Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Lakewood is Dallas for people who hate the big city
For anyone wondering where to live in Dallas, Lakewood is a good place to start.
By Flickr user Brian Koeller
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 Road 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 its 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 Dallas ISD, yet it boasts one of the city's top high schools in Woodrow Wilson (also the first in Dallas to begin offering Pre-International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme classes).
The only downside to Lakewood 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 Lakewood’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. 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.
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 of 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 Matt's Rancho Martinez (which will be closing soon and replaced by Mi Cocina). There's also plenty of local Italian places like Angelo's Italian Grill, 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. Go here for a complete list of links on what to do, where to eat, and upcoming events in Lakewood, or over here if you happen to be searching for apartments in Dallas.
Pegasus News Content partner - I Live in Dallas
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