Evanston Family Guide!
While it may not be as large as it’s Lake Michigan neighbor Chicago, this artsy city offers much more than you may think!
Evanston sits just North of Chicago and is home to Northwestern University, many theaters, art galleries, beaches, parks, and beautiful historic homes. The Charles Gates Dawes House is a gorgeous mansion along the lake and host to Evanston History Center from where you can actually take walking tours through to view the stunning homes in the area. There are 4 distinct business districts here: Downtown Evanston, Northwestern University Campus (East Central Street), Main Dempster Mile and Central Street.
The beaches of Evanston are where it’s at for water lovers and Evanston is the only North Shore city that offers a walk/run/bike path along Lake Michigan. You can stroll along the water from Clark Street Beach through Centennial Park, and Dawes Park, to Greenwood Street Beach until you reach Evanston Beach. There’s plenty of green space along the way to spread a blanket out & relax while the kids play on a sunny day!
Northwestern University’s campus sits along the lake and has its own little neighborhood feel with coffee shops, restaurants, and stores stocked with campus gear, plus plenty of public transportation ranging from a Metra trains line and the Purple El Train to busses and bike lanes if that’s your jam. Make some time to see a sporting event at Northwestern University sometime. Mustards Last Stand!
Favorite stops along Main-Dempster Mile:
Bently’s Pet Stuff is a great stop for your pet’s treats and eats.
Reprise Coffee Roasters has great coffee.
Booked is a bookstore with a fantastic selection for littles in a welcoming environment.
The Wine Goddesss is a great end woman-owned wine boutique to stock up.
Sketchbook Brewing is a great family-friendly place for events and brews – also women owned!
Favorite Stops along Central Street: Brace yourself – here’s a full blown list:
Central Street is a quaint strip of shopping, bakeries and dining starting west of Green Bay Road, stretching east to the Wildcats Stadium at Northwestern University. Here are faves:
Patisserie Coralie is so pretty with delicious eats and sweets & perfect for a girls meet up.
Hewn is one of the best bakeries in all of Chicagoland and beyond!
DB3 donuts is one of the few actual donut shops in the North Shore, offering creative options daily, plus seasonal and custom.
Lush Wine & Spirits has a fantastic burger, along with create your own charcuterie & more (plus alllll the wine).
Beth’s Little Bake Shop is our go-to for the rainbow of macaroons, and my kids love the muffins.
Backlot Coffee has delish brews and a great atmosphere.
Desalvo’s has really good pizza, & even sandwiches and calzones!
Comida’s tacos are a favorite, as are the drinks! We also love the cauliflower quest & guac.
A Chicago Bucktown sushi staple from the city, Coast, is dare I say even better here in Evanston?!
Hartigan’s Ice Cream is a longstanding, local summer go-to, with great ice cream on a great street!
You can also find unique shopping on Central Street: Raven & Dove for cards, gifts and all kinds of knick knacks; Mack’s Bike and Goods can help with all biking needs just to name a few.
Favorite stops along Downtown Evanston:
Downtown Evanston has a unique city feel and this area is fantastic to visit come summer & fall with many festivals, a large farmers market, and weekly happenings like music, family and art nights. A few favorites here are Tapas Barcelona, Edzo’s Burger Shop for really great burgers but no atmosphere, The Barn for an excellent date night out and Gearhead Outfitters for all things outdoors. Of course you’ll want to visit Downtown Evanston website to find a quante hotel for family members or even a staycation.
There are so many businesses we’ve yet to explore here! We’ll continue to add and let us know your favorites to check out!
The Neighborhood and Realtor Guide is sponsored by our featured agents. We appreciate their support of local businesses and park districts! In the spirit of providing stellar, tried and true content for our viewers, the businesses shared are by personal experience and our own opinions. We love where we live and will continue to share as we continue to explore Chicago’s North Shore! Thank you for following along and your continued support!