By Mady Stoner
Posted On: Mar 18, 2020
The new Hulu series is set in the ’90s and opens with fire engines rushing to find a grand Tudor-style Shaker Heights home engulfed in flames. Shaker Heights is described in the book as a prosperous, notably progressive community. While this charming town boasts many historical landmarks and areas, things have also certainly changed through the years. Take a look as we explore the town to uncover all the best food and fun.
If you want to experience as much as possible about the true aspects of the book, there are a few places and areas mentioned in the book that 30 years later are still around.
Yours Truly: The teenagers in the book come here for a milkshake, and the interior is exactly what you’d an imagine a classic diner to look like. With so many food options, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner! Even though Yours Truly in Shaker Square closed, you can check out one of their other nine NE Ohio locations like Beachwood and Playhouse Square.
Insider tip: order the famous Notso Fries. Golden brown cottage fries with melted cheese, chopped bacon and a dollop of sour cream.
Parkland Avenue: This is an incredibly stunning street to drive through or walk if you have the time. The street features many giant, historic, beautiful, Tudor-style homes. This is the street the fictional Richardson family lived on and is a main focus of the story. While the Hulu series didn’t film here – the production team did make a trip to scout the area for inspiration.
Winslow Road: Designated as a historic district in 2007, Winslow Road is one of the more unique streets in Shaker Heights. It is the only street in Shaker Heights that consists entirely of two-family houses, which is where the characters Mia and Pearl lived in the book.
While You're There
Everything mentioned above will give you a true feeling of what the setting was really like in "Little Fires Everywhere." But while you’re visiting Shaker Heights, stay for a while and check out these spots.
Van Aken District: Inspired by the Shaker Heights spirit of quality, craftsmanship and entrepreneurialism, The Van Aken District offers a blend of urban and suburban lifestyles in a city deeply rooted in history, culture and diversity. Start your experience by grabbing a cup of coffee from one of Cleveland’s best coffee shops – Rising Star Coffee. From there, explore all the local shops including Stem Handmade Soaps, Spice for Life, Double Rainbow and so much more.
Not only does the district offer great coffee and shopping, there are many local restaurants to try too. At chutney b, Doug and his team will serve some of his favorites including Indian Tomato Masala, Thai Yellow Curry and Moroccan Harira.
Insider tip: Van Aken has also hosted an indoor farmers market in the winter where you can try fresh, organic and local foods. Stay tuned to their page for more special events and pop-ups.
Loganberry Books: Walk into this bookstore and you’ll feel transported to another time and place. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Loganberry Books is a must visit while in the area. The store has well over 125k volumes on the shelves (both new and used). It’s easy to spend an entire day here browsing, and even getting comfortable on a couch to do some reading. In addition to an incredible book selection, they host dozens of events throughout the year to keep readers connected to books, authors, artists and experts. Their most popular program, Local Voices, hosts local authors for signings. It has been a prime marketplace for over 200 local authors in the last few years.
You can even pick up your own copy of Little Fires Everywhere if you haven’t had a chance to read the book yet!
J Pistone Market: Offering prepared foods using the freshest of ingredients, a patisserie, wine shop and take-out items, J Pistone is a warm, friendly place to visit while in Shaker Heights. There are plenty of takeout offerings to choose from if you’re on the go.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking for a delicious dessert, try the Pecan Chocolate Tart!
Shaker Lakes: Round out your trip by getting some fresh air and exploring the beautiful trails offered at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes (which welcomes over 40,000 visitors every year). Check out the All People’s Trail, which is now ADA accessible. This is an easy, 1/3 mile boardwalk that offers nature access for everyone in your family. The trail includes views of the forest, their signature marsh and Lower Shaker Lake.
As you leave the Nature Center, take a drive through South Park Blvd to enjoy even more stunning, beautifully built houses the area is best known for.
If you’re looking for a town that truly has it all – Shaker Heights should be your next destination to visit!