The 40 Essential Lakewood Restaurants in 2022

Lakewood has steadily become one of the best food neighborhoods in Northeast Ohio. Here are some of the places that you definitely shouldn't miss. From barbecue to vegan to burgers to Mexican and Indian, Lakewood has it all.
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 Borderline Cafe
18508 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 
Nothing but breakfast served sunny side up Wednesday through Sunday at this popular West End café. Huge stuffed omelets, chewy buttermilk pancakes, and breakfast burritos are freshly prepared and restorative in nature. Don’t be put off by the line out the door; it just proves that people have good taste.
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Borderline Cafe

18508 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Nothing but breakfast served sunny side up Wednesday through Sunday at this popular West End café. Huge stuffed omelets, chewy buttermilk pancakes, and breakfast burritos are freshly prepared and restorative in nature. Don’t be put off by the line out the door; it just proves that people have good taste.
 Forage Public House
14600 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 
Forage Public House focuses on 100% sustainable, locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients and they do it deliciously. The ‘Ohio Pork Schnitzel’ from Chardon’s New Creation Farms and the ‘Best BLT Ever’ featuring pork belly from pigs raised in Delaware, Ohio are two of our favorite menu items.
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Forage Public House

14600 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Forage Public House focuses on 100% sustainable, locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients and they do it deliciously. The ‘Ohio Pork Schnitzel’ from Chardon’s New Creation Farms and the ‘Best BLT Ever’ featuring pork belly from pigs raised in Delaware, Ohio are two of our favorite menu items.
 El Carnicero
16918 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 
Chef Eric Williams, of Momocho and Happy Dog, opened this Mexican joint back in 2013 to expand on the Mexican taste that he mastered at Momocho. El Carnicero is a step-down in price from Momocho, but not in quality. Tamales and taquitos are the staples of the menu here.
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El Carnicero

16918 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Chef Eric Williams, of Momocho and Happy Dog, opened this Mexican joint back in 2013 to expand on the Mexican taste that he mastered at Momocho. El Carnicero is a step-down in price from Momocho, but not in quality. Tamales and taquitos are the staples of the menu here.
 Thai Thai
13735 Madison Ave., Lakewood 
Few restaurants have made as big of a splash as Thai Thai, the tiny Lakewood eatery beloved for its flavorful, fiery Bangkok-style street foods. From the day it opened in 2016, this pared-down eatery excelled by focusing on a handful of Thai classics and knocking each and every one of them out of the park.
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Thai Thai

13735 Madison Ave., Lakewood

Few restaurants have made as big of a splash as Thai Thai, the tiny Lakewood eatery beloved for its flavorful, fiery Bangkok-style street foods. From the day it opened in 2016, this pared-down eatery excelled by focusing on a handful of Thai classics and knocking each and every one of them out of the park.
 Cleveland Vegan
17112 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 
Cleveland Vegan has one of, if not the most extensive vegan menu in town. ‘S’more French Toast’, ‘Creamy Shiitake Benedict’ and the ‘Buffalo Cauliflower Dip’ are three items that really make our mouths water. The baked goods really delicious too.
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Cleveland Vegan

17112 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Cleveland Vegan has one of, if not the most extensive vegan menu in town. ‘S’more French Toast’, ‘Creamy Shiitake Benedict’ and the ‘Buffalo Cauliflower Dip’ are three items that really make our mouths water. The baked goods really delicious too.
 The Proper Pig
17100 Detroit Ave., Lakewood 
Barbeque has taken over Cleveland in the last few years and the Proper Pig really stands out amongst the different smoked options in town. From their meats by the half pound, to their ‘Texas-sized’ sandwiches to their bacon on a stick, you really can’t go wrong. Finish it all off with some banana pudding with Nilla Wafers if you still have room for dessert.
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The Proper Pig

17100 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

Barbeque has taken over Cleveland in the last few years and the Proper Pig really stands out amongst the different smoked options in town. From their meats by the half pound, to their ‘Texas-sized’ sandwiches to their bacon on a stick, you really can’t go wrong. Finish it all off with some banana pudding with Nilla Wafers if you still have room for dessert.
 Bar Italia
15625 Detroit Ave., Lakewoo 
Rick Doody, restaurateur behind such concepts as Cedar Creek Grille, 17 River Grille and Lindey’s Lake House, changed his Lindey’s Lake House concept in Lakewood to Bar Italia in early 2021. Drawing on his roots as co-founder of Bravo and Brio restaurants, Doody converted the format at his two-year-old Lakewood eatery, Lindey's Lake House, to Italian, starring fresh pastas and homemade sauces. Bar Italia uses fresh pasta from Flour Pasta Company, fresh-baked breads from On the Rise and made-from-scratch sauces crafted with high-quality meats.
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Bar Italia

15625 Detroit Ave., Lakewoo

Rick Doody, restaurateur behind such concepts as Cedar Creek Grille, 17 River Grille and Lindey’s Lake House, changed his Lindey’s Lake House concept in Lakewood to Bar Italia in early 2021. Drawing on his roots as co-founder of Bravo and Brio restaurants, Doody converted the format at his two-year-old Lakewood eatery, Lindey's Lake House, to Italian, starring fresh pastas and homemade sauces. Bar Italia uses fresh pasta from Flour Pasta Company, fresh-baked breads from On the Rise and made-from-scratch sauces crafted with high-quality meats.
 Dinerbar on Clifton
11801 Clifton Blvd., Lakewood
Loyal fans of the original Diner on Clifton, which operated for 17 years just 160 meters away from the new Dinerbar on Clifton, will quickly observe how much has changed. But they will also appreciate how much has stayed the same. They're packing them in on weekends for brunch, thanks to full bar service and reliable breakfast fare served all day. Well-made corned beef hash is delicious any time, especially when it features fat and salty chunks of meat, tender potatoes and sweet sauteed onions beneath a roof of over-easy eggs. The dish is joined by a handful of other egg dishes that can be ordered clear up till close. Items such as French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict are reserved for mornings and weekend brunch only and all hit the spot.
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Dinerbar on Clifton

11801 Clifton Blvd., Lakewood

Loyal fans of the original Diner on Clifton, which operated for 17 years just 160 meters away from the new Dinerbar on Clifton, will quickly observe how much has changed. But they will also appreciate how much has stayed the same. They're packing them in on weekends for brunch, thanks to full bar service and reliable breakfast fare served all day. Well-made corned beef hash is delicious any time, especially when it features fat and salty chunks of meat, tender potatoes and sweet sauteed onions beneath a roof of over-easy eggs. The dish is joined by a handful of other egg dishes that can be ordered clear up till close. Items such as French toast, pancakes and eggs Benedict are reserved for mornings and weekend brunch only and all hit the spot.
 Tost Sandwiches
13427 Madison Ave., Lakewood
After more than a year of delays, Tost Sandwich Cafe finally opened in 2021. The cafe boasts some of the best sandwiches around. The panini-pressed sandwiches are similar to small cafes you’ll find around Europe.
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Tost Sandwiches

13427 Madison Ave., Lakewood

After more than a year of delays, Tost Sandwich Cafe finally opened in 2021. The cafe boasts some of the best sandwiches around. The panini-pressed sandwiches are similar to small cafes you’ll find around Europe.
 Ferris Shwarma
13507 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood 
Their website says they have “the most awesome shwarma in Cleveland.” Who are we to argue? This menu is very straightforward with only a few options but when you do something so well, no need to mess with what is working.
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Ferris Shwarma

13507 Lakewood Heights Blvd., Lakewood

Their website says they have “the most awesome shwarma in Cleveland.” Who are we to argue? This menu is very straightforward with only a few options but when you do something so well, no need to mess with what is working.