Date Ideas on Chicago’s North Shore
Looking for some romantic restaurant ideas? If you want to know where to go on a first date, a special occasion (anniversaries, birthdays), or a couples date night sans kiddos, Chicago’s North Shore serves up plenty of choices for a memorable brunch spot, fantastic Happy Hour, or dreamy dinner for two.
See a full list of restaurants on Chicago’s North Shore here.
FIRST DATE GEMS
Blushing over brunch with someone new is more casual by day. Try out skillets, omelets, or Churro French Toast at Rise n Dine Pancake House (102 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling) or Pineapple Coconut French Toast with vanilla mascarpone and macadamia nuts at Alexander’s Breakfast and Lunch (5025 Oakton St., Skokie). Peckish Pig (623 Howard St., Evanston) dazzles with their Warm Bag of House-Made Donuts, while Meg’s Café (317 Park Ave., Glencoe) dresses up the Park Ave Omelet with caramelized onions, spinach, bacon, and goat cheese.
Getting together for a drink and light bites makes Happy Hour a shoo-in for kicking off new (potential) relationships. Keep things breezy at Buffalo Wild Wings (1018 Willow Rd., Northbrook, or at Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie), Celtic Knot located in Downtown Evanston (626 Church St., Evanston), or Grandpa’s Place (1868 Prairie Ave., Glenview) for a pint and some wings, nachos, or pub grub.
If you commit to a dinner experience to impress, a variety of delicious spreads will get you off on the right foot. Try Jameson’s Charhouse (9525 N. Skokie Blvd., Skokie) for Black Angus New York Strip Steak. Sophisticated Thai dishes like Jumbo Lump Blue Crabmeat with turmeric crab curry awaits at NaKorn (1622 Orrington Ave., Evanston). Fred’s Garage (574 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka) and Grill House (3061 Dundee Rd., Northbrook) offer elevated classics for items grilled and griddled.
L: Peckish Pig, Evanston; R: Nakorn, Evanston
SPECIAL OCCASSION INSPIRATION
For celebrating wedding anniversaries, the original first date, or a romantic birthday, your special day deserves star treatment. Start the day at Ten Mile House (1700 Central St., Evanston) for Chicken and Waffles (with cinnamon honey butter and spicy bourbon maple syrup), or the bottomless mimosas at Pinstripes (1150 Willow Rd., Northbrook).
Toast your way into the evening with cocktails and appetizers at the “Bohemian” Found (1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston), the nautical vibes at Hampton Social (Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie), or the cheery fusion of Stacked and Folded (824 Noyes St., Evanston).
Make a night of it with upscale steaks or seafood delights at Morton’s The Steakhouse (699 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook). Discover the Latin treasure that is Libertad (7931 Lincoln Ave., Skokie) and indulge in a plethora of Mexican and Latin American comfort foods. Take a trip to France with the delectable menu at Aboyer (64 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka), or order delicous fresh seafood, classic Italian dishes and more at Di Pescara (Northbrook Court, Northbrook).
L: Ten Mile House, Evanston; R: Morton's the Steakhouse, Northbrook
PARENTS NIGHT OUT
No fighting over the pancakes when just the grownups head to Gotta B Crepes (2901 Central St., Evanston) for their savory or sweet creations or the quirky and charming Lucky Platter (514 Main St., Evanston), located in the Main Dempster Mile, for an array of eggy and lighter fare (with adult bevvies to boot). Stop by Bonefish Grill (9310 Skokie Blvd., Skokie) for their Sunday brunch which includes unique takes on brunch favorites like their Cajun Shrimp Omelet, Creme Brulee French Toast and Surf + Turf Eggs Benedict.
Draft beers, quality wine lists, and a full compliment of refreshing libations are on offer at City Works Grill and Pour House (365 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling). At Farmhouse (703 Church St., Evanston) we suggest you try their Cider Sangria, Limoncello Fizz or the Light 'n Bloody, and at The Happ Inn (305 Happ Rd., Northfield) enjoy cocktails llike their Mango Mojito, Man-Happ-Inn and Green Hornet. Sketchbook Brewing Company, locations in Evanston (821 Chicago Ave., Evanston) and Skokie (4901 Main St., Skokie) offers a wide menu of localy brewed beer including a selection of rotating seasonal and specialty selections. Looking for a unique experience? Behind the scenes brewery tours are available at the Skokie location every second Saturday. Shareable snacks also abound at each of these venues (and can be hard to choose!).
Let your hair down for a night on the town with the awesome patio space at 501 Local (501 Chestnut St., Winnetka) or the charming sidewalk café at Guildhall (694 Vernon Ave., Glencoe). The friendly atmosphere and Mexican and Latin American-inspired cuisine at Comida Cantina (1928 Central St., Evanston) will feel like a vacation, while the “jet-fresh” seafood makes adulting worth it at Bob Chinn’s Crab House (393 S. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling).
L: Comida Cantina, Evanston; R: Guildhall, Glencoe
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