Cook County is home to Evanston, which isn't too far behind when it comes to being one of the larger cities in the area. It's not as heavily populated as Aurora or Elgin for instance, but with about 75,000 residents, it's not too shabby! Northwestern University is nestled comfortably into this city, and along with that come many excellent shopping centers, movie theatres, and restaurants. Many locations in the city have been used in films, particularly those of John Hughes including Sixteen Candles. If you're traveling to Evanston in one of our party buses, here are some of the best places to eat and drink in the 60201, 60202, 60203, 60204, 60208, and 60209 zip codes!
PETE MILLER'S SEAFOOD & PRIME STEAK
Pete Miller's Seafood & Prime Steak is the first restaurant on our list because it's tops in our opinion! The atmosphere is wonderful, and the service is superb. Of course it's the food that really matters, and you absolutely won't find better entrees than this in the Evanston area. They've been in business since 1996, serving perfectly cooked steaks, seafood, ribs, and more. The salmon is fantastic. Very romantic scene, with jazz to add to the ambiance.
Address: 1557 Sherman Avenue
DAVIS STREET FISH MARKET
If you love seafood as much as we do, Davis Street Fish Market is an absolute essential when you're in Evanston. The restaurant was established in 1985 and has only gotten better with time. The oysters are so fresh and nothing short of mouthwatering! Definitely our favorite choice. It's great to come in for their thirty dollar brunch too. Be sure to look at the extensive wine list while you're there. Everything here is superb, including the attentive waitstaff who tend to your every need.
Address: 501 Davis Street
FLAT TOP GRILL
Similar to the Mongolian barbecue restaurants that you may have been to in the past, Flat Top Grill is a restaurant where you essentially create your own stir fry combinations. They've got a wide array of meats, seafood, and tofu, plus lots of fresh vegetables, sauces, and spices. Put them together in your favorite combination and leave the cooking to the staff. Very fun for dates and groups! Going strong since 1996.
Address: 707 Church Street
You've got to love the name of this restaurant: Stained Glass. The only thing that would make it better is if it were located on Church Street! The food here is in fact a religious experience. Yes, it's really that good. It can be a little expensive, but you get what you pay for here. It's very romantic, and nicely decorated. The menu changes often with brand new seasonal specialties to tantalize your tastebuds. Fantastic desserts too!
Address: 1735 Benson Avenue
BLIND FAITH CAFE
After those Church Street jokes about Stained Glass (above), what better to follow it up with than Blind Faith Cafe? This one is a vegetarian restaurant, doing great business since 1979. They've got cozy indoor dining and breezy outdoor dining in the warmer parts of the year. The staff is one of the highlights here--they're so friendly and accommodating. If you have any questions about anything on the menu, they're always happy to help you out and explain the ingredients and preparation. Everything here is delicious! Highly recommended.
Address: 525 West Dempster Street
We can't decide if we love Merle's Barbecue more for their excellent bar or for their delicious dining experience in the restaurant part of the establishment. Both are fantastic. Dine.com has said that they have the "best BBQ in Chicagoland," and we'd agree with that! They've been doing their thing since 1992, and their methods have stayed the same. No reason to change the formula when it's already perfect. Excellent pulled pork and baby back ribs, and we love the mac and cheese for a side. The cole slaw is also perfectly crisp and fresh! Can't go wrong here.
Address: 1727 Benson Avenue
THAI SOOKDEE RESTAURANT
Thai Sookdee isn't fancy or overpriced, it's just a convenient and comfortable place to get the delicious Thai food that you crave. The lunch specials are very reasonable, so if you're stopping in on your work break you'll also be saving yourself some cash. The duck is perfectly seasoned and cooked, and that's what we'd recommend the most highly. Of course the Pad Thai and other standards are delicious as well. Whether you stick to the tried and true or dive into something unusual, every item on the menu is great.
Address: 1016 Church Street
RHYTHM ROOM BAR & BISTRO
You can come to Rhythm Room Bar & Bistro for a delicious meal, but the bar is the thing that really brings us back time after time. You do pay a premium to dine or drink here, but those high prices are worth it for big celebrations or if you've just got some cash burning a hole in your pocket! There are pool tables for your enjoyment, and there's always great music playing to add to the already incredible ambiance. Beautiful surroundings, and elegant decor. TIP: Martini lovers, order the dirty martini with blue cheese stuffed olives. It's to die for.
Address: 1715 Maple Avenue
PRAIRIE MOON ALL AMERICAN
Prairie Moon All American is a great place to grab lunch and an ice cold beer! If you're heading into town on our party bus, you'll want to know that this is one of the best places to rent out for birthdays and bridal showers, or whatever group event you may be having. Though it's known as an "All American" restaurant, there are some very exotic choices there too, including ahi tuna (our favorite!) and even fish tacos! The waitstaff is very attentive to your needs, and they make sure that your glasses are always filled and that everything is right with your meal.
Address: 1502 Sherman Avenue
DAVE'S ITALIAN KITCHEN
Dave's Italian Kitchen is an Evanston institution! You just can't come to town without stopping here at least once. The portions are nothing short of giant, and the wine list is very extensive. There's a great pairing for each and every dish on the menu. Just ask the waitress what's best and she'll point you in the right direction. The salads and calzones are two of our favorites, and no meal is complete without a dessert of perfectly prepared tiramisu! We love this place.
Address: 1635 Chicago Avenue