The best of the best: Lakewood Ohio.

Short reviews on popular places in Lakewood, Ohio.

Posted on May 07, 2017

There is a lot to do in Lakewood. Here are my favorites. I’ll update this as I think of/experience more.

Restaurants

  • Barrio
    • Tacos, Whiskey, and Margaritas. Their beef is seasoned with cinnamon, would definitely recommend checking it out.
  • Melt
    • Gourmet Grilled Cheese. Artery clogging goodness.
  • Buckeye Beer Engine
    • Great Burgers, Long list of beers and good service. Usually a wait, but worth it.
  • Taco Tontos
    • Best Mexican food in Lakewood, and it was right down the street from my house.
  • Souper market
    • good hearty soups, salads, and grilled cheese. A go-to in the colder months.
  • Degans
    • Degan’s menu has something for everyone from Tacos to Flat Iron steak, but the menu only has one or two of each ‘kind’ of food. They are good at making a short list of entrees. Full bar. Lot’s of seating. Usually, a 30-45 minute wait for dinner.
  • Barrocco
    • Hip joint that makes great arepas and Cuban sandwiches. It’s a pretty cool scene, make sure you sit in the back. Pretty much everything is good, but I have a soft spot in my heart for anything in a tortilla with sauce. Good date spot.
  • Jammy Buggers
    • Good food, but in the scheme of Lakewood – it’s a pretty average place in the terms of character but that’s a good thing when you just want some food and a beer and hangout.
  • El Carnicero
    • A Mexican place that greets you with a ten-foot glowing sign that says “TEQUILA” is going to be your favorite spot or one you avoid like the plague. The food is good, but kind of over-complicated and difficult to order at times. A huge selection of tequila. I’d call it the most hipster Mexican place in Lakewood.
  • Vosh

Coffee / Breakfast

  • The Root Cafe
    • Root has really good coffee, and the food is even better. Don’t come here if you’re in a hurry- but like Buckeye Beer Engine, it’s well worth the wait. Wifi is a little slow when there a lot of people. The password is on the chalkboard wall by the kitchen.
  • KB Confections
    • Coffee is pretty good, but the pastries and service are unreal. Really. Check this place out. No Wifi that I know of.
  • Black Bird Baking Company
    • A baking-heavy (as the name implies) place. Average coffee, great pastries and atmosphere. Wifi is pretty average- bogs down with a crowd.
  • Erie Island Coffee
    • Great coffee, pastries are pretty good. Wifi is really good every time I go there. The password is by the register.

Bars

Bars On Detroit
  • Around the Corner
    • Bro bar that is okay if you have a big group of people and no one can decide where to go because there are a few different vibes rolled into one place. Multiple bars. Front bar has crab races (I'm not kidding), back bar is a dance club-type vibe, outside bar is enclosed with clear tarp-like stuff with heaters - which is my favorite area even in the winter. The Brunch isn't too bad either - bloody mary bar is battle tested and approved.
  • West End
    • Bro-ey af but the bar has a less bro-ey vibe than Around The Corner. It's more of a normal bar with slow-ish service when it's packed but not horrible. A good place to take people for a drink or two.
  • Riverwood
    • Riverwood in Lakewood is the best bar in my opinion. The vibe is plain bar - sports bar-ish but the wings and service is one of the best in Lakewood for sure. Tons of people for games ($1.25 Coors Lights for Cleveland games) and a good mid to late twenty something vibe. 
  • Kenilworth
    • Solid all-around bar. Bar area and through a narrow hallway, there is another room with a pool table and some other games. 
  • Side Quest
    • Just as the name suggests, this is a nerdy bar. They have an array of specialty movie/game-based drinks. Can play a wide range of board games. Chill vibe.
  • Mary Arts
  • Booths
  • Game On
  • Bobby O's
  • Avenue Tap House
  • Humble
  • 16 Bit
  • Melt
  • Corkys
Bars On Madison
  • McGintys
  • Bottlehouse Brewery
  • Buckeye Beer Engine
  • Barrio
  • Bevy
  • Mahalls
Other Bars
  • Pier W

Cigars / Liquor stores

  • Robusto and Briar – Cigars
    • Really great service, huge humidor. I want to buy everything in this place.
  • Minottis
    • Liquor store. Average Liquor store but they have a pretty wide selection. Technically a 3 minute drive out of Lakewood into Rocky River.
  • Simones
    • A lot of beer, liquor selection is alright. It’s located in a pretty good spot to pick something up while you’re out.
  • Rozi’s Wine House
    • TONS of beer, great selection if you’re looking for something new. Seasonal beer/wine tastings. Patio. Great hangout. 

The Shit List

  • The Gorilla
    • I love BBQ. I want to love this place with all I’ve got- but it’s just not flattering. They close early, service is just okay and the food is ok to average quality. Brisket is good I’ve heard but I’ve had a few bad experiences in a row. I’m so sorry The Gorilla. Please make some changes.