Evanston Hot Spots
Before or after the game, Evanston has amazing new culinary options as well as a few watering holes not to be missed. In town for Northwestern University graduation weekend? Explore our guide to Evanston.
If you’re a fan of both fabulous food and football, then the fun really begins when the 4th quarter ends at Ryan Field. After you’ve worked up a championship-sized appetite cheering on the Wildcats, you’re just a few mouth-watering minutes away from the some of the newest restaurants and bars in Chicagoland in Northwestern’s home of Evanston. Seriously folks, you won’t know which delicious direction to go in first. Après-Game choices range from sophisticated and spicy to Mom’s comfort food, so you need to make an extra point to eat in Evanston early and often!
2614 Green Bay Rd., Evanston, IL
Located just outside Chicago, Jilly's Cafe has been called a 'North Shore Treasure' by Zagat. French countryside decor, handpicked flowers and friendly waitstaff make for an intimate and cozy atmosphere suitable for all occasions. Locally famous with authentic French food served with an American twist.
2424 Dempster St., Evanston, IL
Experience the taste of appetizing Afghan dishes that have existed in Afghanistan’s history for thousands of years. Enjoy the comfortable and sophisticated atmosphere accented by exquisite décor. The menu consists of grilled kabobs including beef, chicken and lamb, along with seafood dishes and vegetarian specialties such as pumpkin, eggplant, spinach and various fresh vegetable options. Featuring lunch specials M-F from 11 am-3 pm.
915 Davis St., Evanston, IL
Recognized for its impeccable cuisine, extensive wine list, quality service and cozy, comfortable ambiance, Chef’s Station remains a North Shore favorite. In busy downtown Evanston, Chef Elio Romero offers Contemporary American cuisine and seasonal menus that inspire a variety of palates.
The Barn Steakhouse
1016 Church St., Evanston, IL
The Barn is a meat-centric hideaway, tucked away down an alley in the heart of Evanston. Sourcing the finest quality ingredients, meats and Prime Heritage Angus, proprietor Amy Morton’s restaurant is lively and smart with old school table-side service.
703 Church St., Evanston, IL
A Midwestern craft tavern specializing in local food and drink. All burgers, condiments and sodas are made from scratch. More than 28 craft beers on tap ensure you will find something special. Also serving Michigan wines on tap. Over 85% of the restaurant interior was built with salvaged materials and reclaimed pieces from many famous Chicago bars and restaurants.
Koi Fine Asian Cuisine & Lounge
624 Davis St., Evanston, IL
Located right in the heart of Evanston’s charming restaurant row, Koi brings bold flavors of eight different regions of authentic Chinese cuisine and fresh sushi to every dining experience. Koi offers a modern relaxing atmosphere, perfect for a night out with friends, dinner for two or private parties. Come and see us and enjoy the weekly specials at bar after work. Be creative, live long, be happy and follow your own path.
University Plaza Cafe
1501 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL
The University Plaza Cafe "UPC" is a signature restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. The menu boasts gourmet comfort food, selected for the guest to experience the "home away from home" menu.
Bangers and Lace
810 Grove St., Evanston, IL
A bar/restaurant with the feel of a Midwestern lodge. Offering 32 draft beers from around the world and an extensive bottle selection. Why the name? “Bangers” is the British term for sausage, and “lace” stands for Brussels lace, the intricate veil of beer foam that clings to the side of the glass, indicating a well-crafted beer and a clean glass.
1932 Central St., Evanston, IL
When you need a taste of comfort that reminds you of Mom’s home cooking, head over to Bluestone! You’ll feel right at home next to the crackling fire with Baked MAC & Cheese, BBQ Meatloaf or Chicken Scaloppini. Elbows off the table for some Country Chicken Pot Pie, Grown-Up Grilled Cheese or a Steak & Chipotle Quesadilla with loaded tots.
Cupitol Coffee & Eatery
810 Grove St., Evanston, IL
A casual, all-day lounge that brings together the best elements of a restaurant, a bakery, a café and an exclusive bar. European-style counter service offers guests unique espresso drinks, pastries, freshly squeezed juices, as well as everything you would desire from breakfast to dinner.
Ten Mile House
1700 Central St., Evanston, IL
A social house for the thriving Evanston community, Ten Mile House serves thoughtful comfort food and beverages in a vibrant, welcoming setting. Only steps from Northwestern's Ryan Field!
1704 Central St., Evanston, IL
Small batch donuts and custom blend coffee served fresh daily at this boutique donut shop. Enjoy basic and fancy donuts with rotating flavors every two weeks. Only steps to Ryan Field!
1029 Davis St., Evanston, IL
An independent, locally-owned restaurant, giving a respectful nod to Mexican cuisine that's rooted in authentic Mexican cooking techniques. What you will find is hand crafted product, traditional moles, fresh made salsas, served in a lively and casual atmosphere by friendly people. Beverages celebrate Mexico's production of high quality tequila and mezcals. Proud to be members of a community that recognizes and supports local small business. Buen Provecho!
Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.
1615 Oak Ave., Evanston, IL
A craft brewery and smokehouse born out of years of Mike Smylie's dedication to BBQ and brewing, and a lifetime of Smylie family backyard cookouts. Every customer is offered his passion for BBQ. Lean back with some cold, craft brewed beer and lean forward over great pizza and mouthwatering BBQ, and tell new stories, and laugh at old jokes. When you step through the door, take in the wide-open dining room, smell the brisket in the smoker, and hear the whoosh of pouring brew.
Blind Faith Cafe
525 Dempster St., Evanston, IL
For over 30 years, guests have enjoyed the innovative vegetarian food at this premier certified green restaurant. Curried chopped salad, black bean ginger tofu, and the ever popular macrobiotic plate exemplify their dedication to offering beautifully prepared natural. Bakery items included sugar free, vegan and gluten free options. Superb selection of beer and wine.
623 Howard St., Evanston, IL
Seasonal suds, guest beers, craft cocktails and gastropub food (house-smoked and fried ham hocks with salted-caramel drizzle, tuna wellington, and much, much more including vegetarian options) are on offer at this relaxed, brewpub on the edge of Evanston. The loft-like open space is done in exposed brick and wood, with beamed ceilings, industrial ductwork, polished tables and utilitarian stools at the long bar. Save room for dessert, Chef Deb’s offerings are not to be missed.
716 Church St., Evanston, IL
Colectivo Coffee began sourcing coffees from origin and roasting every batch by hand. By developing farmer and co-op partnerships, Colectivo can be involved in every step of creating a great coffee experience. Cafes offer Session Roasted™ coffees in addition to Letterbox Fine Tea, Colectivo Keg Company beers, and made-from-scratch food, Troubadour artisan breads, and baked goods.
505 Main St., Evanston, IL
Located on Chicago's North Shore, Chef Mark Grosz offers a seamless fusion of traditional French Cuisine and Modern American fare with just a dash of Japanese influence. Boasting an impressive wine list, Oceanique has garnered the Wine Spectators "Best of Award of Excellence" with consistent recognition from the prestigious Zagat guide as Chicagoland's best seafood restaurant.
La Macchina Cafe
1620 Orrington Ave., Evanston, IL
Restaurant and wine bar offering a true taste of Italy in a comfortable atmosphere utilizing only the freshest ingredients in a rustic, motorcycle-themed setting. Serving brunch, lunch and dinner with weekly specials.
615 Dempster St., Evanston, IL
A local, family-owned bagel shop and deli located in the lively Chicago/Dempster shopping area of Evanston. Offering the freshest bagels in town, organic cream cheese spreads, flavored and whipped on-site. Sandwiches made to order, homemade vegetarian soups are always delicious and the salad bar is always fresh! Free WIFI, free library and a copy of the New York Times for your reading pleasure.
706 Main St., Evanston, IL
Italian favorites plus wood-fired pizzas are served up, in an open, bright space situated on Main Street in Evanston, a tree-lined street walking distance to the Metra and CTA trains stop and home to quaint boutiques and restaurants. D.O.C. stands for the Denominazione di Origine Controllata, a wine appellation which requires that a product be produced following strict guidelines to ensure quality. Following in this tradition, this Evanston favorite offers seasonal menus of the highest standards overseen by sisters Lucia and Giuliana Moazzocchetti.
The Hoosier Mama Pie Company
749 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
A comforting slice of Americana awaits you at one of Evanston’s sunniest spots, The Hoosier Mama Pie Co. & Dollop Coffee & Tea Co. With a head-spinning variety of freshly baked-before-your-eyes pies, choose your favorite and pair it with a steaming mug of espresso. Breakfast lovers can cozy up to the counter for buttermilk biscuits or stop by for lunch or dinner for savory pie plates, sandwiches, and salads.
La Cocinita Restaurant
1625 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
Located in downtown Evanston, La Cocinita serves Venezuelan street food, as well as beer, wine and cocktails such as jalapeno-cucumber margaritas. Specialties include homemade arepas (Venezuelan cornmeal patties) and cachapas for brunch (sweet corn pancakes). The husband-wife proprietors also operate a food truck for local catering and special events.
Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine
711 Howard St., Evanston, IL
Fusing mouth-watering tastes of Caribbean food with exciting new tropical cocktails and craft beer. House specialties include Jerk Chicken, Oxtail, Brown Stew Chicken, Curry Goat and Jerk Pork. Tropical cocktails, imported Jamaican beverages, fresh squeezed vegetable juices and island smoothies complete the island offerings.
810 Dempster St., Evanston, IL
Everything here is made in-house, from scratch, daily. Sourcing local and seasonal ingredients from small, local farmers when their flavors are at their peak. All breads are hand-mixed, hand-shaped and naturally fermented without commercial yeast. Allowing bread to ferment with wild yeast allows a richer, more complex flavor to develop. Seasonal sandwiches, salads and grains adhere to a philosophy of serving food that promotes a healthy body.
Five & Dime
1026 Davis St., Evanston, IL
Evanston’s only rooftop restaurant and bar allows gorgeous sunset views above the street hubbub. Comfy couches, tables for larger groups and an indoor and outdoor bar give you plenty of options to enjoy their unique twist on creative bar food. Great meeting spot to enjoy dinner or some libations. Bored? Play Ping Pong in the game room or try one of the vintage pinball machines.
The Homestead Inn, Evanston, IL
A warmly rustic restaurant favoring sustainability, classic pairings, and simple ingredients from around the world. An inviting option for casual gatherings and libations with friends. With five spaces to suit your needs, Hearth provides the perfect venue to share time, enjoy ambiance, and delight in delicious cuisine and good company.
1902 Green Bay Rd., Evanston, IL
Located in Evanston, Hecky's has been serving up some of the best BBQ in the nation for more than 25 years. As it’s said, the secret is in the sauce and their award-winning sauce comes from an old Creole family recipe. Options range from succulent pulled pork, rib tips and baby back ribs to sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. Gumbo and jambalaya too! Catering and shipping available.
2106 Central St., Evanston, IL
Specializing in providing customers with uncompromised top quality prepared foods including homemade appetizers, soups, entrees, salads, breads and pastries. Customers can also find fine pates, cheeses, fresh seafood, meats and so much more!
1631 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
Found, “Where Jackie O’ meets the Beatles” boasts a local, shared plate menu owned by Amy Morton and cheffed by Bradford Phillips. The flexitarian menu is ever-evolving in a warm, groovy space meant to be savored. Reservations are accepted and spontaneous dining is encouraged! Much of the dining room is held open for walk-ins. Feel free to walk-in anytime.
2922 Central St., Evanston, IL
As unique as it is delicious, Curt’s Café invites you to dine with purpose while enjoying great food. Curt’s is a non-profit organization that provides food service and life skills training for at-risk youth in Evanston. Curt’s pours their heart and soul into their famous coffee drinks, as well as their fresh, flavorful breakfast treats, sandwiches and salads plus their comfy couches will make you feel right at home.
1622 Orrington Ave., Evanston, IL
A full service Thai restaurant specializing in fresh, bold flavors of Thai cuisine with a causal, yet exceptional dining experience. NaKorn chefs have worked to perfect old-Thai recipes with a modern presentation, for unique dishes layered with flavor while encouraging the traditional practice of family-style dining. The restaurant and full-service bar provide a nostalgic glimpse of the past reminiscent of 1970s Thai shophouses in a stylish yet warm and cozy vibe.
1012 Church St., Evanston, IL
Authentic Italian restaurant located within Evanston Rocks music venue. Crafted from generations-old Italian recipes, "Rock 'N Ravioli" features a full menu specializing in gourmet home-made raviolis and Chicago style pizza.
700 Main St., Evanston, IL
Whether you desire a quick cup of coffee and churro in the morning, a new lunch spot, a unique watering hole to watch the game, or have your main taco fix, La Principal is ready for you. Contemporary Mexican street food served in chic, relaxed digs with a bar and a walk-up coffee window.
514 Main St., Evanston, IL
Steps from the Main Street train stations, this long time Evanston favorite keeps guests guessing with their off-beat vibe serving “funkalicious” creations at breakfast, lunch and dinner. All creations are made from scratch daily, including their famous Apricot Cheese Flakies, Chicken Pot Pie, Tandoori Chicken Salad and Butterscotch Pudding! Serving wine, beer and spirits.
1029 Davis St., Evanston, IL
The biggest bowls of fresh Asian noodles, crispy-crunchy ginger salads and homemade dumplings all washed down with cold beer or tasty tropical cocktails topped with little paper umbrellas. Confucius says, ‘Eat Well, Have Fun, Be Happy!’
Celtic Knot Public House
626 Church St., Evanston, IL
A very welcoming Irish Pub and Restaurant in the heart of Downtown Evanston. Classic pub food, delicious entrees, salads and desserts. Live music every Saturday, Sunday and Monday and Storytelling every month. No cover charge. Afternoon tea is served on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Open for lunch, brunch, dinner and late night. A great pint of Guinness is always poured here.
1968 Dempster St., Evanston, IL
A full-service restaurant offering traditional and contemporary Italian dishes. While creating their artisan style pizza, Panino’s adheres to the standards of old school pizzerias and the art and craft of great pizzaiolis. Proud member of the USA Pizza Team. Gluten-free options also available.
That Little Mexican Café
1010 Church St., Evanston, IL
A family owned restaurant that has been part of Evanston for more then 20 years. Serving authentic Mexican recipes passed from generation to generation, you can be sure you will enjoy fresh quality products, and a real taste of Mexico! Don’t miss out on the exceptional margaritas!
Edzo's Burger Shop
1571 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL
A homage to the Chicago hot dog stand. Check out the griddled burgers which are smashed thin and, done up crispy on the grill or thicker, juicier char burgers; order a Classic Chicago hot dog, Maxwell Polish or a Sheboygan Brat. Fresh-cut fries in many tempting varieties including: cheese, garlic, and loaded up with cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onion. Decadent hand-dipped milk shakes too.
Smylie Brothers Brewing Co.
1615 Oak Ave., Evanston, IL
A craft brewery and smokehouse born out of years of Mike Smylie's dedication to BBQ and brewing. Lean back with some cold, craft brewed beer and lean forward over great pizza and mouthwatering BBQ. When you step through the door, take in the wide-open dining room, smell the brisket in the smoker, and hear the whoosh of pouring brew.
2000 Dempster St., Evanston, IL
It’s taken almost one hundred years, but Evanston can once again call itself home to a Temperance movement. But this time there’s beer. In fact, this one is all about the beer. It’s something they think about with the beers they brew and the things we do. Visit the Tap Room, a place where everyone can feel comfortable to enjoy beer at its freshest. Most of the beer is available in flights of 4 ounce tasters, half pints, and pints. Though not a brewpub, Temperance offers sandwiches from Sauce & Bread Kitchen and gourmet snacks from Bee’s Knees & Popcorn Asylum. Guests are welcome to bring their own food (BYOF) or order in.
918 Chicago Ave., Evanston, IL
Evanston's first and only distillery, Few Spirits has been crafting award-winning whiskeys and gins since 2011. Tours include a review of Evanston's history of being a dry city, spirit production and full tasting.
629 W. Howard St., Evanston, IL
An exceptional neighborhood cocktail bar. Creative craft cocktails made by inventive, unpretentious mixologists, unique wines and local beers accentuate a menu of small plates. Dimly lit interior with tables and plenty of seats at that bar. A friendly, lively gathering place for locals and inviting to visitors.