Disarmingly referred to as ‘Heavenston’ for its numerous Methodist churches, Evanston, Illinois, is home to Northwestern, one of the most respected universities in the country, bringing youthful creativity from all over. Surrounded by Lake Michigan and within close proximity to Chicago, the Evanston culinary explosion has made the city home to must-try restaurants from all around. The Culture Trip brings you a list of 10 Evanston restaurants worth checking out.
Since its opening, Peckish Pig has made many innovations, transforming its beer menu by adding local Illinois craft beers to their wide selections from all over the Midwest. The restaurant offers a burgeoning American trend menu, which has a variety of choices including their famous ham hock dip in salted caramel, chicken with a butternut squash cream and their irresistible deep-fried peanut and butter dessert. With their Oktoberfest beer, with a 300 square foot patio and outdoor heaters for when winter hits, Peckish Pig is the must-try place this Fall.
Listed as one of the most prestigious seafood restaurants in the Chicago metropolitan area, Oceanique’s French-American style takes the heart of fine dining to the Evanston area. Its menu, which offers a selection of traditionally crafted fish dishes and around 900 fine wines, has seen Oceanique win ‘Best Award of Excellence’ every year since 1994. The restaurant was founded by chef de cuisine Mark Grosz with the aim of combining the sophisticated French tradition with an American twist. Standout dishes include Maine lobster with garlanded with mozzarella, caviar and avocado, and scallops accompanied by coriander and kimchi.
Located in the heart of downtown Evanston and sharing kitchen space with its sister The Stained Glass Bistro, The Cellar is popular among the locals as a casual and intimate place to grab traditional American luxurious snacks either during the day or night. The Cellar’s menu offers snacks from all over the country and their creative cultural recipes include buckets of fried chicken, jumbo lump crab cake, Korean tilapia tacos and three cheese macaroni.
Bar, Bistro, Restaurant, Wine Bar, American, Contemporary, $$$
The Cellar’s sibling, The Stained Glass Bistro’s easy-going environment offers the best quality small plates menu in town. The Stained Glass gets its inspiration from global cuisine combined with local recipes such as the Lake Superior whitefish, Australian rack of lamb, Scottish salmon and free-range Amish chicken. Along with its high-quality food menu, its wine bar bistro offers a special menu of craft beers, cocktails and wines which puts The Strained Glass on the must-try list.
Edzo's Burger Shop | Image Courtesy of Bistro Bordeaux
With two different locations in Evanston and the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, and founded by Eddie Laking, Edzo’s Burger Shop is dedicated to providing classic burgers and fries. When it comes to Edzo’s burger, they use only American beef locally raised and purchased from organic farmers. Edzo’s burger menu consists of unique patties such as the Portabello burger, the Patty Melt and the famous veggie burger. Edzo’s also offers hand-cut fries dipped in unexpected ingredients such as garlic, cheese or buffalo sauce, along with vanilla or Oreo shakes to complete the classic all-American experience.
Inspired by authentic French cuisine, Bistro Bordeaux’s decor gives diners the ultimate French culinary experience, from its cheese imported straight from France to its exquisite wines. In addition, when it comes to the service, Bistro Bordeaux is all about the iconic French black vest, bow tie and long apron. Executive chef Michael Gottlieb is dedicated to creating a boutique bistro where guests can enjoy a hand-crafted menu filled with items such as coq au vin and the blanquette de veau.
Looks like it's closedHours or services may be impacted due to Covid-19
Founded in 2002, traditional all-American restaurant Prairie Moon menu offers regional American dishes comprised of local ingredients, including freshly caught local fish, free-range poultry and various vegetarian dishes. Along with their food menu, Prairie Moon’s passion is to serve unique craft beer locally brewed in Evanston, along with the best beers and wine from all over the country and worldwide.
Just like its unusual name, Blind Faith Café has its own story and mission. Since its opening in 1979, its founders Ivan Newell, Fran Welch and David Lipschutz’s mission is to provide fresh, innovative vegetarian cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere. Blind Faith Café’s menu extends from lunch and dinner to weekend brunch, along with its signature freshly baked goods.
Bringing the best of Spanish tapas to the Evanston community, Tapas Barcelona is dedicated to serving high quality tapas from all regions of Spain. With its Spanish vibe, the restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for friends, couples, and families to have the ultimate ‘small plates’ experience. From its traditional tortilla Espanola and salpico de marisco, to the famous Spanish jamon con pan de tomate, and paella valenciana, Tapas Barcelona is the place to be when you’re in need of some authentic Iberian flavors.
A contemporary and classy sushi and sake lounge, Kansaku first opened in 2006 in the heart of Evanston, helmed by owner and chef Yoon Jae Kim. Kansaku offers urban Japanese cuisine delivered in a comfortable atmosphere that allows guests to enjoy either a traditional Japanese or contemporary cooking style, blended with Western influences. Kansaku’s menu offers combination platters such as the nigiri, sashimi or maki combination, accompanied with specialty saketini drinks and imported Japanese beers.