Highland Park Family Guide! | Chicago North Shore Moms

Highland Park Hot Spots


This guide was updated in 2024. Highland Park is one of the larger areas on the North Shore along Lake Michigan with two main business districts, Downtown Highland Park (home of The Lot) and Ravinia District (home of Food Truck Thursdays). One of things we love most about this area is the large Park District that offers SO many recreation options for every age like Hidden Creek Aquatic Park’s big pool and splash area, and Rosewood Beach for a full-service beach and playground.

Port Clinton Square in the heart of downtown Highland Park gives the feel of the Chicago neighborhood southport corridor, with big name shops like Blue Mercury, Anthropologie, and Pottery Barn, mixed with local boutiques and restaurants.  It’s a one stop destination for just about everything you might need, for everyone in your family as long as you have the luxury of shopping during standard business hours, 10-5. 




That Little French Guy is Delish all around with filling breakfast/brunch options like challah bread french toast to variations of avocado toast. The interior is French inspired with even a french radio station playing in the background!

Bright Bowls is one of the most unique restaurant spots on the North Shore is a vegan smoothie place with loads of amazing smoothies, smoothie bowls and vegan treats and eats. 

Bluegrass Restaurant is the place to go for really great fish and excellent cajun food.  It’s our go-to special restaurant, but they have a really nice kid’s menu, too!

Madame ZuZu’s, located in the heart of downtown Highland Park, is another vegan spot with affordable and delicious cuisine, super cool events and a nifty gift shop, to boot.

Harmony Coffee Bar is a hidden gem of a coffee shop.  We say that because it’s a little hidden, and it’s great!  Located inside Port Clinton Square, their coffee and tea both hit the spot, the breakfast treats are tops and it’s convenient when shopping the area!  

Love’s is a go-to ice cream and fro-yo place. It’s actually hard to find frozen yogurt these days! And for more treats you can’t go wrong paying a visit to Terry’s Toffee for toffee and Sweet Home Gelato, Sugar Coated for beautifully delicious cookies, cupcakes and cakes or Goodies for curated candy treats. Last but not least make a stop over at Central Cafe for baked goods and brunch items, not to mention the coffee creations.

Last but not least we have to give a special shout out to Mizrahi Grill for just really solid Israeli fare. Everything is good but we think the falafel is the best!

Food Truck Thursdays is a huge draw in the Summer months with multiple rotating food trucks and live music each week.  It’s so much fun for families, and a must do at least once! Be sure to follow, City of Highland Park for weekly events! 



Shopping, spas and more!

Hit up Style Shack for beautiful and affordable gifts from jewelry to home decor.  They have unique options in any price range and everyone is helpful and welcoming.  They also have a great selection of pretty, unique hand wash and candles.

We love a stop in Beanstalk Toys for kids gifts.  The staff is friendly and they have a unique selection, plus free gift wrapping to make things super easy!

A short walk from Beanstalk Toys is a favorite clothing boutique, Central.  Think Mom-Uniform upgraded!  This is a shop that’s hard to walk out of empty handed.  They also have a men’s shop and juniors!  

Ross Cosmetics is an ode to the general store and I love that we have this in Highland Park. Come here for Elta Sunscreens, hair care, camp gear, birthday gifts, novelty candy, overnight camp goods and trendy clothing. 

A wonderful luxury spa of choice is Legendary Spa located perpendicular from La Taquiza’s newest location here in Highland Park. Here you can get services like facials, chemical peels, full service eye brow shaping with relaxing, laminating and tinting as well as unique nail services and spray tans. This spa, as well as the owner, is the bees knees, please support this small business!

And speaking of full service, for all of your spa med needs including hormone and medical weight loss support, do yourself a favor and contact Trevi Health, located just above Love’s Yogurt for a consultation. Owner, Dr. Josie Tenor is a wealth of knowledge and the staff is meticulous and professional.

For a fabulous workout consider trying RPEC and Pulse Fitness. They both offer strong boxing and bootcamp classes with a super positive environment. Pulse Fitness offers a ton of great youth classes.

Lori’s Shoes has been a staple since our early Chicago days in the city.  This shop is great not only for summer sandals, but for cute summer dresses that are budget friendly. And last but not least we can’t not mention Glamour Girlz for the teens and Enaz for the stylish grownups!


Ravinia District is a quaint little strip and as the name implies, right next to Ravinia Festival grounds. If you haven’t been to Ravinia, this is a North Shore MUST over the summer!  From throwing down a blanket to elaborate picnic set ups, this is the best place to listen to live music in the burbs! 

Ravinia Brewing Company and its sister location BWB Shakes is great for family dining. Another family and date night staple is Viaggio’s for great Italian food. But one of the North Shore’s favorite restaurant stops is Abigail’s American Bistro. Ample seating outside weather permitting and the recently renovated and expanded space has made room for more dining. Lastly, 

For brunch and coffee stop at the adorable Mexican bakery, Mil Colibris located next to another lovely dog and kid friendly coffee shop, Astra Coffee Roasters.

Another fun thing to note about Ravinia district is the unique shopping. The North side of Roger Williams is home to a few eclectic vintage shops, a uke store, judaica and more!

…. and the Ravinia Farmers Market runs late Spring through Summer each week!

As for parks, head south on Burton Ave. and you’ll get to tennis and pickleball courts as well as a great little park called Brown Park (aka Train Park) that is fenced in.

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!

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