So after a loooong hiatus, I’m back with the continuation of my five part series, "Where should I live in Dallas?" This post is all about Lakewood, a neighborhood that I've affectionately come to refer to as…
Dallas for People Who Hate the Big City
With wineries, lakeside recreation trails, great restaurants, and a vibrant arts scene, Lakewood is sort of like northern California minus the debt and exorbitant house prices (OK and maybe a few more conservatives). This tucked away corner of Dallas undoubtedly has something for everyone.
Where is this urban oasis you might be wondering? Despite intense debates over the borders of Lakewood, most would agree they encompass Mockingbird Avenue to the north, Buckner to the east, Abrams to the west, and Gaston / Garland Rd to the south.
Long story short, it’s just west of White Rock Lake. Despite being only minutes from downtown, this neighborhood couldn't feel any different than the hustle and bustle of Uptown or Downtown.
Who lives in Lakewood?
Do you love crowds, loud noises, congestion, a plethora of foreclosed condos, and chain restaurants? If so, then Lakewood is probably NOT for you.
It is however perfect for runners, cyclists and hikers thanks to it's ideal location next to White Rock Lake, rolling hills, and minimal traffic. Residents are highly involved, neighborly and value recreation and education. It should be pointed out that Lakewood is in DISD - yet it boasts one of the cities top high schools in Woodrow Wilson (also the first in Dallas to begin offering Pre-International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme classes).
The only downside to Lakwood that I can find is that you’ll need to hang onto your car. It's not very walkable, even by Dallas standards, and public transportation is minimal in this part of Dallas.
Lastly, since housing prices have remained strong thanks to Lakwood’s ideal location, this area tends to skew towards families and empty-nesters. But don’t let all this “family” business dissuade any young professionals out there. Lakewood knows how to party!
Where to “party” in Lakewood?
The answer to this question really just depends on who you are. If you like bands like the Old 97's, Polyphonic Spree, indie movies, or the occasional art festival, check out the historical Lakewood Theater (pictured at the top of the article). This iconic theater is ideally situated within walking distance to just about all the best restaurants, bars, and shops including Dallas’ first eco-free independent store, Green Living (***Update: Green Living is now located in the Design District.***)
Maybe you’re the type of person that prefers to sip wine at a vineyard with your closest friends. If so, then look no further than Times Ten Cellars or The Wine Therapist. The former is Dallas's only urban vineyard. So even if the wine wasn’t delicious (which it is) it would be worth checking out just for the novelty of seeing an urban vineyard. Then again, maybe you’re the type of person that wants to sing Karaoke with your friends. If so then warm up those vocal chords and head over to The Goat every Wednesday or Sunday night. The Goat is blues central and has a lot of character.
If you’re more like me and prefer drinking a pint of Guinness, then the Cock and Bull has your name written all over it. Not only does the Cock and Bull have one of the best atmospheres in Lakewood, but they also have one of the best burgers.
And speaking of places to eat…
Where to eat in Lakewood?
Lakewood may not boast the biggest number of Applebee's like some our suburban neighbors may wish, but what it lacks in corporate "flare" it more than makes up for with local flavor. In fact, some of Dallas most famous eateries have been here for decades like Matts Rancho Martinez. There's also plenty of local Italian places like Angelo's Spaghetti House, or Penne Pomodoro. You can also get some excellent pizza at Cosmo's, which has a 1960s decor in-which you can revel in the nostalgia while enjoying movies on VHS from the 80s & 90s. There's even a Farmer's Market held twice a month throughout the year.
Legal Grounds Coffee is an ideal spot if you need a snack and some coffee while you read/study/etc. After coffee you can head over to the Lakewood Landing if you need to check another dive bar off your bucket list. Last but certainly not least, one place that I've been dying to check out is Green Spot market which boasts an ample selection of healthy, organic, natural foods and beverages.
Well folks, that's all I've got for now. For a more complete list of upcoming events, check out our Lakewood Neighborhood Guide:
Or if you happen to be searching for apartments in Dallas (we've got you covered for that as well).
Stay tuned for my next installment...