Waukegan, Illinois is situated in Lake County and has just under 90,000 residents. It's one of the largest cities on Lake Michigan's shore, beat out only by Kenosha, Green Bay, Milwaukee, and Chicago. They're currently revitalizing their lakefront property, removing all industrial activity, and bringing in both new businesses and new residential areas. Many new restaurants have popped up on the scene, along with a new theatre. Of course there's also the yearly Scoop the Loop cruising festival that's been going on for well over ten years now. If you're coming into town for that or any other attraction, these are the coolest places to eat and drink in the 60085, 60086, 60087, 60088 zips!
SADDLE RIDGE RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE
Some have called Saddle Ridge Restaurant and Lounge the best kept secret in town! It is located within the Ramada Inn, so you're apt to miss it if you're not specifically looking for it! Like the name hints, the atmosphere is rustic and reminiscent of a restaurant in the country. It actually consists of a restaurant, lounge, and banquet room, and they also offer catering for your large events. The Sunday champagne brunch is an absolute essential if you're in the area, and we love the buffet and seafood table. Everything is fresh and deliciously prepared. The service is superb.
Address: 200 North Green Bay Road
SAN LUIS MEXICAN RESTAURANT
If you frequent Mexican restaurants often, the first thing you always want to find out is whether or not the chips and salsa are good! So we'll get that out of the way first: They are FANTASTIC here! The quesadillas are one of our favorite items on the menu, packed with flavor and generous on the stuffing. The Babacoa with shredded pork is extremely delicious too. There's a full bar so you can enjoy your favorite margaritas either with your meal or afterward. If you love authentic Mexican food, this is Waukegan's best.
Address: 50 South Green Bay Road
FROLIC TAVERN & GRILL
Frolic Tavern & Grill has got the classic sign out front that tells you you're in for a frolicing good time! The hottest grill favorites every day from fish to burgers! When you're dining or drinking here it's always fun, with great crowds and new people to discover. You'd never think that an unassuming corner bar like this would double as one of the most fun party spots in town. It's the best of both worlds, pub and sports bar all wrapped into one.
Address: 2902 West Washington Street
ANASTASIA'S RESTAURANT & SPORTS LOUNGE
By far one of the best lunch stops in the area! Our favorites are the freshly prepared pizzas and the perfectly cooked steaks. Just about everything on the menu is available for delivery too, so when you're throwing a get together at home in Waukegan, there's nothing easier than getting Anastasia's on the phone and ordering some delivery for everybody. The sports bar is a great place to catch the big games on TV too!
Address: 3880 Northpoint Boulevard
The two previous bars on this list were of the more rustic variety, so if you're searching for something a little more chic and trendy, Lime Lounge is it! Their specialties are flavored martinis and mojitos, and they are always perfectly mixed and nice and strong. The food centers on tapas offerings, freshly prepared burgers, and delicious sandwiches. As far as the soundtrack goes, there's lots of hot 80s tunes playing at any given time, plus a mix of hip hop and rock. The drinks are nice and cheap despite the upscale vibe! Great place to chill with friends.
Address: 1508 Washington Street
JOZINO'S PIZZA & PUB
What can we tell you about Jozino's Pizza & Pub that you don't already know? It's one of the best places in town to stop in for an ice cold beer and a sizzling hot slice of cheesy pizza. The waitstaff is always ready to greet you with a smile and point you to the best items on the menu, and of course this cozy pub has the comfortable atmosphere that makes it so pleasurable to return to time and time again.
Address: 3457 Sunset Avenue
BOB & ANNE'S RESTAURANT
Bob & Anne's Restaurant is one of our favorite breakfast spots in the Waukegan area, but by no means is it limited to just breakfast! This restaurant has all your Greek favorites like delicious chicken gyros, and your American favorites like classic BLTs. It's as clean and spotless as can be, and the atmosphere is cozy, comfortable, and casual. You can fill up your tummy here without breaking the bank!
Address: 1739 North Sheridan Road
IHOP is an obvious choice in any town, but we had to include it on the Waukegan list because it's just such a great place to grab a hot and delicious breakfast any time of the day. There's a reason that the International House of Pancakes has been making Americans happy since 1958, and if you haven't stopped in for their original buttermilk pancakes in a while, it's about time you do. There are plenty of great specialties and seasonal items on the menu right now!
Address: 2662 Belvidere Road
LENO'S SANDWICH SHOP
You've got to love the slogan, "Small shop, huge sandwich!" For many, many decades, Leno's Sandwich Shop has been pleasing Waukegan residents with their delicious food, from pastrami to chili, from salads to sausages, from soup to soft drinks. It's true that they've undergone some renovations and changes in the last few years, but it's only improved with time! Their subs are still the best in town, and so much better than those franchise sub shops that you're familiar with! Give Leno's a try and you'll never go back to the others.
Address: 1826 Grand Avenue
YAN'S HUNAN INN
We've always loved Yan's Hunan Inn, both for their fabulous menu of Chinese delicacies, and for their full bar and cocktails! They've got a lunch buffet every day so you can both save money and fill up quick on your lunch hour. No waiting for food prep, just dig in and enjoy. We love the Green Jade Scallops and the Sliced Prawns with Black Bean Sauce. Vegetarians will go wild over the Eggplant with Garlic Sauce. We wish every Chinese restaurant had that on the menu. An excellent choice if you're in the Waukegan area!
Address: 3900 Northpoint Boulevard