Lake Forest, Illinois

Lake Forest is one of the larger suburbs of Chicago, attracting lots of people who want to find great bars and restaurants in the area. At last count in 2008, there were just over twenty one thousand people in the city, which is located in Lake County. It's rapidly growing thanks to all the great schools in the area, and it's also been immortalized in book form in The Great Gatsby, It, and Pet Sematary, as well as in the films Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Ocean's Twelve, Public Enemies, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. These are our top choices for your dining and drinking experience in the 60045 zip!


South Gate Cafe is a very relaxed and charming place to dine, complete with a beautiful outdoor patio where you can enjoy your lunches and dinners in the warmer months of the year. The prices are surprisingly affordable for this kind of high quality food and service, and the waitstaff is simply outstanding. We love the Clements Sandwich. Great Goat Cheese Pizza too! And we love the convenient location. One of the best in all of Lake Forest.

Address: 655 Forest Avenue
Phone: 847.234.8800


Francesca's Intimo is one of the most romantic and beautiful Italian restaurants in the Lake Forest area. You'll be surprised at how affordably you can dine here, and yet you are in a really elegant and upscale atmosphere. It has a rustic trattoria vibe that we find very charming and cozy. The homemade pasta and sauces are just amazing. We highly recommend the Argentinian Malbec! Note that they are happy to make substitutions and accommodate special orders, which we really appreciate. Just a wonderful restaurant for intimate gatherings or large parties!

Address: 293 East Illinois Road
Phone: 847.735.9235


The Grille on Laurel happens to be one of the best steakhouses and seafood restaurants in Lake Forest. The atmosphere is modern and comfortable, and the food is classic and upscale. The Greek lamb chops are probably our favorite item on the menu. They're so good that we have a tough time ordering anything else! Wonderful hamburgers too, and a great list of specialty drinks including an Eddtini that we can't get enough of! Very highly recommended!

Address: 181 East Laurel Avenue
Phone: 847.234.9660


Bank Lane Bistro is a wonderful restaurant with a very pleasant ambiance and truly delicious food. It's got an elegant interior and a beautiful outdoor dining area too, and we find that this is just the perfect spot for dates because you can carry on a conversation without being drowned out by loud music or boisterous crowds. Everything is fresh and delicious, from the specialty entrees to the rolls and salads. Wonderful place to dine!

Address: 670 North Bank Lane
Phone: 847.234.8802


Lovell's is one of the most highly recommended restaurants in the area, and after hearing about it so many times, we finally had to give in and check it out. They've got wonderful food here, and a very extensive and interesting list of wines. The atmosphere is a little more casual than most of the other Italian restaurants in the area, but yet still elegant and modern. We love the special brunches here. Mother's Day brunch has never been better. Very highly recommended for the great burgers and sandwiches!

Address: 915 South Waukegan Road
Phone: 847.234.8013


Lantern of Lake Forest is a wonderful bar where you can gather with friends, enjoy some ice cold beers, and just bask in the all American atmosphere! Of course they've got all your favorite imported beers here too, so you can get a little international flavor as well. We love their one buck Bud Light on draft, and they're got some really noteworthy burgers here too. Don't miss this one!

Address: 768 North Western Avenue
Phone: 847.234.9844


Sushi Kushi Toyo is all about fresh sushi, sashimi, and Japanese food, and we simply cannot get enough of it! If you love yakitori, you will definitely want to try this place. It's very authentic, so note that the choices here are more classic than contemporary, and that's why the true sushi experts flock to this place for the very best. The gomae is noteworthy, and we love the bento boxes too. Everything is good, can't go wrong with anything on the menu!

Address: 825 South Waukegan Road
Phone: 847.234.9950


We love Egg Harbor Cafe because they have some of the most creative and delicious egg dishes we've ever tasted! Their breakfasts are of course excellent, but their lunches and dinner should not be overlooked. You won't have to worry about chasing down the waitress for more water or more coffee, because they bring you the whole pitcher or carafe and leave it there on the table for you! We love that! Be sure to try the Sir Dugan Omelette!

Address: 512 North Western Avenue
Phone: 847.295.3449


King Maa Chinese Restaurant has great quality Chinese food at a price that anybody can afford. It's just a cozy little neighborhood spot complete with one of those old fashioned waitstaffs that really cares about you having a great meal. They close up around 9:00 PM most nights, so you won't be able to get your late night Chinese fix here, but that's really our only complaint! Nice large menu and wonderful dishes!

Address: 950 North Western Avenue
Phone: 847.604.9660


Einstein Bros Bagels is a great stop in the middle of the day when you're craving delicious sandwiches, bagels, soups, wraps, and other goodies. They're known for that, but we really love their coffee here, and shhh don't tell the major competition, but we'd say it's better than that other place, if you know who we're talking about! We love their sun-dried tomato bagels the very best!

Address: 728 North Western Avenue
Phone: 847.615.9888

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