pub, expect to pay around $5.
With the town's many Marc's and Giant Eagle locations, you'll never consider grocery shopping a chore. In addition, several ethnic markets stock specialty food items and unusual ingredients sure to make your next dinner party a hit.
On Saturdays, pick up the week's fruits and vegetables at the Frostville Farmers Market - despite its name, the market sets up shop in North Olmsted. During the winter the market does not close, but changes to a bi-monthy schedule, so you have access to locally sourced foods all year.
North Olmstead houses the Great Northern Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the United States. It contains upscale department stores and remains the area's most popular shopping center. Boutiques and independently owned stores are uncommon in this area, as they find it difficult to compete with the large number of national chains.
If you enjoy skiing you're in luck, because Bavarian Village Ski & Snowboard Outfitters will prepare you to hit the slopes. Let the knowledgeable staff help you choose the proper boots, boards and other gear to safely enjoy winter sports. When your luck runs out and you take a spill, this shop also provides on-site repairs.
North Olmstead provides its residents with well-maintained parks and a top-of-the-line recreation center within North Olmstead Community Park. This center contains both indoor and outdoor pools, an ice skating rink and a fully equipped gym, as well as space for fitness classes. Open fields and playgrounds surround the buildings, promising visitors outdoor entertainment and beautiful picnics. Entrance to the center is free, but classes incur additional fees. Take leashed dogs to the park, but not inside the recreation center.
Wildlife sanctuaries play an important role in this community and include amenities not often found in forest preserves. Rocky River Reservation creates the perfect blend of untouched wilderness and carefully maintained public park. Bring your bike for miles of paved trails, or your walking stick for unpaved trails. Enjoy sandwiches in fellowship with nature while the kids take advantage of a shaded playground. After lunch, the whole family can learn from the exhibits at the Rocky River Nature Center. Between sledding and golf, there's a reason to visit no. Dogs are welcome, but must remain leashed at all times.