Just north of Chicago along the shores of Lake Michigan, Evanston enjoys the benefits of its proximity to Chicago and its wealth of culinary offerings make it a unique college town in the Midwest. Home to Northwestern University, Chicago’s Big 10 team, brings visitors to this legitimate destination for gastronomes. It is easily accessible via car or the city’s famed elevated “el” train. Its most popular restaurants reflect both its urban and suburban qualities.
Terra & Vine, from former “Check, Please!” host Alpana Singh, focuses on showcasing Mediterranean cuisine, specifically emphasizing its Italian influences. The restaurant benefits from Singh’s experience as a master sommelier, featuring an immaculately constructed wine list. terraandvine.com
Edzo’s Burger Shop, a small shop without much curb appeal belies bright flavors inside. Locals love it for burgers made from hand-pattied beef, hand-cut fries, and shakes in flavors like spicy Mexican chocolate. edzos.com
At Hewn, bakers mix the dough by hand, shape and place into bannetons, let it rise overnight and bake in the early morning. A dizzy array of pastries match the large selection of breads. hewnbread.com
Boltwood menu highlights include grilled swordfish and extremely addictive crispy potatoes. Bartenders craft inventive cocktails. boltwoodevanston.com
Blind Faith Cafe takes creative spins on traditionally vegetarian including vegetable pot pie, spinach lasagna, and seitan bi bim bop with a broad selection of delicious vegan and gluten-free offerings. blindfaithcafe.com
Peckish Pig, located right on Evanston’s border with Chicago, takes a unique spin on the brewpub concept. Offering approachable items as well as adventurous surprises coupled with a dozen house-brewed beers. thepeckishpig.com
Found Kitchen & Social House is a restaurant with a mission. Its rustic American dishes change with the market and season and are served in a relaxed, creative atmosphere inspired by 1920’s Bohemian Paris. foundkitchen.com