At this point, take a break for lunch at El Fuego Café (8018 Lincoln Ave.). You can scroll through all of the photos you've taken so far as you munch on Chips and Salsa or Shrimp Ceviche before ordering Al Pastor tacos, the El Fuego Burrito with steak, chorizo, and hot sauce, or Tostadas (Steak, Chicken, or Al Pastor) with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, beans, guacamole, cilantro, onion, sour cream, and cheese. When you're done, head to Sweety Pies Bakery (8042 Lincoln Ave.) for a cup of Intelligentsia or Metropolis coffee to bring on the rest of your mural tour.
L: WrdSmth Mural; M: Peru Mural; R: Astro Odv Cbs Mural
To end the day, hop in your car and make your way to the Lauren Asta Mural (4517 Oakton St.). Lauren Asta is a San Francisco-based artist who works free hand to create her murals (this one took 11 days to finish — see the entire process here).
Sick Fisher Mural
Learn more about all of these murals from the Village of Skokie.
Lauren Asta Mural
When you're done, grab some food and relax at Smylie Brothers Brewing Co. (1615 Oak Ave.). Start with the Cheese & Charcuterie Platter and Pork Belly Poutine. You'll then want to order one of the Wood Fired Pizzas (Farmers' Market, Meat Lovers, or Prosciutto are great options); the Barbecue Flight with brisket, pulled pork, baby back ribs, white bread, and a side; or the BLPT (bacon, pickled green tomatoes, lettuce, and roasted garlic aioli). Of course, you can't forget about the beer here. Year round and seasonal brews are available, and if you can't decide, go for a beer flight.
L: Dalek Mural; M: Jeff Zimmerman/Anthony Lewellen Mural; R: Shawn Bullen Mural
Then there's the colorful Dustin Harris Mural (601 South Blvd.). Harris told the Chicago Tribune, "My inspirations tend to come from experiences and encounters from my past and current meetings of people pushing boundaries with their passions. The excitement and struggle of life always ignites great ideas." After you snap some pics, head to Peckish Pig (623 Howard St.), a brewpub offering up dinner items like Maple-Habanero Chicken Wings and Caramelized Onion Flatbread that's perfect for sharing or House Smoked BBQ Ribs and Fish & Chips you'll want to keep all to yourself. And be sure to order the latest beer brewed on site.
Cheri Charlton and Betsy Zacsek Mural
At Central Street and Green Bay Road you'll find the "Connections and Constellations" mural by Nick Goettling, an accomplished artist who has worked with a variety of clients including The Museum of Science and Industry and Lagunitas. Look for Evanston images throughout the mural, and when you're done, make plans to grab dinner at Ten Mile House (1700 Central St.). It's all about comfort food here, so don't miss out on the Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich, Smoked Baby Back Ribs, or build your own pizza.
Dustin Harris Mural
Last but definitely not least, you have to see Rubén Aguirre's mural at Dempster and Sherman. The 94-foot mural is another colorful addition to Evanston's landscape, and is so large it wraps around the wall. To complete the experience, bring a treat from the appropriately named Bagel Art (615 Dempster St.). Here you'll find bagels, egg sandwiches, lox, and more that all pair perfectly with an Intelligentsia coffee.
Connections and Constellations Mural, Nick Goettling
Feeling inspired? Kids can join Evanston's Ice House Gallery for Summer Chalk Murals events throughout the summer for ages 8-10, 11-13, and 14-18. Kids will learn to work as a team as they decide what to create together in addition to working on their drawing skills.
Rubén Aguirre's Mural