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Photo: Jason LittleFound restaurant

Evanston city guide

Evanston is no longer a sleepy suburb—it's one of the hottest neighborhoods for food, booze and shopping in the Chicago area. Explore the city with our guide


The city of Evanston has always had a lot going for it. It is a college town with beaches, restaurants, shops and theater. It's easy to get to via the CTA and Metra. But for decades, something was holding Chicago's nearest northern suburb back. And that something was booze. Until 1972, Evanston was a dry community. The city was the birthplace of the temperance movement. Only three decades ago were liquor stores finally allowed within the city limits. The lack of alcohol dehydrated the town's nightlife. Over the last decade, however, developers have moved in. The dining scene has blossomed, bars have sprung up, as have the breweries. Temperance Beer Company and FEW Spirits, named after temperance leader Frances E. Willard, thumb their nose at the past. The city that gave Grant Achatz his first foothold in the area is a dining destination. The birthplace of Eddie Vedder, Charlton Heston, Seth Meyers and John Cusack is finally cool.

Locals' picks

Locals' picks

Evanstonians spill about their favorite places to eat, shop and relax