Graduation at Northwestern: A Visitor’s Guide to Evanston
Commencement Weekend at Northwestern is right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your trip to Evanston. Chances are you’ll have some free time as you wait for your graduate’s ceremony, and they’ll probably want to show you around what was their home for the past four years too. Here are just a few of the places to eat and things to do in Evanston. You’ll find even more throughout the CNSCVB website
Where to Eat
1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston
Whether you’re making lunch or dinner plans, or simply want to order a couple cocktails to toast your favorite graduate, you can’t go wrong at Found — this farm-to-table restaurant only uses the freshest ingredients from local farmers in its dishes.
700 Main St., Evanston
If you’re craving Mexican food, don’t miss out on lunch or dinner at La Principal. Start with Chicharrones (crispy pork rinds with chile seasoning and lime) or classic chips ’n salsa before trying Short Rib Tortas or a variety of tacos. And don’t forget a churro at the end of the night!
1622 Orrington Ave., Evanston
This newer restaurant is serving up authentic Thai cuisine right here in Evanston. Check out their menu
before you go to see what new dishes they’re serving up.
616 Davis St., Evanston
This restaurant features “great American food” in a cozy setting with a cool design. Sip on a cocktail in the “library,” pull up a seat at the bar or grab a secluded booth for your entire group. Share the Poutine or order the Linguine Pomodoro or Roasted Octopus all for yourself.
810 Grove St., Evanston
One of the best beer bars in the country (according to Draft Magazine and Thrillist), Bangers & Lace offers a wide variety of beverages as well as sausages like Duck BLT and Jalapeño Cheddarwurst.
Find more Evanston restaurants here
What to Do
If you’re looking for a quirky way to pass the time, explore the American Toby Jug Museum, which boasts the world’s largest collection of Toby and character jugs.
1730 Chicago Ave., Evanston
The Willard House, located 1/2 block south of Northwestern, is open for tours on Sundays at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. This house was the home of activist Frances E. Willard, “a radical social progressive who stood out against gender inequality and fought to give a voice to society’s disenfranchised.” She lived here during her time as president of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. This National Historic Landmark features original furniture, artwork, photographs and books.
And speaking of Willard, visit the tasting room (or schedule a tour) at FEW Spirits
(918 Chicago Ave., Evanston), a distillery that opened in 2011 where the Temperance Movement once called home and was named using Willard’s initials.
40 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston
You won’t have to travel far to explore this free art museum — it’s on Northwestern’s campus. The museum always hosts special exhibits, and the permanent collection features nearly 5,000 works of art from artists like Mary Cassatt, Max Beckmann, and Andy Warhol.
Halim Museum of Time and Glass
1560 Oak Ave., Evanston
This museum opened in 2017 and features more than 1,100 timepieces and 70 stained glass works of art. Visit Wednesday through Sunday to take a one-hour tour.
225 Greenwood St., Evanston
Explore Evanston with a walking tour
led by Evanston History Center docents. You can also tour the Charles Gates Dawes House
, a National Historic Landmark that was the home of U.S. Vice President Charles Gates Dawes. The house was built in 1894-95 and has 6 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms and 11 surviving fireplaces.
1016 Davis St., Evanston
Sign up today for a Bottle & Bottega painting party. You don’t have to be an experienced artist to create a beautiful work of art here, so grab a glass of wine, a paintbrush, and let your creativity flow!
Where to Stay
Looking for more recommendations? Discover even more things to do on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
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