When cold temps set in, it can be easy to burrow into a mountain of blankets and vow to never step outside until spring. But don’t let a little chill keep you at home, especially when there are so many local restaurants and establishments serving up hearty comfort food and delicious drinks that will quickly warm you up. Grab a few friends and make plans to enjoy these dishes and drinks together this season.
Granite City Food & Brewery
992 Willow Road, Northbrook
While the main draw here might seem to be the fresh-brewed craft beer, Granite City has an extensive menu serving comfort food favorites (there’s an entire section of the menu titled Comfort Classics) and seasonal items. Start with Spinach & Artichoke Dip or wings before ordering the Roasted Prime Rib sandwich, Big Show Burger (topped with Batch 1000 Double IPA-Braised BBQ Pork), Bock & Cheese Pasta, Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf, or Center-Cut Filet.
623 Howard St., Evanston
This brewpub aims "to create a fun, vibrant atmosphere for our guests that keeps them coming back," and after taking one look at the menu, you'll quickly realize a return trip is imminent. Share small plates like Sage and Red Wine Chorizo or Duck Confit Mac & Cheese with friends, or keep dishes like Slow Roasted Pork Belly and Marsala and Red Wine Short Rib all to yourself. And stop by Fridays and Saturdays after 10 p.m. for late night bites like Bacon Fat Popcorn or the Beef and Chorizo Burger.
Peckish Pig, Evanston
2743 Pfingsten Road, Glenview
On a chilly fall day, there's no better way to warm up than with a classic bowl of soup, and this restaurant is serving up a wide variety of options. The offerings change weekly, but flavors include everything from Loaded Baked Potato, Broccoli Cheddar, and Chicken Pot Pie to Curry Thai Chicken, Lobster Bisque, Singapore Squash, and Brewhouse Cheddar. Whatever you decide to order, pair it with a salad, sandwich, or power bowl.
3300 W. Touhy Ave., Skokie
Appetizers like Chili Cheese Fries and White Cheddar and Bacon Dip start the evening off right here, but of course it's all about the steak and you can't go wrong with Renegade Sirloin, Ribeye, New York Strip, Prime Rib, or Fire-Grilled T-Bone. Other options include Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Cowboy Pork Chops, Baby Back Ribs, and the Shaved Prime Rib Sandwich.
LongHorn Steakhouse, Skokie
Sweety Pies Bakery
8042 Lincoln Ave., Skokie
No dinner of comfort food favorites would be complete without dessert, and some of the best around are found at this family-owned bakery creating "homemade, from scratch" baked goods. Opt for a classic cupcake, pies like Apple, Crocodile, or Chocolate Cashmere, a chocolate chip brownie, pumpkin square (seasonal), cake truffles, or cookies like Ginger Molasses or Peanut Blossom. Sweety Pies also offers paleo-friendly muffins, granola, brownies, pumpkin cookies, and fruit crisp, and gluten-free cupcakes, Monster Cookie, and French macarons.
North Shore Cider Company
707 Howard St., Evanston
This craft cidery opened in 2017 and uses apples and pears from Michigan to create ciders like Bone Dry (similar to a sauvignon blanc), Never Say Never (a rosé cider), and Monet Monet (a limited batch infused with lavender and dried orange peel). Guests can sip on classic and limited-edition ciders at the tap room before buying bottles and growlers to take home.
North Shore Cider Company, Evanston
2000 Dempster St., Evanston
This Evanston brewery serves year-round beverages like the award-winning Smittytown (an English-style amber) and Gatecrasher (an English-style IPA) plus seasonal brews like Root Down (a "robust porter, brewed with chicory and licorice roots and tinged with a touch of smoked malt") and Barrel-Aged Might Meets Right in Coffee Maple (an imperial stout). Enjoy a variety of brews at Temperance's tap room, where you can bring your own food or order in. Plus, take a tour of the brewery Saturdays at 3 p.m.
Temperance Beer, Evanston
971 N. Milwaukee Ave., Wheeling
If you’re more of a wine enthusiast, visit this winery for tastings and fresh bread. You can even join the Wine Club for discounts on wine purchases, monthly prize drawings, members-only events, and more. And keep an eye on this winery's website for upcoming events and tasting menus for each month.
Tudor Wine Bar
338 Tudor Court, Glencoe
With the tagline "Community, Cocktails & Conversation," you know this is the perfect place to catch up with friends as you warm up with a glass of wine or tasty cocktail. Pair your drink with flatbreads or gourmet meats and cheeses, the perfect pre- or post-Writers Theatre snack.
Tudor Wine Bar, Glencoe
629 W. Howard St., Evanston
It's all about classic, seasonal cocktails here, like the El Dictator (Ron Zacapa solera aged rum, white rum, dry vermouth, triple sec, grenadine) and Blood & Sand (scotch, vermouth, orange, cherry heering). There are also no TVs, so it's another great option for catching up with loved ones.
Ward Eight, Evanston