Suburban Spotlight: Willoughby

One of the most charming and fun downtown areas in the region is nestled on the Western edge of Lake County: Downtown Willoughby!


Only a 20-minute drive from downtown Cleveland, downtown Willoughby offers great restaurants, unique shopping, and lots of fun festivals.


Downtown Willoughby used to be known for having a lot of fun pubs, but recently the downtown area experienced a foodie revolution. There are still some great traditional pubs, such as Frank & Tony’s Place (get the pizza) and Mullarkey’s Irish Pub.

CLE Plus Hook Hoof

But recently there have been more food-focused restaurants popping up, too. Hook & Hoof New American Kitchen offers creative food and craft cocktails and was just named one of the Top 25 Restaurants in Cleveland by Cleveland Magazine.

CLE Plus BrimBRIM Kitchen and Brewery offers gastropub fare, with a rooftop dining area that is THE place to be in downtown Willoughby in the summer.

CLE Plus MorehouseThe Morehouse and The Wild Goose, which share ownership, offer delicious southern fare and creative pizzas respectively.

Most recently, downtown Willoughby got a location of the popular and tasty Barrio Tacos.

Willoughby Brewing Company continues to turn out high-quality craft beer and will draw lines around the block for their bottle release parties. The Peanut Butter Cup Coffee Porter is a longstanding favorite of mine!

If coffee is more your speed, try Fiona’s Coffee Bar and Bakery, which serves up Cleveland favorites like Rising Star Coffee and Mitchell’s Ice Cream, as well as housemade mini donuts.


Downtown Willoughby has a eclectic selection of shopping options, including Eastside Relics antique store, A Bit of Skirt boutique, Finestra Gallery, and GV Art and Design for all your Cleveland apparel needs.


Downtown Willoughby has become a popular location for annual festivals, with a downtown strip that is easily closed to foot traffic.

The Downtown Willoughby Rib Burn Off takes place May 19-20, 2018, with finger-licking fun, live music, and lots for the family to enjoy.

CLE Plus DT Willoughby FestivalWilloughby ArtsFest takes place on July 21, 2018, packed with local artisans.

Last Stop Willoughby takes place on August 18, 2018 with trolley rides and train-themed fun.

Downtown Willoughby festivals are always easily walkable and lots of fun for the entire family!

CLE Plus DT Willoughby Festival 2

So, the next time you want to check out an area that offers unique food, shopping, and fun, look no further than downtown Willoughby!

Jen Rome
Jen Rome

Jen Rome is the author of Why CLE?, a lifestyle blog that is continually providing readers with new answers to why living in Cleveland is so wonderful.

Jen is a born and raise Clevelander who has lived in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado, but always come back home by choice, not by chance.