The Worst of Cleveland Magazine's 20 Best Suburbs, Ranked

The Worst of Cleveland Magazine's 20 Best Suburbs, Ranked
City of Rocky River

Cleveland Magazine's annual Best Suburbs issue, the most anticipated publication among those who haven't stepped foot in a grocery store since March 2020, is now out.

The yearly rankings — based on safety, housing and schools — and general celebration of the sprawl that from 1994 to 2017 sucked $2.4 billion in residential tax base from Cleveland, $4.8 billion from 18 inner-ring suburbs, and $4.4 billion from Cuyahoga County (essentially the editorial version of a NOACA application to add six more lanes to I-271 and nine more highway exits in far-flung outposts newly deforested and paved) are, despite their faults, useful in some ways.

For instance, a good reminder to many that Avon and Avon Lake are two separate communities and nevertheless indistinguishable from Sheffield Village. Or that there is actually a difference between city A and city B, despite the fact they boast the same 20 national chains on main roads that look identical. Or that there's more tiny townships than you can shake a stringent HOA policy at.

Overlooking nasty bits of suburban operations like politics — Strongsville's local GOP chapter that has welcomed and celebrated the dregs of conspiracy MAGA world with open arms while doing its best to be somehow even worse; Hudson, where frenzied residents have ousted the city manager, city council declined to pass a resolution supporting LGBTQ and minorities, and parents have demanded books be banned from school libraries and made Hudson a national headline in an embarrassing, made-up controversy; Beachwood, where city government is so obstinately against transparency that it denied public records requests in a (failed) effort to shield Mayor Martin Horwitz from embarrassment over a minor scandal — the rankings instead focus on more simple quality of life issues like safety.

Needless to say, residents of Moreland Hills, home to the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field, are safely ensconced from anything resembling danger and lay claim to the safest suburban fiefdom in Northeast Ohio. Bay Village likewise fared well by that metric, no surprise to anyone who remembers that a vigilant citizen once called the cops on a statue of Jesus believing it to be a homeless person. Orange Village is probably poised to climb in the ranks now that juveniles will now need a parent or guardian to be anywhere close to Pinecrest after 4 p.m. every day.

Housing is one of the other two key factors, and here the value is on appreciation and median sale price. So big ups to Chagrin Falls, Solon, Highland Heights, Westlake and others for becoming even more increasingly expensive places to live.

But with so many factors left out of the assessment, Scene dug deep to rerank Cleveland Magazine's top 20 suburbs based on a more full range of metrics.

You can find them below. Our rating first, followed by the suburb's rank by Cleveland Magazine.

Congratulations to all the winners.

20 (tie): Beachwood (1)
20 (tie): Rocky River (2)
20 (tie): Pepper Pike (3)
20 (tie): Moreland Hills (4)
20 (tie): Orange Village (5)
20 (tie): Solon (6)
20 (tie): Bay Village (7)
20 (tie): Hudson (8)
20 (tie): Brecksville (9)
20 (tie): Chagrin Falls (10)
20 (tie): Highland Heights (11)
20 (tie): Westlake (12)
20 (tie): Bath Township (13)
20 (tie): Avon (14)
20 (tie): Shaker Heights (15)
20 (tie): Avon Lake (16)
20 (tie): Mayfield Village (17)
20 (tie): Mayfield Heights (18)
20 (tie): Broadview Heights (19)
20 (tie): Middleburg Heights (20)

About The Author

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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