Skokie comes from the Native American word for fire, and for many years it was known as the world's largest village. It's perhaps best known as the home of the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and also for its beautiful parks and gardens. Many of your favorite films have been shot here, including Risky Business, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and The Blues Brothers. If you're heading to Skokie for any reason, you'll need to know the best places to drink and dine, and here are our picks in the 60076 and 60077 zip codes.
TUB TIM THAI RESTAURANT
Tub Tim Thai opens up early for lunch and then closes for a couple of hours before they open up again for dinner. The curry dishes are the best thing on the menu, particularly the red curry, and the pineapple fried rice is something that you've just got to try yourself to understand how good it is! The restaurant itself is very cozy, seating just 44 people, and decorated very nicely. One of the best Thai restaurants in the entire Chicago area.
Address: 4927 Oakton Street
Pita Inn may look like they're situated in an old Taco Bell location, but don't let that exterior fool you! This is a great place to get an excellent Mediterranean meal at a very low cost. For less than seven bucks you can get a complete feast that will fill your tummy and satisfy your senses. The chicken shawarma and the falafel are the specialties here. Fabulous shish kabobs too! Don't miss this place--it's cheap to feed a whole group of people and it's all so fresh and delicious.
Address: 3910 West Dempster Street
Zhivago is a Russian and Ukranian restaurant that's been pleasing customers since 1998. They've got tasty lunches and dinners every day, and Friday thru Sunday they have live European pop music to entertain you! The roasted quail is our favorite thing on the menu, and they also make a very good cappuccino. It's great to kick back after your meal with a cappuccino and continue the conversation with your friends. Such a relaxing place to just hang out and enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Address: 9925 Gross Point Road
Bonefish Grill is of course all about seafood! The fish is all market-fresh, and it's cooked over a wood-burning grill to impart more natural flavors. The cocktails and martinis are a nice addition to any meal, and you can choose to sit either in the dining area or at the bar depending on what you'll be having. If you're not big on seafood, the steaks are an excellent bet. Always cooked to order just right.
Address: 9310 Skokie Boulevard
MCCORMICK & SCHMICK'S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Yet another excellent seafood restaurant in the Skokie area is McCormick & Schmick's. We really love the service here. The waitstaff is always so happy to see you, and they're knowledgeable enough about the menu to give suggestions as to what you'll enjoy, and even to answer more detailed questions about specific ingredients. They have a crab appetizer with avocado and mango that is simply out of this world. They've got wonderful fish tacos too, and the stuffed salmon is quite possibly the best entree on the menu.
Address: 4999 Old Orchard Shopping Center
The name EJ's Place sounds very casual, but in fact this is fine dining at its best. Fabulous steaks and lobster tails that will blow your mind with flavor. The decor is very woodsy and rustic but in a classy and sophisticated way. The price you'll pay here depends heavily on what you order, so you can easily spend $50 for two people or $200 for two people depending on whether you share an entree, order cocktails, or have dessert. If you're a big spender looking for a memorable night on the town, this is the place to do it!
Address: 10027 Skokie Boulevard
CHARCOAL OVEN RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
Charcoal Oven has been a part of the Skokie landscape for over sixty years. It's family owned, and with white linen table service and flowers, you'll feel like you're being treated to something really special. And you are. All of the steaks and seafood are to die for, but don't overlook the other delicacies like rack of lamb! The ambiance here has been described as funky with a supper club vibe, so if you love that, you will enjoy bringing your group of friends in for the best dinner they've ever had!
Address: 4400 Golf Road
Outback Steakhouse. Of course it's a chain restaurant, which puts a lot of people off, but we love it because of the great private booths, the wonderful chops, steaks, and seafood, and the full bar that stays open late. The prime rib goes perfectly with a wedge salad, and their margaritas and martinis are perfect for washing it all down and washing the troubles of the day away! We always have a great time at Outback.
Address: 5535 West Touhy Avenue
CURRAGH IRISH PUB & RESTAURANT
Curragh Irish Pub & Restaurant is a very festive little spot that you'll want to keep coming back to. When you're craving some excellent bar fare and a pint or two, there's no better place to go. There's a very large outdoor dining area to enjoy when the weather is good, and that's always densely populated with happy customers. There are tons of TVs always on, playing the sports games that you want to see. Great atmosphere and ambiance, and very clean. Good prices too!
Address: 8266 Lincoln Ave
By far the freshest and most delicious sushi in the area! Skokie's got a real winner with Makisu Sushi. The atmosphere is very sophisticated and subdued, and the food is world class. Despite that high quality, the prices are surprisingly affordable. Very private booths are perfect for first dates and wedding anniversaries alike! They're also very good for business lunches where discretion is important. This is the best sushi you can get without hopping on a Tokyo-bound jet! Highly recommended.
Address: 7150 Carpenter Road