Exploring Lakewood: A Few New Faves

Friday, April 22, 2022

As the weather warms up, I’m starting to explore more of my new neighborhood. Last weekend, I started with a bit of a solo exploration day, meeting up with Mike for lunch. I visited a few spots that aren't included here yet because there was just so much to do & to see. That just means there's more to share soon.

If you're a Cleveland person, I'd love for you to share some of your favorite local spots to tell me what else I need to check out. Obviously I've been a Clevelander for awhile now (seven years this summer), but my Lakewood knowledge could use some work. Get at me!

This beautiful, witchy shop has long been one of my favorite spots in Lakewood. It’s queer woman-owned, brought to the neighborhood in 2018 by owner & head witch Miranda Scott. And it's just so pretty, full of crystals, candles, & botanicals. (Check out my IG Reel for a better peek.) 

The staff is kind & helpful, always willing to explain, educate, & encourage. There’s no cliqueyness or barrier to entry if you don’t know what you’re doing or what you’re looking for. And though I'm not usually one for vibey stuff, I bought a few crystals that felt meaningful to me. I don't know if they work, but they sure are pretty.

This cafe, which opened last summer, is a block away from a Dunkin', but why would you ever choose a chain (& that chain, in particular), if you could go to a cool local joint? It's got a cool vibe, including that big quote on the wall, & a few interesting drinks on the menu. The Birdtown, for example, is iced espresso with lemon juice & maple syrup.

It's owned by a former sommelier whose wife & children are gluten intolerant, which inspired an entirely vegan & gluten-free menu. I didn't try any of their food, but potato latke "waffles"? Carrot "lox"? I'm interested. 

CouCou Sentiment

An Instagram friend has told me about this place, but I didn't realize it was so close... or so cute! Coucou is informal French for "hello," & the whole shop is filled with the kind of gifts you give to people you love. They sell greeting cards & stationery, mugs, local apparel, accessories, puzzles, prints, pins & patches, & party supplies, plus curated gift boxes to send to faraway friends. 

CouCou Sentiment is Black-woman-owned, & the girl at the counter was super friendly & chatty. It's a good spot to pick up a little something for someone else or a treat for yourself, & I have a feeling it's going to become my new gifting go-to.

Cleveland Vegan

I was walking past Cleveland Vegan when I saw some people in the window eating buffalo tofu wings & just, like, had to have them. Mike & I met up there for lunch just a couple hours later, at my request, & damn were they good. But maybe not as good as the street corn fries, which came in the biggest serving I've ever seen and were among the most delicious fries I've ever eaten. 

Co-founded in 2012 as just a catering company, Cleveland Vegan has since become a brick-and-mortar bakery & cafe with an expansive menu that skips animal products but absolutely doesn't sacrifice taste. I need to go back, like, immediately.

There's lots more of Lakewood to explore, but this sunny Saturday gave me a good start at getting to know my knew neighborhood. We plan to be here for a good long while (that's how houses work, ideally), so I'm looking to really settle in & feel like a part of this community. 

In other words: Where should I go next? Hit me with your Lakewood faves!

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