Thai food and fun.
Cozy Noodle is well-known in Evanston not just for its Thai food with good prices but for its fun and yes, cozy, atmosphere. The walls are covered with antique toys, with everything from bobbleheads to lunchboxes to license plates, and there is always something interesting to look at. The kids will love looking at all of the old toys, and the adults will love that it's BYOB.
Delicious tacos and Asian fusion fare all under one roof. One rooftop bar that is.
Two Evanston favorites are reincarnated in one new-construction building with great ambiance and all the best dishes from their pasts. Pick your favorites from the taco selection at the Mexican cantina Taco Diablo or stroll over to Lulu's for creative Asian fusion. Can't decide? Head upstairs to the large, trendy rooftop bar Five & Dime where you can order food and drink from both.
Address: 518 Dempster St, Evanston, IL 60202
Phone: (847) 492-8340
Pies and coffee. Need we say more?
Hoosier Mama literally wrote the book on baking delicious pies. While classics are often in attendance on the menu, there's always a rotating selection of unique offerings such as Pear Apple Cranberry or Moroccan Lamb hand pie. If you have trouble deciding, there's no need to worry—you can also order a pie slice flight! Housed in the same location is Dollop Coffee & Tea Co., a Chicago owned and operated roastery that creates coffee drinks that pair perfectly with the fresh pies.
Italian cafe with rustic chic.
Walk into La Macchina Cafe and you’ll be greeted by a gorgeous vintage motorcycle. This is just a taste of things to come in this classy Italian joint with plenty of vintage flair. It's one of the few places you'll find authentic Italian fare beyond just pasta or pizza, although the handmade pasta does not disappoint. Carol, president of NeigerDesign, says, “The owner uses many of his mother’s recipes but I LOVE the roasted chicken with lemon. It is simply the best I’ve ever had.”
Unique Venezuelan fare.
Stuck in a rut? La Cocinita could be the extraordinary lunch option you're looking for with its delicious Venezuelan-style street food. Originally a food truck, the La Cocinita crew expanded to this bricks-and-mortar location with a larger menu and a liquor license along with their most popular dishes, some of which are difficult to find elsewhere.
This hip pizza joint shares a building with SPACE music venue and is home to Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas made with locally grown and organic ingredients, as well as craft beers and a great atmosphere. It's the perfect place to grab a drink, grab a pie, or meet with friends before a show.
Sister restaurant to Union Pizzeria, Union Squared is a cozy spot located on the same street just 1/2 block north. It features four yummy Detroit-style pan pizzas that can be ordered whole or as individual 1/4 pie sizes (if you don't want to share).
Classic family-owned bakery.
Bennison’s Bakery is an Evanston staple and a North Shore destination that has been around since 1938. The bake shop is led by multiple generations of bakers and specializes in European sweets and dishes out cakes, breads, sandwiches, breakfast treats and more all week. You'll know when you're nearby—the delicious smells waft out into the street.
Friendly staff and good coffee. What more could you want?
This simple and modern coffee house serves much-lauded coffee and displays a rotation of art from local artists that will be sure to get your creative juices flowing. The coffee shop was started as a sibling location to the popular Brothers K Coffeehouse, hence the name, but has a vibe all its own.
Established Evanston coffee shop.
Brothers K is an ideal place to hunker down with your laptop or a good book (and of course a piping hot cup of coffee), especially if you're an aspiring creative as you're likely to rub elbows with more than one local writer while there. They also have a variety of savory and sweet snacks provided by local establishments, including Bennison's.
European-style cafe serving up coffee, food, drinks, and chic vibes.
New to the Evanston scene, Cupitol is a hip and clean European cafe that has everything you could want from morning to night. The bakery and restaurant suits all needs—stop in for an espresso and croissant to go, linger for lunch, or visit in the evening for dinner and drinks in a great atmosphere. Try the freddo.
Farm to table restaurant.
Found's eclectic style is an extension of their sustainability mission of reusing and repurposing items and supporting the local community when possible. Their social mission is to “hire and train people coming out of homelessness” as a stepping stone to living more independent lives, which adds to their overall cool factor. To top it off, the food tastes great, too, combining upscale American-fare with the ambiance of a quality antiques store.