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Evanston is pretty by the lake.
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Where to Eat and Drink in Evanston

The best from Howard Street to Central Street and everywhere in between

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Evanston is pretty by the lake.
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Because it is a suburb, Chicagoans sometimes overlook Evanston as a viable destination for dining out. That’s an error in judgement, as it directly borders Chicago to the north and is easily accessible via car, or even the CTA’s Purple Line.

A charming college town, Evanston is packed with places for cheap eats, from late-night pancakes and eggs to casual spots for lunch and dinner, to coffee shops for working and studying. It also has upscale dining spots for seafood, steaks, and wine. Below are Eater Chicago’s picks for the essential bars and restaurants.

As of August 20, the city has mandated that everyone wear facial coverings while indoors. For updated information on coronavirus cases, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Hewn

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1733 Central St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 869-4396
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Hewn, one of Evanston’s most popular bakeries, relocated during the pandemic but remains one of the area’s best-known destinations. The backbone of Hewn’s offerings is its assortment of hand-shaped, freshly baked bread upon which staff build various sandwich offerings. It’s a perfect spot to pick up breakfast, as it offers a plethora of warm pastries and a substantial coffee menu.

2. Dave's New Kitchen

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815 Noyes St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 864-6000
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Once one of the most popular spots in downtown Evanston, Dave’s Italian Kitchen abruptly shuttered in 2016, only to quickly reopen further north on Noyes with a wide selection of pasta, pizza, and traditional chicken dishes. The restaurant is exclusively open for carryout and delivery due to the pandemic; place orders online via Toast.

3. Soul & Smoke

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1601 Payne St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 859-2732
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Chef D’Andre Carter has made a big splash in Chicago with his rich, smokey barbecue and soul food like shrimp and grits, earning a sizable following that’s spawned virtual outposts and a food hall stall. Now ranked among the area’s top barbecue contenders, Soul & Smoke actually originated in Evanston and patrons can still snag pickup orders from the operation’s out-of-the-way home base. The brisket is world class.

4. Terra & Vine

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1701 Maple Ave, Evanston
IL, 60201
(847) 563-4333
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Terra & Vine, from former Check, Please! host Alpana Singh, focuses on showcasing Mediterranean cuisine, specifically emphasizing its Italian influences. Thus, the menu is particularly appealing to casual diners with many pizzas and pastas, along with other Italian favorites like burrata and antipasto. The restaurant benefits from Singh’s experience as a master sommelier, offering an immaculately constructed wine list meant to compliment every dish.

5. Bat 17

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1709 Benson Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 733-7117
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An Evanston classic, Bat 17 has the best qualities of both a deli and a pub. Boasting tons of burgers, sliders, and other sandwiches, the restaurant is known for its massive portions. Bat 17 gives its offerings an extra oomph by emphasizing quality, using free-range meat when possible and getting its bread from award-winning bakery Bennison’s.

6. Le Peep

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827 Church St
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 328-4880
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For breakfast in downtown Evanston, few places have developed the reputation that La Peep has consistently held. A favorite for both NU students and residents alike, the chain’s menu covers the essential breakfast groups, from French toast to skillets and everything in between. Plus, it offers an especially popular pancake of the month, ranging from chocolate chip cookie to pumpkin pecan.

7. 10Q Chicken

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816 Church St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 859-6100
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The Korean fried chicken experts at 10Q put out destination-worthy pieces of crispy, juicy poultry for carryout and delivery in Evanston and inside Chicago’s Hayden Hall food hall. Customers can also find chicken wings, rice bowls, and more from the owners of BopNGrill.

8. Alcove - Evanston

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1625 Maple Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 570-9821
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This revamped suburban hit — known for more than two decades as Chef’s Station — leans toward fine dining with intricate dinner options such as pan-seared Hudson Valley foie gras (caramelized peaches, toasted brioche) and grilled New Zealand rack of lamb. Find it under the Davis Metra stop.

9. Found Kitchen & Social House

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1621 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 868-8945
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One of downtown Evanston’s best spots for an elegant lunch or dinner, Found highlights the skill of James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold (Tied House). By showcasing local produce and seasonal ingredients, Gold weaves excellent vegetables throughout, and touts an impressive selection of cheese and caviar. Even if one is just craving a fancy burger, Found’s has that base covered too. The restaurant shares ownership with another popular local spot, the Barn Steakhouse.

10. La Cocinita

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1625 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(773) 234-6676
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Specializing in Venezuelan-inspired Latin American street food, La Cocinita specializes arepas — delectable cornmeal patties in crowd-pleasing varieties like El Pabellon (brisket, black beans, sweet plantains) and El Vegano (sweet potato, corn and carrot sofrito, salsa verde). As of fall 2021, the restaurant is exclusively open for carryout and delivery. Those who can’t wait to dig in can snag seats a block west at Fountain Square. La Cocinita also operates a food hall outpost in New Orleans, as well as food trucks in both Illinois and Louisiana.

11. Bennison's Bakery

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1000 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 328-9434
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The quintessential Evanston bakery, Bennison’s has been a mainstay just off of the Davis Purple Line stop for more than 80 years. While staff offer nearly every type of pastry imaginable, its most popular offerings include doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, paczki, and danishes. If patrons are looking to shake things up, Bennison’s additionally offers specialty European delicacies such as apfelstrudel, an Austrian take on apple strudel.

12. Next of Kin Cafe

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625 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 563-8242
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This upscale neighborhood restaurant puts a global twist on familiar American dishes. The menu draws on Evanston farmers’ market products — seen clearly in the Harrison’s Farm fried chicken. It’s also a nice retreat for brunch, earning fans with a mushroom and havarti scramble and ginger-apricot mimosas.

13. Tapas Barcelona

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1615 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 866-9900
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A vast menu of tapas encourages groups to sample through a medley of Catalonian and Andalusian flavors at this Spanish mainstay, which is best known for crowd-pleasing plates like bacon-wrapped dates, Spanish tortillas, croquetas, and grilled octopus. Consider all of them the perfect pairings for either of the house sangrias or the Spanish margarita, a cross-Atlantic alternative on the classic with brandy and lime juice.

14. Koi Fine Asian Cuisine and Lounge

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624 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 866-6969
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This downtown Evanston spot from the owner of Chicago’s Le Sud offers a wide selection of American-Chinese cuisine — think Mongolian beef, garlic shrimp, and sesame chicken — as well as sushi and dim sum. Those who like to give back while dining out can call ahead to reserve table 23 and the restaurant will donate 23 percent of the check to a charitable organization.

15. Edzo's Burger Shop

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1571 Sherman Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 864-3396
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Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, Edzo’s is arguably a top burger contender around the Chicago area. The massive burgers are obviously its main attraction, but Edzo’s also offers hot dogs and a wide selection of other sandwiches. The fries are popular too — they come in a dozen varieties and are perfect for dipping in a creamy milkshake. A new location is open in Downtown Chicago inside Urbanspace Washington food hall.

16. Union Pizzeria

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1245 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 475-2400
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Housed inside one of Evanston’s coolest restaurant spaces, Union Pizzeria is an aesthetically pleasing spot where locals and visitors inhale piping-hot wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas like lamb sausage with eggplant, gaeta olives, and rosemary. For squares of Detroit-style pan pizza with perfectly crispy, caramelized edges, fans should head to suburban sister spot Union Squared.

17. Oceanique

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505 Main St
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 864-3435
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Chef and owner Mark Grosz opened this seafood-centric new American restaurant in 1989 and its drawn well-heeled diners to Main Street ever since. Refined starters include wild Japanese day boat scallops and Hudson Valley foie gras, plus indulgent entrees such as a prime Nebraska filet mignon or wild Maine swordfish with broccolini and saffron.

18. Sketchbook Brewing Co - Evanston

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821 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 584-2337
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This Skokie-based microbrewery was founded by former home brewers with a passion for historical and outside-the-box beers, and they’ve taken their show on the road to Evanston. Try out an Orange Door double-dry hopped IPA or a Pinky Sweater red rice pilsner.

19. Campagnola

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815 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 475-6100
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Chef Vince DiBattista serves rustic Italian cuisine at this neighborhood restaurant, which has been in operation for more than two decades. Expect seasonal and locally sourced ingredients peppered throughout the menu’s dishes, from orecchiette with grilled sausage and roasted peppers to roast duck with polenta and sour cherry mostardo.

20. Peckish Pig

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623 Howard St
Evanston, IL 60202
(847) 491-6778
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Located right on Evanston’s border with Chicago, Peckish Pig offers a very different dining experience than most nearby competitors, as it works to elevate the standard brewpub experience. Its menu is impressively extensive, offering popular items like bacon wrapped dates and chicken wings but also more adventurous options like green curry mussels. Additionally, Peckish Pig offers about a dozen house-brewed beers at all times, as well as multiple cocktails and whiskies.

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1. Hewn

1733 Central St, Evanston, IL 60201

Hewn, one of Evanston’s most popular bakeries, relocated during the pandemic but remains one of the area’s best-known destinations. The backbone of Hewn’s offerings is its assortment of hand-shaped, freshly baked bread upon which staff build various sandwich offerings. It’s a perfect spot to pick up breakfast, as it offers a plethora of warm pastries and a substantial coffee menu.

1733 Central St
Evanston, IL 60201

2. Dave's New Kitchen

815 Noyes St, Evanston, IL 60201

Once one of the most popular spots in downtown Evanston, Dave’s Italian Kitchen abruptly shuttered in 2016, only to quickly reopen further north on Noyes with a wide selection of pasta, pizza, and traditional chicken dishes. The restaurant is exclusively open for carryout and delivery due to the pandemic; place orders online via Toast.

815 Noyes St
Evanston, IL 60201

3. Soul & Smoke

1601 Payne St, Evanston, IL 60201

Chef D’Andre Carter has made a big splash in Chicago with his rich, smokey barbecue and soul food like shrimp and grits, earning a sizable following that’s spawned virtual outposts and a food hall stall. Now ranked among the area’s top barbecue contenders, Soul & Smoke actually originated in Evanston and patrons can still snag pickup orders from the operation’s out-of-the-way home base. The brisket is world class.

1601 Payne St
Evanston, IL 60201

4. Terra & Vine

1701 Maple Ave, Evanston, IL, 60201

Terra & Vine, from former Check, Please! host Alpana Singh, focuses on showcasing Mediterranean cuisine, specifically emphasizing its Italian influences. Thus, the menu is particularly appealing to casual diners with many pizzas and pastas, along with other Italian favorites like burrata and antipasto. The restaurant benefits from Singh’s experience as a master sommelier, offering an immaculately constructed wine list meant to compliment every dish.

1701 Maple Ave, Evanston
IL, 60201

5. Bat 17

1709 Benson Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

An Evanston classic, Bat 17 has the best qualities of both a deli and a pub. Boasting tons of burgers, sliders, and other sandwiches, the restaurant is known for its massive portions. Bat 17 gives its offerings an extra oomph by emphasizing quality, using free-range meat when possible and getting its bread from award-winning bakery Bennison’s.

1709 Benson Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

6. Le Peep

827 Church St, Evanston, IL 60202

For breakfast in downtown Evanston, few places have developed the reputation that La Peep has consistently held. A favorite for both NU students and residents alike, the chain’s menu covers the essential breakfast groups, from French toast to skillets and everything in between. Plus, it offers an especially popular pancake of the month, ranging from chocolate chip cookie to pumpkin pecan.

827 Church St
Evanston, IL 60202

7. 10Q Chicken

816 Church St, Evanston, IL 60201

The Korean fried chicken experts at 10Q put out destination-worthy pieces of crispy, juicy poultry for carryout and delivery in Evanston and inside Chicago’s Hayden Hall food hall. Customers can also find chicken wings, rice bowls, and more from the owners of BopNGrill.

816 Church St
Evanston, IL 60201

8. Alcove - Evanston

1625 Maple Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

This revamped suburban hit — known for more than two decades as Chef’s Station — leans toward fine dining with intricate dinner options such as pan-seared Hudson Valley foie gras (caramelized peaches, toasted brioche) and grilled New Zealand rack of lamb. Find it under the Davis Metra stop.

1625 Maple Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

9. Found Kitchen & Social House

1621 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

One of downtown Evanston’s best spots for an elegant lunch or dinner, Found highlights the skill of James Beard Award-winning chef Debbie Gold (Tied House). By showcasing local produce and seasonal ingredients, Gold weaves excellent vegetables throughout, and touts an impressive selection of cheese and caviar. Even if one is just craving a fancy burger, Found’s has that base covered too. The restaurant shares ownership with another popular local spot, the Barn Steakhouse.

1621 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

10. La Cocinita

1625 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

Specializing in Venezuelan-inspired Latin American street food, La Cocinita specializes arepas — delectable cornmeal patties in crowd-pleasing varieties like El Pabellon (brisket, black beans, sweet plantains) and El Vegano (sweet potato, corn and carrot sofrito, salsa verde). As of fall 2021, the restaurant is exclusively open for carryout and delivery. Those who can’t wait to dig in can snag seats a block west at Fountain Square. La Cocinita also operates a food hall outpost in New Orleans, as well as food trucks in both Illinois and Louisiana.

1625 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

11. Bennison's Bakery

1000 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

The quintessential Evanston bakery, Bennison’s has been a mainstay just off of the Davis Purple Line stop for more than 80 years. While staff offer nearly every type of pastry imaginable, its most popular offerings include doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, paczki, and danishes. If patrons are looking to shake things up, Bennison’s additionally offers specialty European delicacies such as apfelstrudel, an Austrian take on apple strudel.

1000 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201

12. Next of Kin Cafe

625 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

This upscale neighborhood restaurant puts a global twist on familiar American dishes. The menu draws on Evanston farmers’ market products — seen clearly in the Harrison’s Farm fried chicken. It’s also a nice retreat for brunch, earning fans with a mushroom and havarti scramble and ginger-apricot mimosas.

625 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201

13. Tapas Barcelona

1615 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

A vast menu of tapas encourages groups to sample through a medley of Catalonian and Andalusian flavors at this Spanish mainstay, which is best known for crowd-pleasing plates like bacon-wrapped dates, Spanish tortillas, croquetas, and grilled octopus. Consider all of them the perfect pairings for either of the house sangrias or the Spanish margarita, a cross-Atlantic alternative on the classic with brandy and lime juice.

1615 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

14. Koi Fine Asian Cuisine and Lounge

624 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

This downtown Evanston spot from the owner of Chicago’s Le Sud offers a wide selection of American-Chinese cuisine — think Mongolian beef, garlic shrimp, and sesame chicken — as well as sushi and dim sum. Those who like to give back while dining out can call ahead to reserve table 23 and the restaurant will donate 23 percent of the check to a charitable organization.

624 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201

15. Edzo's Burger Shop

1571 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL 60201

Located in the heart of downtown Evanston, Edzo’s is arguably a top burger contender around the Chicago area. The massive burgers are obviously its main attraction, but Edzo’s also offers hot dogs and a wide selection of other sandwiches. The fries are popular too — they come in a dozen varieties and are perfect for dipping in a creamy milkshake. A new location is open in Downtown Chicago inside Urbanspace Washington food hall.

1571 Sherman Ave
Evanston, IL 60201

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16. Union Pizzeria

1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

Housed inside one of Evanston’s coolest restaurant spaces, Union Pizzeria is an aesthetically pleasing spot where locals and visitors inhale piping-hot wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas like lamb sausage with eggplant, gaeta olives, and rosemary. For squares of Detroit-style pan pizza with perfectly crispy, caramelized edges, fans should head to suburban sister spot Union Squared.

1245 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202

17. Oceanique

505 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

Chef and owner Mark Grosz opened this seafood-centric new American restaurant in 1989 and its drawn well-heeled diners to Main Street ever since. Refined starters include wild Japanese day boat scallops and Hudson Valley foie gras, plus indulgent entrees such as a prime Nebraska filet mignon or wild Maine swordfish with broccolini and saffron.

505 Main St
Evanston, IL 60202

18. Sketchbook Brewing Co - Evanston

821 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

This Skokie-based microbrewery was founded by former home brewers with a passion for historical and outside-the-box beers, and they’ve taken their show on the road to Evanston. Try out an Orange Door double-dry hopped IPA or a Pinky Sweater red rice pilsner.

821 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202

19. Campagnola

815 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL 60202

Chef Vince DiBattista serves rustic Italian cuisine at this neighborhood restaurant, which has been in operation for more than two decades. Expect seasonal and locally sourced ingredients peppered throughout the menu’s dishes, from orecchiette with grilled sausage and roasted peppers to roast duck with polenta and sour cherry mostardo.

815 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60202

20. Peckish Pig

623 Howard St, Evanston, IL 60202

Located right on Evanston’s border with Chicago, Peckish Pig offers a very different dining experience than most nearby competitors, as it works to elevate the standard brewpub experience. Its menu is impressively extensive, offering popular items like bacon wrapped dates and chicken wings but also more adventurous options like green curry mussels. Additionally, Peckish Pig offers about a dozen house-brewed beers at all times, as well as multiple cocktails and whiskies.

623 Howard St
Evanston, IL 60202

Related Maps