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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


By Time Out editors, compiled by Brent DiCrescenzo

Posted: Sunday October 19 2014


Photo: Jason Little
Found restaurant

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.

Best restaurants in Evanston

Eat everything from Neapolitan pizza to upscale cuisine at these top spots

Cheap eats in Evanston

Chow down on hot dogs, empanadas, sushi, barbecue and more

The best Evanston bars

No longer just for Northwestern students, the suburb is a drinking destination

Locals' picks

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

8 new Evanston restaurants and bars

The hottest place to eat right now? Evanston. We tried all recently opened spots